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The staff at OEI bring a diverse set of qualifications to our organization. Our staff scientists have collectively published numerous books, peer-reviewed articles, and technical documents. Our in-house administration, GIS expertise, and graphic design capabilties enable us to lead our projects from concept through production.


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OEI staff

Amy Samuels, Education and Outreach Coordinator
M.S., SUNY-ESF | M.S., Syracuse University


Amy Samuels 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, first as a program assistant, then as a watershed educator and for the last five years as the Team Coordinator for the Natural Resource Department.  As Natural Resources Team Coordinator she led team of educators who offered programs in urban forestry, water resources and youth and the environment.  Ms. Samuels was also responsible for direct programming in water resources education programs in the Skaneateles, Otisco, Onondaga and Oneida Lake Watersheds.  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.  With financial support from the City of Syracuse, Onondaga County, the Onondaga Lake Partnership, the Syracuse Center of Excellence and the US EPA, Ms. Samuels was privileged to work with community groups, volunteers and the Onondaga Earth Corps to design and install demonstration rain gardens at the Zen Center, the City of Syracuse water department in Skaneateles, Creekside Books, the 2008 Parade of Homes, the Center of Excellence demonstration house at 515 Tully Street, the Hearts of Altamont rain garden at the Syracuse Housing Authority, and the Westcott Community Center.  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.