January/February 2015

Funding for Great Lakes Research: Three Opportunities Available

Deadline for Pre-Proposals: March 6

Michigan Sea Grant recently released a biennial call for proposals. We are seeking three types of projects for the next research funding cycle, from 2016-2018. For the past several cycles, MSG has focused on Integrated Assessment projects. The 2015 call for proposals, however, includes two new opportunities.

researchers in the field“We are excited about our 2015 request because we are adding new research areas,” said Catherine Riseng, Michigan Sea Grant research program manager. “The next round of projects will still include Integrated Assessments — an approach that integrates scientists with stakeholders to tackle wicked issues in the Great Lakes — but will also include two new components. We are going to fund projects that take a more traditional approach to research, generating new data about Great Lakes issues, and we are looking for graduate student research projects to support.”

As Riseng stated, core research (traditional approach) and graduate student research fellowships have been added to this RFP. Pre-proposals are required for the Integrated Assessments and core research projects. Only those selected during the pre-proposal stage are eligible to submit a full proposal. The deadline to submit a pre-proposal is March 6, 2015. The deadline for fellowship proposals is May 29, 2015.

More Details

Pre-proposals and proposals are sought for the following types of projects:

  • Integrated Assessment – Research that uses integrated methods to address important social and ecological issues affecting the Great Lakes ecosystem and communities, up to $75,000 per year.
  • Core Research – Focused on issues currently affecting the Great Lakes ecosystem, up to $115,000 per year.
  • Graduate Student Research Fellowships – Funding for graduate students for 1 or 2 years, up to $80,000 per year.


The deadline for Integrated Assessment and core research pre-proposals is 5 p.m. on March 6, 2015 (EST). Those who are invited to submit a full proposal will be contacted by Michigan Sea Grant by
April 10. Full proposals are due by 5 p.m. on May 29, 2015. Projects begin in mid-2016.

Graduate student research fellowship proposals are due by 5 p.m. on May 29, 2015. Fellowships begin in 2016 or 2017, as appropriate.


Researchers from any accredited university in the state of Michigan are eligible to apply as a principal investigator. However, project teams are not limited to university researchers or Michigan residents.

Graduate fellowships will support a graduate student (M.S. or Ph.D.) enrolled at an accredited Michigan university with support of a faculty member from that institution and from an agency sponsor.

For more details, see:



New Michigan Sea Grant Extension Educator in Saginaw Bay Region: Katy Hintzen

Katy Hintzen joined Michigan Sea Grant as an Extension educator in early January, serving Saginaw Bay. She will develop and provide education and outreach programming focused on water resources in the greater Saginaw Bay area, its watershed and coastal communities.

“The Saginaw Bay region is home to a wealth of natural resources and highly engaged local stakeholders,” said Hintzen. “Every day, I am newly impressed by the innovative approach that local communities and organizations are taking in protecting those resources, while also diversifying and expanding economic opportunities in the region. I’m very much looking forward to being a part of their efforts. I am also thrilled about the opportunity to work with the Michigan Sea Grant team and the MSU Extension system.”

Katy’s expertise includes economic development linked to aquatic habitat restoration and coastal tourism, coastal resiliency, experiential education programs and outreach to communities, governmental agencies, schools and other non-governmental organizations. Before accepting this position, she completed an internship in policy and communications with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and was the Habitat Blueprint coordinator, developing strategic plans for NOAA research, restoration and outreach activities in the Muskegon Lake area.

“Katy’s background is a great addition to our Sea Grant Extension program expertise and is needed to address issues important to the prosperity of the Saginaw Bay region,” said Bill Taylor, associate director of Michigan Sea Grant.

Hintzen is based at the Bay County MSU Extension office. Contact: (989) 895-4026 or hintzen@msu.edu

Communications Director Elizabeth LaPorte Leaves Michigan Sea Grant

Elizabeth LaPorte, Michigan Sea Grant director of communications and education services, left Michigan Sea Grant for a new position as the science outreach manager at the University of Michigan Graham Sustainability Institute.

Elizabeth has been with Michigan Sea Grant since 2001, guiding communications and education outreach for the program. She was a member of the MSG management team and an integral part of the MSG staff. Over the years, she led state and regional efforts to successfully secure nearly $5 million in support from state and federal agencies to conduct public outreach and education programs.

Elizabeth has been especially passionate about the Clean Marina Program and public beach safety, educating people about dangerous currents and other beach hazards. She will continue her involvement in Great Lakes and water issues at Graham Institute. Her email address elzblap@umich.edu will remain the same.

“I enjoyed the interaction with so many bright and dedicated people in the Sea Grant network,” she said. “I have worked on many wonderful projects. I’m not going away and, in fact, will be just down the street from the Michigan Sea Grant office.”



You are Invited to the First Annual Michigan Seafood Summit

seafood summit logo

Registration is Now Open!

Join us to learn about Michigan seafood on Thursday, March 12 at the Kellogg Conference Center in East Lansing.

The Seafood Summit consists of three main components, including morning and afternoon sessions, which are free to attend, and the Michigan seafood banquet in the evening. Please register for all or part of the day if you plan to attend. Prominent Michigan chefs will prepare five courses that include Michigan grown and caught seafood. The dinner is $50 per person.


  • More About the Event
  • Register Here


Look for our special print edition of Upwellings all about Michigan seafood coming in March!


That’s the Way the Carp Crumbles

For years, natural resource managers have explored promoting invasive carp species as a potential food fish for North American consumers. While the concept has not caught on yet and some are conflicted — do we want to create a demand fishery for such a destructive invasive? — it may just be a matter of finding the right application.

One barrier has been that all carp species have intramuscular bones that cannot be removed using standard American or Canadian filleting techniques. However, looking beyond fillets may be the answer. Using minced or flaked invasive carp makes a great stand-in for ground beef in chili, tacos, burritos, dumplings and other recipes that call for a crumbly texture.

See: Full Article


Plastic Fiber Now Found in Lake Michigan

Microbeads in the Great Lakes have drawn attention since 2012, when researchers discovered millions of the tiny particles in several of the lakes. A new study suggests microfibers may be an even larger concern than microbeads in some locations.

In southern Lake Michigan, for instance, microfibers have been found in higher concentrations than any other microplastic. The small fibers are likely from clothing, particularly ones made with polyester or polyurethane. With every wash cycle, thousands of the synthetic fibers are flushed into sewage treatment systems and eventually into local rivers and lakes.

See: Full Article