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Graduate Student Ambassadors

Graduate student ambassadors are available to answer questions about graduate student life, academic programs and student activities. They are happy to share their own personal experiences as graduate students at SUNY-ESF. The ambassadors also lead the campus tours. Feel free to connect with them through the email addresses below.


Sara Velardi

Sara Velardi

Email: shvelard@syr.edu

Hometown: Monroe, Connecticut

Undergraduate Education: Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Science (Skidmore College, 2012)

Graduate Education: Masters of Science in Environmental Interpretation, SUNY-ESF May 2014

Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Science and Natural Resources Policy, Graduation May 2017

Leadership/Professional Experience:

  • Graduate Assistant, General Biology Lab, Personal/Nonpersonal Environmental Interpretation, Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy (August 2012-May 2014)
  • Graduate Student SCIENCE Corp Member (June-August 2013, June-August 2014)
  • Naturalist at Beaver Lake Nature Center in Baldwinsville, NY (2013-2014)
  • Student Ambassador for Skidmore College (2009-2012)

Interests/Hobbies: Hiking, biking, running, reading

Quote: SUNY-ESF has opened so many doors for me; academically and professionally. I have had the opportunity to present at conferences, write for publications, and develop strong professional relationships with people in my field. Also through ESF-Outreach I have been able to make connections with members of the Syracuse community and bring what I learned at SUNY-ESF out into the public.


Tomasz Falkowski

Email: tbfalkow@syr.edu

Hometown: Buffalo, NY

Undergraduate Education: Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering (SUNY Binghamton, 2012)

Graduate Education: Masters of Science in Environmental Resources Engineering, SUNY-ESF May 2014

Doctor of Philosophy in Ecology, Graduation May 2017

Leadership/Professional Experience:

  • Graduate Assistant: General Ecology, Humans and the Global Environment, Ecosystem Restoration Design (August 2012-Current)
  • Research Assistant: Colorado State University (2012)
  • Researcher Assistant: Texas A&M University (2011)
  • Intern at Tropical Forestry Initiative (2010)
  • Office Assistant for Binghamton University Outdoor Pursuits (2009-2012)

Interests/Hobbies: Climbing, Hiking, Photography, Writing

Quote: “In the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you." --Leo Tolstoy


Leah Harnish

E-mail: leharnis@syr.edu

Hometown:Lafayette, CA

Undergraduate Education:University of Delaware, 2015; Bachelor of Science in Energy and Environmental Policy

Graduate Education: SUNY-ESF, 2016;Masters of Professional Studies in Environmental Studies

Leadership/Professional Experience: Community Organizer with Citizens Campaign for the Environment; Delaware Water Resources Agency; United States Senate

Hobbies/Interests:Snorkeling, reading, ice skating

Quote: "James Bond was one of the first environmental economists" -An ESF Professor


Erik Hazelton Erik Hazelton

E-mail: ejhazelt@syr.edu

Hometown: Woodstock, CT

Undergraduate Education: SUNY-ESF: Aquatics & Fisheries Science

Graduate Education: Fish and Wildlife Biology and Management

Leadership/Professional Experience: American Fisheries Society Member, Certified Weed Removal Diver, and Aquatic Research Technician

Hobbies/Interests: Hiking, fishing, skate/snowboarding, art, and scuba diving.

Quote: Soil is a biogeochemical membrane.


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