info@efficientvineyard.com

Project Participants

Differential Mgmt. & Testing Group

Research Technician

Jackie Dresser

Jackie Dresser is a Research Technician at the Cornell Lake Erie Research and Extension Laboratory (CLEREL), responsible for coordination of spatial data collection, validation, and integration with viticultural research trials in the Lake Erie region.
After earning a Bachelor of Science in Land Surveying Engineering Technology from Alfred State College in 2012 to round out her 7 years of apprenticeship with a professional land surveying firm in Ithaca, NY, Jackie transitioned into the burgeoning wine industry in the Finger Lakes. Putting her background in measuring and mapping to work, Jackie developed a vineyard mapping program at an estate winery with guidance from the Cornell Lake Erie Research and Extension Laboratory. With process knowledge from experience facilitating wine’s journey from grape to bottle and from bottle to consumer, Jackie appreciates the positive impact that improved efficiency in the vineyard can have in a competitive and complex market.

While working on the Efficient Vineyard SCRI project, Jackie’s objectives are to refine crop estimation techniques integrating spatial data, evaluate responses to variable rate canopy and crop management, extend sensing technologies to new users and work with existing users to ensure that their spatial data is translated into meaningful viticultural information to help guide management decisions.

Field Assistant

Scott Ebert

Scott Ebert is a Field Assistant at Cornell Lake Erie Research and Extension Laboratory where his main focus is general maintenance and implementing new viticulture research in the CLEREL research vineyards, and the use of sensor technology for spatial data collection across the Lake Erie Grape Belt.  Born and raised in Dunkirk, New York, Scott received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the State University of New York at Fredonia.  He began working at CLEREL in the summer of 2015 as a temporary technician where he was tasked with the collection of over 700 acres of soil and canopy spatial data for the Efficient Vineyard SCRI project.  Currently, Scott is facilitating tasks throughout the vineyard while still also taking the role as lead scientist in the collection of spatial data.  As part of the SCRI project, Scott’s responsibilities will be collecting accurate and reliable soil, canopy, and crop spatial data while also keeping the sensors, GPS, and supporting equipment in good working order.

Research Aide II

Rhiann Eckstrom

Rhiann Eckstrom is a Research Aide at the Cornell Lake Erie Research and Extension Laboratory (CLEREL), where her main focus is in sensor technology and spatial data management.

A native of western New York, Rhiann received her Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Sciences with a minor in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) from the State University of New York at Fredonia. She began working at CLEREL in 2011 where she outlined, identified, and calculated statistics of the over 30,000 grape acres in the Lake Erie grape belt using ArcGIS technology in order to assist in characterizing grape growing factors of the region. She played a major role in extending this vineyard GIS information to local grape growers in the form of acreage, soil, and elevation maps. Currently, Rhiann is working with members of the Lake Erie Regional Grape Program to implement sensor technology and precision viticulture practices into growers’ operations with the use of Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) canopy sensors, soil sensors, and yield monitors.

As part of the SCRI project, Rhiann will be collecting spatial data via vineyard sensors and cleaning, processing, and transforming the data into a user-friendly output that can then be used as a visual map aide or used for statistical analysis. The sensor data will be evaluated in order to improve vineyard management and production efficiency.

Research Technician

Jennifer Russo

Jennifer Russo joined the project as a Research Technician at the Cornell Lake Erie Research and Extension Laboratory (CLEREL), where she is focused on improving crop estimation procedures and practices on a block-to-industry level.  Her previous work in integrated environmental processes that applies Micro-biosemiotics and Maximum Entropy Theory to manage energy flow and economic efficiency in a multi trophic ecosystem production facility, along with her research to determine the key nutrients that are driving the Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) in Chautauqua Lake, NY working with State and Local government agencies, which was critical in lake management decisions and aided in securing government funding for mitigating solutions, is an added value to our team.

Jennifer is currently also working with Research and Development at TimberFish Technologies (TFT) and teaches Biology/Environmental Science at the State University of New York at Fredonia. TFT comprises an integrated environmental process that applies Micro-biosemiotics and Maximum Entropy Theory to manage energy flow and economic efficiency in a multi trophic ecosystem production facility that raises fish and other seafood utilizing plant material harvested from non-agricultural land and production residuals from the food and beverage industries as sole material inputs without waste. Her thesis work was Changes in Cyanobacteria and Species Composition of the Plankton Community of a Freshwater Lake in Relation to the Existing Water Quality and Experimental Nutrient Addition Bioassays. Where the objective was to determine the key nutrients that are driving the Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) in Chautauqua Lake, NY. This research abstract was selected and presented at the Regional Science Consortium’s 10th Annual Research Symposium, Presque Isle, PA. Jennifer collaborated with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Chautauqua County Soil and Water Conservation District, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy, North Atlantic Aquatic Connectivity Collaborative, and other lake management groups dealing with environmental concerns our freshwater systems face. Her work was critical in lake management decisions and aided in securing government funding for mitigating solutions and allowed her to share information with lake and watershed-related organizations with diverse interests in the state of local watersheds, streams, and lakes.

As part of the Efficient Vineyard Project Jennifer is working to help growers and industry to better evaluate the amount of crop in their vineyards and in the industry belt-wide, respectively.  Understanding this is an important starting point as we progress through the growing season and are able to implement variable rate vineyard management. She has already been instrumental in developing new technology to assist with the process.

Research Technician

Teagan Zingg

Teagan O. Zingg is a Research Technician III at the Cornell Lake Erie Research and Extension laboratory, where her position’s objective is to coordinate the collection of data to validate sensor measurements.

Teagan graduated from Saint John Fisher College in 2018 with her bachelor of science in Biology and a minor in English. During her time at Fisher, she took several specialized labs, such as ‘Ecological Field Methods’ and ‘Advanced Cell Culture and Bioengineering’. The curriculum of Ecological Field Methods involved canoeing through various waterways and bodies around the Rochester area, taking oxygen, light, depth and water quality samples, as well as collecting plankton samples for analysis in the lab to further assess and compare the ecological health of these bodies of water. Advanced Cell Cultures and Bioengineering was a course that involved learning to cultivate and propagate HeLa, HEK293T and THP cancer cell lines to a mastery level, as well as conducting a transfection on an adherent cell line to sufficiency. In addition, the curriculum transferred an intermediary level of knowledge of the various forms of nanotechnology, as well as experience creating liposomes and helping to create and design a cheaper alternative to microfluidic chip creation using easily available household items (lamination, scrapbook die-cutters and syringe presses), in order to bring the expensive, cutting-edge science to classrooms anywhere.

The primary focus is within R block, a Concord vineyard at CLEREL in Portland, NY. This vineyard hosts both a high density of grid sampling as well as stratified zone sampling. Data collected includes pruning weights, yield components, juice soluble solids from veraison to harvest, and final harvest weight. The collected and validated data will eventually be used to establish a clear view of what the R block looks like within various scopes. This will lead to a better idea of how to manage this block next year, as a demonstration of variable rate technology.
Data collection and validation will also occur in small part in off-site locations.