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Sea Grant and Lake Michigan
Sea Grant’s mission of research, education and public outreach naturally includes the waters of Lake Michigan. The considerable human presence around Lake Michigan brings special urgency for Sea Grant’s efforts to quantify and maintain water quality, as well as for our campaigns to promote cleaner and safer beaches. Find out how Sea Grant has supported these various initiatives in this podcast.
Related Topics
Coastal Communities | The Great Lakes | Habitats and Ecosystems | Maps |
Water Quality

Playlist for Sea Grant and Lake Michigan

  1. An Inconceivable Commerce and the Nearshore Shunt  (17:01) — 6/17/2013 [Download]
    UW Sea Grant audio specialist Chris Bocast starts off on a podcast road trip to visit Lake Michigan, and to discover the various research and outreach projects that UW Sea Grant supports. First stop is Whitefish Dunes State Park: on the way to the beach, a stroll through the reconstruction of a pre-settlement Indian encampment brings to mind aspects of the lake’s history, while the shore itself stirs thoughts about the challenges and changes facing Lake Michigan, which are detailed in a chat with UW Sea Grant director Jim Hurley.

  2. Maps and Apps  (18:34) — 6/28/2013 [Download]
    In this podcast, Chris heads to Potawatomi State Park on Green Bay. He finds out from UW-Madison graduate student Francis Eanes about a new iPhone application that Sea Grant is helping to develop, and how these kinds of neo-geography apps will completely reinvent how people can use and interact with mapping technology.

  3. Outreach, Islands and Waterfowl  (10:29) — 6/28/2013 [Download]
    In this episode, Chris heads to the Green Bay Wildlife Sanctuary to speak with UW Sea Grant Water Quality Specialist Vicky Harris. Vicky explains what outreach specialists like herself do and describes some of the many projects around Green Bay that she has worked on, and how they have helped the many communities around this part of Lake Michigan. Hear how Sea Grant has contributed to the return of both islands and waterfowl in the area as Chris and Vicky take a stroll through the sanctuary.

  4. Surfing the Midcoast  (20:47) — 7/2/2013 [Download]
    The series rolls into Sheboygan in this episode, as Chris seeks out the story of surfing on Lake Michigan, and gets the rundown from legendary surfers Larry “Longboard” Williams and Lee “the Waterflea” Williams. Along the way he and the dog run into some Sheboygan locals on the beach, who share some of their Midwestern spirit and sense of fun with him. Hear the beach at Sheboygan and the waves crash over South Pier as the Williams brothers share an amazing depth of knowledge about Lake Michigan and the rise of surf culture in Sheboygan.

  5. Beaches, Gulls and Bacteria  (20:14) — 7/19/2013 [Download]
    In this episode, Chris and his dog stop at Harrington Beach State Park, on the shores of Lake Michigan. Listening to the gulls at the beach and seeing the warning signs about bacteria and beach closings, Chris recalls an informative conversation he had with Dr. Sandra McLellan and a graduate student from her lab, Amber Koskey. They reveal the science and challenges behind monitoring bacteria at beaches – the process that helps determine whether beaches are safe for swimming. Their work is vital for the health and safety of everyone who enjoys swimming in Lake Michigan waters.

  6. Jobs for Dogs and Environmental Social Science  (13:13) — 8/12/2013 [Download]
    In this episode, Chris and Doggus head to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's School of Freshwater Sciences. Interesting things unfold outside, which call to mind unusual opportunities of employment for dogs, as well as some common sense things about feeding birds and owning dogs. Jane Harrison, an environmental social scientist working for Sea Grant, joins them for a walk and a chat about her work before Chris heads inside.

  7. Mussels and Food Webs  (12:52) — 8/12/2013 [Download]
    Chris enters the halls of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's School of Freshwater Sciences where he meets up with Professor Harvey Bootsma and his graduate student Caroline Boseley. They explain to Chris the dramatic changes happening to Lake Michigan's food web due to the arrival of invasive species, in particular the zebra mussel and the quagga mussel.

  8. Deep Dives, Hypoxia and Eddy Correlation  (18:48) — 8/16/2013 [Download]
    In this episode, Chris continues his discussions about Lake Michigan with scientists the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's School of Freshwater Sciences. Dr. J. Val Klump and his graduate student, Shelby LaBuhn, explain their ground-breaking attempt, using known techniques from atmospheric science that take advantage of the Doppler effect, to analyze changes in current velocities that can reveal changes in the underwater ecosystems of Lake Michigan. They also discuss numerous other phenomena affecting the lake, including the quagga mussel invasion and the hypoxia that can result in fish kills. Finally, Val talks about his unique experience being the first man to reach the very deepest part of Lake Michigan in a manned submersible.

  9. Reefs and Quarries, Streams and Fish  (21:32) — 8/16/2013 [Download]
    Chris wraps up his interviews at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's School of Freshwater Sciences in this episode, where he speaks at length with Dr. John Janssen. Along with sharing insights from his Sea Grant-sponsored work with lake trout and yellow perch, Janssen relates this research to a bigger picture about how Lake Michigan functions (“like a brewery”, according to Janssen) and how people perceive lakes and water in general. Janssen also explains the presence of reefs and quarries in and around the lake, and offers a simple solution to improve the water quality of Lake Michigan.

  10. Singing Sands and the Sturgeon Bowl  (15:58) — 9/6/2013 [Download]
    In this final podcast Chris and Doggus head once more for the shores of Lake Michigan. Things don’t quite turn out as planned – but before they get home, you will hear the famous singing sands of Lake Michigan from a very unusual perspective, and also find out how Sea Grant is sowing the seeds for future science. Sea Grant helps support the Lake Sturgeon Bowl, a regional academic competition sponsored by the National Ocean Sciences Bowl. Liz Sutton, a regional coordinator for the Sturgeon Bowl, is interviewed by Chris during an actual competition, and she explains how the Sturgeon Bowl works, and the many benefits it brings to students of freshwater science.