The 73-acre Wequiock Creek Natural Area is NEWLT’s latest addition. Nett says she’s worked closely with the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s Cofrin Center for Biodiversity and the Town of Scott to protect the land, which is “an exceptional, archaeologically significant” region. …The land is located adjacent to the Point au Sable peninsula and is part of the 1.9-mile corridor that connects the important Point au Sable coastal wetland to Wequiock Falls. The preserve will provide public recreation activities, trails and bird watching, but it will also offer college students and faculty the ability to conduct research. The preserve is now owned by NEWLT, but Nett says it may be offered to the Town of Scott and UW-Green Bay for their purposes.
Note: This story is reprinted with permission from author Marie Zhuikov and Wisconsin Sea Grant
Stephanie King of Oneida, Wisconsin, is breaking new ground. Not only is she first to fill a position with Wisconsin Sea Grant designed to strengthen relationships with First Nation tribes in the Green Bay area, she is in the first cohort of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s First Nations Education Doctoral Program.
Although her position, which also involves the UW-Green Bay’s Cofrin Center for Biodiversity, is just beginning, King said her role will be to incorporate Indigenous knowledge and traditional ecological knowledge as part of a team that’s restoring wetlands north of the Green Bay campus on Wequiock Creek.
“That area is ancestral lands for the Ho-Chunk Nation, Menominee Nation and I believe the Potawatomi, as well,” King said.
The assistantship opened at just at the right time. King, who is enrolled in the Oneida Nation but was raised on the Menominee Reservation, was laid off from her cultural wellness work for the Oneida Nation due to COVID-19 factors.
“I was excited when I saw the position. When I was reading through the announcement, the requirements brought my higher educational experience and passions full circle. I thought it would be a unique opportunity to share my experiences and knowledge with others and the team. I decided to throw my name in the hat and see what happened,” King said.
One of the reasons King’s name was plucked from that proverbial hat was her academic background. King has an associate degree in sustainable development from the College of Menominee Nation, a bachelor’s degree in family, consumer and community education from UW-Madison and a master’s degree in educational leadership with a focus on adult education from UW-Oshkosh.
Julia Noordyk, Wisconsin Sea Grant water quality and coastal communities outreach specialist, is King’s mentor. “Stephanie’s knowledge and experience working with people of all ages and backgrounds is a good fit for Wisconsin Sea Grant,” Noordyk said. “I am always focused on how we can most successfully engage with our audiences, so her expertise in education and outreach lends perfectly to this.”
King had the chance to visit the Wequiock Creek sites and “got an idea of some of the potential goals that all the different people involved have. There are still conversations to be had about what the First Nations communities would like to see as well, so that will come next,” King said.
King also said this position fits well with her life goals. “My foundation for my education, my work and my research has been with a passion to give back to my community and to my people. In any opportunity I take, I always look at how is this going to benefit others and benefit the community as well as my family in a good way, in a positive way.”
While on paper Noordyk is King’s supervisor and mentor, Noordyk acknowledges there is already more to their relationship. “Stephanie comes to this assistantship with a deep understanding of education, outreach and communication with First Nations people. It would be foolish of me not to learn as much as possible from her, too.”
The most important coastal wetlands to preserve marsh birds in the Great Lakes have been identified from a recent study. Researchers from the National Audubon Society, UW-Green Bay, and the National Resources Research Institute at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. These Wetlands are critical ecosystems that provide flood protection and filtering out pollutants. Source: WPR.
UW-Green Bay Senior Research Specialist Erin Giese and Prof. Bob Howe co-authored “Prioritizing coastal wetlands for marsh bird conservation in the U.S. Great Lakes.”It was recently published in Biological Conservation, Volume 249, Sept. 2020, 108708. Alumna Stephanie Beilke ’15, one of their former graduate students is also a co-author. See the abstract.
Prof. Robert Howe (NAS) and Erin Giese ’12 from the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity have been participating in the Great Lakes Coastal Wetland Monitoring Program for the past 10 years. A documentary recently made for this program, titled “Linking Land and Lakes: Protecting the Great Lakes’ Coastal Wetlands,” has just won an Emmy in the Photographer Non-News category. The documentary features how coastal wetlands help in keeping the Great Lakes healthy. You can watch the documentary online on PBS.
Prof. Howe is one of the principal investigators for the Great Lakes Coastal Monitoring Program, and Giese coordinates the field work for Prof. Howe’s crew. They have recently published an article in the Journal of Great Lakes Research on how Great Lakes coastal wetland bird and anuran communities vary across ever-changing water levels and geography in the bay of Green Bay using this project’s data set.
On behalf of Emeritus Professors Paul and Thea Sager and the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity, Prof. Bob Howe is pleased to announce the co-recipients of this year’s Sager Award for Excellence in Scientific Scholarship: Ruchita Patel and Brooke Breitrick, for their poster presentation entitled Evaluating Synergism Between Vitamin D and ω-3 Fatty Acids in Ovarian Cancer Cells. Their work, which was presented at the annual Wisconsin Posters in the Rotunda event, was supervised by Human Biology faculty Paul Mueller, Debra Pearson and Georgette Heyrman. The Sager award, officially named The Paul and Thea Sager Award for Excellence in Scientific Scholarship, is in memory of Edward W. Weidner. It provides a $1,000 award and recognition as the 12th recipient of this honor, which aims to promote undergraduate research in the sciences at UW-Green Bay.
Honorable mention for this year’s competition are LeeAnn Bellow and Jacob Harper (Chemistry), Natasha Clark (Biology), Natalie Gawron (Human Biology), Akanksha Gurtu (Environmental Science), Makenna Pucker, Olivia Claybrook, Kyle Deacy, and Jacalyn Crom (Biology), Claire Stuart (Biology/Environmental Science) and Norah Swenson (Biology).
Congratulations to all participants in undergraduate science research at UW-Green Bay during 2019-20, including CSET faculty judges for the Sager Award, faculty advisors, and campus leaders who continue to cultivate a rich environment for high-impact learning experiences like that recognized here.
A mini Heirloom Plant Sale is going to be held at Stone Silo Prairie Gardens, 2325 Oak Ridge Circle, De Pere, Wednesday, May 20 from Noon to 5 p.m. to benefit UW-Green Bay students. The annual event that supports student research and independent projects had to be moved off campus. Organizers hope you will attend and support the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity. See the plant list. More, at the Center for Biodiversity page. Once again, Prof. Steve Meyer will be selling salsa with proceeds going to the Katie Hemauer Scholarship.
Here’s a message from longtime organizer Vicki Medland:
“We know how many of you are missing the plant sale and we have a surprise! Volunteer Dorothy Summers grew over 500 tomato and pepper plants in her brand new greenhouse and will be selling them at at Stone Silo Prairie Nursery on Wednesday, May 20 from Noon to 5 p.m. or until they sell out. Lots of favorites available for our hard-core fans. Please come out and visit Vicki and Dorothy from a socially safe distance, of course.
We will be outside and will be selling contact-free. CASH ONLY and BRING YOUR OWN CONTAINERS. All money goes into the NAS Heirloom Plant Sale Fund. We usually raise enough money to support 8-12 research projects and internships each year. This year we hope to raise $1,000 to support at least one scholarship.
But that’s not all! Steve Meyer will be there with his world famous Heirloom Salsas. All salsa sales support the Scholarship.
And wait there is even more! We will not have flowers, you can select from a wide selection of beautiful native perennials for your flower gardens from Stone Silo while you are there.
Stone Silo Prairie Nursery is located in Depere, WI at 2325 Oak Ridge Circle. For info on their plants please visit http://www.stonesiloprairie.com/.”
Grants amounts vary, but are typically $1,000-$1,500. Funds may be used for supplies, equipment, or travel costs associated with an independent research project. Please, do not request funds for a stipend or hourly wage! Proposed research must be related to one of our UWGB natural areas, or another recognized natural area in Northeast Wisconsin and students will need to give a short presentation on completed research at a future symposium. Read more about the grant and to apply at http://www.uwgb.edu/biodiversity/education/cofrin-intro.asp.
BROWN COUNTY (WLUK) — A wetland area described as “a five-star hotel for migratory birds” will now be protected as part of a recent land purchase.The Northeast Wisconsin Land Trust on Earth Day announced its purchase of 73 acres in the Wequiock Creek Natural Area. The purchase adds to the 6,000 acres already preserved.”This land was slated to be residentially developed, so on Earth Day we feel incredibly excited and fortunate that it will now be permanently protected,” Deborah Nett, executive director of the Northeast Wisconsin Land Trust, said in a news release. Together with the Town of Scott and the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Cofrin Center for Biodiversity, the Land Trust plans to restore farm fields to native oak savanna and make other improvements. The land is set to officially open as the Wequiock Creek Natural Area on Sept. 12.