Beth Norman, PhD: Beth is currently the Director of Science and Research at Lacawac Sanctuary. She received a B.S. in Biology from Bridgewater College, a small liberal arts school in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. After a short interlude teaching middle and high school science and math classes, she earned a M.S. degree in Biology from James Madison University and a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from Virginia Tech. Beth has also worked as a post-doctoral researcher for Trent University and Michigan State University. Beth is an ecosystem ecologist interested in how interactions among organisms influence the structure and functioning of freshwater habitats. Her research investigates how essential elements like nitrogen and carbon are transformed and transported through ecosystems and the role microorganisms, plants, and animals play in these processes. She also studies how these relationships are affected by human activities such as land use change, nutrient loading, and pollution. Beth uses experimental manipulations as well as natural studies in her research, at scales ranging from laboratory microcosms to whole ecosystems.
Craig Williamson, PhD: Dr. Williamson is a Professor of Biology at Miami University and an Ohio Eminent Scholar of Ecosystem Ecology since 2005. He has been conducting research on the Pocono Lakes for over 20 years. He was a Professor of Earth & Environmental Sciences at Lehigh University from 1993 to 2005. Dr. Williamson serves as the Lead Author of Aquatic Group on the United Nations Environment Programme Environmental Effects Assessment Panel (UNEP EEAP panel member 2010-present) on the effects of ozone depletion and interactions with climate change, and was a lead co-contributor to reports to the United Nations on UV effects for the Montreal Protocol as well as publications.
Janet Fischer, PhD: Dr. Fischer is a Professor of Biology at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She has been studying Pocono lakes since 1989 and also has an active research program in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. She also serves as an outside reviewer for journals and funding agencies, including Ecology, Limnology & Oceanography, Photochemistry & Photobiology, National Science Foundation, Environmental Protection Agency, and National Environmental Research Council.
Sarah DeVaul Princiotta, PhD: Dr. Princiotta is currently a postdoctoral research associate at Hancock Biological Station with David White and Susan Hendricks. Previously, she was the Director of Research and Education at Lacawac Sanctuary and Biological Field Station (Pocono Mountains, PA). Dr. Princiotta received her BS and PhD in biology from Temple University where she studied aquatic microbial ecology. Her field work on the role of thermal stratification in shaping patterns of protistan dynamics and diversity took place in Lake Lacawac, an ideal venue to study ecological patterns in the absence of anthropogenic forces. Dr. Princiotta has also contributed to work in the effects of dissolved organic matter on lake ecosystems and physiological tolerance of different algal species.
Elizabeth Rielly, PhD: Dr. Rielly is an Assistant Professor of Biology at Holy Family University. Dr. Rielly’s research centers on the interactions between nutrient cycling and habitat loss. She has expertise in freshwater macrophytes, nutrient influences in aquatic ecosystems, and macroinvertebrate identification. Dr. Rielly has extensive experience in citizen science which will help to achieve the project goal of organizing community education forums for PLEON. Dr. Rielly is a previous recipient of the NSF GK-12 Fellowship which cultivates STEM graduate students to improve science communication by serving as instructors in urban high school settings. She also is an active organizer of local community cleanups and has led ecology field trips with female high school students interested in the sciences.
Undergraduate Interns: Miami University senior Alessia Saul, University of Scranton senior Caleigh Wildenstein, and University of Vermont sophomore Landon Williamson have helped publicize PLEON and perform routine monitoring on enrolled Pocono region lakes.