Dear CSI Volunteers, Friends, and Supporters,
A word from Grascen Shidemantle:
“I am humbled by the opportunity to serve you and our community as the new Executive Director of the Community Science Institute. A deep love and connection to water has long defined who I am. I grew up in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania – a small college town in western Pennsylvania that just so happens to be named after the creek that runs through it. During my time there, I earned a biology degree as a third-generation legacy student at Slippery Rock University. Throughout my scientific career, including my dissertation research at Binghamton University, I have studied how contaminants (including light pollution, pesticides, and road deicing salts) impact amphibians and their aquatic communities. Amphibians are excellent indicators of the health of an ecosystem since they are particularly sensitive to environmental change. If amphibians are struggling, it is likely that other wildlife, and eventually humans, will be too. This relationship emphasizes the interconnectedness of us as humans to our natural world. All of us, including tadpoles and humans, rely on water as a shared natural resource.
I am honored to have the opportunity to support the continued health of our water bodies here in the Finger Lakes Region for the benefit of my neighbors (both human and non-human alike) through this position at CSI. As someone from a small town, I strongly believe that it is my responsibility to use my strengths to care for and uplift my community. I hope to contribute my ecological training and my lifelong passion for the protection of our natural world to sustain the health of our community for generations to come.
I am incredibly impressed by the tremendous work that you all have achieved thus far through your contributions to CSI. I look forward to learning from each of you and serving you as the new Executive Director of the Community Science Institute.”