Giese joins the National Audubon Society’s national Board of Directors as a regional director

NEW YORK – The National Audubon Society welcomed Erin Giese, data manager at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s Cofrin Center for Biodiversity, and Rod Brown, a founding partner of Cascadia Law Group PLLC, to its national board of directors. The two newest members bring expertise in biodiversity and environmental law as well as proven leadership within the Audubon chapter network.

Erin Giese of northeastern Wisconsin is joining the national board as the regional director for the Mississippi Flyway North region. Since 2011, she has worked at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s Cofrin Center for

Erin Giese

Biodiversity on bird and wildlife-related projects throughout the Great Lakes region. She is currently president of the Northeastern Wisconsin Audubon Society and adviser to the Green Bay Audubon Student Conservation Chapter at UW-Green Bay, which was the first Audubon student chapter in the country. She is passionate about family, birds, nature, wildlife, conservation, and world travel. Giese is also striving to bring equity, diversity, and inclusion to the forefront of all aspects of her life.

See the full press release.

Green Bay Conservation Partners Spring Roundtable, April 21

The Green Bay Conservation Partners will host their 7th Annual Spring Roundtable on Wednesday, April 21 from 8:50–11:30 a.m. on Zoom. Partners will share information about restoration, monitoring, and other conservation projects around the region in the bay of Green Bay, Lower Fox River watershed, Green Bay’s West Shore, and Door Peninsula. Registration is free but required by April 19th to receive the connection information (media welcome).

The morning will feature invited speakers providing updates on the National Estuarine Research Reserve designation process and a conservation legislative update, as well as a series of 5-minute lightning talks and virtual student posters. Lightning talk highlights include restoring habitat for fish, cover cropping with indigenous corn, mapping trends in agricultural land management, and involving classrooms in environmental stewardship. With over 100 conservation leaders and experts in attendance, the Spring Roundtable is a great opportunity to learn about projects and research happening in the region and network with others working on conservation. If you have questions about the event, contact Amy Carrozzino-Lyon, UW-Green Bay, at or 920-465-5029.

Students receiving Cofrin Grants will showcase research Tuesday, March 30

On Tuesday afternoon, March 30, 2021, 10 students representing six academic programs will present their work funded by the Cofrin Student Grants Program, one of UW-Green Bay’s longest running and most successful extracurricular academic opportunities. Cofrin Grants support faculty/staff-mentored projects on UW-Green Bay natural areas, administered by the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity. This year’s Cofrin Student Research Symposium (the 31st) will be delivered online, accessed by clicking this link: Click here to join the meeting. (You also might need to download the free Microsoft Teams application.)

A schedule of presentations follows:

2:00 p.m.—Introduction (Dr. Robert Howe, Director, Cofrin Center for Biodiversity)

2:05 p.m.—Back to roots: mycorrhizal fungi associated with red pine (Jacob Pelegrin)

2:17 p.m.—Resident bats at the new Wequiock Creek Natural Area (Nicholas Boulanger)

2:30 p.m.—A Great Lakes children’s book (Jessica Cook and Eric VanRemortel)

2:42 p.m.—The cryptic gray treefrog species pair in UW-Green Bay natural areas (Max Chung)

2:55 p.m.—The natural world along the shoreline of the Point au Sable Nature Reserve (Collette LaRue)

3:07 p.m.—Freshwater gastropods of northeastern Wisconsin streams (Alicia Krause)

3:20 p.m.—Educating the public on the ecology of the Cofrin Memorial Arboretum (Olivia Salm)

3:32 p.m.—20th Century hunter-conservationists and public parks in NE Wisconsin (Nathan Knutson)

3:45 p.m.—Aquatic plants and root-associated fungi in the Cofrin Arboretum (Malynn Tarczewski)

4:00 p.m.—Heron and egret concentrations in lower Green Bay (Jarod Siekman-Verboort)

Students interested in applying for a Cofrin Grant in 2021 can learn about the program by seeing what the 2020 recipients have accomplished. The deadline for this year’s applications will be May 17, 2021; application instructions can be found here on the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity web site.

Please share this announcement with others who might be interested in attending this online event and supporting the 2020 Cofrin Student Grant recipients.


Oldest Ring-billed Gull on Record Discovered by Cleveland Birder | Audubon

Resighting live birds away from the colony, especially those with such tiny bands, is also difficult. “These small metal bands are best read in the hand,” says Erin Giese, senior research specialist at University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s Cofrin Center for Biodiversity. “The fact that [Slusarczyk] was able to resight the band was tremendous on its own.”

Source: Oldest Ring-billed Gull on Record Discovered by Cleveland Birder | Audubon

UW-Green Bay receives official ‘Bee City USA®’ designation

Bee City USA® has announced that the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has met the standards for certification as an official Bee Campus USA affiliate.

The application for certification was submitted by the UW-Green Bay Sustainability Committee chaired by Prof. David Voelker (Humanities and History). Voelker noted that “The Sustainability Committee greeted Professor Amy Wolf’s proposal that UWGB seek Bee Campus USA certification with excitement. We see this program as a wonderful opportunity to build on work that we are already doing, and we welcome the chance to collaborate with the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity, CSET faculty, and Facilities Management to promote pollinator-friendly habitat on our campus.” Amy Wolf is the Herbert Fik Johnson Professor of Natural Sciences and faculty member in UW-Green Bay’s Natural and Applied Sciences program.

Rusty Patched Bumble Bee
Rusty Patched Bumble Bee

In addition to 30 acres of planted native pollinator habitat, including the Keith White Prairie and Douglass Cofrin Arboretum Gateway, the open fields and woodlands of the Green Bay Campus support a wealth of pollinator species, including the federally endangered Rusty-patched Bumble Bee and at least two other at-risk native bee species.

See the US FWS fact sheet on the endangered Rusty Patched Bumble Bee.

Bees and other pollinators transfer pollen between flowers, enabling the Earth’s incredible diversity of plants to produce fruits and seeds. Pollinators are keystone species in essentially every ecosystem where they play a direct role in the reproduction of over 85 percent of all flowering plants and 67 percent of agricultural crops. In addition to the well-known honey bee (Apis mellifera), a species brought to the United States from Europe, more than 20,000 species of bees have been described globally, 3,600 of which occur in the United States. While bees are the most important pollinators, butterflies, moths, beetles, flies, wasps, bats, and hummingbirds also contribute to plant pollination.

Research has shown significant global declines in native pollinator population sizes and ranges; up to 40 percent of pollinator species on earth are currently at risk of extinction because of habitat loss, use of harmful pesticides, and climate change.

Thinking globally and acting locally, Bee Campus USA® provides a framework for communities to conserve native pollinators by increasing the abundance of native plants, providing nest sites, and reducing the use of pesticides. Bee Campus USA and Bee City USA are initiatives of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

Visit Bee City USA website to learn more about pollinators and the commitments that affiliates make to protect them.

Photos submitted by Prof. Amy Wolf


UW-Green Bay student awarded honorable mention for research collected for the Great Lakes Coastal Wetland Monitoring Program

At this week’s Wisconsin Wetlands Association Conference (Feb. 16-19), Cofrin Center for Biodiversity student, Britney Hirsch (’20), presented a poster entitled “Anuran occurrences in high and low water within the Lower Green Bay and Fox River AOC.” Her research poster won the Honorable Mention Award in the Student Poster Presentation competition at the conference. She presented results on anuran (frog/toad) data collected for the Great Lakes Coastal Wetland Monitoring Program, a project that Cofrin Center’s Robert Howe and Erin Giese have co-led with other institutions for the past decade. Hirsch was one of four students from the Cofrin Center who conducted anuran and bird surveys during the spring and summer of 2020.

Britney Hirsch
Britney Hirsch

Faculty/staff note: Biodiversity specialist Giese recently published new conservation strategy

Senior Research Specialist Erin Giese recently published a Landbird Habitat Conservation Strategy, along with many co-authors from around the United States. Giese is a Howe Team Coordinator for Great Lakes Coastal Wetland Monitoring, President of the Northeastern Wisconsin Audobon Society, and Advisor of the Green Bay Audobon Student Conservation Chapter. She is a member of the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity.

Read the document to learn more about conservation in the revised 2020 plan.


Cofrin Center for Biodiversity’s Erin Giese earns recognition for Snowy Owl Airport Rescue

Since the winter of 2017-2018, Cofrin Center for Biodiversity’s Erin Giese has helped co-lead Project SOAR (Snowy Owl Airport Rescue) whose mission is to capture and relocate Snowy Owls and other raptors from local airports where they pose as hazards. Giese co-leads the project with Janet Wissink (Winnebago Audubon) and Frank Ujazdowski (Wisconsin Falconers Association). In 2020 they earned the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology’s (WSO) Special Recognition Award, which recognizes the collective efforts of a far-reaching project or partnership that increases the public’s awareness and appreciation for birds, their habitats, or the need for conservation.

WSO Awards Chair Wendy Schultz met up with Project SOAR and gave them their awards at an outdoor pavilion while social distancing (in a non-pandemic year, awards would have been given at the WSO Convention). Erin and her collaborators Janet and Frank each gave acceptance speeches, which can be viewed at the very bottom of this page.

You can follow Project SOAR’s efforts on Facebook.

Photo courtesy of Wendy Schultz. Left to right: Erin Giese, Janet Wissink and Frank Ujazdowski.


Insight Publications | Nuturing nature

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.

Source: Insight Publications | Nuturing nature