Biological Field Station Committee

The Biological Field Station Committee (BFSC) serves as an advisory group to the Biological Field Station Director on all things regarding academic programs, resource management, and proposed utilization of those resources. The committee meets at least once per academic semester.

Committee Members

(2016-2017 Academic Year)

  • Elizabeth Bastiaans
  • Willard Harman (Ex officio)
  • Leslie Hasbargan
  • Jeffrey Heilveil
  • Paul Lord
  • Florian Reyda
  • Sean Robinson
  • Daniel Stich (Chair)
  • Donna Vogler
  • Renee Walker
  • Kiyoko Yokota

Committee Documents

8/24/2015 Biological Field Station Committee The Biological Field Station Committee (BFSC) shall serve as an advisory group to the Biological Field Station (BFS) Director on all things regarding academic programs, resource management, and proposed utilization of those resources. BFSC Duties and Responsibilities The duties and responsibilities of the BFSC shall include but not limited to the following: 1. provide input concerning academic program development; which shall include nature of academic programs, course offerings, and internship selection and evaluation. 2. provide input on research utilization of BFS facilities and interns. 3. provide input on natural resource utilization and management; which shall include long term planning, short term goals, and activities. 4. provide input on the development and alteration of infrastructure to support academic programs and resource management. 5. assure that actions on the part of the College Administration, the BFS Director, or any other parties are thoroughly considered before their potential implementation to guarantee their compatibility with the goals and mission of the BFS. BFSC Membership The membership of the BFSC shall be as follows: 1. The Chair of the SUNY Oneonta Biology Department or his or her designee shall serve as member and Chair of the BFSC. 2. Members of the SUNY Oneonta Faculty may be appointed by the Chair of the Biology Department and confirmed by the existing members of the committee. Members shall include those persons most active in teaching and/or research at the BFS. Faculty not directly involved in on-site teaching and/or research, but whose activities, interests, and skills are deemed by the Chair to be particularly important and appropriate to the function of the BFSC, may also be appointed. 3. The BFS Director shall be an ex officio member of the BFSC and shall have all rights and privileges as other members, but may not at any time serve as Chair of the BFSC. 4. All above designated members shall be voting members. BFSC Meetings 1. The BFSC shall meet at least once per academic semester to review and provide recommendation pertaining to above Duties and Responsibilities. 2. Meetings may be called by the BFSC chair or the BFS director. 3. Quorum shall constitute more than half of the membership of the BFSC.

Meeting Minutes

Minutes of the Biological Field Station Committee
Mar. 18, 2018
Room 306 Perna Science Building
1. The meeting began ~10:00 a.m. Attending: E. Bastiaans, L. Hasbargen, J. Heilveil, P. Lord, F.
Reyda (Chair), S. Robinson, K. Yokota, D. Vogler. One other member, Dan Stich, could not
attend but provided observations and evaluations of the intern applicants.
2. Evaluation of undergraduate internship applications:
a. Prior to the meeting, committee members had completed an excel file in
which he/she had filled in a scoring rubric for each of the 25 applicants (a 26th
applicant, for the MacWatters' internship, was not evaluated).
b. Each committee member noted on the whiteboard the names of his/her 8 best
scoring applicants.
c. Following this, a list of the top 9 consistently high ranking applicants was formed,
and the most highly ranked applicant of those 9 was also noted. Several applicants who
were ranked by some but not all committee members were also noted.
d. A brief discussion was held about particular applicants, noting specific interests and
other considerations. At this point the group chose the recipient of the SUNY Oneonta
Biology Department Internship, a single position.
e. Rank information was recorded and subsequently summarized by Reyda in an excel
file that was shared with all committee members and BFS staff. That file includes
comments about applicants, and will be kept confidential. BFS staff will use that file as
the basis for internship offers. They will consult Reyda (the BFS Committee chair) for
additional input if needed.
2. Committee members discussed some problems with the applications forms. Heilveil offered
to develop an online fillable form for the following year. This was based on a suggestion by
Hasbargen, who pointed out that online application forms are easy to develop and would be
more efficient to handle. Two applications will be modified, one on college science courses
taken, as well as the essay question about potential research projects. Reyda also wishes to
clarify the application instructions to clarify that no more than 2 recommendations will be
considered per applicant.
3. In summary, the BFS Committee processed a total of 25 undergraduate internship
applications. Among the 25 applicants, 14 were women and 11 were men; 15 were students
from SUNY Oneonta whereas 10 were from a total of 6 other institutions.
4. Reyda indicated that he would invite the BFS Committee to a meeting with BFS staff later this
semester to discuss various topics.
5. The meeting was adjourned towards the end of the hour.

Minutes of the Biological Field Station Committee
Mar. 18, 2017
Room 306 Science I
1. The meeting began ~8:00 a.m. Attending: F. Reyda (Chair), L. Hasbargen, J. Heilveil, D. Stich,
K. Yokota. Two other members, E. Bastiaans and S. Robinson, could not attend but provided
evaluations.
2. Evaluation of undergraduate internship applications:
a. Prior to the meeting, committee members provided Reyda an excel file in
which he/she had filled in a scoring rubric for each of the 18 applicants (the 19th
applicant, for the MacWatters' internship, was not evaluated).
b. Each committee member noted on the whiteboard the names of his/her 10 best
scoring applicants.
c. Following this, a list of the top 9 consistently high ranking applicants was formed,
and the most highly ranked applicant of those 9 was also noted. Several applicants who
were ranked by some but not all committee members were also noted. Applicants not
ranked in the top 10 by anyone were noted.
d. A brief discussion was held about particular applicants, noting specific interests and
other considerations.
e. Rank information was recorded by J. Heilveil and F. Reyda and subsequently
summarized in an excel file that he shared with all committee members and BFS staff.
That file includes comments about applicants, and will be kept confidential. BFS staff will
use that file as the basis for internship offers. They will consult Reyda (the BFS
Committee chair) for additional input if needed.
2. Committee members discussed potential changes to improve the application documents and
the scoring rubric, but no changes were made.
3. In summary, the BFS Committee processed a total of 18 undergraduate internship
applications. A 19
the application, from a SUNY Cobleskill student, was not evaluated because
that student, as per the recommendation of a SUNY Cobleskill faculty member, will receive the
MacWatters’ Internship. That is done each year. Among the 19 applicants received, 11 were
women and 8 were men; 11 were students from SUNY Oneonta whereas 8 were from a total of
7 other institutions.
4. A discussion was held about potential enhancements to the internship program. As in
previous discussions, a higher level of faculty participation in the program was emphasized.
Committee members also suggested the following as other possible changes:
-Having weekly, rather than daily, meetings. Rationale: Enable interns and mentors a
chance to plan different days in advance. This could maximize intern availability for
different projects.
-Offering a higher level of project independence to upperclassmen, and having less
experienced students focus more on ongoing projects that have a higher extent of
supervision.
-Formalize and communicate on-campus housing options in summers for BFS interns.
Rationale: Given that the BFS is non-residential, the program tends to have a nonrandom pool of applicants. For example, SUNY Oneonta students who apply are typically
upperclassmen who are from Upstate and have rented off-campus housing in Oneonta.
SUNY Oneonta students from NYC typically do not live in Oneonta in summers. Having
on-campus housing options could therefore attract more NYC applicants. Non SUNY
Oneonta applicants typically are from the county and can live at home during the
internship; if our program included clear descriptions of on-campus housing options, we
might see more applicants from people from other institutions in general.
8. Reyda indicated that he would schedule a 2nd BFS Committee meeting this semester to talk
about other business.
9. The meeting was adjourned towards the end of the hour.

Minutes of the Biological Field Station Committee
Apr. 06, 2016
Room 106 Science I
1. The meeting began ~7:32 a.m. Attending first half: F. Reyda (Chair), E. Bastiaans, J. Heilveil,
P. Lord, S. Robinson, D. Stich, K. Yokota.
2. Evaluation of undergraduate internship applications:
a. Prior to the meeting, each present committee member provided Reyda an excel file in
which he/she had filled in a scoring rubric for each of the 16 applicants (the 17th
applicant, for the MacWatters' internship, was not evaluated).
b. Each committee member noted on the whiteboard the names of his/her 10 best
scoring applicants.
c. Following this, a list of the top 10 consistently high ranking applicants was formed,
and the most highly ranked applicant of those 10 was also noted. Two applicants who
were ranked by some but not all committee members were also noted. Applicants not
ranked in the top 10 by anyone were noted.
d. A brief discussion was held about particular applicants, noting those who had applied
previously.
e. Rank information was recorded by P. Lord and F. Reyda and subsequently
summarized in an excel file that he shared with all committee members and BFS staff.
That file includes comments about applicants, and will be kept confidential. BFS staff will
use that file as the basis for internship offers. They will consult Reyda (the BFS
Committee chair) for additional input if needed.
2. Committee members agreed the need to revise one application question, about an
understanding of science. They also agreed to eliminate 2 columns on the scoring rubric about
working well with others and working alone.
3. In summary, the BFS Committee processed a total of 16 undergraduate internship
applications. A 17th application, from a SUNY Cobleskill student, was not evaluated because
that student, as per the recommendation of 2 SUNY Cobleskill faculty members, will receive the
MacWatters’ Internship. That is done each year. Among the 17 applicants received, 10 were
women and 7 were men; 7 were students from SUNY Oneonta whereas 10 were from a total of
8 other institutions.
4. The first portion of the meeting ended ~8:10 am.
5. The meeting continued in order to address other business. Those present from that point
forward were: F. Reyda (Chair), W.N. Harman (BFS Director & ex officio BFS Committee
member), P. Lord, S. Robinson, D. Stich, K. Yokota.
6. A discussion was held about cases in which faculty require intern assistance outside of the
standard 8 am - 4 pm schedule during the summer internship program, or other cases in which
faculty need intern assistance sporadically. This discussion was held because of previously
stated concerns by faculty and staff about this topic. Each faculty member present provided
views, concerns, and suggestions about how to better balance the needs of faculty with logistic
constraints under which BFS staff need to operate, and the need to complete projects that are
directly tied to funding. W. N. Harman provided input as well, representing his own
perspective, and the perspective of BFS staff. It was agreed that there is no easy solution to
handling these cases, but that they do need to be handled as a means of fulfilling our common
goal of increased faculty involvement in the summer intern program. Everyone present agreed
that improved communication would facilitate this. To this end, it was suggested that an online
activities calendar be set up. This calendar would be open-access to anyone in the internship
program (i.e., faculty, staff, including the secretary, graduate students, and interns) and would
serve as an area where people could view the timing of planned activities. This calendar would
not replace the equipment schedule calendar that is already in place and is overseen by field
station staff. D. Stich agreed to serve as the point person for the newly conceived activities
calendar.
7. A brief discussion was also held about 3 pending BFS use proposals, by Reyda, Robinson, and
Yokota. Those BFS committee members present unanimously approved each proposal, which
will be processed by the BFS Committee chair (except in the case of his own proposal, which
will be signed by the Biology Department chair) and then passed on to the BFS Director and BFS
Laboratory Supervisor. P. Lord indicated that it is a waste of committee time to re-approve
ongoing long term studies on an annual basis. It was agreed that all proposals that are
essentially renewals be handled only by the BFS Committee chair, the BFS Director, and the BFS
Laboratory Supervisor.
8. The meeting was adjourned ~8:45 a.m.

Minutes of the Biological Field Station Committee Mar. 20, 2015 Room 320 Science I Attending: F.Reyda (Presiding), J. Heilveil, P. Lord, S. Robinson, D.Vogler, K. Yokota. 1. Approved minutes of prior meeting 2. Evaluation of undergraduate internship applications: a. Prior to the meeting, each present committee member provided Reyda an excel file in which he/she had filled in a scoring rubric for each of the 24 applicants. b. Each committee member placed the names of his/her 10 best scoring applicants on the whiteboard. c. Following this, a list of the top 10 consistently high ranking applicants was formed, and the most highly ranked applicant of those 10 was also noted. The next 3 highest ranking applicants (i.e., ranks 11th through 13th) was noted as a separate category. d. Rank information was recorded by Reyda so he could relay that to the SUNY Oneonta Biological Field Station staff, who ultimately make the selections and offers. 3. In summary, the BFS Committee processed a total of 24 undergraduate internship application files that were complete (i.e., application document plus two recommendation forms). A 25th file, from a SUNY Cobleskill student, was not evaluated because that student, as per the recommendation of 2 SUNY Cobleskill faculty members, will receive the MacWatters’ Internship. That is done each year. Among the 24 applicants evaluated, 14 were women and 10 were men; 19 were students from SUNY Oneonta whereas 5 were from other college campuses (Lemoyne College; SUNY ESF; Stonehill College; Lycoming College; University of New Haven). Of the 19 SUNY Oneonta applicants, the majors represented were BIEF/Field Biology (majority), but also, ENVS; Biology; Geography/GIS; and Human Biology. No previous BFS interns applied. 4. The meeting ended ~10:45 am.

Minutes of the Biological Field Station Committee Feb. 28, 2015 Room 320 Science I Attending: F.Reyda (Presiding), D.Vogler (Scribe), K. Yokota, D. Castendyk, W. Harman, S. Robinson, M. Albright, P. Lord (end of meeting) 1. Approved minutes of prior meeting 2. Harman indicated that the BFS expects to support 7-8 interns for 2015. Asked faculty for input as mentors to these students, with a ½ faculty stipend of 3K for 5 weeks. Right now K. Yokota and F.Reyda have full stipends, J.Heilveil has a ½ time. 3. Projects for summer include: Algal survey and possible mercury in fish (Yokota) 2 students Reyda: could have 1 or 2 students. Insect surveys across NY, but also some work on site (Heilveil) Thistle surveys, and possible wood turtle (Vogler) Robinson and Castendyk do not have current plans Albright will be managing 6 undergrads + 2 High School interns for Land Trust work (BioBlitz), possible Greenwoods, and the Cooperstown Wastewater Treatment wetland. Castendyk mentioned he knew of a student who works with drones, and that the BFS may be purchasing one. He would encourage that student to apply for the internship. Note: Though not present at the meeting, the following 2 BFS Committee members later provided this information on their summer plans: Hasbargen: Is interested in working at the BFS this summer, mentoring an intern, on one or several projects. Heilveil: Will be doing some surveys of inlets and working on taxa lists. He is also willing to help mentor intern applicant M. Robinson on an insect physiology project, if the applicant is awarded an internship. Internship application period ends Mar. 2. We will meet to discuss Mar. 20. Send rankings to Reyda beforehand. 4. Castendyk brought up the potential for BFS to join GLEON (Global Lakes Ecological Observation Network). He is drafting a proposal to form a coalition of several SUNY schools. Could ultimately result in a high tech Buoy with monitoring equipment in 2016. Depending on the pilot grant the coalition would convene July 23, 2015 at the BFS with local stakeholders. Harman suggested NSF might be able to support money for infrastructure, like the buoy. 5. Towards the end of the hour P. Lord arrived, following his class. He, Albright, Harman, and Reyda discussed his potential intern needs. He may occasionally need one or a few interns for specific tasks, but he would not need a full-time intern. Reyda indicated that he was perfectly comfortable with Lord using the large dissecting microscope in BFS Main Lab room 007 if needed. 6. The meeting ended ~2:10 pm.

Minutes of the Oct. 10, 2014 meeting of the Biological Field Station Committee. Present: F. Reyda (Chair), J.Heilveil, S. Robinson, P.Lord, D.Wong, R.Walker, B.Harman, L.Hasbargen, D.Vogler, K.Yokoto, D.Castendyk 1. Minutes of Feb. 28, 2014 were reviewed and approved as submitted. 2. Review of request by P. Lord for use of BFS facilities. Request was approved with the added requirement that the request must be reviewed annually by the Chair. 3. Discussion of ongoing projects and progress. F. Reyda will post the current projects approved on the BFS website. A discussion was held of the costs involved in some projects and oversight. Our committee can recommend BFS use proposals be approved, but it is still up to BFS staff to determine if proposals can be accommodated. Groups from off-campus (e.g. SUNY Cobleskill) need to be reminded that to continue working at BFS they are required to submit requests; from the PI on behalf of their students. Several members agreed it would be beneficial to have a posted BFS calendar of events or things like reserving the Barge especially now that Lake Management students are also competing for use. F. Reyda agreed to check with Chilton Reynolds about setting up a BlackBoard site or something similar that could be maintained by Jeane. 4. Review of request by M. Dami to establish a sustainable garden plot at BFS (Thayer). Proposal was approved. 5. Summer 2014 review. F. Reyda provided some feedback from the interns and faculty at the BFS last summer. No complaints of “dead time”, but when fewer faculty were around students did lack for constructive activity. Concern was expressed about interns working after hours; they should not be working after 5pm, nor required to. Some confusion on workload and project assignment; some interns are funded under specific projects but others are floaters; it’s unfair for Matt and Holly to have to figure this out and monitor multiple short term projects. Some suggestions were offered: Offer workshops to students under an outside contract, Have Cobleskill crew organize long term project, or seminar on their work; Pair up LM (Lake Management) grads and undergrad interns on skills such as electroshocking, parasitological techniques. What about plugging into the GLEON network (Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network)? Proposals of different sizes needed. Money for faculty support could be parsed out for different levels of commitment. 6. Good of order announcements. Heilveil indicated that his course is scheduled for July 6-21 2015 at the BFS. BFS campout scheduled Oct. 25-26. Next agenda should include the advertisement of BIOL 397 Internship. 7. Meeting adjourned 10:55 am. Respectively submitted, Donna Vogler

Contact

Main Laboratory
5838 State Hwy 80
Cooperstown, NY 13326
Phone: 607-547-8778
Fax: 607-547-5114

THAYER FARM COMPLEX
Lakeside Farm &
Upland Interpretive Center
7027 State Hwy 80
Springfield, NY
(physical address)

Thayer Boathouse
7016 State Hwy 80
Springfield, NY

Rum Hill
Thurston Hill Rd.
Springfield, NY

Goodyear Swamp Sanctuary
7290 State Hwy 80
Springfield, NY

Greenwoods Conservancy
824 Zachow Rd.
Hartwick, NY 13348

Upper Research Site
Averill Rd.
Cooperstown, NY

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