Peshtigo River

Green Bay fall wild rice seeding planned for late October

Small teams of conservation professionals and volunteers from UW-Green Bay, Ducks Unlimited, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, UW-Madison Division of Extension, and others will seed 2,000 lbs. of wild rice at coastal wetlands in the bay of Green Bay during the week of October 26-30, 2020.

This year marks the fourth year of seeding effort as part of the restoration projects, informed by UW-Green Bay aquatic vegetation research in lower Green Bay. See past efforts. Wild rice or “manoomin” holds important traditional, economic, and spiritual value in the region for Wisconsin’s First Nation tribes.

Wild rice also benefits waterfowl as an important food source during fall migration and contributes to fish nursery habitat and ecological diversity in coastal wetlands. Historical records suggest the wetland grass occurred in the waters of the bay of Green Bay; however, rice has been uncommon to rare in coastal wetlands and tributaries in recent decades. UW-Green Bay graduate student research helps conservation partners learn more about wild rice seeding success and environmental conditions impacting aquatic vegetation.

Rice re-establishment is one of a series of restoration projects in lower Green Bay and along the Green Bay west shore to enhance coastal wetland habitat for fish and wildlife and improve the health of the bay. Participants will hand seed the rice at 6 sites in lower Green Bay and along the Green Bay west shore on the following dates:

  • Monday, Oct. 26: Green Bay west shore: Seagull Bar State Natural Area and Oconto Marsh Wildlife Area & Oconto Sportsmen’s Club Tuesday
  • Tuesday, Oct. 27: Lower Green Bay: Duck Creek and Ken Euers Nature Area
  • Wednesday, Oct. 28- Suamico: Sensiba Wildlife Area & Barkhausen Waterfowl Preserve
  • Thursday and Friday, Oct. 29 and 30, Weather make-up days

Media members may view seeding from an observation point on land at most locations. All participants and observers will be expected to follow COVID-19 safety guidelines. For more information about the project or the seeding effort, contact Green Bay Restoration Project Coordinator Amy Carrozzino-Lyon (, 920-465-5029).

A large crane installs An Intermodal Earth Flow composting steel vessel outside the University Union delivery area.

Photos: Earth Flow Composter Installed

It’s a student-funded project that has been in the works for awhile—an Intermodal Earth Flow composting steel vessel was installed outside the University Union delivery area, recently. The composter will handle organic food waste from the University Dining, as well as food waste from plates, and dining operations on the UW-Green Bay Campus. The post-mix will be taken to a site on-campus to cure for between 2-4 months which will then yield compost that can be used. The composter has a minimum processing capacity of At least 2,000 pounds of raw organic waste per 7-day period or 660 gallons.

Click to advance slideshow or view the album on Flickr.

Earth Flow Composter Installed

– Photos by Grant Winslow


Marinette Campus looks back on strong history of men’s basketball

UW-Green Bay, Marinette Campus posted an article following a reunion this summer of men’s basketball players from the 1993-2000 UW-Marinette seasons.Those teams were led by Coach Daren Sommerfeld with great success, including six back-to-back titles and much community support. You can see more photos and the full article on the Marinette Campus facebook page.

𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐜𝐚𝐦𝐩𝐮𝐬 𝐥𝐨𝐨𝐤𝐬 𝐛𝐚𝐜𝐤 𝐨𝐧 𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐦𝐞𝐧'𝐬 𝐛𝐚𝐬𝐤𝐞𝐭𝐛𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐭𝐞𝐚𝐦 𝐥𝐞𝐝 𝐛𝐲 𝐂𝐨𝐚𝐜𝐡 𝐃𝐚𝐫𝐞𝐧 𝐒𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐞𝐫𝐟𝐞𝐥𝐝𝐭 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝟏𝟗𝟗𝟑-𝟐𝟎𝟎𝟎 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐢𝐦𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞…

Posted by UW-Green Bay, Marinette Campus on Monday, September 21, 2020

Photo: MBB reunion 2020
Left to Right:
Mike Verba-Stephenson HS (1995-97)
Coach Daren Sommerfeldt (winningest UW-Marinette MBB Coach – 6 back to back titles)
Bryan Holder-Coleman HS (1995-96)
Tom Granquist-North Central HS (1995-96)
Ashanti Burnette-Clarendon Hills, IL (1995-96)
Jake Polfus-Carney-Nadeau HS (1999-2000)
Kevin Conrad-Coleman HS (1994-95)
Jeff Enders-Florence HS (1999-00)
Bill Taylor-Goodman-Armstrong Creek HS (1994-95)

Action shot: unidentified player.

Patrick Forsythe's students holding a sturgeon and documenting it's information

Fish tales: UW-Green Bay’s Prof. Patrick Forsythe has long loved one of Wisconsin’s most revered fish species

UW-Green Bay Scientist studies prehistoric sturgeon

Studying one of Wisconsin’s most revered fish species has been a love of University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s Patrick Forsythe since childhood, but now he gets to study whether or not efforts to save the fish are working.

Forsythe, an associate professor of biology, along with the Aquatic Ecology and Fisheries Laboratory, received $300,000 from the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act and WE Energies Mitigation and Enhancement fund to research whether or not lake sturgeon in the Upper Menominee River are passing through fish passageways which are set up to help them migrate to their ancestral spawning grounds.

Forsythe (right) and students tag and measure a sturgeon in earlier research.

Knowing whether or not revered legends are migrating back and forth is important, Forsythe said, not only for the fish species health, but to see whether or not the efforts to bring the giant species back have been successful.

The problem, he said, was the dam system. Built in the early 1900s, the five dams along the Menominee River were originally put in to assist with the logging operations in the area. But as time passed, the dams were converted to hydro-electric dams to help fuel the area through electricity.

In time, however, the dams prevented the sturgeon from getting back and forth from their spawning grounds at Sturgeon Falls, WI to the big water of Lake Michigan that they like so much. Like salmon, Forsythe said, the fish need to return to their spawning grounds on the rocky river beds of the Menominee River yearly. Unlike salmon though, sturgeon aren’t quite as athletic. (Lake sturgeon caught today weigh between 30-100 pounds and grow to 3-7 feet in length. Females live 80-150 years.) While some do make it back and forth, many can’t.

Forsythe said the dams, and other human elements, had a dramatic impact on the fish’s population. He estimates the sturgeon population is 1 to 2 percent of its historic abundance.

So, through a cooperative effort of federal, state and local government agencies, electric companies and others, a fish passage was built. On one side, a fish elevator starts the sturgeon on their trip upstream. On the other, a waterslide takes them downstream.

On the upstream trip fish are taken by elevator to a research area where researchers check on their health, do an ultrasound and take a small clipping of their fins for DNA analysis, he said. Then the fish are trucked to the lake and released.

Now, it’s up to Forsythe to make sure the fish passage is working and that fish that have passed through the passage are returning to their ancestral spawning grounds to find love among the river rocks.

“Within the last 3 to 4 years they’ve really been making an effort to pass quite a few fish on an annual basis,” he said. “The first step was to figure out if those fish would just fall right back down through the dams or would they go upstream. And some fish do just come back through the dams after they’ve been transported, but a large proportion of them were going upstream.”

Now, Forsythe and his team of will be determining whether or not the young fish are the result of fish that stayed in the river, fish that moved through the fish passage, or fish that stayed in the river mating with a fish that went through the passage.

Having caught some larvae, his research team will use their DNA to see who their parents are. Extracting the genetic material and processing should happen later this year, he said.

From there, scientists and researchers will be able to use the data Forsythe’s project to make future decisions. Data will show which adult fish were most successful at spawning and what characteristics they had, so that wildlife management will know how many fish to pass through the passage each year, as well as what characteristics in those fish will give a better chance of success, for example.

The project is not only important to see whether or not the program is working, and to determine how to manage the fish passage in the future, it’s important for the people of Wisconsin, as well, he said.

“You know, they surgeon are highly revered in the Great Lakes. They call them the King of the Fish,” Forsythe said. “Tribes used to sustain themselves based on the surgeon harvest. Actually, Indian tribes locally, they probably knew more about surgeon than what we do because their migratory behavior was tied to the sturgeon migrations as well.

“It’s really a cool fish. And I think they just got hammered by over exploitation and river pollution. They’ve seen a resurgence recently, and I think people just want to see that and see them come back,” he continued. “You know this is just a really cool prehistoric animal.”

By freelance writer Liz Carey. 


Extreme heat no match for this rising Phoenix

Being a student-athlete and a member of the U.S. Army National Guard during the pandemic can be hard, but to her credit, UW-Green Bay junior Taylor Reichow, a Computer Science major, excels at both.

The Army Reserve Officer’s Training Corp (ROTC) cadet and goalkeeper for the Green Bay women’s soccer team, earned distinguished honors this summer in her Advanced Individual Training (AIT) and received two awards — the Distinguished Honor Graduate Award for placing the highest in a series of tests and the Army Achievement Medal.

Taylor Reichow named Distinguished Honor Graduate

Her training took place at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. As a Multiple Launch Rocket Systems crewmember, Reichow learned things such as loading rocket pods onto resupply vehicles, military communication using the SINCGARS radio system and preventative maintenance checks on all vehicles used to shoot rockets. She did all of this in extreme (120 degrees Fahrenheit) heat!

Reichow shined from the beginning, but was nervous for the last test. “The sergeants and instructors had to give us our grades mid-way through training and to my surprise I was in the number one position with a 99.75%,” she said. “I was super nervous for every test I took because the last two were the most difficult ones. I wasn’t sure I could hold my spot because there was heavy competition. We had a field training exercise which was four days, three nights [and] I had to get a 96% in order to keep my position at No. 1, and with it, the Distinguished Honor Graduate Award.”

The Army Achievement Medal was later awarded when her Drill Sergeant in Wisconsin got word of her high achievements and he sent her name in to be considered. This medal is awarded to any member of the armed forces that distinguishes themselves by meritorious services or achievement.

She was honored by the recognition. “This is the best thing that has happened to me. I was thrilled that I was able to accomplish something this huge. Because I was the distinguished honor graduate, I was able to shoot my first six rockets while I was at training, which was everything I could ask for.”

Back on campus, she continues to train with Green Bay women’s soccer, and has also taken on leadership roles in the Women in Technology student organization. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a job in the technology industry while coaching either soccer or basketball to keep her love of the sports alive. Throughout all of this though Reichow will continue in the Army National Guard.

Two years in, Reichow joined the ROTC to be a part of something bigger than herself. She’s one example of a Phoenix rising to meet the expectations of her coaches, her teammates and her ROTC peers and leaders.

Mission accomplished.

Story by Charlotte Berg, Marketing and University Communication intern

Video: Student Convocation Fall 2020

UW-Green Bay community formally welcomed the Class of 2024 to UW-Green Bay during First-Year Student Convocation in late August.

On the program:

-Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs & Campus Climate, Gail Sims-Aubert
-Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Kate Burns
-Keynote Speaker, Executive Director of the YWCA, Renita Robinson
-Chancellor Michael Alexander

UW-Green Bay Environmental Science student Jacob Derenne studying soil health and water quality.

UW-Green Bay students study water quality and soil health

UW-Green Bay Environmental Science student Jacob Derenne is part of a project team working on a study to link properties of soil health (a suite of biological, chemical and physical properties) to the quality of water that runs off the field during rain events. Last week (August 31-Sept. 1, 2020) the team was measuring the infiltration capacity of the soil and collected samples to determine the water holding capacity, the resistance of the soil clumps (aggregates) to destruction by rainfall and the degree of soil compaction, according to Prof. Kevin Fermanich.

The teams in Wisconsin are working on farms near Wrightstown and Greenleaf.

Photo was courtesy of Molly Meyers, project coordinator.

Jada Davis Commencement Speech: ‘You are revolutionary!’

Hello graduates. I would like to start by thanking those who trusted me to speak to my colleagues at such a turning point in our lives and in the history of the world as we know it. Giving honor to God, my parents, family, friends, mentors and all those who have supported me throughout my college career.

What a time to be alive. We are experiencing challenges personally, locally, nationally, globally, the likes of which only history has experienced for us. Just a few months ago we didn’t even know if we’d have the opportunity to share this moment together as everything seemed to fall through the cracks all at once. Fast forward to today, it looks as though our moment of glory has once again been snatched away.

I remember coming back from Indiana in march and getting an email shorty thereafter saying to pack my things and plan on not returning to campus after spring break. You can imagine the many emotions and questions that I’m sure we all had at the time. Sports cancelled, plays cancelled, trips cancelled, school, work, stores, all closed. The streets near my home rang with an eerie harmony. I’d never heard Milwaukee so quiet.

While it may seem as though everything began burning down to the ground just as we were about to make our conquest out into the big world, and although you may feel as though your accomplishments over the past four years are being minimized, I stand here to encourage and remind you that you are a champion.

Who can say they switched to complete online learning in a matter of days and still managed to stay on track? You can.

Who can say they graduated college in the middle of a growing pandemic, while fighting for the continuing injustices against the black community, with honors? You can.

Who can say that they are still alive and healthy during a time when people are dying daily from something we can’t even see? You can.

And for at least those three things, we should all be proud and feel accomplished. In the words of Doe Zantamata “it is only in our darkest hours that we may discover the true strength of the brilliant light within ourselves that can never, ever, be dimmed.”

The time to rise from the ashes has never been more at hand! The many challenges we’ve faced during these unprecedented times are some which we will be able to reflect on. They have made us stronger and more adept to change. They have made us smarter and more creative. Whenever we face adversity in the future, we will be able to draw strength and knowledge from this time to get through, and for that, I am grateful.

We will be among the most resilient people in the world. We are revolutionary. We are the class of the year 2020.

See Jada Davis’s Commencement Speaker Biography.

Commencement Speaker Jada Davis ‘made moves, not excuses’

Editor’s Note: Jada Davis had been selected as the Spring 2020 Commencement Speaker. Because of the postponement and eventual transition to a ‘drive-through’ experience due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Jada’s speech has been recorded and will be published Saturday, August 22, 2020. What follows is the story of her journey through UW-Green Bay.

It’s been said that great leaders are born, not made. Can the same thing be said of great lawyers? Jada Davis’ journey from the north side of Milwaukee to the 2020 Commencement at UW-Green Bay is striking evidence that the road to leadership and law can travel the same path.

And she’s just getting started. Which is impressive because she started early. “I wanted to be a lawyer since the second grade.” Davis recalls, “I used to dress up as a lawyer for career day. And for Halloween.” (No mention of whether she carried candy in a briefcase.)

“It’s what I’ve wanted to do for my whole life.” She makes this statement with the conviction of someone who knows how to set and reach goals. And true to one of the best reasons for attending college, Davis has been bundling her passions, talents and pursuits into a very interesting life. And that life’s about to take another interesting turn as she enters Marquette University Law School in the fall.

As a double major in Democracy and Justice Studies and Communication it’s amazing she found time to dance (her minor). There were no lawyers in her immediate family. But her parents approved of her judicial and artistic aspirations. “They loved it. I wanted to be like the dancing lawyer.”

Make that dancing lawyer turned entrepreneur with her launch of a clothing line last year—Modern Movement Apparel. One of her sweatshirt designs well encapsulates her time at UW-Green Bay— “Make Moves. Not Excuses.”

The primary factor that brought Davis from the suburbs of Milwaukee to UW-Green Bay is arguably the major reason most students find and stay with a college—a good fit. “Green Bay had what I wanted to study and it wasn’t too far from home.” Davis has been on the move since day one as a member of the Green Bay Dance Team and continued all four years.

The only deficit she may have had during her time on campus is sleep. Just the highlights of her achievements on and off campus are exhaustive and exhausting: mentor and participant for MESA’s Jump Start first-year student program, president of the Women of Color student organization and chair of events for Psi Theta Nu, (a multicultural sorority), University Leadership Awards, Chancellor’s Medallion, participation in Marquette University’s 2018 Diversity Pre- Law Conference and Pennsylvania State Law Explore Law Summer Program, internships with the Black Youth Alliance and The Weidner Center—all while maintaining a 3.8 GPA.

The secret to Davis’ success isn’t really a secret—seeking help through collaborators, mentors, putting in a lot of hard work, and then giving back to the community and fellow students.

“When I first got there, I was in a program called Jump Start and had a chance to get used to campus, without a lot of people being there. That helped a lot with my transition.” Davis’ other talent isn’t a secret—a capacity and willingness to work hard. Democracy and Justice Studies Professor Harvey Kaye lauded her effort “as very determined and very dependable young woman who always came to class prepared with the assignment and ready to work.”

She’s even developed an interesting take on her Communication major—“Just having that communications background can help me when I’m dealing with different kinds of people and different kinds of audiences.” And when considering her ultimate career goal those “audiences” will eventually become clients. “I want to be a divorce attorney and make that my profession.”

Prepare to shift the popular perceptions of the typical divorce attorney. Even her rationale for making what, at first blush, seems like an unusual legal career path, doesn’t appear to be driven only by ambition, but also of service to others at a very difficult life transition.

“I want to see different outcomes for families. I just want to be a part of the process and make it better for different families.”

If her time and accomplishments as a Phoenix is any indication, justice and service will be well served.

See Jada Davis’s “You Are Revolutionary” Commencement Speech.

Video: Chancellor Alexander discusses expectations and respect as education is tailored for individuals

Hi UW-Green Bay students,

I hope you’re all doing well. I want to take a minute to go over a few things with you today.

First, please understand that we’re relying on each one of you to have social responsibility and to make sure you’re taking all the precautions necessary to keep everyone safe this fall. It’s really important that we make sure that we’re able to continue education this fall and part of the way we do that is to make sure that everyone is taking the proper precautions at all times to make sure that yourself and everyone around you is able to remain safe and healthy throughout the pandemic.

I also want to mention that I know that all of you have differing opinions about whether or not you’d like to have classes in person or online. We respect all of the wishes that you have to be able to have education tailored in your specific way. We’re doing everything we can to make sure we’re meeting the requests that you have about what mode you’d like to have your classes delivered. If for any reason you’re not able to get the classes in the mode that you feel you need in the upcoming semester, please reach out to us at

Please understand that as many of you that want online education, as many others want in person and vice versa, so please respect what each other are asking for in their educational delivery. Our goal is to provide access to education to all and have all of you persist in your education.

Finally, I want to let you know there will be opportunities in the coming weeks ahead for you to reach out to us and ask questions directly that we can answer. First there will be an Instagram Q&A conversation, and then also an open forum where you can ask me and University leadership questions directly that we’ll be able to answer for you.

I hope you all stay well and, I look forward to connecting with you soon.