Paul Lord, November 14, 2014


Paul Lord, November 14, 2014


Ostego County
Scuba Diving


Paul Lord can be seen as one of Otsego County’s most accomplished environmental scientists. Aside from his work observing mussels, he remains committed to helping his community and educating future environmental scientists.
Mr. Lord was born in Queens, New York but ended up moving to one of the many areas that were being developed during his childhood. As a youngster, he would spend hours playing in the woods near his home. At the age of 17, the budding environmental scientist attended State University of New York at Oneonta (SUNY Oneonta), but once he turned 18, he signed his Marine Corps enlistment papers.
During his time with the Marine Corps, he stayed stateside and gained desirable various skills. After his enlistment period, Mr. Lord worked in New York in the private sector. Realizing the harsh reality of having advanced degrees, he returned to SUNY Oneonta for his undergraduate degrees in Philosophy and Biology. Aside from his academics, his time back at SUNY Oneonta was filled with working at the student center and at Biological Field Station.
After several years of working various jobs with the Field Station, Mr. Lord attempted to join Officer Candidates School (OCS) but initially was denied. Instead, he started to consider graduate school in Biology. Then by luck, OCS became an option and he chose to delay his biology studies. At OCS, he worked toward a Master of Science in Operations Research. With that degree in hand, Mr. Lord worked with the military until 1997 when he retired. During that time, he advocated for technological changes in the battlefield. Upon retiring, Mr. Lord returned to SUNY Oneonta for his MA in Biology.
Currently, he lives in Cooperstown with his family. At the time of this interview, SUNY Oneonta employs Mr. Lord as an adjunct instructor and he works with their Biological Field Station. Some of the course he teaches in their Biology department includes Marine Biology, Introduction to Environmental Science, and Aquatic Pollution.
During his lifetime, Mr. Lord amassed a series of skills. He has many years of scuba diving in many different locations, both recreationally and professionally. His scuba diving has helped him with his research in Madison County, New York which consists of the biocontrol of Eurasian watermilfoil. He won the prestigious Lake Tear of the Clouds award in 2013 for his work with aquatic plants, preservation of mussels, and teaching the future scientists. While serving his country, Mr. Lord used his skills in electronic processing, known as coding today. His understanding in coding led him to work on emulation and data communication. He used his skills to advocate use new technology for both the battlefield and scientific research.
Upon receiving his Masters in Biology, Mr. Lord contributed to multiple research projects. Aside from his own research in Madison County, New York, he worked on several other projects. He worked on the New York State Watershed conserving the pearl mussel unionid species. With all of his research, Mr. Lord published many articles about his work in academic journals.


Matthew Wagner


Cooperstown Graduate Program, State University of New York-College at Oneonta




New York State Historical Association Library, Cooperstown, NY


28.8 mB
287 × 510 pixels








Upstate New York
Cooperstown, New York


Matthew Wagner


Paul Lord


Cooperstown Graduate Program Building
Ideas Lab
5838 State Route 80
Cooperstown, New York


Will be done at a later time


30:00-Track 1
30:00-Track 2
0:44-Track 3

Bit Rate/Frequency


Time Summary

Start of Track 1

0:00 Introduction

0:14 Paul Henry Lord

0:21 Born in Queens

0:38 Orchards being ripped apart

0:58 SUNY Oneonta in 1968

1:18 Mourn the loss of the orchards

1:35 Spent quite a bit of time running through the woods

2:10 Campuses across the country having discussions about avoiding the draft

2:25 Blessed with a draft number, unlikely to be draft

2:44 All the discussions on beating the draft caused me to evaluate

3:06 Signed enlistment papers with the Marine Corp

3:28 Marine Corps career was very unusual

3:42 Data processing van

4:17 As a youngster, I learned how to code

4:48 Scored highly on data processing text

5:04 Spent my entire two years stateside

5:21 Stationed in Quantico

5:35 First experience with data communication

5:46 Fought hard for modems to communicate

5:59 Learned how to take 3rd generation computers to emulate second generation software

6:27 After the two years, went to New York

6:45 Worked with ATT on data communication

7:09 Part time work with agency

7:31 Worked for number of different companies

7:40 Always looked for data communication skills

8:14 Asked to train people but those people were moved ahead

8:33 Came back to SUNY Oneonta

8:56 No idea on data communication

9:10 1974 graduating with BA in Biology and Philosophy

9:33 Did a lot of work at the Biological Field Station in Cooperstown

9:55 Worked on variety of lakes in Madison County

10:18 Ran outdoors club

10:52 Did mollusk survey around New York watershed

11:04 Wasn’t happy with result and thought students had missed

11:28 Found missing species

11:42 He was able to published about mollusk

12:18 All sorts of records documenting [Ostego] lake

13:07 Sleep in storage shed in upper site

13:42 Biological Field Station had 3 stations back then

14:10 Water affected by siltation

14:19 7 mollusk species back then

14:30 Monitoring the last species the last 3 years

14:49 2 mollusk species still alive

15:08 Silt has come in

15:14 What has been sand and gravel

15:25 Mussels gone now

15:47 Surveying mussel is tedious work

16:27 Dig out sand and sediments to find mussels

17:18 Heavy mussel found in moving water

17:31 Lighter mussels found in lake and ponds

18:00 Find heavy and thinner mussels

18:14 Tend to mature at the same rate

18:39 Scuba diving is a tool I have been accused to exclusion

19:05 Man is securely visual animal

19:34 Look forward for opportunities to dive

20:05 Very busy during the 12 months of the year

20:34 Folks don’t want to put their faces in the water

21: 05 My favorite dive had nothing with science

21:52 Spotted a humpback whale

22:03 Humpback whale accompanied by a calf

22:27 Calf was curious about the boat

23:11 Gave him a lesson on vocalization on humpback whale sounds

23:52 to swim with an intelligent animal

24:27 Do [scuba dive] wherever you can

25:04 Residential hearing in right ear 30% and left ear had 15%

25:30 Right ear was military training accident

25:50 Denied a seat in OCS due to hearing loss

26:23 Everyone hated Congressman checking in

26:52 Missed my seat in OCS

27:07 Make use of my computer science and biology

27:22 Wanted make a population density of barn cats

27:46 Observe the barn cats

28:03 Cats were cannibalistic

28:29 Cows would roll over and crush [barn cats]

28:58 Decided to think about graduate school

29:09 Marine Corps considered my waiver

29:16 Put off grad work in biology until 1997 when I retired

29:57 Suffered an ear infection that was treated improperly

End of Track 1

Start of Track 2

0:09 Lost tension in cochlea

0:30 Total shift every couple of months

1:03 Digital hearing aides is better analog

1:15 Doesn’t help overlaying frequency

1:30 hearing aides are problematic

1:59 No hearing aides for the last 5 years

2:09 Navy sent me to graduate school for Operations Research

2:25 Computer program and modeling solutions

3:10 Develop non-linear optimal solution for air forces

3:57 Was pointless

4:04 Second graduate degree at SUNY Oneonta

4:37 Great joy as a service

4:55 Great programs for technology

5:14 Freeing up young men and woman replacing them with technology

5:34 Best known as advocate for computer into battlefield

6:04 Losses to move computer into battlefield

6:21 Pushing the technology hard

6:50 Trying to introduce technologies that would facilitated efficiency

7:10 Short term in corporate American left me with no affection

7:33 Did a lot of work with biological field station

8:03 Early adopter and user of GIS

8:17 Trying to get students to adopt

8:49 Mussel work we used Velcro.

9:12 My quest for finding for good technology most consistent

10:01 Heck a lot to be said for objects that cost thousands of dollars

10:36 Applications will emerge

10:52 Not interested in myself but would be using aerial drones

11:27 Silt tremendous problem for all lakes

12:01 Credibility, always an issue for emerging technology

12:24 Impression that it is a toy

12:50 Wanted good pictures of insects

13:15 Plastic microscope that fed into the desktop computer

13:38 Probably targeted for six year old

13:50 Got a lot of resistance but after the pictures

14:06 Have to embrace the technology you have

14:16 Waiting for mature, you will be behind on opportunity

14:38 Not an environmentalist but an environmental scientist

14:50 While I may cry, my focus is on accumulation on data

15:12 Environmentalist tries to capture the public

15:29 If environmentalist, your data is suspected since your objectivity is suspected as well.

16:07 Some changes in environment are sudden

16:39 Use of rock salt is so clearly poisoning our ground water

17:23 How could we have not noticed rock salt?

17:37 Issues of siltation

17:48 Haphazard construction technique

18:25 Pesticide

18:40 Despite scientific evidence proves it’s bad

19:00 Almost all of Europe, pesticide has been outlawed

19:36 Clearly, New York was all about acid rain

19:55 Folks with environment on one side while folks with economic on another

20:27 Find a way to work with corporate America

20:40 Avert climate change

21:11 Instead of pointing fingers, got to fight the entrepreneurial giants

21:44 Do something with CM2

21:57 Technology practically affordable

22:13 Hell a lot of finger pointing at both side

22:30 Hydro fracking big thing

22:34 Managed to alienated everyone by saying to look at the science

23:00 Need to make sure folks knew

23:28 Local community should have more say

24:14 Lot of folks here have long focus on water

24:35 Radon problem become worse

25:03 Some folks won’t wish to participates but will.

25:29 Taking care of folk is important

25:49 All the time about lake

25:59 Stonewater issues

26:07 Executing laws of town and estates

26:22 Concerned about young people, 70% glued to a screen

27:00 2 or 3 gone to beach

27:18 Less than a quarter have not been a lake

27:33 Many learned from computer

27:42 very little observation

28:11 Technologically dominated

28:25 Do best to my grandsons out to the world

29:02 Use of multipurpose devices

29:20 Physical status

29:50 Technology fundamentally changed

End of Track 2

Start of Track 3

0:13 Probe and monitoring

0:26 Thanks

End of Track 3


Paul Lord 11.14.14.jpg


Matthew Wagner, “Paul Lord, November 14, 2014,” CGP Community Stories, accessed May 21, 2022,