Monday, November 11, 2013

Loving life at the GLC

Greetings! Its hard to believe I am in my fifth month here at the Commission.  I am lucky enough to be a 2013 Great Lakes Commission Fellow.  You notice I don’t say THE GLC Fellow. This year the Commission decided to take on not one but two fellows! The other fellow is from the state of New York and just finished law school.  We get along really well and are having a great time working together at the Commission. 

Things have been crazy since I began in June.  My time is divided between 4 main projects; the Great Lakes Phragmites Collaborative,  a Great Lakes Restoration Database website, a nutrient credit trading program and a coastal science strategy project.   For the purpose of this post I’ll just focus on the nutrient credit trading program or “Fox P Trade”.  The goal of this project is to develop a trading program in the Lower Fox River watershed, which is the main tributary to Green Bay.  The Lower Fox River and Green Bay have a large nutrient management problem. This project started just a few months before the beginning of my fellowship, so I have been able to help get the project up and running which has been a great learning experience.  My involvement with the project includes organizing and running various meetings and related webinars in addition to helping finalize the work plan.  We work with a wide range of stakeholders on this project to make sure everyone’s voice is represented.  These stakeholders include: Wisconsin DNR, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Oneida nation, and local wastewater treatment facilities among others.  In the upcoming months we will be finalizing a request for proposals and a potential scope of work for a study to determine the economic feasibility of nutrient trading in the Lower Fox. 

In September I traveled with several Commission staff to Milwaukee for Great Lakes Week.  This was an amazing networking opportunity and a chance to learn more about issues affecting the Great Lakes.  It was great to meet all of the Commissioners and discuss the specific problems facing each of their states and provinces.  The conference had also organized some really cool field trips.  I got to go paddleboarding in the Milwaukee Harbor with some of my colleagues where we learned about the local sturgeon population.  Overall it was a fantastic experience!

I'm really looking forward to the rest of my time here and I'll let you all know how it goes! 


Great Lakes Commission Fellow
(6/2013 – 6/2014)

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