Mission and Management

Mission and Vision

  • Michigan Sea Grant supports research, outreach and education to enhance sustainable use of Great Lakes resources, benefiting the environment, the quality of life, and the Michigan, Great Lakes and national economy.
  • Our vision is healthy and sustainable Great Lakes resources achieved through an integrated program that engages universities and public and private sectors.

Operating Principles

  • Strategic input and feedback: Michigan Sea Grant routinely seeks input and feedback from external advisers. The program uses both formal and informal advisory structures that are program-based, agent-based or issue-based. The primary source of formal advice is the advisory committee; however, advisory groups are also formed for specific program and project needs.
  • Open competition and peer review: Support for research is available to all qualified, university-based researchers in Michigan. Biennially, Michigan Sea Grant solicits proposals relevant to our strategic plan. Projects are selected for funding based on rigorous peer-review and ranking by a panel of independent scientific and technical experts.
  • Build consensus: Michigan Sea Grant interacts with a broad range of Great Lakes stakeholders. Because of the complexity of issues that surround coastal resources, stakeholders sometimes disagree. Sea Grant specialists work to bring these groups together to find common ground. An engaged constituency that puts aside individual interests while working on common goals is more effective.
  • Include everyone: Michigan Sea Grant recognizes the need to have its programs represent and reach all Michigan citizens. To this end, research, outreach and education programs make special efforts to include non-traditional audiences.

Cooperative Management and Federal Support

Michigan Sea Grant College Program, a cooperative effort of the University of Michigan (UM) and Michigan State University (MSU), is part of the National Sea Grant College Program. Michigan Sea Grant receives support from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The UM School of Natural Resources and Environment and the MSU Extension Greening Institute provide matching funds to carry out programs in Michigan. Also, additional Michigan universities and other non-federal sources provide support.

Management Team

Day-to-day operational decisions are made by a five-person management team. The team is made up of representatives from the University of Michigan, including the director, assistant director and communications/education services director; and from Michigan State University, including the associate director and extension program leader. The Michigan Sea Grant management team receives guidance from the National Sea Grant Program office, the advisory committee and executive committee, Sea Grant constituents and staff.

  • Management team and staff profiles, see: Contact

National Sea Grant Program Office

The National Sea Grant Planning, Implementation and Evaluation System includes planning, evaluation and performance review of each state Sea Grant program:

  • Strategic plan: Every four years, National Sea Grant develops a new National Sea Grant Strategic and Implementation Plan, which serves as the basis for all Sea Grant programs to develop strategic plans. The Michigan Sea Grant plan was developed with input from our constituents, staff, management team, advisory committee and National Sea Grant program officer. National Sea Grant approved the plan in consultation with the National Sea Grant review panel. See: Michigan Sea Grant Strategic and Implementation Plan
  • Annual reports/self-evaluation: Each year, report data is used to evaluate progress against the strategic plan, national performance measures and metrics.
  • Site visit/formal review: A review team visits all Sea Grant programs every four years. The team meets with Michigan Sea Grant’s management team, advisory committee and key constituents.
  • Performance review panel: Following the site visits to all Sea Grant programs, the panel evaluates the progress of each of the Sea Grant programs relative to their four-year strategic plans.

Advisory Committee

The Michigan Sea Grant advisory committee provides advice, guidance and feedback on existing and future programs and specific feedback about the strategic plan. The advisory committee members, which includes key client stakeholders and senior university administrators, serve as program advocates. The committee members identify opportunities for collaboration and support, particularly with state and federal agencies and legislators, both within and outside of his or her organization.

The advisory committee is co-chaired by the vice presidents for research of the University of Michigan and Michigan State University. Members serve one- to three-year terms that are renewable.

Advisory Committee Members

  • Douglas Gage, Co-chair, Michigan State University, Assistant Vice President
  • Brad Orr, Co-chair, University of Michigan, Associate Vice President for Research
  • Owen Ballow, Indian Brook Trout Farm, President
  • Chelsea Berg, National Sea Grant, Office Program Officer
  • Doug Buhler, Michigan State University, Director of AgBioResearch
  • Kevin Donner, Fisheries Program, Natural Resources Department Great Lakes Fisheries, Program Manager
  • Patrick Doran, The Nature Conservancy, Director of Conservation
  • Jeff Dwyer, Michigan State University Extension, Director of MSU Extension
  • Ed Eisch, Michigan Department of Natural Resources – ­Fisheries Fish Production, Program Manager
  • Tom Gorenflo, Chippewa Ottawa Resource Authority, Director
  • Denny Grinold, Fish ‘N’ Grin Charters and Mich. Charter Boat Assn., Owner, Director of Government Relations
  • Stephen Hsu, Michigan State University, VP for Research and Graduate Studies
  • Dave Ivan, Michigan State University Extension, Program Leader
  • Chris Kolb, Michigan Environmental Council, President
  • Frank Krist, Lake Huron Citizen Advisory Committee Chair
  • Robert Lambe, Great Lakes Fishery Commission, Executive Secretary
  • Debbie Lee, NOAA GLERL, Director
  • Carl Lindquist, Superior Watershed Partnership and Land Trust, Executive Director
  • Tammy Newcomb, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Senior Water Policy Advisor
  • Jonathan Overpeck, School for Environment & Sustainability, Dean
  • Amber Mae Petersen, Michigan Fish Producers Association, President
  • David Poulson, Knight Center for Environmental Journalism, Senior Associate Director
  • Gerard Santoro, Macomb Co., Planning & Economic Development Dept. Senior Planner -­ Land & Water Res. Group
  • Mike Reed, Detroit Zoological Society, Curator of Education
  • Hans Van Sumeren, Great Lakes Water Studies Institute, Director
  • Dan Vogler, Harrietta Hills Trout Farm, Owner
  • Cynthia Wilbanks, University of Michigan, Vice President for Government Relations