News and Events

First Michigan Seafood Summit a Great Success

Michigan Sea Grant News Release Graphic

EAST LANSING, MICH — The inaugural Michigan Seafood Summit was standing room only with more than 100 people in attendance March 12 at the Kellogg Conference Center. The morning sessions were geared toward practitioners and fishery professionals and provided an insider look at aquaculture, commercial fishing and fish processing. The afternoon sessions provided a more consumer-focused take on fisheries, covering the promotion, history and future of food fish in Michigan.

“The First Annual Michigan Seafood Summit far exceeded our expectations,” said event organizer and Michigan Sea Grant Director Jim Diana. “More people attended than we had anticipated, which was great and also really underscored the need for something like this. Overall, people said they got a lot out of it — and the food was just spectacular. We look forward to next year.”

Peter Payette, with Interlochen Public Radio, delivered the keynote speech. Payette spoke about three consecutive periods of fish management in Michigan, starting in 1873, running through the 1960s and then moved on to today’s fishery outlook. Just as in the historical periods he outlined, Payette said we’re changing the way we think about food fish in Michigan right now.

“What we’re seeing, the local food movement, I think is similar to the “Back to Nature” movement of the 1950s,” he said. He went on to discuss how people now are very concerned with where their food is coming from, how it’s raised and how it’s caught. Payette showed a picture of Good Morning America’s announcement of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore as the Most Beautiful Place in America contest winner. The image showed celebrity chef Mario Batali; Payette noted that they did not show some of the more iconic shots of the region, but had a chef host the segment, showcasing the food and wine found in the region.

The Michigan seafood feast that capped off the event also highlighted a growing connection to local foods and the chefs who cook with them. Five chefs from around the state prepared a wide range of hors d’oeuvres and entrees to showcase Michigan seafood — from farm-raised shrimp and trout, to wild-caught lake whitefish.

Chefs included: Jenna Arcidiacono of Amore Trattoria Italiana in Comstock Park, Bradford Curlee of the Kellogg Center in East Lansing, Mathew Green of Reserve Wine & Food in Grand Rapids, Matthew Millar of The Southerner in Saugatuck, and Michael Trombley of The Henry Ford in Dearborn.

Sponsors included Superior Foods, Aqua Growers, EdibleWOW, the Fish Monger’s Wife, Fortune Fish & Gourmet, Harrietta Trout Farm, Indian Brook Trout Farm, Michigan Fish Producer’s Association, Mackinac Straights Fish Company, New Holland Brewing, Pentair Aquatic Eco-Systems and Seafood Analytics, LLC.

More Information

Contact: Stephanie Ariganello, Communications Coordinator, (734) 615-0400 or

Now Hiring: MSG Seeks Communications Program Leader

Event Date: 3/9/2015
End Date: 3/23/2015

To apply, see: Communications Program Leader, Job# 107467

Job Title: Communications Program Leader
Market Code/Title: Marketing Communications Specialist
Department: Michigan Sea Grant College Program
Hours/Week: 40 hrs per week, M-F 8:00am – 5:00pm
FLSA Status: Exempt
Work Location: Ann Arbor Campus

How to Apply: A cover letter and resume are required; the cover letter must be PAGE 1 of your resume. The letter should: 1) specifically outline the reasons for your interest in the position; 2) outline your particular skills and experience directly related to this position; and 3) include your current or most recent salary. In addition, please provide examples of communication materials you have produced.

Starting salary may vary depending on qualifications and experience of the selected candidate

Job Summary

Job Summary: Michigan Sea Grant (MSG) is searching for an outgoing and self-motivated individual to serve as Communications Program Leader working out of the office in Ann Arbor, Mich. The Leader will direct activities of the communications area of MSG. MSG is one of 33 university-based programs committed to the protection and sustainable use of the nation’s marine and Great Lakes resources through research, education, and outreach. The Leader will develop and coordinate the program?s communications strategy, conduct project planning and management, allocate resources, supervise a two-member communications staff, and work cooperatively with communications colleagues at Michigan State University, other Great Lakes Sea Grant programs, and the National Sea Grant Office.


  • Be responsible for setting the trajectory of communications goals and strategies, and identify outcomes associated with those goals, in coordination with the Management Team, to achieve the vision of MSG.
  • Prioritize communications projects according to program goals and work with communications team members to accomplish stated objectives; supervise communications staff, including hiring, conducting performance reviews, and arranging ongoing professional development.
  • Ensure that communications projects and processes for MSG align with criteria set at the national level.
  • Assist in researching and producing required reports on behalf of the program, including MSG’s annual report.
  • Explore financial grants and other opportunities to expand MSG’s communications resources and programming.
  • Coordinate MSG’s involvement in communications projects in cooperation with other University of Michigan departments, as well as other state, federal, and private agencies as needed.
  • Coordinate MSG product development, marketing, public relations, website development, and media relations in cooperation with all aspects of outreach and research programming.
  • Define and develop brochures, fact sheets, conference proceedings, press releases, tip sheets, and other informational publications.
  • Work with Fiscal Officer to set policy on distribution of publications, pricing, and marketing strategies.
  • Develop and maintain links with key media on Sea Grant research and outreach topics. Oversee media strategy, including news releases and online promotion. Respond to National Sea Grant’s media requests.
  • Represent MSG in meetings and public forums, including giving presentations.
  • Serve as the central liaison for MSG communications within the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network, National Sea Grant Network, and other Great Lakes organizations; respond appropriately to requests from MSG staff, other Sea Grant programs, and the public regarding communications.
  • Collaborate with the Management Team, researchers, extension educators, and extension specialists, on communications support.
  • Help to develop a strong network of state and federal legislative relations.

Required Qualifications

  • MS in communications, environmental studies, science education, or related field.
  • At least 3-5 years of progressively responsible experience in a communications-related field.
  • Experience in program management, public relations, writing, and editing, and familiarity with environmental or biological sciences.
  • Demonstrated ability to prepare and publish materials for use by the general public.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, with ability to work as a team member within an established office structure.
  • Demonstrated ability to creatively apply contemporary marketing and communications technology and techniques.
  • Excellent written and oral communication and presentation skills, including ease in communicating complex concepts in a clear, effective manner for a general audience.
  • A strong sense of accountability, including a commitment to organizing, prioritizing, and planning work activities according to established timelines and schedules, and the ability to anticipate issues in accomplishing work and communicating in advance to affected parties.
  • Recognized ability to meet multiple deadlines by maintaining a high level of organization.
    Ability to employ effective problem-solving techniques.

Preferred Experience and Qualifications:

  • A strong network within the relevant resource management, policy making, university, and Great Lakes business communities.
  • 5-7 years of responsible experience in a communications-related field.
  • Experience in video media and production.
  • Supervision experience.
  • Creative thinking and desire to contribute to a fun and inspired office environment.

Additional Information

Supervision: Supervision is received from MSG Director; judgment and discretion in the execution of responsibilities are exercised according to University of Michigan policies and procedures.

Additional Information: A collaborative effort of the University of Michigan and Michigan State University, MSG promotes knowledge of the Great Lakes through research, outreach, and education. MSG is part of the NOAA-National Sea Grant network of 33 university-based programs in coastal areas around the country. To learn more about MSG, please visit our website:

We offer our employees an extensive total compensation package, including competitive pay, a two-for-one retirement contribution, a variety of health insurance options, and a generous vacation plan. In addition, there are seven paid holidays and four paid season days annually

Great Lakes Beach Hazards and Water Safety Conference

Event Date: 4/21/2015
End Date: 5/6/2015

Rip, structural, outlet and channel currents continue to take the lives of swimmers each year in the Great Lakes. To help raise awareness of the issue and to share collected knowledge through the network of beach managers, first responders and others, Michigan Sea Grant and partners have organized the Great Lakes Beach Hazards and Water Safety Conference.

There are two dates and locations to choose from:

  • April 21, 2015 in Michigan City, Indiana.
  • May 6, 2015 in Gaylord, Michigan.

More Details About the Michigan Event:

  • Agenda (PDF)
  • Questions? Contact: Ron Kinnunen, Michigan Sea Grant Upper Peninsula Extension Educator at (906) 226-3687 or
  • Michigan Sea Grant and Michigan State University Extension worked with the Mackinac County Water Safety Review Team and the National Weather Service to organize the event.
  • This is the third Michigan event — set for every other year — focusing on bringing people together to learn and share more information about dangerous currents and beach hazards.

Help Northeast Michigan School Win $10K in STEM Competition

Event Date: 3/11/2015

Native fish species, underwater robotics, and inspiring youth from northeast Michigan combine for one amazing environmental STEM project competing for the national Teach for the Planet Challenge.

Designing underwater robots, wading rivers with nets, exploring invasive species issues, studying fisheries habitat while out on Lake Huron, and collaborating alongside Great Lakes scientists. These experiences reflect a normal day at school with elementary students of Ella White Elementary in northeast Michigan. Make sure you vote for them to show your support and to increase their odds of collecting $10,000 for more forward-thinking, hands-on classroom learning.

Teach for the Planet Challenge is a national competition looking for innovative examples of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). Responding to this call, Bob Thomson’s Ella White Elementary fifth graders from Alpena proudly put forward their student-designed research projects. Their environmental STEM project Engineered Lake Trout Delivery System was selected as a finalist and is now competing for the chance to win $10,000! Winners are selected by popular vote, and you can help them by voting today and daily until March 11.

When you visit the site, be sure to click “Select” underneath the photo of the project you’d like to vote for.

Through this project, students are raising native lake trout eggs in their classroom, connected with a Lake Huron reef habitat restoration project. With Great Lakes scientists, they are studying Great Lakes ecosystems, fish habitat issues and plan to eventually release the lake trout fry this spring using underwater robots. Applying technology and creative engineering minds, students used a 3-D printer to produce a system (adapting a plastic pop bottle) to release their young lake trout to their underwater reef habitats.

Read the full story

Now Hiring: MSG Seeks Program Coordinator

Event Date: 2/25/2015
End Date: 3/4/2015

To apply, see: MSG Program Coordinator, Job #107067

Michigan Sea Grant (MSG) is seeking a motivated, organized and outgoing individual with an understanding of Great Lakes and coastal issues to serve as a Program Coordinator. The right candidate will have a passion for sharing science-based information and will be highly collaborative in their approach.

A collaborative effort of the University of Michigan and Michigan State University, MSG promotes knowledge of the Great Lakes through research, outreach and education. MSG is part of the NOAA-National Sea Grant network of 33 university-based programs in coastal areas around the country. This position reports to the MSG Program Manager/Fiscal Officer.

Note: This is a one-year, term-limited appointment with the possibility of renewal contingent on funding.


  • Assist in preparing, writing, and formatting project plans, reports, grant proposals and other documents as needed.
  • Coordinate and prepare progress and final reports and news briefs.
  • Provide general support for grant projects as needed, including summarizing meetings, activities, and accomplishments, assisting with project coordination, and drafting new grant proposals.
  • Assist with MSG educators and extension specialists on promoting the use of educational resources and identifying cooperative efforts.
  • Assist with recruiting applicants for Graduate Fellowships.
  • Assist of project reporting process and draft research portion of annual reports.
  • Participate in and help organize meetings and conferences, as needed.
  • Communicate with stakeholders and partners.
  • Ensure regulatory and university policy compliance for special projects or ongoing programs.
  • Other duties as assigned.
  • Some evening and weekend work is required for seminars and events.

Required Experience and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field e.g. environment policy, natural resource management, water related sciences or relevant work experience.
  • Ability to work independently and to meet a well-defined series of deadlines.
  • Excellent written and communication (oral, listening, presenting, and speaking) skills.
  • Detail-oriented with the ability to manage multiple tasks and meet deadlines in a timely manner.
  • Strong computing skills including knowledge of Microsoft Office suite and Google apps, online research skills and general comfort with web-based systems.

Desired Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in a relevant field (e.g., environment policy, natural resource management, water related sciences) or relevant work experience.
  • A strong network within the relevant resource management, policy-making, university and/or Great Lakes industry/business communities.
  • Grant writing and grant management experience.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, with ability to work as a team member within established office structures.
  • Creative thinking and desire to contribute to a fun and inspired office environment.
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail.

Work Schedule

40 hours per week, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.