The Administrative Assistant is responsible for supporting the work of Michigan Sea Grant (MISG) staff and students by providing excellent management of the operations and communications of the office, including providing administrative support to all program areas as needed. The Administrative Assistant will be the consistent staff member in the office and on the phone, providing welcoming and responsive service to anyone who reaches out to the MISG office. The position serves as the main presence in the MISG office for approximately 40 hours per week.
Department Summary: Michigan Sea Grant (MISG) is a joint program of University of Michigan and Michigan State University. It is part of the National Sea Grant College Program, a national network of 33 programs dedicated to serving citizens in coastal communities throughout the nation. Administrated through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Sea Grant is the agency’s primary university-based program dedicated to helping citizens utilize scientific information to support a vibrant economy while ensuring ecological sustainability.
Adam Ziani plans to apply his Environmental Science and Society degree during service with the Northeast Michigan Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative network.
By Brandon Schroeder, Michigan Sea Grant; Tracy D’Augustino, MSU Extension; and Adam Ziani, Huron Pines AmeriCorps member serving NEMIGLSI
Huron Pines AmeriCorps member Adam Ziani stands near a shipwreck on the Pacific Coast. He hopes to translate his Pacific Coast experiences to help inspire Great Lakes explorations among youth in Northeast Michigan.
Adam Ziani joins as one of 27 Huron Pines AmeriCorps members serving with conservation stewardship agencies and organizations across Michigan this year. Adam received his Bachelor of Science degree in Interdisciplinary Environmental Science and Society with a concentration in Society from Eastern Michigan University in 2017.
As part of the NEMIGLSI network, Adam will assist in a variety of student watershed studies and fisheries stewardship activities supported by the Great Lakes NOAA B-WET watershed education program. He will help engage youth in a variety of watershed stewardship issues and fisheries-oriented projects that make a difference in communities across northern Michigan. Adam will support several schools and connect community partners with students through these watershed education endeavors.
In collaboration with MSU Extension and Michigan Sea Grant, Huron Pines is a leadership partner to the NEMIGLSI network, and since 2009, they have placed AmeriCorps members each year with the network. These members have been crucial in establishing and expanding this educational network of school and community partners in northeast Michigan communities.
So what do we have to look forward to in Adam’s expertise and service in the coming year? Let’s meet and learn more about Adam in his own words.
What inspired you to pursue a career in environmental or conservation stewardship?
I was born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I have always loved the outdoors. Ever since I was a kid, I always found myself outside playing games with friends, building forts, collecting frogs and crayfish, and anything else that involved the outdoors. Around age 10, I began annual summer trips to different camp grounds around Michigan. I learned about the beauty and value of the environment. That’s when I realized that my dream job would involve environmental stewardship.
What do you most look forward to in your upcoming service with NEMIGLSI network and partnership?
I look forward to learning about place-based education and stewardship. I always hope to gain some professional skills along with office experience. Mostly I hope to gain experience working with children in an outdoor setting.
Looking forward and after nearly a year of service – what would you like to have accomplished?
I hope to contribute to the overall goal of NEMIGLSI in such a way that they function more effectively and efficiently. I also would like to leave a legacy by creating a lasting group or program for others to build on once my service term is over.
How have your past experiences prepared you for this role and opportunity?
My love for the outdoors has motivated me to explore and learn about Michigan’s coastal environment. Camping every year on Lake Michigan has furthered my thirst for knowledge about how our Great Lakes system functions. That is why I decided to pursue a degree in environment and society while attending Eastern Michigan University. The program involves a blend of the environmental sciences and social studies; which has given me a tailored skill set to contribute to place-based education, which involves a combination of environmental education and community involvement.
What are some of your favorite Great Lakes and natural resources hobbies or memories?
Since I was young, I have been taking an annual summer trip to Lake Michigan recreation area. The campground is a short walk from a beautiful beach with rolling sand dunes. I have been lucky enough to witness glorious sunsets followed by starry skies. I will cherish those memories forever.
What Great Lakes and natural resources experience are you most looking forward to experiencing?
Shipwrecks have always interested me. Lake Huron’s Thunder Bay is known as shipwreck alley which gives me the opportunity to explore and learn about multiple shipwrecks throughout my service term. I also hope to learn about the many different fish species found in the Great Lakes.
Downriver Linked Greenways celebrates new opportunities with trail users, communities and partners.
By Mary Bohling
From left, Tiffany Van DeHey, owner Riverside Kayak Connection; Congresswoman Debbie Dingell; and Richard Marsh, city manager River Rouge show off some of the new sign kiosks that will be installed in 11 locations along the Downriver Linked Greenways. Photo credit: Friends of the Detroit River
Recently trail enthusiasts gathered in Flat Rock, Mich., for a Downriver Linked Greenways(DLG) celebration. The “Trail Triumphs” celebration in January 2019, was a time to share the exciting things that are happening in the growing network of land and water trails, and to celebrate the Downriver region’s positive trail momentum. Co-chaired by Michigan Sea Grant and Riverside Kayak Connection, Downriver Linked Greenways in a nonprofit organization facilitating trail development for 21 communities in southern Wayne County. The great work that has taken place toward building a network of blueways and greenways, has spawned new opportunities, initiatives, collaborations and partnerships that will further the vision of establishing the Downriver area as a tourist destination in Southeastern Michigan.
Highlights of the festivities included remarks from Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, the debut of a video of the healthy benefits of trails and the unveiling of new DLG kiosks, road decals, and confidence markers that will be placed along the DLG trail.
New autobiography from Dr. Howard Tanner, father of the Great Lakes salmon fishery, is an important contribution to the annals of history and an engaging read.
By Dan O’Keefe
It would be hard to understate the impact that Dr. Howard A. Tanner had on the Great Lakes region. Tanner was at the helm of the Michigan Department of Conservation’s Fish Division from 1964 until 1966. During this brief moment in time, Tanner set the course for massive change. Ultimately, his decisions were largely responsible for not only the introduction of coho and chinook salmon, but also the shift in emphasis from commercial to recreational fisheries management on the lakes, the rise of state authority and decline of federal authority to manage these fisheries, massive changes to state hatchery systems, and the beginning of state involvement in Great Lakes fishery research.
In the court of public opinion, Tanner’s actions were heralded as a great success. Coastal tourism boomed, tackle companies flourished, and property values soared as “coho madness” drew unprecedented numbers of anglers from Michigan and surrounding states. Beaches that had been littered with the decaying bodies of invasive alewives now bore witness to the birth of a world-class fishery. The small silvery alewives were nearly worthless to commercial fishermen, but their booming population provided ample food for salmon.
This 30-second story is common knowledge around Lake Michigan. It is one of those rare moments in fisheries history that transcends the community of anglers, commercial fishers, and fisheries professionals. The oft-paraphrased “line of dead fish 300 miles long” that littered popular public beaches and prime waterfront real estate was undoubtedly a key to public interest, but the booming salmon fishery that followed also enjoyed broad appreciation due to its obvious economic impacts.
It would have been tempting for Tanner to focus only on the positive in this autobiography. Indeed, he is certainly cast as the hero of the story, but there is also a great deal of reflection on the salient criticism he received. By his own admission, he was well aware of the “firm dogma against introducing non-native species” that was based on the hard lessons and failures of the past.
Tanner’s rebuttal to his critics sometimes reads as realpolitik justification or contention that the ends justified the means. After all, we now have more resilience and stability in predator-prey balance thanks to the increased number of predatory species found in open water. However, Tanner is also very honest about his primary motivation to “do something … spectacular” and create a new recreational fishery.
It is fortunate that Dr. Tanner elected to write this book late in life (he is 95 at the time of publishing) because he was able to write with unvarnished honesty without risk to his professional position or the careers of colleagues. Of course, Tanner often references his membership in the “Greatest Generation” of WWII veterans and this context is very important to understanding the attitudes and cultural norms that enabled these decisions. Even so, some of Tanner’s stories might be judged more critically by today’s standards.
Originally, his plan to do something spectacular for Michigan’s sport fishery involved three non-native fish. From an historical perspective, the discussion of all three fish species that were considered was particularly interesting. Kokanee salmon (a landlocked form of sockeye salmon) were introduced to inland lakes in Michigan before coho salmon were stocked in the Great Lakes, based in part on Tanner’s knowledge of fisheries for stocked kokanee in reservoirs from his time in Colorado. In short, the kokanee program was a failure despite early predictions for their success. Striped bass stocking in certain Great Lakes waters was considered in addition to salmon, and Tanner details the difficult decision to destroy striped bass broodstock after they were brought to a hatchery in Michigan from South Carolina.
At the end of the day, Tanner maintains his belief that the salmon introduction was “the right decision at the right time.” A great many anglers, coastal residents, and small business owners along the Great Lakes’ shores would agree with this wholeheartedly. Among fisheries biologists and Great Lakes ecologists, I think it is fair to say that opinions are more nuanced while state-licensed and tribal commercial fishers have more negative views (which are explored along with sport fishing views in the book Fish for All).
In addition to providing an insider’s perspective on the birth of the Great Lakes salmon fishery, Tanner provides readers with a look at his early life spent fishing for trout, deployment in the South Pacific, and his graduate research on lake fertilization. Along with providing context for his later work, these early chapters serve to remind us just how much things have changed since the early days of fisheries management.
For example, Tanner initially hypothesized that fertilizing lakes would increase trout production. After adding nutrients to a lake, Tanner observed that trout growth increased over the first summer, but there was a large fish die-off that winter due to oxygen depletion below the ice. Today we take it for granted that fertilizing glacial lakes in the upper Midwest is a terrible idea because excess nutrients lead to increased decomposition and decreases in dissolved oxygen. Early research projects like Tanner’s provided the science that led to our current paradigm of seeking to reduce nutrient inputs to lakes, as opposed to increasing them.
Mindsets change slowly, but Dr. Tanner’s tell-all autobiography paints us a vivid picture of that moment in time where everything changed dramatically and almost overnight. Those times still factor into the psyche of today’s anglers. The mix of seemingly unlimited forage, the overnight sensation of a booming fishery in response to stocking, and the equation of “more fish stocked = more fish caught” that held true for decades left a deep imprint. Now, as we collectively look toward the future, Tanner’s book provides crucial historical context for our present situation and a thoughtful exploration of the critical factors that led to his decision.
Author’s note:Looking back at my own life and career, Dr. Tanner’s influence looms large.
My decision to study Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University was based on two things: they offered a course in ichthyology (the study of fish – at the time I did not understand exactly what fisheries management entailed), and the fact that the Red Cedar River flowed through campus and supported a run of coho salmon. As a student at MSU, Dr. Tanner gave a guest lecture in a course on Great Lakes issues and I began to use the example of his decision to explain to family and friends what the field of fisheries management is all about, and how it can relate to people who don’t necessarily care about fishing.
Now, as an extension professional working with Great Lakes charter captains and recreational salmon anglers, I can attest to the fact that Dr. Tanner’s legacy is very much appreciated by people who launched their own businesses, organized their social life, and invested their savings on the promise of salmon in the Great Lakes. After half a century of salmon and the appearance of quagga mussels, spiny water fleas, round gobies, and other invaders, we are now grappling with the question of how to best balance the mix of salmon and trout species with shrinking (or a least changing) food resources.
This article was written by Michigan Sea Grant Extension Educator Dr. Dan O’Keefe under award NA14OAR4170070 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce through the Regents of the University of Michigan. The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Department of Commerce, or the Regents of the University of Michigan.
Michigan students and Sea Grant educators join other filmmakers this year in exploring Great Lakes issues and ocean topics during the Thunder Bay International Film Festival.
By Brandon Schroeder
“Salmon in the Great Lakes” is one of the Michigan Sea Grant films that will be shown during the Thunder Bay International Film Festival.
The seventh annual Thunder Bay International Film Festival (TBIFF) in Alpena, Mich., offers an opportunity to explore and celebrate our valuable Great Lakes and oceans through film. The festival takes place Wednesday through Sunday (Jan. 23-27, 2019) and is hosted by Friends of Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary in partnership with the International Ocean Film Festival.
More than 50 films will be featured from around the world exploring ocean and Great Lakes issues and more. Student films will be featured during the TBIFF’s 4th Annual Student Film Competition, and new this year Sea Grant programs from around the Great Lakes will share films highlighting programs, research and education happening in, around and for our Great Lakes.
For the Film Festival, many showings and events will be at the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center in downtown Alpena. Films also will be shown at the Rogers City Theatre in Rogers City (Wednesday, Jan. 24) and the Alcona County Library in Harrisville, (Thursday, Jan. 25).
Shutdown won’t stop show
Alpena Community College’s Granum Theatre and adjacent facilities will serve as a contingency location if the federal government shutdown is not resolved by January 24. If the federal government reopens prior to that date, the Film Festival will be held at the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center in downtown Alpena.
Michigan Sea Grant, along with other Great Lakes state programs will share a variety of educational films exploring Great Lakes issues and topics. The different Sea Grant programs are sharing 16 films developed to connect and engage citizens and stakeholders in important and emerging issues. This Sea Grant film feature will show on Saturday (Jan 26).
Tickets are $30 for the Friday reception and films. Most daily film sessions are $6 program ($15 for 6 p.m. Saturday). The filmmakers panel and student films take place 3 p.m.–5 p.m. Saturday and are free. A full festival pass (Thunder Pass) also can be purchased. Call (989) 884-6200 or visit thunderbayfriends.org to order your tickets. Tickets are also available at the door on a first-come, first-served basis during the festival.
Shiver on the River is a free family annual event sponsored by Friends of the Detroit River. This year’s event will include an environmental fair, presentations and kids activities at the Casino Building as well as free access into several Belle Isle buildings such as the aquarium, conservatory and nature center. Sea Grant educator, Mary Bohling will be giving a presentation on her new book: Beautiful Belle Isle at 12:30pm in the Casino.
Nutrients found in manure and commercial fertilizers, like nitrogen and phosphorus, can enter rivers and streams as runoff, and in Michigan, almost all of our waterways flow to the Great Lakes. When it rains, these nutrients have the potential to wash into nearby waterways, leading to excess nutrients and overgrowth of algae or harmful algal blooms. These algal blooms can have a big impact on the Great Lakes watershed as they consume oxygen that fish need to survive and can affect the quality of drinking water. With manure application planning, farmers are able reduce the risk of nutrient runoff and help better protect the Great Lakes.
Manure application is just one possible source of excess algal growth, but with proper planning, farmers can help keep applied manure nutrients on their fields and reduce runoff entering the Great Lakes.
Register for the free webinar
Michigan State University Extension and Michigan Sea Grant are hosting a FREE webinar to support farmers with their manure application planning on Wednesday, Jan. 23 from 12-12:30pm (with additional time for questions). Visit http://bit.ly/MIEnviroImpactWebinar to register for the webinar. The webinar will be recorded and sent to all registrants, but attending the live webinar is encouraged to get any of your questions answered directly by experts.
If you have any questions or accessibility needs, please contact Erica Rogers (email: email@example.com or by phone: (989) 875-5233).
Your school, your community organization, and you are invited to join and participate in the annual, youth education-focused Northeast Michigan Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative (NEMIGLSI) Regional Network Meeting on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 hosted in Alpena, Michigan.
In great tradition, we are planning for a wonderful day of networking, sharing, and new ideas among schools, educators and community partners engaged in youth development and environmental stewardship across northeast Michigan. We look forward to your involvement!
“NEMIGLSI: Past, Present and Future”
Date: Wednesday, February 13, 2019
Time: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. [Lunch Provided]
Location: Alpena, MI – hosted at the Alpena Events Complex, 701 Woodward Avenue, Alpena, MI 49707, in the Huron Conference Room.
Learn about the NEMIGLSI network through educational updates, information and resources in support of your stewardship education efforts.
Gain place-based stewardship education insights and ideas from a panel of education and community partners.
Network, share, and trade lessons learned with participating NEMIGLSI partners – a chance to connect with educators from other schools and community partners from across our regional network.
Contribute in planning the future direction for our regional NEMIGLSI network – your opportunity to provide input and guidance about how the GLSI can better support place-based stewardship education inquiries in northeast Michigan!
Please share with those who may want to participate and benefit from the day, and we hope you will plan to join yourself!
This event—Trail Triumphs!—is being hosted by Downriver Linked Greenways (DLG), in partnership with the City of Flat Rock. The purpose of the event is to announce a new partnership with Friends of the Detroit River and the completion of several grant-funded projects including a DLG trail signage strategy, Trail Towns Pilot Project and several new types of trail signage (unveiled at the event) that will soon be installed along the Downriver Linked Greenway in 2019. Many of our trail partners will be there with information booths.
Newly launched site helps visitors explore locations and find events, experiences to help understand, appreciate our Great Lakes fisheries heritage.
By: Brandon Schroeder
People and coastal communities have both valued and benefited from Great Lakes fisheries throughout time. These Great Lakes fisheries – a story of people, fish, and fishing – are dynamic and ever changing. The Great Lakes Fisheries Heritage Trail seeks to connect people and places, information and experiences for those interested in engaging in this story.
A newly launched website for the Great Lakes Fisheries Heritage Trail offers interactive opportunities to explore the past, present and future of the lakes through the lens of fish and fishing.
Explore the Great Lakes Fisheries Heritage Trail
Museum exhibits and educational opportunities along this trail highlight our fisheries heritage, ecology and management, economic and social issues that have defined coastal communities across the Great Lakes. The trail includes museums, coastal fishing communities, fish markets and processing facilities, events, research and science centers throughout the region.
Expanded access to organizational and educational information that may be of interest to educators, history buffs, or fish enthusiasts.
A community-supported website – learn how to get involved
The Great Lakes Fisheries Heritage Trail represents a network and partnership among museum, maritime heritage, and fisheries partners cooperating to promote our fisheries heritage. The collective efforts of these partners is helping to preserve and interpret historical artifacts, enhance local communities and heritage-based tourism, and offer educational opportunities focusing on Great Lakes literacy and stewardship.
A collaborative Design Teamreflecting many federal, state, and local organizational partners and dedicated individuals contributed countless hours of enthusiasm and expertise, design creativity, and content for this site. This is a community-driven website — everyone’s contributions to the Great Lakes Fisheries Heritage story are invited.