Thursday, April 22, 2010

40 Years of Wisconsin Sea Grant

From Anders Andren, Wisconsin Sea Grant Director:

Through the years, many people have asked, “What is ‘Sea Grant’?” The short answer is “sea” as in ocean and “grant” as in money—we provide grants for Wisconsin university research, outreach and education projects focused on addressing and resolving ocean, coastal and Great Lakes-related issues. Established by the National Sea Grant College and Program Act of 1966, Sea Grant was originally conceived to be the marine equivalent of our land-grant colleges and universities.

Wisconsin was the first Sea Grant program in the Great Lakes region and in 1972 it became the sixth program in the nation to achieve college status in recognition of “sustained excellence in research, education and public service dedicated to the wise use of America’s marine resources.”

Headquartered at the UW-Madison Graduate School’s Aquatic Sciences Center, UW Sea Grant today is part of a national network of 32 university-based programs funded through the National Sea Grant College Program, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, with matching contributions from participating states and the private sector.

Throughout the years, the Wisconsin Sea Grant program has invested in high priority Great Lakes research on such issues as fisheries management, water supply and quality, toxic contaminants risk assessment, fluctuating lake levels, coastal development, ecosystem dynamics, aquatic invasive species, freshwater aquaculture, seafood safety, and remote sensing and geographic information systems for real-time observations. The results of this research are shared with resource managers and the public through our integrated outreach program, which brings together the collective expertise of on-the-ground outreach and education specialists at UW-Green Bay, UW-Madison, UW-Manitowoc, UW-Milwaukee and UW-Superior. Our goal in doing so is to ensure vital research results are shared with those who need them most in ways that are timely, relevant and meaningful.

To honor this anniversary, Sea Grant has selected 40 major accomplishments to illustrate the breadth, depth and quality of Wisconsin’s Sea Grant history and legacy over the last 40 years. As director of the program, I know that I speak for our entire staff when I say we are extremely proud to have funded nearly $120 million worth of projects that have accomplished so much while providing financial support for 648 graduate students as well as hundreds of Wisconsin faculty and staff at 16 public and private universities and colleges and statewide UW Extension.

Read full text of report and the 40 accomplishments highlighted.