skip to content

Masters Degree in Environmental Science & Policy

Fall Graduate Student Reception is Sept. 8th!

Welcome back! Be sure to add the fall reception to your calendar! Come and meet new and returning ES&P students and faculty at the historic and beautiful Lambeau Cottage.

Reception invitation


Two theses feature conservation and management of local aquatic resources

Two upcoming thesis presentations will feature research conducted in northeastern WI that will help with the management of two very different, but ecologically and economically important, aquatic species in our state. Defense presentations are free and students, faculty, staff, and the public, are invited to attend.

On Friday, 28 August, David Lawrence will discuss his research on the productivity, morphology, and migration of larval Lake Sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) as they move out of the Menominee and Oconto Rivers. Understanding the movement and productivity of young fish will help us to better understand and maintain sustainable populations of this species. The thesis talk will be at 10 am in Room 137 of Mary Ann Cofrin Hall. Dave’s research was funded in part by an NAS Heirloom Grant. His thesis advisory committee includes Dr. Patrick Forsythe (advisor),  Dr. Kevin Fermanich, and Robert Elliott & Michael Donofrio from the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Nets used to capture migrating larval Lake Sturgeon in the Oconto River.

Nets that Dave used to capture migrating larval Lake Sturgeon in the Oconto River.

The following Friday, on 4 September, Matt Peter will discuss his research on Common Reed (Phragmites australis). Both native and exotic varieties (genotypes) of this species co-occur in Wisconsin and there is much interest in how native and exotic species impact wetland plant communities. He compared the ecological states, restoration potential, and morphological and molecular genotyping between native and exotic varieties of the plant. His study areas included three sites in Door County, WI managed by The Nature Conservancy: Shivering Sands Preserve, Kangaroo Lake, and Mink River Preserve.  Matt’s research, which was funded in part by the Nature Conservancy and a UWGB Cofrin Grant, will help land managers as they attempt to conserve and restore wetlands that have been invaded by the non-native variety. His thesis advisory committee includes Dr. Mathew Dornbush (advisor), Dr. Patrick Robinson, and Mike Grimm &and Kari Hagenow from the Nature Conservancy.

Matt's kayak sits in a stand of Phragmites australis at Shivering Sands Preserve in Door Co., WI

Matt’s kayak sits in a stand of Phragmites australis at Shivering Sands Preserve in Door Co., WI.


Sign up for the Prairie Festival at the Land Institute!

A group of UWGB students and faculty are planning to attend this year’s Prairie Festival at the Land Institute in Salina, KS Sept. 24-Sept. 28. We will be driving UWGB vans and camping.

The tentative plan is:
• Leave GB morning on Thursday, Sept 24, camp overnight in Western Iowa
• Get to Salina afternoon on Friday, Sept 25, (to get good tent sites)
• Leave Salina noon on Sunday, Sept 27
• Camp / motel somewhere Sunday night
• GB midafternoon Monday, Sept 28

The Land Institute is a cutting edge, science-based organization that promotes an alternative to current destructive agricultural practices. Their work is dedicated to advancing perennial grain crops and polyculture farming solutions.

Are you a UWGB student and interested in attending? Email and use “Prairie Festival” as the subject header and we will add you to the list.

Early registration ($10) ends on Sept. 11, 2015

Prairie Festival visitors enjoy a full moon bonfire while sitting inside the Hedge Fire Circle art installation, which is made of local Osage Orange trees. It was created by Kansas artist Bill McBride. (Photo from

Prairie Festival visitors enjoy a full moon bonfire while sitting inside the Hedge Fire Circle art installation, which is made of local Osage Orange trees. It was created by Kansas artist Bill McBride. (Photo from

Bird Banding Thesis Defense

Join us tomorrow August 14th in the Biodiversity Center (Mary Ann Cofrin Hall 212) at 1:00 PM and listen to graduate student Stephanie Beilke defend her master’s thesis research on migratory birds. She used bird banding and mist netting to better understand the ecology of birds that use Point au Sable as a migratory stopover place.


Learn more about Stephanie’s research here:…/2…/11/bird-banding-at-point-au-sable/

Big Birding Days for Tom Prestby

Two articles have just been published featuring community outreach and research by ES&P graduate student Tom Prestby!

Tom Prestby and friends.

Birdathon Team “Cleopatra and the Stilts” including Tom Prestby (far right), Quentin Yoerger (left) and Cynthia Bridge (center)


He and his birdathon team were just featured in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about their participation in the Big Day of Birding hosted by the Great Wisconsin Birdathon. In a single day, his team saw 191 birds and traveled more than 600 miles through some of the best birding sites in Wisconsin. The Birdathon is a joint fundraising and community awareness effort between the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology, and the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative (WBCI). Read more:

His research on shorebirds was highlighted in the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity blog. He was able to document the 2000 mile journey of a Semipalmated Sandpiper between Maranhao, Brazil and Green Bay, Wisconsin using the bird’s leg band. Read more:


May Thesis Defenses

Stephanie Suchecki

Title: Environmental Policy Relations between First Nations and Local Government: A Case Study of Oneida Seven Generation Corporation and the Green Bay City Government
Location: MAC Bridge Room
Date: May 4, 2015
Time: 11:00 a.m.

Wade Oehmichen

Title: Rate of Dispersal of Spotted Knapweed Biocontrol Beetles (Larinus ssp.: Curculionidae) in Wisconsin
Location: ES 317
Date: May 4, 2015
Time: 2:00 p.m.

Ryan LaCount

Title: Water Quality Trading Programs: Design, Administration, and Market Structure
Location: MAC 201
Date: May 8, 2015
Time: 8:30 a.m.

Whitney Passint

Title: The Role of Civil Society in Local Climate Politics
Location: MAC 212 – Biodiversity Conference Room
Date: May 8, 2015
Time: 11:00 a.m.

Saja Al-Quzweeni

Title: Conceptualizing Political Empowerment: Reflections from Non-Governmental Organizations through the Lens of Civil Society Theories
Location: MAC Bridge Room
Date: May 8, 2015
Time: 2:00 p.m.

Kyle Sandmire

Title: Resource Recovery Methods Feasibility Study for Brown County
Location: MAC 212 – Biodiversity Conference Room
Date: May 15, 2015
Time: 12:30 p.m.

Jacob Eggert

Title: The Lifecycle Analysis of the Average Death in the United States: Inputs, Residuals, and Opinions of Primary Disposition Methods
Location: TBA
Date: May 22, 2015
Time: 10:30 a.m.

Dr. Kevin Fermanich combines policy and science in his talk on the Bay of Green Bay

Water quality and runoff expert Kevin Fermanich, professor of Natural and Applied Sciences, co-presented with Prof. Val Klump of UW-Milwaukee at a major regional conference on the Great Lakes last month.  Their topic was“Lake Michigan’s Green Bay: Why the Dead Zone? What is Needed to Prevent it?” Fermanich has been a key contributor to watershed runoff studies in the Green Bay area, examining phosphorous loading and the resulting low-oxygen conditions that yield so-called “dead zones.” Other case studies will look at Lake Huron’s Saginaw Bay and Toledo’s Lake Erie drinking water problems, among other topics. The conference is the second Great Lakes Science-Policy Confluence Conference presented by The Environmental Law & Policy Center in collaboration with Loyola University and Northwestern University’s Institute for Sustainability and Energy.

***     ***     ***     ***     ***
He also was a panelist at Green Bay ‘Phosphorus Summit’ — U.S. Rep. Reid Ribble and DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp are convening a “Phosphorus Summit” that took place from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 1, at the Neville Public Museum in downtown Green Bay.  UW-Green Bay Prof. Kevin Fermanich is an invited panelist on the topic of curbing nonpoint pollution. Also taking part will be dairy industry and turfgrass representatives, agency water quality specialists and a representative of NEW Water.

Alumni Love!

ES&P graduate student was a featured alumnus in a recent Valentines themed post by the UW Green Bay Alumni News Blog. The article focused on an increasing number of UWGB alums who loved their campus so much, they returned for a second degree. The Advancement Office database shows 454 people with dual degrees from UWGB.

Marian Shaffer

Read Marian’s story here!

Dr. Lisa Grubisha publishes on the population genetics of rare species

ES&P and NAS faculty member Lisa Grubisha and colleagues from Centre College and Framingham State University, have a new research paper out in Applications of Plant Science. The study focused on the identification of short repeating segments of DNA called microsatellites in Beach Plum (Prunus maritima). Beach plum is a rare plant that is only found in the coastal dune ecosystem in New England and listed as an endangered species in three states. The shrubs help to stabilize dune soil and the fruit is an important resource for wildlife that is also harvested by humans. The identification of the microsatellites will allow population geneticists and conservation biologists to identify the genetic variability of existing plant populations and better understand the effects of habitat loss and fragmentation in the endangered coastal dune ecosystem.

Microsatellite Marker Development for the Coastal Dune Shrub Prunus maritima (Rosaceae) by Emily M. Badgley, Lisa C. Grubisha, Anna K. Roland, Bryan A. Connolly, and Matthew R. Klooster in Applications in Plant Sciences 3(2):1400119. 2015

Tim Flood on Water Quality

The Office of Graduate Studies Announces: Thesis Defense of Tim Flood

Photo: Cat Island Chain

Monitoring Water Quality and Submergent Aquatic Vegetation of Lower Green Bay Wetlands and Influences of the Cat Island Chain Re-establishment Project

Date: Wednesday December 3, 2014
Time: 2:00 pm
Location: Mary Ann Cofrin Hall 212

Major advisor: Dr. Patrick Robinson
Committee members: Dr. Patrick Forsythe & Michael Grimm