The Upstate Institute facilitates community-based research in the region, bringing community organizations into conversation with Colgate faculty and students to conduct research in a variety of areas that will inform and support the region.


Professor Biology and Environmental Studies; Director, Upstate Institute

Catherine Cardelús, Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies, began a three-year term as the Upstate Institute Faculty Director on July 1, 2021. Cardelús earned her Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of Connecticut. At Colgate, she teaches courses on biodiversity, evolution and ecology, tropical ecology with extended study to Costa Rica, ecosystem ecology, and conservation biology and practice.  Cardelús's research has focused primarily on tropical forest canopies, asking the essential questions: What are the patterns of biodiversity, and how will biodiversity respond to a changing environment? She has conducted research in the rainforest of Costa Rica, where she studies the factors that control species richness and distribution. Most recently (June and October 2020), she has researched and published widely on the vulnerabilities and conservation of the sacred church forests of Ethiopia. Cardelús has also focused significant research on the Upstate region, examining the effects of acid rain in the Adirondacks, climate change in our region, and, through quantifying the local deer population annually and working with local officials, she has evaluated ways to address deer overpopulation. Cardelús has a longstanding commitment to having students explore areas of Madison County to study the complexities of our local ecosystem, understand the biological impacts and governmental policy in place, and work with them to provide data and ideas for the benefit of the local community, supporting the mutually beneficial goals of the Upstate Institute.

Associate Director

Associate Director, Upstate Institute

Julie oversees our Field School and facilitates research by faculty and students on community-related projects. She also handles the institute's communications and online presence. In addition to her work with the Upstate Institute, Julie is an active participant in many local and county-wide initiatives, such as the Village of Hamilton Planning Board, the Southern Madison County Volunteer Ambulance Corps (SOMAC), the Hamilton Community Chest, and the Literacy Coalition of Madison County. She has a BA from Depauw University, an MFA in creative writing from the University of Notre Dame, and has previously worked for the Partnership for Community Development.

Project Consultants

Rachel works with students who are engaged in semester-long field school projects and oversees the Foreign Language Program. She also administers Colgate's Lifelong Learning Program. She has a B.S. degree in Natural Resource Management from Cornell University, and has worked as an AmeriCorps VISTA member in Anchorage, Alaska.

Susan M. Conn, Esq. is a project consultant with the Upstate Law Project. She supervises the Consumer Bankruptcy Law Project and teaches SOSC 405: Social Security Benefits for Disabled Children. A member of the Colgate class of 1979, she joined the Upstate Institute in 2005 after 22 years as a staff and managing attorney at the Utica office of the Legal Aid Society of Mid-New York, Inc.

Bruce Moseley is a project consultant with the Finding Money for Social Change project.  After working at Colgate for many years as the Director of Corporate, Foundation & Government Relations, he brings his grantwriting experience to students who are researching and writing grants in partnership with local nonprofit organizations. Bruce is well connected to the nonprofit and arts community in Central New York as well, having worked with Syracuse Stage and the Oneida Community Mansion House in the past.


The governance of the Upstate Institute includes an Executive Board of Colgate faculty, staff and administrators, and a Community Board of community and government leaders, local businesspeople, and school administrators

    The Upstate Institute Executive Board includes representation from each division of the university. Board members evaluate research projects, promote the resources available through the Upstate Institute, and participate in the institute's long-term strategic planning efforts.




    The Community Board of the Upstate Institute is shared with the Max Shacknai Center for Outreach Volunteerism and Education (COVE). The members of the Community Board are from area non-profit organizations, local government, economic development organizations, and school districts. Community Board members offer input into new project development and help bring about community conversations that can be facilitated and supported by the Upstate Institute.


    John Bailey, Hamilton Area Antiracism Coalition

    Maureen Campanie, BRiDGES

    Suzanne Collins, Hamilton Food Cupboard

    Michelle Connelly, Earlville Opera House

    Theresa Davis, Liberty Resources

    Mary Dinski, Fiver Foundation

    William Dowsland, Hamilton Central School

    Eric Faisst, Madison County Department of Health

    Wyatt Galusky, Morrisville State College

    Mark Golden, Golden Artist Colors

    Harvey Kliman, Southern Madison Heritage Trust

    Jamie Kowalczk, Madison County Planning

    Brian Latella, Madison Central School

    RuthAnn Loveless, Village of Hamilton

    Samanthi Martinez, Mid York Senior Homes

    Jeff McArn, Hamilton College

    EveAnn Shwartz, Town of Hamilton

    Simon Solomon, Rogers Environmental Education Center

    Margaret Wehrer, Hamilton Area Antiracism Coalition

    Dot Willsey, National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum

    Leigh Yardley, visual artist and educator

    Annual Reports

    The Upstate Institute publishes an annual report about on and off-campus connections and projects. Annual reports from recent academic years are accessible below.

    2020-2021 Annual Report

    2019-2020 Annual Report

    2018-2019 Annual Report

    2017-2018 Annual Report

    2016-2017 Annual Report

    2015-2016 Annual Report

    2014-2015 Annual Report