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Program Updates

Photo: Pictured from left to right: Marie Thoms, Don Schreiner, Chris Filstrup, River Benson

Marie Thoms joined Minnesota Sea Grant as the programís first full-time Public Relations and Communications Specialist in August. Marie ensures that Sea Grant's information is shared broadly in a timely and effective way. The Ohio native spent the last 13 years as the Communication and Web Manger at the Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks. She earned an MA in professional communication from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, a BS in biological sciences from Western Michigan University and a BS in natural resources and environmental communication from The Ohio State University. Along the way, she has worked in the newsroom of a daily paper, state natural resource and parks departments, and with the Environmental Protection Agency and the American Red Cross. Contact Marie at: methoms@d.umn.edu, (218-726-8710).

Don Schreiner, former Lake Superior Area Fisheries Manager for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, is mixing up retirement by volunteering as Minnesota Sea Grant's part-time Fisheries Extension Educator. Don is pursuing topics and answering questions on subjects including sustainable fisheries management, fish production and behavior, and safe seafood preparation. He has an MS in fisheries science with a minor in statistics from the University of Minnesota and a BS in zoology with minors in aerospace studies and botany from North Dakota State. Send Don your questions about fish via email (schr0941@d.umn.edu) or by leaving a message at Minnesota Sea Grant's office (218-726-6191).

Chris Filstrup is serving as Minnesota Sea Grant's Inland Lakes Specialist while conducting research at the University of Minnesota Duluth with Minnesota Sea Grant Director John Downing. Chris has a doctoral degree from Baylor University and a BS from the University of Texas at Austin. His expertise is on phytoplankton, hazardous algae blooms and lake eutrophication and modeling. Chris is available to answer your questions on these and related topics via email (filstrup@d.umn.edu). You can leave a message for Chris at Minnesota Sea Grant's office (218-726-6191).

River Benson, baby, joined the Minnesota Sea Grant family on September 29. She is the second child of Communications Designer Chris Benson.

Elizabeth Alexson, research assistant at the University of Minnesota Duluth's Natural Resources Research Institute, received The Lake Superior Chapter of Muskies, Inc./Minnesota Sea Grant scholarship of $1,000. Alexson earned both this scholarship and a master's degree in water resources science from the University of Minnesota Duluth in July for revealing aspects of the St. Louis River Estuary's environmental history through sediment cores. Alexson says the money will go toward her student loans.

Trevor Keyler, Ph.D. candidate at the University of Minnesota Duluth and former Minnesota Sea Grant graduate research assistant, received the Best Student Paper Award at the Minnesota Chapter of the American Fisheries Society annual meeting for his talk Visual Sensitivity of Walleye (Sander vitreus): A Comparison of Freshwater Fishes. Minnesota Sea Grant sponsors this award but is not involved with its judging.

NOAA Sea Grant awarded $19,000 to Minnesota Sea Grant and the University of Minnesota Extension to conduct a workshop to prioritize strategies for raising fish such as salmon, walleye and tilapia and shellfish in Minnesota. The workshop is expected to take place in Duluth, Minnesota, in 2017. Contact Don Schreiner (schr0941@d.umn.edu) for workshop details.

Many thanks to our summer interns and student workers for their hard work and good cheer!

  • Summer Harris, Communications Assistant

  • Annika Whitcomb, Communications Assistant

  • Angela Moynan, Publications Assistant

  • Andrew Frank, Office Support

  • Emily Fleissner, Aquatic Invasive Species Intern

  • Claire Freesmeier, Aquatic Invasive Species Intern

  • Tyler Untiedt, Aquatic Invasive Species Intern


By Sea Grant Staff
December 2016

Return to December 2016 Seiche



This page last modified on March 23, 2017     © 1996 – 2017 Regents of the University of Minnesota     The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.
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