On May 2-3, Michigan Sea Grant staff met in Bay City to celebrate our first in-person gathering since the beginning of the pandemic. We came from around the state — even Lauren Jescovitch, Martha Gerig, and Elliot Nelson, all the way from the Upper Peninsula — for a staff retreat focused on reconnecting as a team and preparing for the program’s next chapter.
Our main order of business was starting to shape Michigan Sea Grant’s 2024-2027 strategic plan, a document that will help guide our programs, priorities, and trajectory for the coming years. But between brainstorming and strategizing sessions, we found plenty of time to enjoy each other’s company in and around Bay City. Take a peek at some of our activities:
Ice-breaker activities were a fun way to reconnect, especially for newer staff members hired during the pandemic.
We used multiple modes to collect staff feedback about strategic planning.
Zoom meetings can be productive, but it was refreshing to brainstorm in person.
Jonathan Massung, an interpreter at Bay City State Park, discussed the history and ecology of the Saginaw Bay waterfront.
The afternoon was cool and grey, but Meaghan Gass, Cindy Hudson, and Heather Triezenberg were all smiles at Bay City State Park.
Shorebirds thrive in the beach’s shallow waves.
Cindy Hudson can never resist the opportunity to bird-watch.
A boardwalk brought us through the inland marsh at Bay City State Park.
It didn’t take long for Lauren Jescovitch to catch (and gently release) this beautiful northern pike off the Bay City State Park fishing dock!
The northern pike was carefully released back into the marsh after this picture was taken.
Brandon Schroeder helped Todd Marsee learn to fish…
…even if Todd only caught a clump of weeds.
El Lower and Mark Breederland also tried their luck at the fishing dock.
We were grateful for the opportunity to meet as a team!