Monday, August 10, 2020

Wiltse joins PSC, AWI staff

Adirondack scientist, photographer, and conservation advocate Brendan Wiltse has joined Paul Smith’s College as Visiting Assistant Professor with its new Masters of Science program and Water Quality Director with the college’s Adirondack Watershed Institute (AWI). Brendan is a graduate of Paul Smith’s College and earned his Ph.D. from Queen’s University in Ontario.

Brendan comes to the college from the Ausable River Association (AsRA) where for 6 years as Science and Stewardship Director he contributed to the group’s efforts to protect the Ausable River watershed through science and community engagement.

Most notably Brendan has led scientific research and monitoring on Mirror Lake wherein his findings contributed to a road salt reduction pilot program by the New York State Department of Transportation along Route 86, as well as actions by businesses and local municipalities to reduce their salt use. Brendan also holds a national accreditation as a Certified Lake Manager through the North American Lake Management Society and is a co-Director with the Adirondack Lakes Alliance. Brendan’s academic training focused on the ecological history of lakes and their historical response to climate change and has a long list of publications in scientific journals on a broad range of environmental topics.

Brendan will be teaching classes in September in natural resource management for the college’s new graduate program. Starting this fall, students can earn a MS in Natural Resources Conservation at Paul Smith’s where they can choose from three concentrations, Forest Resource Management, Sustainable Communities or Aquatic Resource Management. The program is designed to be completed in 12 months, mostly delivered online to accommodate students pursing their advanced degree while continuing their careers. Students are also required to participate in three immersive residencies in and around the Paul Smith’s College campus.

Paul Smith’s College Provost Nicholas Hunt-Bull says, “We extend a warm welcome to Brendan. This accomplished scientist will contribute greatly to our new Master’s program. The students will benefit from his background and experience in the aquatic sciences. It is also great to have another Smitty on faculty.”

In addition, Brendan will lead AWI’s water quality programming, including its water monitoring and inventory programs. His role with AWI will help strengthen its ongoing partnership with the Ausable River Association

“I am excited to welcome Brendan to our team to lead our aquatic ecology and limnology programs,” says Dan Kelting, Executive Director of PSC AWI. “Brendan’s role with us also provides an important opportunity to strengthen our collaboration with AsRA to protect lakes and streams and inspire responsible stewardship.”

“AWI and AsRA’s efforts to protect water quality are closely aligned, and we have worked together for years,” says Kelley Tucker, Executive Director of AsRA. “Brendan’s transition to AWI allows AsRA to continue our field-science based approach in watershed communities, while benefitting from AWI’s regional scope and scientific and technical expertise. We look forward to exploring a long-term partnership with the College and AWI, giving our work a greater impact in the Adirondack region.”

Brendan started in this new position on August 10, 2020.

To learn more about Paul Smith’s College’s Masters of Science program, visitgradschool.paulsmiths.edu.

The mission of the Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute is to protect clean water, conserve habitat and support the health and well-being of people in the Adirondacks through scientific inquiry, stewardship and real world experiences for students. Learn more: adkwatershed.org.

The Ausable River Association was formed in 1998 with the mission of helping communities protect their streams and lakes. For more information, visit ausableriver.org.

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4 Responses

  1. Boreas says:

    Congrats Brendan!

  2. John Sheehan John Sheehan says:

    Congratulations Brendan! Thank you for your outstanding work protecting water quality and your excellent landscape photography. Best of luck in the new job!

  3. Toni Payne says:

    Congrats Brendan! Our environment needs more people like you that have the knowledge to move for changes to protect our environment.

    I recently read an article that the NY Legislature is to pass a bill to close Fracking Waste. Closing the oil and gas hazardous waste loophole would make New York the first state in the nation to apply hazardous waste laws to oil and gas waste. And it would subject oil and gas waste to laboratory analysis to determine if it is hazardous and ensure that waste disposal is taking place only at facilitates that can safely handle it. Some of the fracking liquid waste is “brine”.
    Will this help to clean up the toxins found in brine from fracking?

    Do you think that “brine”, made from regular rock salt should be safer than Fracking brine?
    We also need to keep our roads safe. I’ve read that using brine would help reduce the amt of road salt used, reduce salt scatter, also reducing the spend on road salt.

    What is your thoughts on using more brine and less road salt? For environmental and for road safety. Or are there other ideas to reduce salt and keep our winter roads safe?

  4. Congratulations PSC,AWI…you’ve chosen the best of the best.

    Jane B. Smith
    Past Associate Director and Co-founder
    Adirondack Lakes Alliance

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