Back to top

Staff at Cornell


B60 Riley-Robb Hall, Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853

Current Staff

Brian G Rahm

Telephone: 607-254-7163

From upstate NY, Brian started with NYSWRI in 2010 by focusing on the intersection of engineering, science, and policy associated with potential shale gas extraction in New York state. He has since worked on water resource infrastructure management and policy more generally, and enjoys the challenge of addressing the state's water issues via interdisciplinary research, institutional capacity building, and local stakeholder engagement.  

Kristen Hychka

Research and Outreach Specialist

Kristen’s research and outreach focuses on watershed issues, particularly flood resiliency and the management of wetland and riparian systems. She works in partnership with the Syracuse University Environmental Finance Center and the Hudson River Estuary Program to promote statewide assistance to individuals and organizations regarding these issues.


Rassil Sayess

Research and Outreach Specialist

Rassil’s work with WRI is focused on programs relating to drinking water quality and wastewater infrastructure. She also provides support for grants and outreach services. Her previous research included work on iodinated disinfection by-products and other emerging contaminants in drinking water. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst, and her M.Sc. and B.Sc. degrees from the American University of Beirut.


Alumni Staff

Osamu Tsuda

Outreach Assistant

Osamu Tsuda worked in collaboration with WRI and Cornell Cooperative Extension helping municipalities throughout New York’s southern-tier become certified Climate Smart Communities.

Jessica Kuonen

Research & Outreach Assistant 

Jessica helped administer WRI’s programs, grants, and outreach while fostering statewide partnerships with New York Sea Grant and the Hudson River Estuary Program.  Her research and interests include community engagement, resilience and adaption planning, and natural resource decision-making in a changing world.  She hails from Syracuse, NY, the traditional land of the Onondaga Nation.

Tahneen Jahan Neelam

Research Assistant

Tahneen Jahan Neelam's work with WRI involved watershed scale hydrologic modeling. Her current research focuses on the hydrologic responses of solar farms. She received her MS in Civil Engineering from University of Texas at El Paso in 2018 and BSc from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology in 2014.