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Keuka professor named to FL Museum baord

Tim Sellers has been a vocal fan and supporter of the Finger Lakes Museum, almost from Day One.And now, he will advocate for the Museum in an official capacity, as a member of the Board of Trustees. Sellers, associate vice president for academic programs at Keuka College, will serve a three-year term.Board President John Adamski announced Sellers election at the board’s July meeting. Retired Rushville businessman John Meisch, husband of 1958 Keuka graduate, Kay Meisch, was also named to the board. Adamski compared the appointments to “hitting two home runs” in terms of advantages to the museum’s development.”Tim’s expertise as a limnologist and professor of biology and environmental science will be a tremendous asset in planning the natural history component of the museum,” Adamski stated. “We are all very excited to have him aboard.”Organizers of the project plan to bring an earth-friendly, 40,000-square foot museum showcasing the wildlife, natural and cultural history of the Finger Lakes to Keuka Lake State Park, a short drive from Keuka College. Sellers was a vocal advocate for locating the museum near the College two years ago when the board was deciding whether to build on Keuka or Seneca Lake.“Ultimately, they were sold on this as the right location for the museum, but I think a close second is our partnership with them,” said Sellers, a Geneva resident.Sellers was first tasked to serve on programming and advisory committees, such as those creating water exhibits. And he has attempted to maintain a strong partnership with the museum on behalf of the CollegeThe College’s emphasis on experiential, hands-on learning has come to bear in a new role Sellers has been asked to develop for the museum: current programming. For example, new, 22-foot wooden boats with room for approximately four to six people and an inboard motor, are going to be built by hand at workshops hosted by the Museum.”We’ll work with local boat-builders to set up an actual boat building shop and [craft] research vessels, and be able to take patrons out on the lake. It’s not ‘Let’s wait till this is done, – it’s Let’s make it a project while we’re doing it,” said Sellers, referring to projected opening of the museum in 2014.Populated with talented, hard-working students from local sectors of the Finger Lakes region, the College can help provide, through Field Period and other hands-on programs, the educated labor assistance the Museum will need to get off the ground, Sellers suggested. The first Keuka Field Period placements at the Museum could take place in about six months, Sellers said.Once they get a bigger physical presence, both at the current Branchport campus, then ultimately, the [finished] Museum building, then we really see our student involvement exploding,” Sellers said. “One thing that’s amazed and heartened me is the level of interest people are taking, working on different committees and in different ways, and to be a part of that is a really neat thing.”Sellers will emcee a panel of preservation experts featured by the Museum as part of the third segment of its “Back from the Brink” program series, presented at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 28 at Lightner Library on the Keuka campus. The final program, “Lakes Go Wild” will feature experts discussing the process and challenges culminating in the 2010 “forever wild” status of some 7,000 acres of forest surrounding Hemlock and Canadice Lakes. Sellers will also moderate audience questions for the panel at the close of the presentation. The seminar is free and open to the public (donations welcome), but advance reservations are requested at www.fingerlakesmuseum.org.

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