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Staff Updates

Left to Right: Peter Thibault, Megan Bock, Rain Benson

Peter Thibault, fiscal officer, joined the University of Minnesota Sea Grant Program this summer. Peter has a B.S. in accounting from the Minnesota School of Business and will provide fiscal oversight of Minnesota Sea Grant's awards and operations.

Megan Bock, front office specialist, joined the University of Minnesota Sea Grant Program as a staff member this summer. Formerly a student worker for the program, Megan provides administrative support. She earned a B.S. in psychology from the University of Minnesota Duluth.

Rain Benson, baby, joined the University of Minnesota Sea Grant Program family on August 12. He is the first son of MNSG communications designer Chris Benson.

Minnesota Sea Grant is cooperating on a three-year project with the University of Minnesota Duluth's Large Lakes Observatory (LLO) to better understand how Lake Superior is responding to the changing climate of the region. Researchers will collect and analyze physical, chemical, and biological data related to lake circulation and mixing to interpret biological processes. Minnesota Sea Grant will help with public outreach and communicating the results to specific audiences. The project is funded by the Environmental and Natural Resources Trust Fund managed by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources.

Minnesota Sea Grant and Minnesota Extension educators are creating an electronic version of the popular Northland NEMO Watershed Game thanks to a grant from Minnesota's Lake Superior Coastal Program, which is managed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The grant also provides funds for the team to create a K12 version. The project will be complete by the end of 2014.

The Weber Stream Restoration Initiative, of which Minnesota Sea Grant is a partner, won Minnesota's Environmental Initiative's "Partnership of the Year" award. The Weber Stream Restoration Initiative is a broad collaboration led by the University of Minnesota's Natural Resources Research Institute to improve the condition of the Lester-Amity watershed bordering Lake Superior. The partnership involves monitoring, modeling, community education, updating planning and zoning regulations, and stream restoration projects (www.lakesuperiorstreams.org/

Kelly Harrington, graduate student working with researcher Allen Mensinger, Professor in the Department of Biology, University of Minnesota Duluth, earned recognition for delivering the best student research at the American Fisheries Society Minnesota Chapter meeting. Her presentation title was Visual Sensitivities of Deepwater Lake Superior Fishes. Minnesota Sea Grant sponsored the $250 award, and is also supporting this line of research (www.seagrant.umn.edu/projects/research/foraging_success).

By Sea Grant Staff
September 2013

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