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Seiche Reader Survey Results

Thanks to all of you who took time to complete the Seiche readership survey and to update your mailing addresses. We distributed 2,736 copies of the survey as part of the March newsletter, and also distributed the survey by e-mail to people who read the newsletter on our Web site.

We are pleased that most of you want to remain on the mailing list, and we appreciated all of the updated addresses you sent us. Twenty percent of respondents signed up for our Web option, which will help reduce newsletter production and mailing costs.

Almost 10 percent of you responded, rating the Seiche as a very good to excellent publication. Surveys were returned from all over the United States and Canada, and as far away as the Philippines. Most respondents (95%) think the detail provided in Seiche articles is "about right."

Most have read the newsletter between one and ten years, although about a third of you have been with us for the long haul 11 years or more. Most Web subscribers have been with us for less time, but that's not surprising since we only recently began offering that option.

Your favorite parts of the Seiche are the front-page feature articles, stories about exotic species and Sea Grant research projects. Information about new publications and products ranked fourth (except among Web users, who ranked it first along with feature stories), followed by "Did Ja Know?" facts, "Bow Watch" (the director's column), and staff news. Least popular are the former graduate student profiles ("Where Are They Now?"). Consequently, we will no longer include "Where Are They Now?" as a regular feature, although we may occasionally profile outstanding former graduate students who come to our attention.

The most notable differences between Seiche Web subscribers and hard copy readers are how they use the newsletter. Both hard copy and Web readers use the Seiche mainly for professional or personal interests. They also share articles with others and order publications. Not surprisingly, Web users are more likely to visit a Web site listed in the newsletter, contact Sea Grant staff members, or attend conferences and workshops mentioned in the Seiche.

Sea Grant apparently satisfies. Over 59 percent of you are "very satisfied" with the job Sea Grant does, and 33 percent are "satisfied," for a total of 92 percent.

The overwhelming consensus in the written comments is that we are doing a good job and should keep up the good work. Comments included:

  • I like the interesting things about the lake that aren’t available in any other publications.
  • Trained as an aquatic ecologist (salt water). I no longer work in the field. I count on "Seiche" for a regular "fix" of my former field. I read it as soon as I get it – cover to cover. It’s great.
  • Without a doubt the best newsletter I read. Informative, well-written and even a bit of whimsy at times. Keep up the good work!


You had suggestions for more articles about Lake Superior's fisheries, the physical features of the lake, and for information about the impacts ocean ships have on shorelines. We are fairly restricted in reporting results from only the research projects that Minnesota Sea Grant funds, but we'll do our best to accommodate your interests.

To update their writing skills and ensure we're bringing science stories to you in the best possible manner, our Seiche writers recently returned from a science writing workshop led by New York Times reporters.

Thank you for your encouraging comments, your loyal readership … and for helping shape the Seiche!


By Marie Zhuikov
September 2002

Return to September 2002 Seiche



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