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Green Infrastructure Initiative Key PersonnelDeveloping Central New York's Green Infrastructure

SUNY-ESF's Green Infrastructure Initiative draws its leadership from a number of organizations throughout central New York, including ESF Outreach, SUNY-ESF's Department of Environmental and Resources Engineering, SUNY-ESF's Department of Landscape Architecture, The Northside Urban Partnership, The Near Westside Initiative, and Syracuse-area schools, among others.

Virginia (Ginny) Williams: ESF Outreach- Associate Director of Professional Education and Noncredit Programs, and Green Infrastructure Project Manager. Ginny is funded by a U.S. Forest Service (USFS) Northeast Area State and Private Forestry Competitive Grant. This project is a partnership between ESF, the Centerstate Corporation for Economic Opportunity, and their affiliated effort, the Northside Urban Partnership Workforce Development Program (also known as Green Train).

Ginny coordinates green infrastructure training and demonstration projects for residents of the City of Syracuse, as well as other synergistic programs and projects. A related research and training component will be led by Dr. Ted Endreny, Associate Professor and Graduate Curriculum Coordinator in ESF's Department of Environmental Resources and Forest Engineering.

Ginny holds undergraduate and master's degrees from Cornell University in environmental engineering, as well as a master's in environmental interpretation from ESF. At ESF she was a National Science Foundation GK12 Fellow, a College-wide Colloquium on Teaching and Learning Fellow and, among other roles, president of the Graduate Student Association.

Dr. Chuck Spuches: SUNY-ESF- Associate Provost for Outreach; Syracuse University- adjunct associate professor in the graduate program in Instructional Design, Development, and Evaluation. Dr. Spuches teaches traditional classroom and online courses on educational project management, planned change and innovation, college teaching, and university outreach. In addition to the Green Infrastructure Initiative, he has also been involved in other recent ESF Outreach team projects including:
  • ESF in the High School, a school/college collaboration program with partnerships throughout Central New York and Rochester, and New York City;
  • An expanded faculty-driven continuing professional education initiative;
  • Continuing professional education certificate programs in the areas of Engineering Design, Bioprocess Engineering, Indoor Environmental Quality, and Renewable Energy supported, in part, by a U.S. Department of Labor grant;
  • The ESF Science Corps, established with support from a National Science Foundation grant; and
  • ESF SCIENCE (Summer Camps Investigating Ecology in Neighborhood and City Environments) supported, in part, by a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant. 

Dr. Ted Endreny: SUNY-ESF- Professor in the Department of Environmental Resources and Forest Engineering, and Graduate Curriculum Coordinator and Operator of Engineering Hydraulics Lab. Ted received a B.S. at Cornell University in Natural Resources, a M.S. at North Carolina State University in Biological and Agricultural Engineering, and a Ph.D. at Princeton University in Civil and Environmental Engineering. Ted has served as a Peace Corps volunteer with the Honduran Forest Service, and worked as a research associate at the Environmental Law Institute in Washington, DC. He became a member of the SUNY-ESF faculty in 1999, and was licensed as a Professional Engineer and Professional Hydrologist in 2002. In addition, Ted has been trained by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in flood mitigation design, and by the Fish and Wildlife Service in fluvial geomorphological assessment and restoration.

Ted teaches courses including Engineering Hydrology & Hydraulics, River Form and Process, Open Channel Hydraulics, and Hydro-Meteorology, among others. Ted serves as Graduate Curriculum Coordinator for his Department, manager of the Hassett Hydraulics and Hydrology Lab, representative to the ESF Council on Hydrologic Systems Science, and as an academic advisor to ESF's student chapters of Engineers without Borders and American Water Resources Association.


Dan Reeder: Landscape Architect & Supervisor at Green Scapes, Inc. in Jamesville, NY, and Visiting Instructor in the Department of Landscape Architecture at SUNY-ESF teaching sophomore & junior design studios.

Dan is an instructor in the Green Train Landscaping and Urban Ecology program. He earned his BLA in 1986 from SUNY-ESF and for 10 years gained strong professional skills in both Syracuse & Boston, along with licensure in 1989.  Returning to academia, he began studying, writing & teaching to earn his MSLA in 2003.   In 1998 he started Natural Systems Landscape Design & Build, a small firm committed to using regional plantings and materials to create unique and functional spaces (and always had the good fortune of hiring dedicated LA students). Along with many residential commissions over the years, Dan's main focus and passion has been working with communities, libraries, day care centers and nature centers to envision & create meaningful outdoor spaces to experience & appreciate nature in urban settings.

Amy Samuels: Onondaga Environmental Institute Coordinator of Education and Outreach. Amy is an instructor in the Green Train Landscaping and Urban Ecology program. She has been engaging youth and adults in science based learning for over 15 years.  She received a B.S. from Cornell University in General Agriculture in 1987, a M.S. from Syracuse University in Science Education in 1996 and a M.S. in Forest Biology from SUNY-ESF in 2002.  Ms. Samuels recently became the Coordinator of Education and Outreach for the Onondaga Environmental Institute.  She is developing programs related to stormwater management and green infrastructure as well as working on outreach and education about Onondaga Creek and Onondaga Lake.  Prior to joining the Onondaga Environmental Institute, Ms. Samuels worked for Cornell Cooperative Extension for twelve years, the last five as the Team Coordinator for the Natural Resource Department.  She is particularly proud of her development of the “Rain Catchers Program”, the first program in Onondaga County to engage the community in green infrastructure.  Through this program, Ms. Samuels has gained extensive expertise in the design and installation of residential rain gardens and rain barrels.  Ms. Samuels has been recognized nationally and locally for the quality of her work and her dedication to the community and environment.  In 2009, she received the Conservationist of the Year award from the Oneida Lake Association for her work with the community on invasive aquatic plants and non-point source pollution issues. Other awards include the Association of Natural Resource Educators 2003 Silver Award for “Businesses Providing Safe Drinking Water”, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 2000 Environmental Quality Award for the Skaneateles Lake Watershed Program and the 1999 Award of Excellence from the Northeast Extension Directors. Samuels
Matt Centore: Matt is an employee of the Syracuse City School District working in Adult Education Programming. During his years of service in the district he has been an Adult ESOL Instructor and has worked in several capacities with a strong focus on ESOL instruction related to work place literacy and employment preparation. He has extensive experience working with the refugee populations of Syracuse, and particularly with those living on Syracuse’s north side. He has also worked as a job developer, an urban literacy and revitalization program facilitator, and most recently as an ESOL instructor supporting the North Side Urban Partnership ’s Green Train Construction and Weatherization training in collaboration with OCM BOCES. He is also an ESOL instructor for the Green Train Landscaping and Urban Ecology program. Centore

Jaime Jones- SUNY-ESF Outreach- Green Infrastructure Initiative Project Assistant.   Jaime works closely with Ginny Williams and partners at the Northside Urban Partnership to plan and implement the Green Train Landscaping and Urban Ecology (GLUE) training program.  She holds a B.S. in biology with a concentration in ecology from the University of North Carolina at Asheville (2005), where she graduated with honors. Currently she is a M.S. candidate in SUNY-ESF’s Department of Environmental and Forest Biology.   Her research focuses on plant communities in created seasonal wetlands. 

Before moving to Syracuse in 2008, Jaime was a science teacher in Virginia’s public schools, and volunteered as an Adult ESOL teacher in Roanoke City.  She has also volunteered with community development efforts in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and has ecological research experience in Yellowstone National Park and California's central valley.

Jonathan Logan: The Northside Urban Partnership - program manager. Jonathan is responsible for helping to coordinate the hands-on green infrastructure projects taking place at The Northside Urban Partnership. He works closely with Ginny Williams, the City of Syracuse, and other neighborhood partners to identify, plan, and implement rain garden and other green infrastructure projects. His experience with these projects stems from helping to develop other green spaces on the Northside of Syracuse, including pocket parks and community gardens.

Jonathan holds an undergraduate degree from SUNY-ESF in landscape architecture and a master’s degree from Virginia Tech in urban and regional planning with a concentration in community and economic development. He was co-author on the Journal of the American Planning Association article “Greening the Rustbelt: A green infrastructure model for right-sizing America’s shrinking cities,” which explored using green infrastructure as a planning tool to stabilize declining urban centers.

Karen Engel: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)- Green Infrastructure Coordinator. Karen works in the Office of Environmental Justice and is instrumental in facilitating the ongoing collaboration between ESF Outreach and the DEC. Her professional mission is to promote Green Infrastructure statewide--a mission that, though simple in words, is quite complicated in process. Karen is pursuing this mission by partnering with ESF Outreach to gather the expertise, implement the technology, collect the data, educate the decision makers, and win the public support necessary to effectively implement green infrastructure technologies. Largely through Karen's efforts, the DEC and ESF are striving together to ensure water sustainability and mitigate climate change through the use of green infrastructure.  


If you have any questions about green infrastructure and current training programs, please contact outreach@esf.edu.

This project is funded in part by the US Forest Service.