The Eastern Lake Ontario Invasive Species Symposium is hosted by the St. Lawrence Eastern Lake Ontario Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management -SLELO PRISM. 

On June 22nd, 2023 you are invited to join us at the Tailwater Lodge in Altmar, NY for this free in-person event.

You will hear from our regional and state-wide partners and learn of invasive species management projects and initiatives that enhance the biodiversity and resiliency of lands and waters.

Continuing Education Credits

Continuing education credits for the following organizations have been awarded. 
Those seeking credit will need to provide their credentials at registration. 
  • Society of American Foresters  **Requires state license/registration number 
      • Category 1: 5 credits
  • DEC Pesticide Applicators **Requires photo ID & NY pesticide certification ID
      • Category: Core (000) awarded .5 credits
      • Category: Demonstration (10) awarded 1.50 credits
      • Category: Forest (2) awarded 1.50 credits
      • Category: Ornamental and Turf (3a) awarded 1.50 credits
      • Category: Regulatory (9) awarded 1.50 credit
  • New York State Arborists **Requires ISA certification number 
      • Certified Arborist: 3
      • BCMA-Science: 0.5
      • BCMA-Practice: 1
      • BCMA- Management: 1.5
      • Municipal Specalist: 1.5
  • Master Naturalist

Symposium Overview and Agenda

View resources provided by speakers and exhibitors of the 2023 Symposium. 


8:20- 8:45 AM: Registration/Refreshments

8:50-9:00 AM: Opening Remarks


9:00-9:20 AM: Resilient and Connected Lands & Waters- Rob Williams, SLELO PRISM

9:22-9:42 AM: Resilient Urban Forests- Robert Smith, SLELO PRISM

9:44-10:04 AM: Climate Smart Forests- Chris Zimmerman, TNC

10:06-10:26 AM: Climate Challenges to Invasive Species Management- Eva Colberg, NYISRI/Cornell University

10:28-10:48 AM: Riparian Corridor Restoration- Brittney Rogers, SLELO PRISM

10:50-11:10 AM: Role of Native Plants in Shoreline Restoration-Roy Widrig, NYSG

11:12-11:32 AM: Adirondack Native Vegetation Reestablishment Project-Zack Simek, APIPP PRISM


11:34-11:50 AM: Afternoon Announcements

11:50 AM-12:50 PM: Lunch & engagement with exhibits and eDNA mobile lab tour (Lunch provided by The Nature Conservancy)

12:55-1:30 PM: 3-Minute Lightning Round Presentations


1:32-1:52 PM: Approaches to Protect Hemlock Forests- Caroline Marschner, NYSHI

1:54-2:14 PM: 5-Year Typha Management Assessment in Oswego Peatland-Eric Hellquist & Faith Page, SUNY Oswego University

2:16-2:36 PM: Leveraging iMapInvasives Data to Evaluate Invasive Species Management Effectiveness-Fate Syewoangnuan, NYNHP/iMapInvasives

2:38-2:58 PM: Preparing for and Managing Spotted Lanternfly- Brian Eshenaur, Cornell NYS IPM

3:00-3:20 PM: NYS AGM Invasive Species Management –Thom Allgaier, NYS AGM

3:22-3:52 PM: Pesticide Use Requirements & Certification- Don Nelson, NYS DEC Bureau of Pesticides Management

3:55-4:00 PM: Closing Remarks

Lightning Round Presentations

This session will showcase three-minute presentations highlighting partner projects, initiatives, and collaborative opportunities. Presentations are listed in order below. 

  • Pledge to Protect Initiative
    • Presented by, Megan Pistolese Shaw-SLELO PRISM
  •  Watercraft Inspection Steward Program
    • Presented by Freddie Kartoz and Allison Curl 2023 WISP
  • Indian River Lakes Project WHIRL
    • Presented by, Erin Ermine- IRLC
  •  NY Great Lakes Action Agenda
    • Presented by, Emily Fell- NYS DEC/Cornell Water Resources Institute
  • Tracking Lake Trout in Lake Ontario: Collaborating with the Charter Industry to Conduct Research
    • Presented by, Stacy Furgal, NYSG 
  • Study of Iconic Native and Invasive Florida Ant Species
    • Presented by, Haley Depner- Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry 
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Program
    • Presented by, Thom Allgaier- NYS-AGM
  • Managing Buckthorn to Restore the Sackets Harbor Battlefield
    • Presented by, Maria Cipullo- NYS OPRHP
  • Fort Drum Invasive Plant Survey
    • Presented by, Greg Welter- NYNHP

Exhibits and Demonstrations Showcase

Be sure to visit indoor and outdoor exhibits and demonstrations to be entered into a free symposium sweepstakes for prizes donated by SLELO partners!


  • SLELO PRISM- Watercraft Inspection Steward Program & hands-on aquatic plant Identification
  • SLELO PRISM- Take the Pledge to Protect, Urban Forest Sustainability Initiative & Riparian Restoration Initiatives Showcase
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Save the River & the River Keepers Program
  • Indian River Lakes Conservancy
  • NYS DEC/Cornell Water Resources Institute- Shoreline in a Pan Demonstration
  • NYS OPRHP- Student Conservation Association Program
  • Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust- Get Involved!
  • New York Natural Heritage Program- iMapInvasives
  • NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets- Invasive Species Information
  • SUNY Oswego- Hands-on aquatic plants identification
  • Surveying for Hemlock Woolly Adelgid- Poster by SLELO Volunteer, Lucas Russel
  • Cornell University’s NYS Integrated Pest Management Program-SLF, box tree moth, elm zigzag sawfly
  • New York Sea Grant


  • Self-guided tour of the SLELO PRISM/TNC mobile eDNA Lab

Speaker Showcase

Rob Williams- SLELO PRISM Director

Rob is educated as a freshwater biologist (Brockport State University, Brockport New York) and has extensive knowledge of invasive species, environmental DNA, water quality assessments, natural resource management and strategic planning. Rob is one of the co-founders of the Finger Lakes – Lake Ontario Watershed Protection Alliance and co-founder of the North Coast Initiative, a.k.a. Lake Ontario Coastal Initiative and has several technical publications which can be retrieved from the Brockport Digital Commons. Rob’s professional experience includes work with The Nature Conservancy, New York State Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and New York State Sea Grant Extension. He has received over $6 million in project funding from the US-Environmental Protection Agency, United States Department of Agriculture, New York State Environmental Protection Fund, and private funding for work on water resources, nonpoint source pollution, and invasive species. Currently, Rob holds two titles: one as a Conservation Practitioner for The Nature Conservancy and another as the Invasive Species Program Director of the SLELO-PRISM (St. Lawrence Eastern Lake Ontario Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management). Rob also serves on the New York State Invasive Species Advisory Committee, The Nature Conservancy’s North American Invasive Species Advisory Committee, and various other Technical Working Groups.

Presentation Description

9:00-9:20 AM- Resilient and Connected Lands & Waters 

The Nature Conservancy in cooperation with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation along with multiple partners of the SLELO PRISM* is implementing a Resilient and Connected Lands Strategy that focuses on the protection of established, healthy landscapes and improving upon connected corridors. If protected and conserved, this will allow native species to move within their range, and better adapt to a shifting climate. Among several threats to the health of these systems is invasive species which raises the question “how can we make our Priority Conservation Areas, PCA’s, more resilient to threats posed by non-native species during climatic changes”.

Robert Smith- Terrestrial Restoration and Resiliency Coordinator-SLELO PRISM

Robert holds a Master of Science in Ecology and a Bachelor of Science in Forest Ecosystem Science from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and brings with him extensive experience in terrestrial invasive species identification and management including ecosystem restoration and dendrology and is a US Army Veteran. Robert is currently acting as the SLELO PRISM Terrestrial Restoration and Resiliency Coordinator. Robert is leading efforts to protect terrestrial priority conservation areas from the impacts of invasive species through early detection, rapid response, and prevention efforts, and is leading multiple initiatives to enhance the health of terrestrial ecosystems in the SLELO region.

Presentation Description

9:22-9:42 AM- Resilient Urban Forests

The Urban Forest Sustainability Initiative Program is designed to help our communities sustain their urban forests by encouraging the following strategies: having a management plan, increasing tree species diversity, planting climate-adaptable trees, implementing proper pest management, planting the right trees in the right places, and including native tree species that benefit native wildlife. Taking these steps enhances the resiliency of our urban forests against invasive pests and climate change.

Chris Zimmerman-Forest Restoration Strategy Lead- The Nature Conservancy 

Chris has worked as a forest ecologist with The Nature Conservancy for over twenty years. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Evergreen State College and a Master of Science Degree from Wright State University with a focus in forest ecology and forestry. Chris currently works on Natural Climate Solution strategies. With TNC, he has worked on forest health and resilience on private and public lands, large forest cover restoration projects (reforestation), the recovery of endanger species and the development and implementation of invasive species control strategies in forest and wetland ecosystems.  He is also the lead author of the Invasive Plant Management Decision Analysis Tool to determine when and when not to implement invasive plant management actions and is the co-author of a report evaluating the status of forest regeneration across NYS. Most recently he coordinates the Family Forest Carbon Program in NY in partnership with the American Forest Foundation. He recently co-authored Healthy Forests For Our Future: A Management Guide to Increase Carbon Storage in Northeast Forests.

Presentation Description

9:44-10:04 AM- Healthy Forests for our Future: Practices to Increase Carbon Storage and Resilience

This presentation will The development of climate-smart forest management practices for the Family Forest Carbon Program.

Developed by the American Forest Foundation and The Nature Conservancy, the Family Forest Carbon Program enables family forest owners to access carbon markets, empowering them to help address climate change while earning income from their land.

The program partners with a family and individual landowners to manage their forests in ways that improve forest health and increase carbon sequestration and storage, while balancing other important benefits of our forests. We then sell the sequestered carbon as verified carbon credits to companies that are working to confront climate change and achieve vital social, economic, and environmental outcomes.

The Family Forest Carbon Program is a program of the Family Forest Impact Foundation LLC, an affiliate of the American Forest Foundation.

Eva Colberg-NYISRI/Cornell University

As a Postdoctoral Associate with Cornell’s New York Invasive Species Research Institute, Eva is working with managers in the Northeast to develop guidelines for climate-smart invasive species management. In addition to compiling and evaluating what scientific research tells us about climate change and invasive species, this summer she’s using research interviews to highlight current approaches, identify challenges, and present recommendations to make invasive species management more climate-adapted. Her background is in restoration ecology, including work with the reforestation nonprofit Green Again Madagascar, PhD work in the Ozarks with the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and a BS from the College of William & Mary.

Presentation Description

10:06-10:26 AM-Climate Challenges to Invasive Species Management-

Climate change affects the establishment, spread, and impacts of invasive species, just as biological invasions can alter and exacerbate the symptoms and drivers of climate change. To account for the challenges posed by these interactions, invasive species management must become “climate-smart”. In this presentation, we describe the management implications of the ways climate change and invasive species interact, including: shifting seasons, new pathways of introduction, range expansions, climate extremes, altered biotic interactions, and treatment efficacy. Management can better prepare for these interactions by incorporating climate predictions into watchlist and prioritization protocols, adjusting the timing of invasive prevention and treatment, and promoting native resilience to the dual effects of climate change and invasive species, as well as by sharing knowledge and results. This research represents the preliminary findings of a literature review and an invitation to reimagine and adapt invasive species management in a changing climate.

Brittney Rogers- Aquatic Restoration and Resliency Coordinator-SLELO PRISM

Brittney holds a Master of Science from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and a Bachelor of Science in Zoology from SUNY Oswego and brings with her extensive experience in aquatic invasive species identification and management and is one of the pioneers in New York States Watercraft Inspection Steward Program. Brittney currently acts as the Aquatic Restoration and Resiliency Coordinator for SLELO PRISM. She is leading efforts to protect aquatic priority conservation areas from the impacts of invasive species through early detection and rapid response efforts and is leading multiple initiatives to enhance the health of aquatic ecosystems in the SLELO region.

Presentation Description

10:28-10:48 AM- Riparian Corridor Restoration  

This presentation will provide an overview of multiple projects that SLELO PRISM is undergoing to enhance the biodiversity and resiliency of riparian areas in South Sandy Creek and North Sandy Pond. 

Roy Widrig-Coastal Processes and Hazards Specialist, New York Sea Grant

Roy is the Coastal Processes and Hazards Specialist with New York Sea Grant. As part of his work, Roy deals with the complex relationships along New York’s Great Lakes shorelines between earth processes, human intervention, and natural balance with climate and nature. He is the author of “Working with Nature: A Guide to Native Plants for New York’s Great Lakes Shorelines.” Prior to his work with New York Sea Grant, he worked with CCE Onondaga and Onondaga County Soil & Water on invasive species management in both forests and deep within the waters of Skaneateles Lake.

Presentation Description

10:50-11:10 AM– Role of Native Plants in Shoreline Restoration-

This presentation will detail the relationships between process geomorphology, climate, and native vegetation, to better prepare land managers for restoration projects after invasive species removal.

Zack Simek-Conservation and GIS Analyst- SLELO/APIPP PRISM

Zachary Simek holds a BS in Natural Resource Management and Policy from Paul Smith’s College and is a certified Geographic Information Systems Professional. He began working with The Nature Conservancy in 2015 as Terrestrial Invasive Species Coordinator for the Adirondack PRISM and transitioned to the role of Conservation and GIS Analyst in 2020. He currently supports the Adirondack and St. Lawrence Eastern Lake Ontario PRISMs with their mapping and data analysis needs.

zack simek

Presentation Description

11:12-11:32 AM– Adirondack Native Vegetation Reestablishment Project

The Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) actively manages invasive plant populations in the Adirondacks, including Japanese knotweed (Reynoutria japonica) and common reed grass (Phragmites australis). The Native Vegetation Reestablishment Project was designed to assess whether sites managed with herbicides resulted in non-invasive plant community structures that resemble plant communities in their natural, uninvaded states. This presentation will provide an overview of monitoring results from 2022.

Caroline Marschner- New York State Hemlock Initiative-Cornell University

Caroline’s background is in general ecology, with experience in forest prairie, riparian, and lacustrine ecosystems. She received her bachelor’s degree in environmental biology from Colorado College in 1998 and her master’s degree in environmental science from Miami University in 2003. Carri has been with NYSHI since 2015, where she coordinates NYSHI’s outreach efforts, works with partners to facilitate conservation planning, and assists with program management.

Presentation Description

1:32 PM-1:52 PM- Approaches to Protect Hemlock Forests

Conservation of eastern hemlock in New York is critical in the face of hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) and a changing climate. A wide suite of tools are available, from early detection of HWA through survey and eDNA technology, effective management strategies for HWA, and biological control research underway for long term HWA management. These approaches can be integrated across the landscape, and there are strong watershed and county scale hemlock conservation programs in New York. Early planning can help save SLELO’s extensive hemlock forests, to the benefit of forest ecosystems and landowners.

Eric Hellquist, and Faith Page- SUNY Oswego

Eric Hellquist is an Associate Professor of Biological Sciences at SUNY Oswego. He is a plant ecologist whose research is primarily focused on aquatic vascular plants and the ecology of wetland plant communities.


Presentation Description

1:54-2:14 PM- 5-Year Typha Management Assessment in Oswego Peatland

An assessment of five years of manual removal of invasive Typha in an Oswego County peatland of conservation concern

 Fate Syewoangnuan-NYNHP/iMapInvasives 

Fate Syewoangnuan is a graduate student and research assistant at SUNY-ESF, where he is researching invasive species management effectiveness. His current project is focused on increasing the abundance, use, and consistency of post-treatment monitoring data in the state of New York. Fate has been doing land management work across sectors and coasts since 2016.

Presentation Description

2:16-2:36 PM- Leveraging iMapInvasives Data to Evaluate Invasive Species Management Effectiveness-

Post-treatment monitoring data are critical for understanding invasive species management success. Our study leverages existing data in iMapInvasives to document treatment outcomes at the state level, and makes these data accessible via an interactive webmap. In addition, we developed a standardized post-treatment data collection app and workflow for improving future data collection. Initial results show that many treatments go unmonitored, and the data are heavily biased towards terrestrial, Tier 4, herbaceous species. However, where sufficient data is available for analysis, about two-thirds of sites show positive outcomes. With ongoing modification and use, we believe these tools could greatly improve our collective understanding of management effectiveness, while also helping managers track project progress.

Brian Eshenaur- Sr. Extension Associate, Cornell NYS IPM

Brian has worked for the NYS Integrated Pest Management Program for over 15 years. With a background in plant diagnostics, his work focuses on insect & plant disease identification and sustainable pest management. Brian’s current efforts emphasize the detection and control of new invasive pests. He’s currently providing leadership for outreach of the invasive spotted lanternfly in New York State.

Presentation Description

2:38-2:58 PM- Preparing for and Managing Spotted Lanternfly-

This presentation will focus on what to expect and actions that can be taken ahead of time that will curtail the potential damage this pest has caused in other regions. Specifically we’ll look at early detection, Ailanthus and the complexities of its removal, as well as and crop scouting to minimize yield loss. Will finish with the latest information about the diversity of microorganisms, invertebrates, and animals that will feed on spotted lanternfly and their potential to reduce populations.

Thom Allgaier- NYS  Department of Agriculture and Markets

Thom Allgaier is the Invasive Species Coordinator for the NYS Dept. of Agriculture & Markets. With over 20 years of public service between federal and state positions dealing with invasive plant pests. Prior to his public service he worked in various landscape construction, garden center and greenhouse positions. Thom holds an associate’s degree in Ornamental Horticulture from Farmingdale State University, a Bachelor’s of science from Empire State College where he studied Environmental Biology, and a Master’s of Science degree from University of North Carolina – Wilmington where he studied Environmental Science.

Presentation Description

3:00-3:20 PM- NYS AGM Invasive Species Management

What does the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets do about invasive species? A detailed explanation of the various aspects of Invasive Species exclusion, detection, survey, and mitigation used by AGM Plant Industry staff will be presented. From internal and external quarantines, permitting, inspection and survey, treatments, sampling, and other methods of addressing Invasive Species. Some of the tools AGM uses for IS will be discussed, such as web-based tools, vacuums, UAVs, biocontrol, traps, scrapers, test kits, and other tools. Where our staff operates will be explained on a statewide staffing scale as well as on an individual assignment level.

Don Nelson, Adirondack-Finger Lakes Section Supervisor-NYS DEC Bureau of Pesticides Management

Don is a Pesticide Control Specialist 3 (PCS 3) in the Bureau of Pesticides Management within the Division of Materials Management, at the DEC. He has been with DEC for over 22 years and in his current position since October 2019 and works out of the Cortland office in DEC Region 7.  As a PCS 3, Don is the Adirondack / Finger Lakes Pesticides Management Section Supervisor and is responsible for the supervision of staff and implementation of the pesticides management program in DEC Regions 5, 6, and 7.

Presentation Description

3:22-3:52 PM- Pesticide Use Requirements & Certification

Overview of the Pesticide Laws and Regulations in NYS, including pesticide applicator certification, pesticide business, agency registration, and permitting needs for terrestrial and aquatic invasive species pesticide applications.


Lightning-Round Presenters

Megan Pistolese-Education, Outreach and Communications Coordinator-SLELO PRISM

Megan holds a Bachelor of Science Degree focused on Ecology, Environmental Education, and Sustainability. She is experienced with aquatic and terrestrial invasive species identification, impacts, modes of introduction, prevention, and management methods. She currently acts as the SLELO PRISM Education and Outreach Coordinator. 

SLELO’s Pledge to Protect Initiative

Raising awareness is a vital component of invasive species management and one of the main goals of SLELO PRISM. To enhance our outreach efforts, in the summer of 2021, we launched a special initiative called the Pledge to Protect. Which is focused on creating an environment for behavior change through appropriate resources, initiative, and reward and is intended to educate and inspire the public to take actions that are simple, positive, and impactful to protect lands and waters from invasive species. This presentation will provide a quick overview of the Pledge to Protect initiative with an opportunity to sign up at an exhibit to receive a prize!

Watercraft Inspection Steward-SLELO PRISM/TILT

Watercraft Inspection Steward Program

Watercraft Inspection consists of visually inspecting all boating and recreational equipment that come in contact with water; removing all visible plants, animals, or mud materials; and draining any compartments that may hold water.

Stewards are stationed at launches where they empower boaters to reduce the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) by sharing educational information and teach boaters how to properly conduct inspections.

During the inspections, which usually last less than 3 minutes, stewards collect important data on where boaters are coming from, headed next, and if they’re aware of invasive species issues. This information helps to inform our programming and efforts to be more efficient and effective at conserving New York’s waters. 

The Watercraft Steward Program in the St. Lawrence Eastern Lake Ontario Region is co-administered by SLELO PRISM and the Thousand Islands Land Trust. The program runs annually from approximately late May through early October. 

Erin Ermine- Indian River Lakes Conservancy

Project WHIRL

RLC’s Project WHIRL program is an opportunity for youth ages 14-18 to engage with the forests and waters of the Indian River watershed. It is six summer weeks of exploration, muddy boots, and kayak adventures guided by a variety of environmental professionals.

Emily Fell- NYS DEC/Cornell Water Resources Institute

Emily Sheridan is the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation/Natural Heritage Trust’s Eastern Great Lakes Watershed Coordinator, and for the past 7 years has promoted collaboration among stakeholders to protect, conserve, restore, and enhance NY’s Great Lakes watershed, and managed NY’s Great Lakes Ecosystem Education Exchange program, in partnership with NY Sea Grant. Emily received her Bachelors in Natural Resources Management from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry and previously worked as a seasonal Ecological Restoration crew member with the Nature Conservancy.

NY Great Lakes Action Agenda

New York’s Great Lakes Action Agenda advances goals for invasive species management, habitat conservation and restoration, and ecological resiliency, through strategies and actions identified in the agenda. The GLAA also seeks to evaluate management outcomes after 10 years of plan implementation to determine the success of collaborative actions throughout the basin. To learn more and get involved, visit the DEC Great Lakes website, or connect with us at

Stacy Furgal-Great Lakes Fisheries and Ecosystem Health Specialist, NYSG 

Stacy is a Fish Biologist specializing in Great Lakes fisheries and ecosystem health topics such as: native species restoration, recreational angling, promoting diversity, HABs, and more.

Tracking Lake Trout in Lake Ontario: Collaborating with the Charter Industry to Conduct Research

A brief description of a CSMI (Cooperative Science and Monitoring Initiative) study of lake trout movements in Lake Ontario. The research team is placing specialized tags in lake trout, which communicate with acoustic receivers stationed on the lake bottom. These tags will provide information about the migration patterns and habitats used by adult lake trout. This innovative technology is particularly useful for locating spawning habitats and will help to inform future restoration efforts for potentially degraded spawning sites. Many fish were tagged by researchers working aboard charter fishing vessels. Researchers benefited from the charter captain’s wealth of knowledge and skill for locating fish, which made for more efficient and successful fish collection. It also demonstrated how partnerships between the Charter Industry and researchers can be beneficial for achieving science goals and allowing non-scientists to participate in research and further their understanding of complex fisheries topics. 


Haley Depner- Entomology Technician, Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry

Study of Iconic Native and Invasive Florida Ant Species

With the rapid transport of plants, produce, and goods out of its South American home, the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, has invaded continents on a global scale. In the United States alone, S. invicta is responsible for an estimated $1 billion in damages annually. In contrast to the invasive fire ant, Florida’s native harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex badius, is a keystone seed disperser, providing seed relocation benefits to Florida’s sandhill wildfire-adapted habitats. Seed relocation reduces seedling competition for nutrients with the parent plant, reduces predation of seeds by rodents, increases nutrient loads associated with ant mound soils, and protects seeds from natural disasters. In short, P. badius is a desert ant adapted to dryer wildfire habitats. In contrast, S. invicta is a swamp ant adapted to wetter grassy habitats with seasonal floods. In this study of these two iconic Florida ant species, I explored the mortality of workers when exposed to extreme weather events. I simulated wildfires using a smoker, cold snaps using a refrigerator at 0.5oC, heat waves using a dry oven at 45.5oC, and floods using open containers of water. I tested three hypotheses: (H1) Larger ants are “less” likely to perish when exposed to temperature extremes in heat, flooding, and cold trials (Bergmann’s Rule; Gigantothermy). (H2) Larger ants are “more” likely to perish in smoke trials because they retain a greater portion of particulate matter (Kmoch et al. 1976). (H3) Ants in larger groups are “less” likely to perish when exposed to temperature extremes in heat, smoke, flooding, cold, and humidity trials (Koto et al. 2015). The percent mortality for P. badius workers did not differ from the control for cold, smoke, and flooding. Morality during the heat treatment was 17%. Across treatments, smaller worker sizes and isolated workers were significant predictors of mortality. The percent mortality for S. invicta was between 30% and 80% across the four treatments. Smaller worker size, but not group size, was a significant predictor of mortality. However, because P. badius workers averaged 12 times the mass of S. invicta, the harvester ant survived at a rate averaging 10 times that of S. invicta workers. In the remaining sections of this thesis, I expand on each study species, their conservation value, theories related to the surface-area-to-volume ratio of animals (i.e. body size), the natural history of each ant species, and my study hypotheses. Finally, I discuss the implications of this study in light of expanding anthropogenic habitat encroachment and climate change.

Thom Allgaier- NYS  Department of Agriculture and Markets

Thom Allgaier is the Invasive Species Coordinator for the NYS Dept. of Agriculture & Markets. With over 20 years of public service between federal and state positions dealing with invasive plant pests. Prior to his public service he worked in various landscape construction, garden center and greenhouse positions. Thom holds an associate’s degree in Ornamental Horticulture from Farmingdale State University, a Bachelor’s of science from Empire State College where he studied Environmental Biology, and a Master’s of Science degree from University of North Carolina – Wilmington where he studied Environmental Science.

NYS-AGM- Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Program

An overview of the newly established AGM UAV program will detail how, why, and by whom the UAVs will be used to detect invasive species. UAVs will aide in safer, more rapid, and effective surveys of challenging situations. AGM has now FAA-licensed UAV pilots. These Horticultural Inspectors will use UAVs to inspect nursery facilities for invasive species as well as other agricultural pests and diseases. Use of aerial inspection will also be used for detection and delimitation survey for pests such as Asian Longhorned Beetle, Spotted Lantern Fly, and others.

Maria Cipullo- Regional Trails Coordinator, NYS OPRHP

Maria Cipullo is the Regional Trails Coordinator for NYS Parks (OPRHP) – working out of Keewaydin State Park’s 1000 Islands Regional Headquarters. Her work encompasses sustainable trail maintenance and trail design, public outreach, along with invasive species mitigation. She oversees the AmeriCorps / Student Conservation Association program which serves throughout Jefferson, Lewis, St. Lawrence, and Clinton counties. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Biology from SUNY ESF and an associate’s in Animal Management from Jefferson Community College.

Managing Buckthorn to Restore the Sackets Harbor Battlefield

Buckthorn removals and control success at Sackets Harbor Battlefield to revert the area back to historical accuracy for use in re-enactments and the upcoming Grand Tactical.

Greg Welter- NYNHP

Greg serves as the project coordinator for work that the New York Natural Heritage Program does on Fort Drum. Fort Drum is an Army installation in northern New York State which covers over 100,000 acres of land and provides valuable research opportunities.

Greg holds an M.S. from SUNY Albany in Geographic Information Science and a B.S. from the University of New Hampshire in Geology. He is broadly trained in a variety of natural resource topics.

Fort Drum Invasive Plant Survey

The New York Natural Heritage Program has teamed up with Fort Drum to perform a comprehensive invasive plant species survey across Fort Drum’s vast training areas. This survey targets 21 (mostly terrestrial) invasive plant species on a comprehensive 15 meter grid. The 2023 field season marks the third year of a multi-year effort. The data collected can inform Fort Drum’s invasive species management strategy moving forwards and gets entered into iMap Invasives annually. The data can be used for various research efforts and decision making which may bolster efforts toward resilience and biodiversity.