November 2018

As the calendar page flips from November to December, crimson leaves are giving way to sparkling snow and festive greenery. At Michigan Sea Grant, our work is moving indoors. We’re working on new publications, a fully revamped website, and major events coming up in 2019. And we have a moment to reflect on a busy 2019 full of exciting projects, wonderful partnerships, and progress toward a sustainable and healthy Great Lakes system. Thanks for being on the journey with us.

Happy holidays from Michigan Sea Grant!

Michigan, Illinois-Indiana, and Wisconsin solicit joint proposals to address sediment transport issues

Understanding and Communicating Coastal Hydrodynamics and Nearshore Sediment Transport Processes on Lake Michigan to Promote Resilient Coastal Communities

The Lake Michigan Sea Grant programs, including Michigan Sea Grant, Wisconsin Sea Grant, and Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, seek collaborative, joint proposals to better understand coastal hydrodynamics and nearshore sediment transport processes on Lake Michigan, to help effectively communicate this information to promote sustainable shore protection, and to increase the integrity of beaches and stabilize bluffs. The result would be more resilient coastal communities and economies.

Research is to be conducted in the 2020–22 biennium. Up to $100,000 per year for two years will be available for funding each of the Michigan, Wisconsin, and Illinois-Indiana portions of a joint research project (i.e., up to $300,000 per year total). Partners based in Michigan, Illinois, or Indiana must demonstrate a 50 percent match (1 non-federal dollar for every 2 dollars requested). Match is not required for Wisconsin partners.

By partnering, the three Lake Michigan Sea Grant programs can support broader-scale projects to tackle challenges at a regional scale. In addition, generating collaborations across state lines can enrich the expertise of in-state research teams.

Preproposals must demonstrate plans for collaboration between researchers from two (2) or three (3) of the state programs. The amount of funding available to the joint research team depends on the type of partnership; e.g., a researcher from Michigan and a researcher from Wisconsin could submit a proposal together for up to $400,000; researchers from Michigan, Wisconsin, and Illinois could submit a proposal together for up to $600,000.

Full guidance for the RFP, including what project details to provide and where to provide them, can be found here.

Preproposals are due by 4 p.m. (EST) Friday, January 11, 2019.


Michigan Sea Grant: Catherine Riseng (, 734-936-3622)
Wisconsin Sea Grant: Jennifer Hauxwell (, 608-262-0905)
Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant: Carolyn Foley (, 765-494-3601)

Michigan Sea Grant providing community-engagement training for new Lake Erie Center for Fresh Waters and Human Health

Michigan Sea Grant is pleased to be partnering with Bowling Green State University (BGSU) on its recently announced Lake Erie Center for Fresh Waters and Human Health. BGSU received a $5.2 million federal grant to expand research on harmful algal blooms and to help fund the center.

Heather Triezenberg, Michigan Sea Grant Extension specialist and program leader, and Diane Doberneck from Michigan State University’s Office of University Outreach and Engagement have received a 5-year $500,000 award to provide community-engagement training to involve community and other stakeholders in Great Lakes, human health, and climate change issues, and to improve awareness of these issues.

“This is an exciting opportunity to extend the success of the Sea Grant community-engaged institute model with the center’s scientists and stakeholders in the Great Lakes region,” says Heather Triezenberg. “And it will help connect the center with the Extension network and partners working on water quality, health, and agricultural and community planning throughout Southeast Michigan and the Lake Erie basin.”

The specific aims of the Community Engagement Core for the Lake Erie Center for Fresh Waters and Human Health are to conduct:

  • Community-engaged scholarship training workshops for scientists, practitioners, or community members associated with the center.
  • Evaluation of the short-term impacts of the workshops.
  • A stakeholder needs assessment for Great Lakes and environmental health literacy to inform general outreach information needs.
  • A needs assessment for vulnerable populations to inform a targeted health communication campaign and its efficacy.

Other participants in the center include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Ohio State University, SUNY – College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Ohio Sea Grant, University of Michigan, University of North Carolina, University of Tennessee, and University of Toledo.

Find your holiday deal in the Michigan Sea Grant bookstore

The Michigan Sea Grant bookstore is full of great gift ideas for the anglers, paddlers, chefs, teachers, and nature-lovers in your life! This holiday season, the more you spend in the bookstore, the more you save. Don’t miss the iconic whitefish cookbook, eye-catching crayfish poster, or our newest offering, Beautiful Belle Isle! Visit the bookstore at

New project works with students to make SE Michigan more resilient to climate impacts

This NOAA-funded project will help kids, like these students at Ypsilanti New Tech High School, bring climate science into their communities. Photo: Michigan Sea Grant

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Environmental Literacy Program is funding a unique partnership to help students and teachers in Detroit and Ypsilanti strengthen their communities against the effects of climate change.

Heat waves, severe storms, and flooding are becoming more frequent and more intense in the Great Lakes region according to research done by the Great Lakes Integrated Sciences + Assessments (GLISA), a NOAA-supported team housed jointly at the University of Michigan and Michigan State University.

The cities of Detroit and Ypsilanti in Southeast Michigan score low on most assessments of community climate resilience, or how well a community is prepared to weather the effects of climate change. To encourage meaningful action, a unique partnership between the cities, Michigan Sea Grant, Southeast Michigan Stewardship Coalition (SEMIS Coalition), Ecoworks, GLISA, and others has received funding for an innovative project that relies on students to be ambassadors of change in their communities.

“Unfortunately, young people are going to feel the effects of climate change more than their parents’ and grandparents’ generations,” says Justin Schott, EcoWorks director. “Our goal is to provide opportunities for them to build both the scientific literacy and the change agent skills to make their homes, schools, and neighborhoods more resilient.”

The project, entitled Climate resilience from the youth up: A place-based strategy uniting high school students, educators, scientists, residents, community organizations, and municipalities in southeast Michigan, was one of nine funded out of more than 230 proposals received by the NOAA Environmental Literacy Program.

Over the next three years, the project will bring together students, teachers, city officials, researchers, and community members with the goal of making Detroit and Ypsilanti more resilient to climate stressors.

“Michigan Sea Grant is excited to work with this team to help students, teachers, and community members work together to identify community-tested visions and strategies that help make their Southeast Michigan communities more resilient,” says Catherine Riseng, Michigan Sea Grant interim director.

The project team will work with existing high school environmental clubs called “Green Teams,” which have been supported and facilitated by EcoWorks since 2012. Teachers will receive professional development in climate science and place-based learning methods from the Southeast Michigan Stewardship Initiative at Eastern Michigan University.

“So often, institutions and organizations operate from their own silos,” says Ethan Lowenstein, director of the SEMIS Coalition. “This project is an example of what can happen when we build strength-based coalitions with a common vision of empowering our youth to not only prepare to be scientists, community organizers, and policy makers in the future, but to inhabit those roles now.”

Working with students and community partners, the team hopes to meet four objectives:

  • Help students identify and study climate vulnerabilities in their schools and communities.
  • Help teachers engage students in planning and completing projects that work toward achieving community resilience.
  • Help students work with residents to teach about local climate impacts and increase understanding of resilience strategies.
  • Work with the cities of Detroit and Ypsilanti to complete and implement local sustainability and climate action plans.

Support Great Lakes education

The Great Lakes Education Program (GLEP) has been providing students and their teachers in southeast Michigan with an opportunity to learn about and become active stewards of the Great Lakes since 1991. Classroom lessons are combined with vessel-based learning to provide a unique and effective learning experience.

Your support will help us make sure this program can continue serving southeast Michigan communities in 2019. Read more about GLEP and support the program here. The current fundraising campaign runs through the end of the year.

Opportunities for students

2018 Knauss fellows Lisa Peterson and Janet Hsiao enjoyed springtime in Washington, D.C. Photo: Lisa Peterson

This year, Michigan Sea Grant is recruiting both undergraduate and graduate students for a variety of internship and fellowship opportunities. Fellowships offer terrific career-building and networking opportunities, real-world training, salary and benefits, and a chance to explore careers where science and policy meet. Learn more about these opportunities below.

For undergraduate students

  • Michigan Sea Grant Environmental Internship: This new summer internship program creates opportunities for undergraduate students to work with a partner school, organization, or business to pursue a research project related to Great Lakes environmental stewardship. Funding is available for up to eight students in the summer of 2019. Apply by February 15, 2019.

For graduate students

Graduate students with a wide range of backgrounds (e.g., science, policy, law) and a strong interest in Great Lakes, coastal, or marine issues are encouraged to apply. Programs require a full-time commitment and most, but not all, fellows participate after graduating.

  • Knauss Marine Policy: The Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship program matches graduate students with “hosts,” such as congressional offices, NOAA branches, or other federal agencies. Fellows work on a range of policy and management projects related to ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources. Application deadline February 22, 2019.
  • NOAA Coastal Management: This program places recent graduate students in state coastal management programs. Fellows spend two years working on projects related to climate change, shoreline protection, spatial planning, or other coastal issues. Apply by January 18, 2019.
  • Michigan Sea Grant Extension Fellowship: This program is designed for Michigan State University master’s or doctoral students interested in engaged scholarship for research and Extension engagement within the Great Lakes region. Apply by March 29, 2019.

On the calendar

  • HACCP Training Course: A Seafood Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) Training Course will be held December 4-6, 2018, in Brimley. All fish processors are required to take this training if they are not currently certified. Learn more about HACCP certification and the upcoming course here.
  • Clean Marina Classroom Live: Michigan marina owners and operators can fast-track their Michigan Clean Marina certification through an in-person workshop December 6, 2018, in Lansing. Learn more and register here.
  • Great Lakes Sea Grant Symposium: This special symposium at the Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference, coming to Cleveland, OH, on January 27-30, 2019, will highlight Sea Grant science communication efforts around the Great Lakes region. Learn more about the conference and Sea Grant session here.
  • National Ocean Sciences Bowl: Great Lakes Bowl: This annual tournament, held in Ann Arbor on February 2, 2019, tests teams of Michigan high school students on marine and freshwater math and science. Learn more about the Great Lakes Bowl here.

From Extension

Research and education opportunities increase along the St. Marys River

By Elliot Nelson

Lake Superior State University breaks ground on new facility, hires education and outreach specialist.

Read more

Fisheries science creates connections with northeast Michigan educators and youth

By Brandon Schroeder and Dan O’Keefe

Teachers team up with scientists to explore how fisheries science experiences and Great Lakes stewardship opportunities can enhance student learning.

Read more

Students partner in invasive management, habitat restoration project

By Brandon Schroeder

Tawas Middle School students help manage invasive Phragmites in their community — learning and having fun along the way.

Read more

Beautiful Belle Isle: Detroit’s Unique Urban Park

By Mary Bohling

A new Michigan Sea Grant book offers a self-guided tour of 22 Belle Isle locations, their stories, and history.

Read more