Exploring Challenges Facing the Great Lakes: Deidre Peroff’s View

Anne Moser, senior special librarian for the Wisconsin Water Library, asked some of our Sea Grant staff members what the biggest challenges are facing the Great Lakes today. We are featuring their answers in a series of blog posts. This is the third post in the series. (Here are links toPost 1 and Post 2 if you missed them.)

One of the people she asked is Deidre Peroff, our social scientist stationed in Milwaukee. Deidre came to Wisconsin Sea Grant from North Carolina in 2016. Her academic roots are at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in geography, people and the environment. Eventually, Deidre moved to Boston, where she worked as a research assistant for the Harvard University Forest. That experience sparked her interest in social science research and her boss, noted conservationist Jim Levitt, encouraged her to pursue a master’s degree. That took her to Western Washington University where Deidre received her master’s in geography and eventually a Ph.D. in parks, recreation, and tourism management from North Carolina State University.

Here’s her answer to “What are the biggest challenges facing the Great Lakes today?” True to form, she also sees opportunities within those challenges.


• A lack of diversity among environmental organizations and access to jobs in water field

• Inequitable access to meaningful water experiences (to public swimming pools and lessons, recreational opportunities, etc.)

• Detrimental impacts from climate-related disasters (flooding, water level fluctuations, coastal storms) and water quality (lead and contaminants in drinking water, beach closures)


• Advancement of green infrastructure practices/initiatives to reduce stormwater runoff and prevent untreated pollutants from contaminating Great Lakes

• Funding opportunities to engage underserved youth in watershed education programming

This information and more can be found in Anne’s presentation, “The Great, Great Lakes: Challenges and Opportunities in the 21st Century.”

Anne is available to give the PowerPoint presentation to groups in Wisconsin who want to know more about the Great Lakes, and she’ll do it for FREE! If interested, you can contact Anne at akmoser@aqua.wisc.edu or by calling 608-262-3069.

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