‘Don’t mind us’: Finger Lakes Institute monitoring Owasco Lake water quality

Many people know his pontoon boat by now, but sometimes John Halfman pulls up to the Owasco Lake shoreline and gets inquisitive looks by sunbathers.

That happened Wednesday near Fire Road 20 in Scipio, when Halfman anchored and his small but mighty troop of science students got to work.

“Don’t mind us!” he called. “We’re just sampling your water!”

A professor of geolimnology and hydrogeochemistry at the Finger Lakes Institute at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, Halfman has been monitoring the water quality of Owasco Lake since 2005. People are generally very cooperative, he said, about pulling up just feet from their docks. It helps to be tall, have a large beard and be friendly, he added, grinning.

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