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Bright Future

As long-time readers of the Seiche know, thereís been a cascade of changes at Minnesota Sea Grant over the past few years: new staff, retirements and a flow of students. Recently, itís seemed like those changes are accelerating, and not only for us. Two state Sea Grant directors (our Jeff Gunderson and Jeff Reutter of Ohio) and the National Sea Grant director, Leon Cammen, retired within weeks of each other last spring. And now, Minnesota Sea Grant is poised to welcome our seventh
director at the beginning of the year.

I canít help but reflect on these transitions and new beginnings. As long-time scientists and educators pursue their favorite activities during retirement, new folks are coming into our midst and bringing fresh ideas with them. It is for this new influx that I am truly excited.

Minnesota Sea Grantís 2015 students and interns

Left to right: Back row: Paul Teten, Ryan Strother, Nick Wahl, Russell Habermann; Middle row: May Yang, Allison Herreid; Front row: Angela Moynan, Emily Kolodge

This past summer, I was reminded again about the caliber of Minnesota Sea Grantís students and interns. We bid farewell to Paul Teten, our GreenCorps service member for the past year who is now attending graduate school at the University of California-Riverside. Russell Habermann and Emily Kolodge, who each worked at Minnesota Sea Grant for four years during their tenure as UMD undergraduates, left to seek their fortunes but not without leaving us a legacy that you can find in our newsletters and on our website. Emily joined the GreenCorps program and is currently working with Carlton County on recycling and waste reduction within their schools. Russell became an urban planner with the Arrowhead Regional Development Commission here in Duluth. Ryan Strother, our summer communications intern, returned to Dennison College in Ohio with comments about how his internship was the envy of his peers. Our three aquatic invasive species interns (Nick Wahl and Allison Herreid, seniors at St. Olaf College; May Yang, UMD graduate) did an outstanding job of carrying messages about preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species throughout the state. Additionally, we have many graduate students funded by Minnesota Sea Grant, including one whose work is detailed in the cover story of this issue of the Seiche.

When I think of these students as the well from which the future will draw,
I am confident that good work will continue and that weíll see new and exciting solutions to some of societyís pressing challenges. After all, weíve worked with this next generation of leaders to develop a "science-based understanding of the environment," to quote our vision statement.

Minnesota Sea Grant is excited to have new people on staff; Angela and Andrew, both students at UMD, have skillfully taken over front office duties. Weíre excited about our incoming director, Dr. John Downing, who will be joining us from Iowa State University. His distinguished research background in limnology, ecology, resource economics, and more, as well as his long history of involvement with Canadian institutions and strong connections to scientific societies will provide multiple new opportunities for Minnesota Sea Grant.

So, just as the phoenix rises from the ashes, from loss comes something new, and to me, thatís worth getting excited about!


By Jesse Schomberg
December 2015

Return to December 2015 Seiche



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