Volunteers Community Partners

Sydney VanWinkle

Sydney graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology with the combined B.S./M.S. degree in Environmental Science. Her main research focus was centered around wetland management with an emphasis on socio-ecological relationships and invasive species. Sydney’s research required a high amount of collaboration from partners and stakeholders and was inherently interdisciplinary.

Sydney joined the Finger Lakes Institute (FLI) as a Giant Hogweed Strike Team Specialist for the USDA-NRCS funded giant hogweed project in partnership with the Department of Environmental Conservation in 2021. Sydney then transitioned into a new role at the FLI where she worked as a watercraft steward and later assisted field crews in aquatic invasive species sampling across the Finger Lakes. Currently, Sydney manages the water chestnut control project and the macrophyte survey program. These programs are volunteer-based initiatives facilitated in partnership with the Finger Lakes Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (Finger Lakes-PRISM). Managing these programs involves coordinating field crews and volunteers, collaborating with partners and providing education and outreach throughout the Finger Lakes region.