Associate Professor/Program Coordinator Natural Resources Conservation and Management
Paul Smith's College
Val grew up in a small town in Upstate NY and was an outdoors enthusiast at an early age. From the time she could say "zoologist", she knew she wanted to work with wildlife and conservation. She spent much of her time hunting and fishing with her family, who instilled an appreciation for wilderness in her and encouraged her love for wildlife. She completed her undergraduate at Cazenovia College, majoring in Environmental Studies. She then ventured to Murray State University for a Master's in Biology where she studied the impacts of roads on a population of copperheads in Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area. She returned to the Northeast to Binghamton University for her PhD where she studied movement patterns and population structure of the eastern tiger salamander on Long Island. She then worked for 2 years at the Bronx Zoo as a Curatorial Fellow in the Herpetology Department and then spent a year working for the Wildlife Conservation Society studying bison in Montana. She taught at Green Mountain College, Keystone College, and Hocking College, and served as Wildlife Biology Program Director at each. She is now the program coordinator for Natural Resources Conservation and Management at Paul Smith's College. She is a certified Hunter's Safety Instructor for both archery and firearms. She has taught courses on Hunting History, Ethics, and Management, and Wild Game Preparation. She lives in NY with her husband, 2 kids, and 5 dogs.