News and Events

Michigan Seafood Summit

Event Date: 3/12/2015

seafood summit logoJoin us to learn more about seafood in Michigan.

The seafood summit is centered on promoting and discussing aquaculture, commercial fisheries and local seafood in Michigan. The event is set for Thursday, March 12 at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center in East Lansing.

The event consists of two main sessions and a special Michigan seafood dinner prepared by renowned chefs from around the state — including James Rigato, a recent contestant on Top Chef. The summit coincides with the Michigan State University Agriculture and Natural Resources Week.

Registration coming soon!

Check out the Seafood Summit website for more information.

Now Hiring: Communications Manager 1

Event Date: 1/14/2015
End Date: 2/10/2015

Michigan Sea Grant is looking for our next Extension program communications lead.

This position serves as a communications professional to the Michigan Sea Grant Extension Program, providing effective liaison with the communication staff at Michigan Sea Grant at University of Michigan, MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources/MSU Extension, and Michigan State University. Michigan Sea Grant College Program, a cooperative program of Michigan State University and the University of Michigan, helps to foster economic growth and conserve Michigan’s coastal and Great Lakes resources through education, research, and outreach. Sea Grant Extension Program staff are involved in planning, organizing, and implementing outreach and education programs that apply knowledge and understanding gained through research and stakeholder engagement.

Specific duties including, program planning and reporting; identifying of stakeholders issues, needs, and impact evaluation; producing key products; and representing the Sea Grant Extension Program and connecting with the field‐based Sea Grant Extension educators located throughout the State of Michigan and Great Lakes region.

See: Full Job Description (Click on “Support Staff”, then search for posting #0687)


  • Strategic Communications Planning and Implementing – Oversee the development and implementation of a Sea Grant Extension Program communications strategic plan, in consultation with Michigan Sea Grant communicators at University of Michigan, ANR Communications/MSU Extension work teams and Sea Grant Extension Educators, and others; Identify opportunities to multi‐purpose communication products, performance metrics and measures, events, partnership, accomplishments, and impacts. Estimated time: 30%
  • Sea Grant Extension Program Planning and Reporting – Lead the development of Sea Grant Extension Program‐wide strategic planning and logic modeling in collaboration with field‐based Extension Educators, campus‐based University faculty and specialists, and external stakeholders; lead the development of the Sea Grant Extension proposals; lead efforts to report program performance measures, metrics, accomplishments, and impacts to MSU Extension, Sea Grant at the University of Michigan (that are then reported to NOAA National Sea Grant Office) and other entities; and other communication tasks as needed to support the Sea Grant Extension Program, its program coordinator, and the Michigan Sea Grant College Program. Estimated time: 25%
  • Identification of stakeholder issues, needs, and impact evaluation – Identify audiences, issues, information needs, and assist with impact evaluation; communicate with news media, as needed; and development of innovative, Extension‐based communications to support the Sea Grant role as reliable and trustworthy brokers of policy alternatives and science communication. Estimated time: 20%
  • Product development and publishing – Facilitating and editing Sea Grant Extension communication products and programs, and disseminating them the ANR Communications/MSU Extension, Michigan Sea Grant, Michigan State University or other websites; developing specialized products; utilization of innovative communications publishing, including development and use of dynamic social media; and providing advice to Sea Grant Extension staff on products and processes for effective, innovative Extension-based communications and educational programs. These tasks to be completed in consultation with University of Michigan Sea Grant communications staff and ANR communications staff Estimated time: 15%
  • Representing Sea Grant Extension Program – In collaboration with University of Michigan Sea Grant communications staff, engagement with National Sea Grant Communications Network, Great Lakes Sea Grant Networks, and other related professional associations, partners, and stakeholders; Work with the Sea Grant Extension Program Coordinator on specialized communications needs and program enhancement initiatives. Estimated time: 10%

Required Education/Experience/Skills

Knowledge equivalent to that which normally would be acquired by completing a four-­‐year college degree program in communications, English, professional or creative writing, journalism, telecommunications, marketing, public relations, adult learning, or related field; three years of related and progressively more responsible or expansive work experience in public and media relations, composing, editing and publication production; news, broadcasting, and print media, and/or marketing, advertising, and creative services; word processing; desktop publishing; web design; presentation; spreadsheet and/or database software; public presentation; or audio production; Experience developing and managing content for social media channels; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Desired Education/Experience/Skills

  • A self-starter whose strengths include problem solving, creative thinking, teamwork, attention to detail, and capability of working on several projects simultaneously in a deadline‐oriented environment;
  • Outstanding writing and editing skills;
  • Master’s degree in a communications, adult learning, or related field;
  • Exceptional organizational and networking skills to work with colleagues on and off‐campus, and with external partners and stakeholders;
  • Prior experience with outreach and engagement‐related communications and educational programming;
  • Prior experience with communications to support grants and contracts, including proposal development, preparing progress reports and performance metrics/measures, and writing accomplishments, impacts, and final reports;
  • Driver’s license;
  • Ability to travel to off‐campus locations (e.g., district Extension offices, community events, Great Lakes regional events, etc.) up to 25% of time;
  • Physical abilities related to lifting and transporting educational/outreach materials (e.g., books, booklets, brochures, etc.) or communications products (e.g., computer, projectors, camera, etc.); and Other skills, knowledge, and/or abilities to perform duties of the position (e.g., proficiency with communications‐related software).

Michigan Sea Grant 2015 Request for Pre-proposals

Michigan Sea Grant News Release Graphic

Michigan Sea Grant is soliciting 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. Core research, a more traditional approach to research, and graduate student research fellowships have been added to this RFP.

Pre-proposals and proposals are sought for the following topics:

  • 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 one or two years, up to $80,000 per year.

For more details, see:

For the Integrated Assessments and the Core Research projects, pre-proposals are required. Only those selected during the pre-proposal stage are eligible to submit a full proposal.


The deadline for Integrated Assessment and Core Research pre-proposals is 5 p.m. 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. Only those investigators who have submitted pre-proposals are eligible to submit full proposals.

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.

Questions about the RFP?

All questions related to this Request for Proposals — whether technical or content-related — should be submitted to the Michigan Sea Grant Research Program by emailing by
5 p.m. (Eastern) Friday, Jan. 30. Answers will be posted to the Michigan Sea Grant RFP web site on Feb. 13.

Scientists Point to Key Factors of Lake Erie Dead Zone

10-705 Great Lakes Basin Map 25x37-rev22A recently published article concludes that climate and weather conditions, specifically low water flow and northwesterly winds, are keys in the development of hypoxia or the “dead zone” in Lake Erie. A collaborative research team, supported by the National Science Foundation, analyzed 28 years of data to find factors contributing to Lake Erie hypoxia. The article will appear in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.

University of Michigan Researcher Dmitry Beletsky, with the Cooperative Institute of Limnology and Ecosystems Research (CILER), contributed to the research. Beletsky examined Lake Erie water circulation patterns and found that nutrient-rich water with soluble reactive phosphorus was transported from tributaries such as the Maumee and Sandusky rivers to the central basin of Lake Erie. In certain years, such as 2010, nutrients spread quickly due to more intense water circulation in the summer and fall. Beletsky’s research also indicated that northwesterly winds in June resulted in more nutrients entering the central basin.

Beletsky is part of a team of scientists, led by Anna Michalak, supported by the National Science Foundation Water Sustainability and Climate Program, under Grant No. 1039043, 1313897, and 0644648.

Learn More:

Katy Hintzen Named as New MSG Extension Educator

Katy Hintzen has been named the Michigan Sea Grant Extension Educator serving the Saginaw Bay region. Hintzen will work out of the Bay County MSU Extension office. She will develop and provide Extension education and outreach programming focused on the water resources in the greater Saginaw Bay area, its watershed and coastal communities.

Hintzen’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.

See: Full Announcement

Contact Katy at (989) 895-4026 or

Dr. Lee Somers, Diving Pioneer and Safety Officer, Passed Away

Dr. Lee H. Somers passed away on New Year’s Day 2015 in Flagstaff, Arizona. Somers was the driving force of many of Michigan Sea Grant’s early water safety education efforts. His expertise was in SCUBA diving, and he served as a Michigan Sea Grant specialist in diver education, diving technology and aquatic accident management. He was also University of Michigan faculty for 30 years, teaching oceanography, scuba diving and diving technology, while serving as the university’s Diving Safety Officer.

Somers was prominent and well respected in the field. Among other accomplishments, he was Sea Grant’s lead researcher for Lake Lab (1970 in Grand Traverse Bay), authored the Research Diver’s Manual that has been used worldwide, wrote a popular Diver Education Series in the 1980s, made advances in multi-level dive tables after bringing a hyperbaric chamber to U-M, and helped found and served as the first president of the American Academy of Underwater Scientists. He also worked with Dr. Martin Nemiroff (University of Michigan pulmonary specialist and diving medicine expert) on the famous cold water near-drowning research and outreach Michigan Sea Grant spearheaded during the late 1970s.

See: Full Obituary

Michigan Fish Producers Association Annual Meeting

Event Date: 1/31/2015

Explore Great Lakes Commercial Fisheries Issues

What: Michigan Sea Grant will host a daylong, educational program on issues affecting the Great Lakes commercial fishing industry.

When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 31 as part of the Michigan Fish Producers Association Annual Conference.

Where: Grand Traverse Resort
100 Grand Traverse Village Blvd.
Acme, Mich.

Cost: The event is free.

More information:

Ron Kinnunen
Michigan Sea Grant
(906) 226-3687

Climate Change Workshop

Event Date: 2/5/2015

Interested in the science and impacts of climate change? This unit training from Michigan Environmental Education Curriculum Support (MEECS) is for you!

Come have dinner with us and discuss climate change and how you can incorporate it within your lesson plans. SCECHs for teachers that attend this workshop.

This event is free for all NE MI GLSI teachers or teachers interested in getting involved in the NE MI GLSI network. There is a $30.00 fee for non NE MI GLSI teachers. This event is open to all teachers – you do not have to be involved in our network.

Thursday, February 05, 2015, 5pm – 8pm

Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary
500 West Fletcher Street
Alpena, MI 49707

Tracy D’Augustino
(989) 724-6478

2015 Ludington Regional Fishery Workshop

Event Date: 1/10/2015

Baymont Inn & Suites
4079 West U.S. Highway 10
Ludington, MI 49431

The 2014 Lake Michigan fishing season was an odd one. A cold winter and cool water temperatures well into mid-summer made for some unusual fishing patterns, and the late summer salmon run seemed poor relative to other years. The annual Ludington Regional Fishery Workshop provides the chance to learn about the reasons for Lake Michigan’s changing fisheries. The workshop also provides a great opportunity to share your thoughts with researchers, fishery managers, and other anglers.

This year, presenters will include representatives from Michigan DNR, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, USGS, NOAA, MSU, and the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians. Featured topics will include the mass marking of Chinook salmon and lake trout, recent success in rearing and stocking native cisco (a.k.a. lake herring) and a radical change in the diet of alewife.


  • This is a full-day event with hot buffet lunch included.
  • The cost to attend is $25.00.
  • Pre-registration is required by Jan. 2, 2015.
  • Online pre-registration with credit card is preferred.
  • Cancellations received on or after Jan. 8 will incur a $10 cancellation fee.

See: Registration Forms

One New Certification and Eight Re-certified as Michigan Clean Marinas

The Michigan Clean Marina Program welcomed Bouvier Bridge Marina of Fair Haven as the newest marina to join the ranks as a Certified Clean Marina. Initial certification is good for three years.

Eight additional Michigan facilities have confirmed their commitment to keeping the Great Lakes clean and have been re-certified for another five-year term through 2019. They include:

  • Bay Harbor Company, Bay Harbor
  • Eldean Shipyard, Holland
  • Irish Boat Shop, Charlevoix
  • Irish Boat Shop, Harbor Springs
  • Kean’s Marina, Detroit
  • MacRay Harbor, Harrison Township
  • One Water Street (One Water Marina), Boyne City

In total, 42 Michigan marinas have obtained and are maintaining this prestigious certification.

The clean marina program was initiated to preserve and protect the Great Lakes and its connecting waterways through voluntary efforts. The certification process begins with a pledge to participate in the program, followed by an online course with an overview of the designation process and a review of best management practices. The facilities then conduct self-evaluations of their environmental practices to determine their strengths and weaknesses. After implementing improvements, the marina requests a visitation by a CMP consultant to evaluate the facility’s environmental stewardship. When the facility reaches established goals, they receive their designation.

“We welcome Bouvier Bridge Marina to the Clean Marina Program and we’re proud of the eight marinas being re-certified as Certified Clean Marinas and for their continuation of following best practices,” said Nicki Polan, executive director of the Michigan Boating Industries Association. “More boaters are becoming aware of the program and are searching out these facilities as places they want to patronize.”

MBIA encourages all marinas to seek out this certification. “It is not difficult and there are both financial and environmental gains that come with this effort,” said Polan.

The Michigan Clean Marina Program is a joint program between the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Michigan Sea Grant and Michigan Boating Industries Association.

For more details, see the Michigan Clean Marina Program website.