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Masters Degree in Environmental Science & Policy

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 wok 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.

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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.

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

Cat Island Grant Funds Two Graduate Students!

Please congratulate grad students Brianna Kupsky and Tom Prestby and faculty members Matt Dornbush, Patrick Robinson, Bob Howe, and Amy Wolf for a $225,000 federal USFWS grant to UW-Green Bay and Ducks Unlimited for the restoration of aquatic vegetation and aquatic waterfowl habit in the reconstructed Cat Island area. A barrier dike offers hope that wild rice, hardstem bulrush and wild celery can again take root. Researchers are hopeful of restoring a healthy population of native species behind the protection of the new barrier. They need to establish what size plantings are optimal, at what water depths, and the best means (seeding and plugs) for re-establishing native plants.

Read more at:

ES&P professor Dr. Katers and alumnus Crystal Osman discuss benefits of working in green jobs at the Phoenix Talks

The Phoenix Talks at UW-Green Bay are modeled on the popular TEDx series and are designed to help communities, organizations and individuals to spark conversation and connection through local experiences. The Phoenix Talks feature engaging community leaders — most of whom are UW-Green Bay alumni — who discuss their careers and answer the question, “Why have you chosen to devote your life to public service?”

The Phoenix Talk on Environmental Issues featured Assistant Professor in Public & Environmental Affairs Aaron Weinschenk that focused on Environmental Issues. As part of the series, Professor of Engineering in NAS and ES&P and the Frederick E. Baer Professor in Business Dr. John Katers and UWGB Distinguished Alumnus Crystal Osman who now works for Downtown Green Bay Inc. They spoke about their interests in local environmental issues and the importance of working on environmental causes and issues, especially the connection between business and the environment.

Majeski Thesis Defense Invitation

Majeski defense Oct. 16 at 1 pm


“Let’s Go Native: Conservation Biology in Practice.”

ES&P Chair Dr. Matt Dornbush received a  $5,990 grant that allows freshman to do conservation and restoration field work in the Baird Creek Parkway.  The project is part of a larger Urban Conservation Capacity grant to the Baird Creek Preservation Foundation from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Students will be conducting a biodiversity inventory of part of the parkway, as well as learning about invasive species and native plants. The students are providing a huge contribution to the restoration activities at the Baird Creek by transplanting thousands of plants into the natural area.

Dr. Matt Dornbush and students

Dr. Matt Dornbush and students from his first year seminar course “Let’s Go Native: Conservation Biology in Practice.”

Dr. Dornbush is hoping to push  incoming students to go out of their comfort zone and try something new and to “see that citizens can make a difference through their actions,” he said. “If I preach it to them they’re not going to internalize it. But experiencing it, they do.”

Read more and view the slide show at