The Farmscape Ecology Program Staff is comprised of six co-workers, together with seasonal interns, a field assistant dog (Delia), and various hearty volunteers and helpers.
As part of Hawthorne Valley, we are also stewarded by the Hawthorne Valley Association Board of Trustees.
(all of whom are reachable at 518-672-7994)
Anna Duhon, MA Natural Resources and Peace, University for Peace, Costa Rica; BA Social Anthropology, Harvard University. The focus of Anna’s work has been exploring those aspects of local culture connected to the land, be that farming or other, less formalized, types of interaction. Anna loves exploring the shared stories that connect people to the land and each other.
Claudia Knab-Vispo, PhD Land Resources, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Diploma (MS) in Biology, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet Muenchen, Munich Germany. Claudia is our field botanist. After working on plant-animal interactions in Borneo and on ethnobotany in Venezuela, she has spent more than a decade documenting and teaching about plants in and around Columbia County. Her research and educational work are guided by questions such as: How has the flora of Columbia County changed since it was first documented in the 1930s? Which are the rare and vulnerable native plants that currently share the landscape with us, where are they found, and how can we protect them? What importance did/do the wild plants have for people? Which resources do they provide to animals? How can we make our farms and backyards more friendly for pollinators and other beneficial insects?
Kendrick Fowler, BS Conservation Biology, St. Lawrence University. A nature enthusiast from a young age, Kendrick worked seasonally in ornithology, outdoor education, and ecotourism before joining FEP full-time June 2018. As our entomology lab manager, he leads many of the day-to-day tasks involved in collecting data for our entomology research and he curates our collection of over 40,000 insect specimens. He is particularly interested in parasitoid wasps, and since 2021, he has been sharing that passion with students from around the world as an instructor and executive member of the WaspID Course.
Conrad Vispo (pictured above in typical field garb), PhD Wildlife Ecology, University of Wisconsin; MS Wildlife Ecology, Indiana State University; BS Wildlife Ecology, Cornell. Before returning to Columbia County, where he grew up, Conrad conducted ecological research on a variety of organisms, including mammals, birds and fish in a variety of places, including the woods of northern Wisconsin and tropical Venezuela. Conrad’s recent focus is on agroecology - what habitats can farmland provide for native species and, in turn, what can those native species provide to farming? Conrad’s passion is understanding historical and modern patterns of animal (including human) ecology on the land.
Josie Laing, BA Botany and Food Systems, Miami University. Josie, who has deep roots in the area through her grandparent's farm, came to FEP initially as a 2022 summer intern. As the botany technician, she is involved in plant-related research and outreach, native plant gardening, and land stewardship, but also provides much-appreciated general office/logistics support to the entire team. She brings a special interest in fungi and is spearheading FEP’s foray into this taxonomic realm.
Kyle Bradford, MS Conservation Biology, Antioch University New England; BS Environmental Science, University of Vermont. Kyle realized his passion for insects, field biology, and landscape history as an FEP intern in 2012. After a stint as FEP’s technician, focusing on ant surveys in Columbia County, Kyle then worked on insect pest detection in California vineyards before moving back east for graduate school. In graduate school, he studied ants in the pine barrens of western Massachusetts. Kyle’s interests include the ecology of human-managed habitats, insect ecology and biogeography (especially that of ants), landscape history and how it can inform contemporary conservation practice, and rare organism conservation.