Biologist Bob Howe, professor of Natural and Applied Sciences and director of the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity, and Erin Giese, the Center’s data manager, are UW-Green Bay’s participants in a newly announced, multi-state, multi-university grant of $10 million to monitor coastal wetlands around the Great Lakes Basin over the next five years. This project expands an existing grant that has involved Howe, Giese and more than 20 UW-Green Bay undergraduate and graduate students since 2010. Coordinated by researchers at Central Michigan University, the project allocates $222,000 to support field activities and data analysis by UW-Green Bay staff and students. The basin-wide coastal wetland monitoring program evaluates ongoing and future wetland restoration efforts, as well as fish, invertebrates, birds, amphibians, plant communities, and chemical and physical variables at the majority of coastal wetland areas throughout the Great Lakes basin. Results will be used to prevent further wetland degradation and to set priorities for future wetland protection. Along with Central Michigan and UW-Green Bay, the initiative includes collaborators from the University of Minnesota-Duluth, UW-River Falls, Lake Superior State University, University of Notre Dame, Grand Valley State University, University of Windsor, State University of New York at Brockport, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, U.S. Geological Survey, Environment Canada, and Bird Studies Canada.
Nearly $600,000 is being awarded to police and sheriff’s departments in communities across Northeast Wisconsin to fund extra patrols targeting drunk drivers. Recipients of $10,000 grants as part of the initiative were the campus police force divisions at UW-Green Bay and UW-Oshkosh. WBAY-TV 2 carried a news feature earlier this week about the effort.
The series “Latino Americans: 500 Years of History” continues this week with the screening of another film segment and a talk by Ohio State University history professor Lilia Fernández, who will facilitate discussion during a program beginning at 6 p.m. this Thursday (Oct. 1) in Theatre Hall 210. Fernández’s research interests include history, immigration, race and ethnic identity formation, urban renewal and gentrification, and women’s history. Her book Brown in the Windy City: Mexicans and Puerto Ricans in Postwar Chicago (University of Chicago Press, 2012), documents the overlapping migrations of the late 1940s. Fernández will talk about her experience and introduce the one-hour “War and Peace” episode of the 2013 PBS documentary Latino Americans, followed by Q&A. Thursday’s free public program is the second in this year’s “Latino Americans: 500 Years of History” series organized by UW-Green Bay in conjunction with the American Library Association and a National Endowment for the Humanities grant.
Jennifer Schanen, lecturer and BSW field coordinator in Social Work, was awarded a Wisconsin Campus Compact Program Innovation Grant. The award will help fund a program evaluation project being conducted by senior-level Social Work students in her Program Evaluation course sequence. Students are partnering with Wise Women Gathering Place to assess the effectiveness of its White Bison program, a national program that utilizes cultural healing techniques to help people find closure in unresolved relationships and generate new paths to wellness. For more information about the program, contact Schanen.
Here is clarification on Friday’s announcement that UW-Green Bay is the recipient of a sizeable grant — nearly $128,000 from the Aurora Health Care foundation — earmarked for educational initiatives related to sexual violence. The Log initially reported that Amy Henniges, director of the Counseling and Health Center, is the point person on the project. While it is true that Counseling and Health will hire and train the new campus health educator, we should have mentioned that it was Dean of Students Brenda Amenson-Hill who led UW-Green Bay’s grant application and planning process. The team included Amenson-Hill, Lidia Nonn, Mark Olkowski, Joanie Dovekas, Tom Kujawa and Henniges. The complete story, and a link to more, is archived.
There was good news Friday (July 31) regarding UW-Green Bay educational efforts on issues related to sexual violence. Aurora Health Care announced grants to two dozen community organizations in eastern Wisconsin (including UWGB) totaling $3.4 million from Aurora’s community-focused Better Together Fund. The $127,786 grant to the University will be used to develop the “Relationship and Sexual Violence Program.” Specifically, funding will allow the University to hire and train a campus health educator, create an increased online and social media presence around the topics of healthy relationships, sexual assault and bystander intervention, and expand educational programs to students, faculty and staff. Brenda Amenson-Hill, dean of students, is the point person on the project, having led UW-Green Bay’s grant application and planning process. The team included Amenson-Hill, Lidia Nonn, Mark Olkowski, Joanie Dovekas, Tom Kujawa and Amy Henniges. To read more about the Aurora grant program, and to see a full list of recipients.
“One of our (objectives) is to promote healthy relationships,” Amy Henniges told WBAY-TV 2 reporter Ellery McCardle about a $127,786 Aurora Health grant to UW-Green Bay. “One of the big things that our campus has never had before is a health educator, so we’re going to use a good part of that money to hire a health educator for the next couple of years to help us with our sexual assault awareness and prevention effort and increase our services to students who have been affected by sexual assault or sexual violence.” For the full story.
A collaborative effort by UW-Green Bay faculty and staff members has resulted in a $10,000 grant award from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association. The grant will fund “Latino Americans: 500 Years of History,” a series of public events, presentations, discussions and showings of a PBS series on the Latino American experience in North America. The local event is part of a larger, national NEH and ALA initiative called The Common Good: The Humanities in the Public Square. The UW-Green Bay organizing committee — consisting of faculty members Marcelo Cruz (project director), Aurora Cortez and Gabriel Saxton Ruiz and staff members Paula Ganyard, Mai Lo Lee and Lidia Nonn — has proposed a series of communitywide events at various local venues. The group will work with Neville Museum, Brown County Library, Casa Alba and other community organizations to bring the series and discussion to the greater Green Bay community. Details on the showings and the events will be forthcoming for the fall semester.
Students in the UW-Green Bay Strategic Philanthropy course announced a $10,000 grant to Family Services’ Transitional Living Program in a ceremony Thursday, May 7. Students in the course taught by Associate Prof. Lora Warner of Public and Environmental Affairs are provided $10,000 by the Learning by Giving Foundation to give to a deserving organization in the community. The class focused this year on youth struggling with issues such as homelessness, alcohol and other drug addiction, and mental illness. The Transitional Living Program, a self-sufficiency program for young adults between the ages of 17-29, currently has a waiting list of over 100 individuals. Learn more.
More than a dozen undergraduate and graduate students have a tremendous opportunity to work alongside UW-Green Bay Professors Bob Howe and Amy Wolf on a comprehensive plan to improve fish and wildlife habitat in the region.
Howe, Wolf and UWGB staff, in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy (TNC), are the recipients of a $471,000 Environmental Protection Agency/Department of Natural Resources grant to study fish and wildlife conditions and threats in what is termed the “Lower Green Bay and Fox River Area of Concern” and its immediately contributing watershed.
“This project is important for our region because it will yield one of the most, if not the most, specific plans for improving fish and wildlife habitat in the lower Bay and Fox River,” said Howe.
Howe considers the assessment, and the recommendations vital to the future regional economy and quality of life.
“Although the AOC is clearly degraded, more and more evidence has shown that this is a ‘world class’ site for freshwater fish, colonial and migratory birds, and other wildlife species,” said Howe. “I view Green Bay as comparable to Chesapeake Bay on the East Coast and San Francisco Bay on the West Coast — places where natural resources have experienced degradation, but places where these resources are still very much alive and are vital to the future local economy and quality of life,” he said.
Lower Green Bay and the Fox River below the DePere Dam comprise one of 43 Great Lakes Areas of Concern (AOC’s) designated in 1987 by the International Joint Commission of Canada and the United States through the U.S.-Canada Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. The ultimate goal of the UWGB/TNC project is to help develop a strategy for improving conditions in the AOC so that it can be removed or “de-listed” from its impaired status.
Loss of fish and wildlife habitat is one of the most significant reasons why the Lower Green Bay and Fox River AOC was designated as an AOC. Documented (WDNR) causes of ecological and economic impairment of the Lower Green Bay and Fox River AOC include:
• habitat destruction and fragmentation due to urban and industrial development and stream channelization;
• dredging and filling of aquatic habitats along the Fox River corridor;
• wetland degradation from human activity and changing water levels;
• disruption of hydrologic connectivity by road construction and other human activities;
• loss of submerged aquatic vegetation in the Duck Creek delta area of the lower Bay because of turbid water and hyper eutrophication;
• destruction of barrier islands in the Cat Island Chain by high water and storms;
• reduction in underwater plants and littoral vegetation by invasive carp;
• silt deposition and re-suspension of sediments in the Lower Bay; and
spread of invasive plant species.
Alongside UWGB staff members Erin Giese, Michael Stiefvater, Kimberlee McKeefry, and Bobbie Webster, Howe and Wolf are working with students on this two-year, two-phase project to comprehensively assess existing habitat conditions and formulate a protection and restoration plan in the affected areas.
In each phase, UW-Green Bay students will be able to assist the faculty and staff members and Wisconsin DNR and TNC collaborators in their comprehensive research and development of the plan.
Phase One, the assessment portion of the project, will focus primarily on finding, organizing and evaluating existing data related to fish and wildlife populations in the AOC. Information will be compiled from a wide variety of sources, including local experts, on historical conditions, habitat dynamics, restoration opportunities and threats in the lower Bay and Fox River.
Phase Two goals include synthesis of the information, creating a blueprint for protection and restoration activities; identifying specific opportunities for protection, restoration and rehabilitation of fish and wildlife habitat; cataloging past projects to assess their contribution towards delisting thresholds and developing monitoring protocols for measuring the status of fish and wildlife habitat to document the success or failure of specific remediation projects.
Proposers say the project will “test the utility of objective metrics for the ultimate purpose of informing decision-makers at local, regional and national levels, particularly those making decisions involving the status, protection and restoration of fish and wildlife habitat in other Great Lakes Areas of Concern.”
Work began in fall of 2014 and will continue through August of 2016. This project is particularly significant because it adds to a long-standing and growing involvement of UW-Green Bay scientists and students in solving problems of water quality, ecological health, and economic viability of Green Bay and the Great Lakes in general. Other recent grants by UWGB Natural and Applied Sciences professors Kevin Fermanich, Mike Zorn, Matt Dornbush, Patrick Forsythe and others, demonstrates the important role of UWGB in helping improve environmental quality in the Green Bay ecosystem.