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Notes from 2420 Nicolet


Campus was activist magnet
  • Gordon Hempton
  • Eric Avildsen
  • Mary Sherwin
  • David Kriebel
  • David L. Freedman
  • Linda Raczek
  • Bruce Ballenger
  • Chris Stix

Environmental legacy still strong

Recent grad, local impact

Revered Elder
  Still working at 96, alumna
  helps save a rare language

Goo-goo for Google:
  Grad finds dream job
  in Europe

Eco U:
  A snapshot in time

  • Campaign pushes past
    $15 million
  • Throns' gift
  • Concerned hearts
  • Newest scholarships

Phoenix Hall of Fame

New: Bachelor of
Applied Studies

Phuture Phoenix

Faculty and staff news

...More campus news

[Alumni News]

Alumni news:

  • Indy 500 draws Powers

  • Blame it on the
    Bossa Nova

  • Distinguished alumni,
    rising stars

  • ES&P grad program and

    . . .More alumni news

Alumni Notes

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For complete issue, click: INSIDE – MAY 2007 (PDF)

Stories from the May 2007 Issue

Chancellor Bruce Shepard. Notes from 2420 Nicolet …

With energy, vision, we're still 'green' at UW-Green Bay

Dear Friends,

It’s a little like “bringing coal to Newcastle,” but a cleaner, more environmentally friendly metaphor would be “like putting the ‘green’ in UW-Green Bay.”

I’m referring to my trip next month to a national environmental summit where I’ll join hundreds of my counterparts in signing on to an initiative called the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment. A major development will be our pledge to target and ultimately neutralize greenhouse gas emissions on each of our campuses.

I’m excited about that initiative, but it’s the coalition’s second pledge — to educate the next generation of leaders in the areas of energy conservation and environmental awareness — that strikes me as “old hat,” a bit redundant for us here in Green Bay. We’re already there. Always have been.

At the time of the first Earth Day in 1970 I wasn’t around Green Bay. Home in California and completing my doctoral work in political science, however, I certainly heard of this pioneering campus riding the crest of the environmental movement. “Eco U,” the magazines called it, or “Survival U.”

Years later, I would develop a much deeper appreciation of just how far-reaching were the innovations of UWGB and founding chancellor Edward Weidner. The “Man and his Environment” theme grabbed the headlines but there were other, even more significant ways, UWGB challenged the higher education orthodoxy of the day.

By integrating disciplines into interdisciplinary “concentrations,” by offering liberal-education seminars and the January special-studies period, by emphasizing problem-solving and “communiversity,” the University helped re-shape the status quo. It’s interesting to note that many of the 1970s-era alumni interviewed for this magazine cite these innovations as being influential to this day.

In a sense, we’ve come full circle. Recycling, once radical, is now mainstream, as are other environmental advances. As new concerns emerge, I tend to agree with UW-Green Bay alumnus and Clemson Prof. David Freedman, who sees the enthusiasm of his generation recycled in today’s activists rallying for awareness of “carbon footprints.”

He and the other 1970s grads can be proud. With an energy-conservation showplace in Mary Ann Cofrin Hall; student support for sustainability, green energy and our new Master Plan; a directive from the governor that UW-Green Bay will pilot new strategies for achieving energy independence… their University remains at the forefront.

Thank you all for your support of this University, its time-honored commitment to sustainability and environmental awareness, and its focus on connecting learning to life. Enjoy this Inside.

[Bruce Shepard signature]

Bruce Shepard


‘Eco U’ a magnet for activists, big ideas

It was an electric place at the dawn of the 1970s.

A story in Newsweek magazine labeled the school “Ecology U.” The New York Times, Harper’s magazine and others showered praise on the concept of America’s first environmental university, a place where every day would be Earth Day.

“It was amazing,” recalls David L. Freedman, today a distinguished environmental professor at Clemson University, then a teen from Massachusetts who wanted to make a difference. “Students from all over the country were coming to the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. It was like an elite private school.”

In truth, UW-Green Bay’s focus on pollution was but a single element of its broader “Man and the Environment” theme, but the first Earth Day in April 1970 symbolized the passion of the times.

Photo: Gordon Hempton. Gordon Hempton
Came from: Potomac, Md.
Why: “UWGB’s environmental program. It was the ground floor of a new experiment, a new vocabulary, an innovative way of thinking... A real strong attraction for me was the independent-study aspect there. I knew I wanted control of my education.”
First impressions: “Dr. John Reed was an amazing teacher. Plant anatomy. He found a way of turning a plant body into a real living being. I also remember the interdisciplinary seminars at UWGB. One with David Damkoehler (environmental design) opened windows on how to approach problems.”
Lasting impressions: “I am one of the few acoustic ecologists in the world. Certainly, UWGB was a major contributor to what I am doing today.”
DEGREE: Population Dynamics, 1976

Today, his quest for the pristine solitude of absolute wilderness — where he captures the purest sounds of nature — takes him far from his alma mater. At least three times around the globe, in fact.

“Gordy Hempton, of all of us,” says college buddy Eric Avildsen, “probably got the closest to many of our dreams.”

A self-described “acoustic ecologist,” with 60 albums and an Emmy Award to his credit, Hempton is the Green Bay grad with arguably the most enduring commitment to the 1970s-brand of activism that defined “Eco U.”

He is now a recognizable brand name himself: The Sound Tracker®. His work was nationally celebrated in the 1990s documentary “Vanishing Dawn Chorus.” A PBS crew followed him to the Australian outback and the Brazilian rain forest, places where it is still possible to audiotape earth’s tones without the intrusive hum of civilization, distant roads and airplane overflights.

“The extinction rate for quiet places vastly exceeds that for living species,” Hempton likes to say.

He claims most people today will never know a true wilderness experience, no matter how far they backpack: “I have recorded sounds from more than 20 miles away. And a single jet can obliterate (the experience).”

Nevertheless, Hempton dutifully stalks the sounds of wildlife and wild places. He selects a likely spot for his companion, Fritz, a mannequin-like head with ultra-sensitive, binaural microphones to replicate human hearing. Once the taping begins, he stealthily retreats to a distance to let nature take over.

His “portraits of sound” have been compared to the tradition of classic landscape photographers including Ansel Adams, whose nature images captured undisturbed, timeless beauty.

For Hempton, authenticity is paramount. His high-quality environmental CDs are a world apart from the faux nature tapes he says sometimes draw their “mountain streams” from gurgling bathroom fixtures, or “alpine breezes” from the whoosh of an elevator shaft.

His recording of loons returning to a wilderness lake at nightfall, to the accompaniment of distant frogs, toads and owls, required both luck and many days in remote northern Minnesota.

He’s on YouTube and i-Tunes, and sells tapes from SoundTracker.com. He also accepts commercial clients. Musicians, galleries, museums and media producers — Microsoft, Smithsonian, National Geographic, Discovery Channel and National Public Radio among them — all contract for professional audio.

It started in 1980, he says, with a cornfield epiphany. Driving back to grad school by way of backroads Iowa, he pulled over as a thunderstorm rolled past, got out to enjoy the warm rain... and listened. “It was a beautiful concert. I remember thinking, ‘How could I have become 27 years old and never truly listened?’”

He taught himself the basics of sophisticated, high-end recording, and never looked back.

“Sometimes I can’t stay in bed. It’s 4 o’clock and I’m anxious to work. There’s that old saying, ‘Find a job you love and you never have to work a day in your life.’ That’s how I feel.”

Pack the VW: 'Sound Tracker' takes case to D.C.
Photo: Gordon Hempton in front of VW van.True to his activist roots in the 1970s,
Gordon Hempton is aiming his ’64 VW camper on a cross-country, 106-day,
awareness-raising trek across America.
He left Washington state in April on a meandering route to visit media outlets and professional and political allies in support of his “One Square Inch of Silence” campaign. His goal is Washington, D.C., by early July, where “The Sound Tracker” plans to lobby the FAA, EPA and National Park Service for noise-pollution legislation and no-flight zones over selected ecological landscapes.
“One Square Inch” is what Hempton says is the quietest place in the United States, in the Hoh Rain Forest at Olympic National Park. He marked the spot on Earth Day 2005 with a small red stone. Insulate just that one-square inch of real estate from noise intrusion, Hempton argues, and hundreds of square miles of wilderness will benefit.
The stone — a gift from a local Quileute tribal elder — is symbolically riding along on Hempton’s trip. He plans to return it to Olympic this autumn. Supporters may track his progress at www.onesquareinch.org.

Photo: Eric Avildsen.Eric Avildsen
Came from: Manhattan
Why: “I went to prep school in New York City but took a year off and worked in Germany. I was on the flight back (and headed to Cornell University) when I opened a Harper’s magazine and read about UWGB... this new school for studying ‘Man and his Environment,’ and you could create your own concentration. When I got back, I immediately hitchhiked to Green Bay.”
First impressions: “What a surprise to find that there was no UW-Green Bay, to speak of. The library was under construction. I met with the admissions people on the Deckner campus and I thought ‘Whoa, what have I got myself into?’”
Lasting impressions: “People like David Kriebel, David Freedman, Margaret Nicholson, Gordie Hempton, Mike Conklin, Chris Stix, Jay Alexander, Bruce Ballenger, Mary Sherwin, Billy Marsh, Linda Raczek, Claudia Schmitt. And Prof. David Galaty, ‘an inspiration.’”
College life: “I have great memories. Some of us fixed up and lived in a farmhouse in Luxemburg that hadn’t been inhabited in about seven years. Rent was so cheap, like $50 a month. We had one working car between seven people.”
Degree: Personal concentration, 1976
Full circle: “Just last summer I watched Al Gore’s movie, An Inconvenient Truth. I remembered my studies in Green Bay and thought, ‘we talked about all of this in college.’ We discussed things like the danger of population growth, the impact on natural resources. We were developing hybrid vehicles 25 years ago. Friends built a digester, producing methane from cow waste. There was nothing in that movie that wasn’t taught at UWGB in 1972.”

Today— Eric Avildsen lives today in Burlington, Vt. He earned a law degree, post-UWGB, and is closing in on 20 years as executive director of Vermont Legal Aid. He oversees 35 other lawyers and 40 additional staffers giving low-income, disabled and elderly citizens affordable access to legal services.

“It keeps me busy, and I get to wear the white hat,” he says. “Not every lawyer has the opportunity to say that. I feel like I’ve done important and rewarding work.”

Photo: Bob Schott and Sharon Gutowski recycling paper.
The dawn of recycling

The new University of Wisconsin-Green Bay was a leader among local institutions in pushing recycling. The concept was novel enough that staff members Sharon Gutowski and Bob Schott posed for this early 1970s publicity photo, demonstrating the ease of paper recycling.

Photo: Mary Sherwin.Mary Sherwin
Came from: Rock Island, Ill.
Why: “I started at Oregon State in the zoology program. I read about UWGB in a Seventeen magazine listing of the top 10 innovative schools in the country. It probably fed into my passion about nature and the sciences.”
First impressions: “Exactly what I wanted, with concentrations like ‘Ecosystem Analysis,’ and studying the relationship between the environment and people. There was this very tight, but always evolving group of folks who were fun and exciting, many of whom had already done work for environmental causes. We all were very active with trying to make sure UWGB stayed true to what we had come there for — environmentalism, but also interdisciplinary and problem-solving. The campus was so raw and new, just barely out from under construction.”
Lasting impressions: “There were a lot of long conversations into the night about how to to make sure that the university, educationally and operationally, was true to its mission. That meant decent food in the vending machines and preventing a road plan as part of an expansion... the road eventually got built, but we made a statement about advocacy.”
Degree: Ecosystems Analysis, ’74

Today— Nearly 35 years after UWGB, Mary Sherwin remains oriented to social justice and community action.

She resides in Hartford, Conn., where she carries the title “pollution prevention coordinator” for her state’s Department of Environmental Protection. She writes grants and coordinates citizen education on pollution, climate change, household toxics and green cleaning. Her special project is the Hartford Neighborhood Environmental Project, cleaning up one of the nation’s poorest cities.

Following graduation, she worked for CCAG — a Ralph Nader activist organization — and completed three master’s degrees, in environmental advocacy at the University of Michigan, and public health and management at Yale.

“I think back to how personal one’s passion is in college. It comes alive again when you go through it with your own children,” Sherwin says. Hers, Liam, 22, and Fionna, 19, share a passion for social justice.

Photo: David Kriebel.David Kriebel
Came from: Philadelphia
Why: “Because it was ‘Eco-U!’ I was a high school eco-freak, and determined to devote my life to improving the planet and reducing human suffering. A friend of my parents had sent us the Harper’s magazine article because they knew of my interests.”
First impressions: “I came to visit in the summer when no one was around. I was let into one of the Bay Apartments, but it was completely empty except for a bed and bare mattress. I slept under my coat and ate out of the candy machines. When I came back again during the academic year, I met a bunch of the other crazy kids in the environmental groups, and I immediately took to them.”
Lasting impressions: “I met a group of highly motivated students and faculty (Dave Jowett was a favorite professor) who shared a common sense of purpose: showing how interdisciplinary education could tackle the complexities of the environmental crisis. The faculty were very supportive of whatever we wanted to do, and to their credit, generally got out of the way when we made a coherent argument about how we thought our education should be organized.”
College life: “We fought unsuccessfully against a major campus expansion into what was then still part of the golf course. We organized demonstrations, marches, and finally a sit-in in Chancellor Weidner’s office… I helped organize the Union of Young Environmentalists, a pretty radical group… We lobbied the state legislature for a special designation for UWGB as having an environmental mission... We also organized a national conference, inviting student activists from all over. Our group had an office way up on a top floor of the library. It was the major hangout, and we were there all hours of the day and night. The security staff was very tolerant.”
Degree: Biology, 1977

Today— David Kriebel, now a college professor and administrator himself at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, reflects with admiration on UWGB of the early 1970s, particularly Founding Chancellor Edward Weidner.

“He was a visionary, and quite courageous, to try such a bold idea for an entire campus,” says Kriebel. “I think in retrospect that the original vision may have over-reached, but I am glad that I was able to be a part of it.”

After UWGB, Kriebel worked with Dr. Barry Commoner, famed champion of the environmental activist movement, coordinating Commoner’s biology laboratories at Washington University in St. Louis and working on his 1980 Citizens Party campaign for president. Kriebel then discovered his professional passion and earned a master’s in physiology and a doctorate in epidemiology from Harvard. He won a Fulbright fellowship to Italy to study at one of the world’s premier cancer-prevention centers.

Today, Dave Kriebel is co-director of the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production. He specializes in the epidemiology of occupational injuries, cancer, and certain respiratory diseases; works to refine the use of quantitative exposure data in epidemiology; and to better advise decision-makers on health and environmental policy.

Photo: David L. Freedman.David L. Freedman
Came from: Worcester, Mass.
Why: “I wanted to make a difference, clean up the environment. At UWGB there was a top-to-bottom infusion of environmental issues… in writing classes, chemistry, physics. The curriculum was revolutionary.”
First impressions: “Not a lot of infrastructure there. What was there, we soon found out, was an incredible core of faculty members. And with no grad program, we got the benefit of small classes and research opportunities and access to the faculty.”
Lasting impressions: “We did a lot of ‘learning by doing.’ It was unthinkable that freshmen and sophomores could do such a thing, but with Prof. Tom Abeles we got NSF funding for an enormously ambitious project. We wanted to build a digester to turn dairy waste into methane… I remember going to see people in the agricultural engineering department at Madison, and they had absolutely no faith in our ability to pull it off… Well, we built it! And it worked.
Full circle: “So many of the things that seemed radical back then are now institutionalized.I am encouraged by the fact — there’s almost a sense of déjà vu — that the same energy that spawned the environmental movement and UWGB in the 1970s is growing up now around global warming. I hope the younger folks at UWGB today will look at their faculty, administration and curriculum with that same sense of, ‘How can we make a difference?’”
Degree: Science and Environmental Change, 1978

Today— David Freedman is a leading scholarly researcher on environmental issues familiar to current-day residents of Northeastern Wisconsin.

Topics include industrial chemicals in the environment — things like chlorinated solvents in groundwater and PCBs in freshwater sediment — and he is working to identify potential biological treatments. In other words, how fast can nature and its micro-organisms, either left alone or with a little help, clean up any damage?

Freedman says his choice of specialization wasn’t particularly influenced by college-age proximity to the Fox River and lower bay. “These chemicals are issues all over America,” he says, but adds, “I did get a lot of background, and learn the scientific fundamentals, at UWGB.”

Freedman went on to earn a master’s and doctorate in environmental engineering. He is a professor of environmental engineering and science at Clemson University, in South Carolina.

Photo: Cows.A Midwest answer to Mideast oil
At the height of the 1970s Mideast oil embargo, UW-Green Bay students including David Freedman researched a cow-powered alternative, and built an early, methane-producing digester at Bob Schott’s farm near campus.

Photo: Linda Raczek.Linda Raczek
Came from: Albuquerque, N.M.
Why: “I had a high school teacher who read about UWGB in Harper’s magazine. I believe they described it as ‘Survival U.’ She thought it would be the perfect school for me. I was an Earth Day activist.”
First impressions: “I remember a staff member saying, ‘This definitely isn’t Albuquerque.’ They were referring to the weather and the need for the tunnels. I loved Green Bay; I thought it really lived up to its name and promise. When I started in 1971, I found a large group of out-of-state ‘Eco-Freaks.’ I felt as though I found my own people.”
Lasting impressions: “I became an avid birder at UWGB. Bruce Ballenger really got me interested in birding and introduced me to my favorite spot, Mahon Creek. I now help organize an annual birding festival in the Four Corners region (near home in Cortez, Colo.).”
Degree: Ecosystems Analysis, 1977

Today— Linda Raczek is an attorney and award-winning author. Her book The Night the Grandfather Danced, about dance on the Ute Reservation, won the Western Heritage Award in 1995.

After graduating from UW-Green Bay she worked seasonal jobs for the National Park Service and Audubon Society, returning to Green Bay to volunteer as a Caucasian human shield for the uprising at the Alexian Brothers Novitiate. (A group known as the Menominee Warriors Society tried forcibly to reclaim the land once owned by the Menominee Nation.) There she learned about legal advocacy, pursuing a career in law and becoming a children’s advocate.

She worked for Legal Aid within the Ute Mountain Tribe as a children’s attorney, and when she left, was asked to be a foster parent to a little girl (Autumn Eyetoo) and a little boy (Josh Crazybull Hatch), now ages 28 and 22 and her adopted children.

Photo: Bruce Ballenger.Bruce Ballenger
Came from: Highland Park, Ill. (and one year at Drake University in Iowa)
Why: “After the first Earth Day (1970), about three or four very progressive institutions at the time were getting a lot of publicity — UC-Santa Cruz, Evergreen College in Washington, and UWGB. The word on the grapevine was that UWGB was just starting up with a ‘Man and the Environment’ theme, and was offering something truly exciting. It was a place to get in on the ground floor.”
First impressions: “It was the birth of the environmental movement, just an electric time. We had students from California, Missouri, Massachusetts, Illinois, a lot of New York folks, all coming together in Green Bay... The three buildings (that existed at the Shorewood site at that time) were not very impressive.... The open meadows and fields, the location on the bay, the beautiful trails, the setting for the Bay Apartments, those were incredibly impressive. I became environmental editor of the Fourth Estate (newspaper) and I remember bird watching was big, and we had a snowy owl spend the winter… The class “Principles of Ecology” was a favorite. We all idolized (Prof.) Keith White, a fine scientist and a passionate conservationist.”
Lasting impressions: “I recall two important projects. One was the Mobile Center for the Study of the Environment. Students wrote a Ford Foundation Grant to buy a mobile home, or van, and outfit it as a traveling classroom throughout the Fox River watershed. We weren’t really supervised by faculty, we were just college kids traveling around, visiting schools, putting “communiversity” into action… We had our field gear and testing equipment, and the kids and their teachers would put the waders on, too, and help us measure pollution in the streams… We always ended with a big assembly, and we’d pull out the guitar and sing ecology songs… Another major project involved Dave Kriebel, we tried to reach out to other campuses with a national organization, the Union of Young Environmentalists… the peak experience was going to Washington, D.C., meeting with the under-secretary of the Interior, and making an environmental case to stop the Alaska pipeline project. It was unsuccessful, of course, but it was important for the conservationist perspective to be part of the discussion.”
Full circle: “Part of being young is being deeply passionate. I’m quite proud that many of the things we advocated later became extremely popular, status quo, part of the mainstream. What should today’s students know about those days? One, you can make a difference. Second, there’s quite a history at UWGB. It was one of the most innovative experiments in higher education, and really something quite remarkable.”
Degree: Population Dynamics, 1974

Today— Bruce Ballenger, the author of six books, is a professor in the English department at Boise State University.

In the years after UWGB he stayed in full-tilt pursuit of his favorite cause. With a University of Michigan master’s degree in environmental communication, he launched a public relations career in environmental advocacy, serving, among others, the Northern Rockies Action Group based in Helena, Mont.

After time back East, where he earned a master’s and then a Ph.D. in composition and literature from the University of New Hampshire, he returned west, to Boise State. He teaches composition, composition theory and creative nonfiction.

Photo: Chris Stix.Chris Stix
Came from: Scarsdale, N.Y.
Why: “I was always interested in the environment and in high school had organized Earth Days. I heard about campus and made a visit.”
First impressions: “I loved the environmental courses. ‘Ecosystems Analysis’ focused on how species compete with each other, and how populations behave.
I learned a strong set of skills for problem-solving in that course.”
Lasting impressions: “It was a tremendously positive experience with exceptional access to faculty. There was a large group of people interested in the environment. Most of them lived at the Bay Apartments and cooked some meals together. Gordie Hempton and I were later roommates in a little cabin off the bay.”
College life: “I had a lot of fun. The winters were cold but I did a fair amount of cross-county skiing and winter camping.”
Degree: Individual Major — Environmental Values, 1976

Today— When the Institutional Investor news service recognized its “All-America Research Team” in 2001, Chris Stix was an all-star selection.
The honor confirmed what Wall Street Journal readers and CNBC financial viewers and many others already knew: the Morgan Stanley analyst was among the nation’s top talents, a go-to specialist in the areas of data networking and Internet infrastructure.

Just a year later, he retired. Pursuing a personal health interest and an important cause, and already a board member, he increased his volunteer involvement with the Joslin Diabetes Center, located near his home in Weston, Mass. Joslin is affiliated with the Medical School at Harvard University, where Stix earned his MBA, with honors.

“I’d like to get back to my environmental roots and what I care most about,” he says. “I’m starting to explore but just haven’t found the right opportunity yet.”

Still a consultant and investor, Stix spends his home life with wife Michelle; twin boys, Eric and Jeffrey, and daughter Robyn.

Photo: David Freedman talking with Army Reserve officer.Landscape has changed, but environmental legacy still strong

David Freedman ’78 sees himself and early UW-Green Bay history in the small photo at left. That’s him in the checked shirt. Visible in the distance are the Bay Apartments (circa 1974) and little else. Also evident, if you know the story, is a bit about the student environmentalists themselves.

“That old black-and-white picture says a great deal about our resourcefulness,” Freedman says.

The college kids enlisted the help of the construction unit of the local Army Reserve to help with their manure-to-methane digester (page 7) at a farmyard on the edge of campus. Sgt. Batts and the Army Reserve, presumably for practice and public relations, agreed to excavate and install the holding tank needed for the project.

The photo, then, illustrates what early UWGB called “Communiversity” and today’s UW-Green Bay calls “Connecting learning to life.”

Decades later, the pattern repeats. Working independently and with new technology, another alumnus turned researcher, Prof. John Katers ’91 and ’93, worked with his students to pilot a more commercially viable manure-to-methane-to-electricity project, at Tinedale Farms near Wrightstown in 2002.

A single example, it’s a story repeated across UW-Green Bay today, where hands-on learning, problem-solving and student resourcefulness live on.

‘Sustainability’ is today’s environmentalism
• Gov. Jim Doyle has designated UW-Green Bay one of four campuses to pilot a program achieving energy-independence by 2011.
• A newly appointed Sustainability Committee is a fulcrum for campuswide action. See www.uwgb.edu/sustainablegb
• Mary Ann Cofrin Hall is a showcase for sustainable-design features including photovoltaic windows.
• UW-Green Bay is a signatory to the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment on campus greenhouse gas emissions.
• A new campus Master Plan is infused with student involvement and
attention to environmental and sustainability concerns.
• UW-Green Bay’s Cofrin Center for Biodiversity has grown as a unique educational resource for the study of the western Great Lakes region.
• Students arranged a full Earth Week schedule in April, and environmental projects were plentiful at the spring student-research symposium.

Photo: Jessie Fink.Recent grad, local impact
Jessie Fink ‘05 has had a big impact on a little waterway. A star graduate of UW-Green Bay’s master of science program in environmental science and policy, Fink devoted her master’s research to documenting runoff issues and water quality on Baird Creek near campus. Her work was critical to a private citizens group establishing a master plan for protecting and expanding the greenway. (Suburban development is encroaching on the once-rural picnic spot and natural area.) Fink was invited back to speak at the 2007 dinner of the Baird Creek Parkway Preservation Foundation. Today, she works for JJR, a nationally recognized engineering and architectural landscaping firm based in Madison; she was certified a specialist in energy/environmental design by the U.S. Green Building Council. Numerous other UW-Green Bay students and faculty have contributed to Baird Creek initiatives in recent years, and Steve Lambert of Green Bay, board president of the non-profit Preservation Foundation, is a 1977 graduate.

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