Alumna pursues career in agriculture, fights stereotype

Katie Werner ’13 (Public Administration and Environmental Planning and Policy), is not your stereotypical nutrient management planner. She has no farm background, and she is in a field typically dominated by males. However, that hasn’t stopped her in her role with the Country Visions Cooperative, a company in Reedsville that provides services to 14 counties in eastern Wisconsin. Read the full story in The Country Today

Stoll and class helps community keep their eyes on ethics

Kevin B ethics1
Kevin Borseth

The Ethics in Business Awards were held Nov. 9 at the KI Convention Center, downtown Green Bay. With about 700 people in attendance, UW-Green Bay and specifically Public and Environmental Affairs (PEA, Economics) faculty and students were recognized for their work as part of the “research team,” of which Prof. John Stoll (PEA) coordinates. The research team devotes countless hours in reviewing nomination forms of about 100 nominees. The students prepared a report to the award selection committee, an independent group of community members that chooses the recipients. Alumnus Kaitlyn (Gilles) Lindner ’11 (Environmental Policy and Planning and Public Administration) headed the selection committee, and Green Bay Women’s Basketball Head Coach Kevin Borseth, was the featured speaker. Alumnus Tom Hinz ’03 (Interdisciplinary Studies) served as the Ethics in Business Selection Committee Chair. The annual luncheon honors ethical business practices in Northeast Wisconsin.

EMBI collaborates with Alliance for the Great Lakes on two newly funded projects

The Environmental Management and Business Institute (EMBI) collaborated with the Alliance for the Great Lakes on two newly funded projects; Agricultural Outreach in the Lower Fox Basin and the Lower Fox Perennial Forage Project. To oversee the projects, a joint position was created in partnership with the Alliance for the Great Lakes and will be filled by newly hired alumna, Molly Meyers (Business Administration ’07 and Environmental Science & Policy ’14). The Agricultural Outreach project brings together groups of farmers, crop consultants and conservation professionals to build relationships and learn from each other about agricultural practices that improve soil health, water quality and farm profitability. The Perennial Forage project will highlight how perennial forages (alfalfa-grass mix plantings) are a win-win for agriculture and water quality. This Perennial Forage project provides technical assistance, cost sharing and outreach to increase the number of regional acres in perennial forage. In addition to the coordination of these projects in cooperation with grant principal investigators and collaborators, Meyers will develop and implement strategic outreach and demonstration activities aimed at building a bridge between agricultural stakeholders and other key sectors impacting and impacted by nutrient pollution in the basin. The addition of both grant projects add to the University’s research efforts currently directed towards nutrient reduction in the Lower Fox River basin and the bay of Green Bay.

UW-Green Bay and partners work on restoring lower Green Bay by seeding 20 acres of wild rice

“We left this bay [Green Bay] to enter the river [Fox River] that discharges into it; it is very beautiful at its Mouth, and flows gently; it is full of bustards, ducks, teal and other birds, attracted thither by the wild oats of which they are very fond.”

Midwest missionary and explorer Father Marquette describes the former abundance of wild rice that once filled Green Bay in the 17th century. Biologists, researchers and others from Ducks Unlimited and the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay continued efforts to restore lower Green Bay by reintroducing wild rice in the bay in early November.

They seeded 20 acres of wild rice into the lower Bay and Fox River area known as the Duck Creek Delta. The restoration efforts are being funded by a $225,000 federal grant awarded to UW-Green Bay and Ducks Unlimited in 2014 for “Cat Island and Duck Creek Delta Restoration: Restoring Green Bay Aquatic Vegetation and Avifauna.”

Wild rice has long nourished both people and wildlife. It benefits water quality, supports biodiversity, and provides habitat for many of the birds and fish important for recreation in Green Bay. However, erosion, pollution, and eutrophication at the mouth of the Fox River began degrading aquatic vegetation and animal life about 70 years ago.

As the Cat Island Chain was restored, it gave vegetation once native to the area a chance to grow again, however, not necessarily repopulate. That is where Ducks Unlimited and UWGB students and researchers come in. The wild rice reintroduction project began in January 2015 and appears largely successful. Three separate areas were seeded this year including the original tributaries. The areas were chosen based on the characteristics beneficial to wild rice establishment including appropriate sediment type, degree of protection and water flow. A minimum of five acres will be reseeded for five consecutive years in efforts to establish a viable population of wild rice.

The seeding process is unique. According to Brianna Kupsky, a master’s student and researcher in UW-Green Bay’s Environmental Science and Policy program, groups of three to four individuals travel to seeding locations by boat. They then seed about three acres of rice at a time completely by hand. Each three-acre area takes approximately one hour to seed. The wild rice is purchased from vendors in Wisconsin and Minnesota in September and October. However, seeding does not occur until the waterfowl are past migration (early November), as they may disrupt the process.

Kupsky says partners see restoration of lower Green Bay as a tremendous opportunity, and she believes UW-Green Bay should be a major player in that opportunity.

“Wild rice is a really charismatic species and often targeted for restoration,” said Kupsky. “If we can re-establish wild rice in the lower Bay, it will build immense interest and investment in the restoration. Restoration of the coastal wetland habitat in the lower Bay is not only important for intrinsic value and biodiversity, it’s also really important for our local economy in terms of recreation dollars, improved water quality, and the port of Green Bay.”

The lower Bay and Cat Island Chain restoration would not be possible without other agencies including the Fish and Wildlife Service, Army Corps of Engineers, Brown County Port Authority, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, The Nature Conservancy, UW Extension and UW-Sea Grant. See more on the Cat Island Restoration project.

Click to advance slideshow or view the album on Flickr.
Wild Rice Planting

– Photos by Dan Moore, Marketing and University Communication, story by editorial intern Amy Bauer.

Faculty note: Robinson, Fermanich

Patrick Robinson (adjunct faculty ES&P, UWEX, office in Biodiversity center) and Kevin Fermanich (NAS, Environmental Science and Geoscience) were invited speakers at the International Joint Commission’s (ILC) science roundtable — “Great Lakes Successes and Challenges: What is a Healthy Lake Michigan to You?” Tuesday, Oct. 18. Four of the international commissioners were in attendance.

Triple Major Named Outstanding University of Wisconsin–Green Bay Student for 2015-2016

Robert Frost wrote that “taking the road less travelled has made all the difference.” For UW-Green Bay graduate Pamela Parish, that meant transferring schools during the second semester of her freshman year and following in the footsteps of her older brother, sister and twin who were attending UW-Green Bay. Looking back, she deems it to have been one of the best decisions she has made in her life thus far.

Pamela Parish, Outstanding Student
Pamela Parish
2016 Outstanding Student

Parish is the the May 2016 recipient of the Outstanding Student Award presented by the UW-Green Bay Alumni Association. She accepted the award May 13 at a student award ceremony on campus.

Parish is receiving her bachelor of science and bachelor of arts degrees today with a 3.89 grade point average and summa cum laude, or highest honors, having completed majors in Political Science, Public Administration and Environmental Policy and Planning and a minor in Global Studies.

The Alumni Association, which has been designating a single Outstanding Student Award Recipient for each graduating class since 1976, recognized Parish for her undergraduate student success and as a volunteer in service to others and the community. She was nominated and selected from approximately 930 graduating seniors eligible to receive diplomas at May commencement.

At UW-Green Bay, Parish has been active in both academic and community service initiatives. She has maximized her opportunities as a student leader on campus, serving as co-vice president of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, a peer mentor for a freshman seminar class, and a teacher’s assistant. Parish was also active In the UW-Green Bay Student Government Association as a justice in the Student Court and organized both the student government debate and election.

Parish was one of a select group chosen to collaborate with Political Science faculty to work on creating a Political Science capstone course for future students. She was also chosen as the only student representative on the Political Science Faculty Search Committee. Additionally, her work on an honors in the major project looked at the connection between downtown Green Bay and the UW-Green Bay campus, giving her the opportunity to interview community leaders and report back valuable insights to inform the University’s long-term strategic plan.

In addition to the rigor of a triple major, Parish took advantage of internship opportunities with Northeast Wisconsin organizations to broaden her perspectives, learn from real-world professionals and apply her education. Roles at Downtown Green Bay, Inc. and the Green Bay Mayor’s Office were a significant part of her college transformation, developing her confidence as a leader. While in the Mayor’s office, Parish assisted with writing the 2016 State of the City Address with the Mayor and his Chief of Staff, and her internship with Downtown Green Bay has evolved into a program manager position on the staff, which will continue after graduation.

She has consistently received awards during her time on campus, including being named to the Dean’s list with Highest Honors for five consecutive semesters, being inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and being named as a recipient of this semester’s Chancellor’s Leadership Medallion Award.

In her spare time, Parish worked as a suite attendant at Lambeau Field on game days, volunteered at Red Smith Elementary School and supported the Love Your Melon program on campus.

Parish uses the following words to describe her UW-Green Bay educational experience: phenomenal, transforming, rewarding, amazing and life changing.

Meet top NAS students benefitting from expanded scholarship program

The best-of-the-best students in Natural and Applied Sciences programs were honored at an annual scholarship reception held Jan. 30. Twenty-five students were awarded a total of $31,150 in scholarships that nearly doubled last year’s total of $15,200. The scholarships recognized student achievement in academics, research, and overall excellence. The new scholarships introduced this year include the Todd and Julie Bartels Scholarship, the Chad Moritz and Beth Meyer Scholarship, and the Faith Technologies, Inc. Scholarship for Engineering Technology. (Next year, NAS will introduce five additional scholarships.) Students selected to receive awards are:
 Kristine Berry, Environmental Science major; Krystal Clark, Environmental Science; Matthew Malcore, Environmental Science and Environmental Policy and Planning; Ashley Morin, Biology; Molly Dederich, Mathematics; Christa Kananen, Geoscience; Angela Smet, Environmental Science major; Jessica Finger, Biology; Brianna Messner, Mathematics and Spanish; Michael Pietraszek, Biology; Roberta Reif, Biology; Jeremiah Shrovnal, Environmental Science; Gabriel Michaels, Mathematics; Tiffany Marshall, Pre-Professional Engineering Program; Hanne Guthrie, Environmental Science, Pre-Professional Engineering Program, and Spanish; Reed Heintzkill, Pre-Professional Engineering and Chemistry; Matthew Nichols, Individual Major (related to environmental engineering) and Chemistry; Caroline Nakanwagi, Chemistry; Jordan Marty, Biology; Christi Branham, Chemistry; Samuel Frisbie, Engineering Technology (Environmental) and Geoscience; Shannon Mackey, Environmental Science; Amanda Nothem, Chemistry; Michael Xie, Mathematics major. For more on each student and the scholarship received.

Good to GRO: We’ve got more on student’s $50K fellowship

We told you here recently about UW-Green Bay senior Robyn Nielsen, who is the University’s first-ever student to earn a $50,000 Greater Research Opportunities (GRO) Fellowship from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). As part of the award, the Environmental Policy and Planning and Environmental Science double-major receives $20,700 per year of academic support for two years, as well as $8,600 for an internship at an EPA facility. Our recent press release introduced Log readers to Nielsen, and our expanded feature story includes more about her background, motivations and plans for the future. Read story.