Please Note: Due to COVID-19, the Ecology Residency will be offered in a virtual format for the summer 2021 term. Students will meet with faculty using Microsoft Teams instead of onsite in Cooperstown.

Residency Faculty

Dr. Audeliz MatiasAudeliz (Audi) Matias earned a B.S. and a M.S in Geology from the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez and received her Ph.D. in Geological Sciences from Northwestern University. Matias is a mentor for SUNY Empire Online, where she teaches in the area of earth sciences, including the online courses "Geology and the Environment" and "GPS and the New Geography." Her research experience focused at the intersection of three main areas: geomorphology (study of landforms), plate tectonics (motion and physics of the earth) and planetary science (processes shaping other planetary bodies). Particularly, she is interested in the use of technology, such as Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) that helps to clarify issues related to geologic processes and society.

Photo of Nathan Whitley-GrassiNathan Whitley-Grassi holds a Ph.D. in education from Walden University, graduate degrees in Biological Anthropology and Ecology, Evolution and Behavior from SUNY University at Buffalo and a bachelor’s in Biology from Armstrong State University. Previously, Whitley-Grassi worked with various nonhuman primates, predominantly lemurs. His work examined issues related to reproductive ecology, social dynamics and conservation. Whitley-Grassi teaches in the Empire State College School for Graduate Studies’ Master of Arts in Learning and Emerging Technologies (MALET) program, including courses on educational assessment, STEM education and instructional design. Whitley-Grassi also teaches courses in biological anthropology and ecology and evolution topics at the undergraduate level. His current research interests include increasing access to STEM experiences through innovative technology integration. 


photo of Kevin WooKevin Woo is a mentor at the Metropolitan New York Center. He has a Ph.D. in Animal Behavior from Macquarie University, M.Sc. in Ecology and Biodiversity from Victoria University of Wellington, and a B.S. in Interdisciplinary Psychology/Biology from Southampton College of Long Island University. Woo's teaching and research interests overlap in the areas of animal behavior, ecology and conservation. Moreover, he has investigated questions in animal communication, sexual selection and learning in a number of model species, such as lizards, fish, cuttlefish, insects, canids, birds and marine mammals. Throughout the year, he works with captive populations of dingos and helmeted guinea fowl and, in the winter, he is out along the New York City foreshores to observe seals in an urbanized environment. Throughout the day, he dreams of surfing; however, he also has a low threshold for cold water.