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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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 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.”
Grant will support freshman seminar on Baird Creek restoration
A new freshman seminar will study the grassroots, citizen-driven restoration of the nearby Baird Creek Parkway thanks to a $5,990 grant to Associate Prof. Mathew Dornbush, principal investigator, and the UW-Green Bay Natural and Applied Sciences academic unit. The award is part of a larger grant made to the private Baird Creek Preservation Foundation by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The Foundation says the subcontract to UW-Green Bay will be helpful in promoting further Baird Creek preservation and restoration. The seminar course to be led by Dornbush during the 2014-15 academic year will mix classroom and field work for the several dozen students, and include on-site activities coordinated by the Baird Creek citizen group. An aim of the project is to familiarize UW-Green Bay freshmen with this local success story and the potential benefits of citizen-initiated land-conservation efforts. It is also hoped the project will help Baird Creek Preservation Foundation develop an effective long-term strategy for recruiting new volunteers and members.
Howe gets $17,000 share of EPA grant for bay, river cleanup
Prof. Robert Howe and company in Natural and Applied Sciences are receiving a $17,550 share of a federal Environmental Protection Agency grant as apportioned by UW-Extension. The amount represents continued funding through June 2015 of the project “Explore and Restore: Catalyzing Delisting via Advisory Teams.” The project deals with ongoing Great Lakes restoration efforts, so-called Beneficial Use Impairments or BUIs, and the EPA-designated Areas of Concern or AOCs, which include several pollution hot spots on Lake Michigan and Green Bay. The work of principal investigator Howe and staff member and ES&P alumnus Annette Pelegrin involves the lower Fox River and bay of Green Bay, and the lower Menominee River. The UW-Green Bay portion of the grant will assist with citizen advisory board involvement and public education as teams evaluate whether the bay’s health has improved sufficiently to support delisting.
We have updated the Environmental Sciences and Policy website so that finding information about the program is easier.We will be posting notes, upcoming events, and thesis defense dates to the blog, so be sure to check back or subscribe to get important updates.
There are some important changes within the ES&P program.
A “design your own program” emphasis has been added that provides students the flexibility to develop the individual skillsets needed to pursue unique or emerging fields within the broader area of environmental science and policy.
There is no longer a need to separately apply for assistantships. All students accepted into the program are eligible and will be automatically considered for all available assistantships