Lake Superior eco institute celebrates 3 years - Oct 24, 2013 - University News - UW-Superior News and Events

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Lake Superior eco institute celebrates 3 years

Posted on Oct 24, 2013
Lake Superior ecosystem institute NERR celebrates three years.
click to enlarge
Lake Superior eco institute celebrates 3 years

The Lake Superior NERR held a third year anniversary open house at the Fairlawn Mansion in Superior on Thursday Oct 24th.

Appetizers from Northern Waters Smokehaus were available, along with music provided by Michael Anderson. A brief program recognized the work of Bob Browne, former member of the Superior City Council and a supporter of the Lake Superior NERR.

The Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve (Lake Superior NERR) encompasses over 16,000 acres along the St. Louis River designated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to promote research, stewardship and education about our freshwater resources. The Reserve works in partnership to improve the understanding of Lake Superior freshwater estuaries and coastal resources and to address the issues affecting them through an integrated program of research, education, outreach, and stewardship.

In the first three years, the Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve has made strides in providing technical research and support on the St. Louis River, expanding public and K-12 education opportunities, and fostering opportunities for collaboration on issues affecting the freshwater estuary and Lake Superior.

A new laboratory and offices will soon be completed on Barkers Island, and plans for a public learning center there are also underway. A system of monitoring stations that collect data every 15 minutes on water quality in the river have also been established, along with a weather station and other tools to aid in the understanding of climate change.

Through NOAA grant programs, over $10,000 per year has been directed from the Reserve to the Superior School District in support of Lake Superior Watershed Education. The Reserve staff has grown from just one person to five full-time staff along with several part time staff and UW-Superior student interns.

Lake Superior NERR is also marking the arrival of new Reserve Manager, Erika Washburn. She comes to the University of Wisconsin-Extension from Michigan where she worked as a Coastal Conservation Planner with The Nature Conservancy. Prior to that, she worked as the Lakewide Management Plan Coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). She also has experience working for the Environmental Protection Agency and Great Lakes Historical Society.

Washburn conducted her doctoral research at the University of New Hampshire and has expertise in multi-disciplinary work and integrated, collaborative natural resource management. Her dissertation focused on land use decision making and participatory action research in coastal watersheds, for which she was awarded NOAA's Walter B. Jones Award for Excellence.

News Contact: Tom Hansen | 715-394-8260 | thansen7{atuws}
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