Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 54.61
Liaison Daniela Beall
Submission Date March 3, 2022

STARS v2.2

University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
PRE-2: Points of Distinction

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete N/A Daniela Beall
Sustainability Coordinator
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name of the institution’s featured sustainability program, initiative, or accomplishment:
Sustainability Perspective General Education Program

A brief description of the institution’s featured program, initiative, or accomplishment:
Since 2014, one of UW-Green Bay's general education requirements for all undergraduate students has been to take a "sustainability perspective" course.

The sustainability perspective learning outcomes are:
• Think critically regarding the array and implications of alternative sustainability definitions.
• Discuss sustainability within the context of ethical decision-making on earth.
• Describe why actions to achieve sustainability are complex and contentious.
• Express how failure to achieve sustainability has implications for human survival and planetary life quality over time.
• Engage in informed judgments about sustainability and problems as socially responsible citizens

Which of the following impact areas does the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment most closely relate to?:

Website URL where more information about the accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
AC 2 - Learning Outcomes

A photograph or document associated with the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment:

Name of a second highlighted sustainability program/initiative/accomplishment:
Cofrin Center for Biodiversity

A brief description of the second program/initiative/accomplishment:
The Cofrin Center for Biodiversity (CCB) was established in 1999 to consolidate several successful University of Wisconsin-Green Bay (UWGB) activities associated with natural history, field biology, and biological conservation. Today, the CCB is affiliated with the Department of Natural and Applied Sciences in the College of Science, Engineering, and Technology (CSET). Elements of the program include 1) five natural areas, including the Cofrin Memorial Arboretum on the UWGB campus, 2) the Richter Museum of Natural History, 3) the Gary A. Fewless Herbarium, and 4) an array of educational opportunities for UWGB undergraduate and graduate students, including graduate assistantships, student research grants, conservation-related work experiences, and maintenance of outdoor laboratories. These opportunities have become integral features of the UWGB academic curriculum and have established a strong track record of guiding students toward successful professional careers. The CCB also partners with other academic researchers, government agencies, non-profit conservation organizations, private companies, K-12 educators, and community scientists to promote awareness and conservation of the western Great Lakes flora and fauna.

Despite limitations imposed by the pandemic, CCB staff and partners achieved many significant milestones during 2020-21. Highlights include:
• Ecological restoration at the Wequiock Creek Natural Area began in earnest during 2020- 2021. CCB (in collaboration with UWGB faculty members Dr. Amy Wolf and Dr. Karen Stahlheber and the Northeast Wisconsin Land Trust) received two major grants, one from Fox River Natural Resource Trustee Council (NRDA) and the second from the US Fish and Wildlife Service Coastal Program. The NRDA grant will be used to manage invasive species and restore native shrubs and understory plants in the floodplain, while the second will be used to restore shallow wetlands and establish Midwest oak savanna in 36 acres of uplands adjacent to the riparian corridor. The US Fish and Wildlife Service, led by biologist Gary VanVreede, contributed critical expertise and funding for the wetland restoration component of this project.
• The Wequiock Creek project also has cultivated a growing collaboration with the UW- Green Bay First Nations Studies program, local tribal leaders, and the UW Sea Grant Program’s Green Bay office, led by Julia Noordyk. CCB funding supported research during summer 2021 by Stephanie Dodge, the First Nations program’s first PhD student, mentored by Dr. J.P. Leary. The Wequiock project has great potential for developing educational awareness of this area’s cultural heritage. CCB is also working with Dr. David Overstreet and the Office of the State Archaeologist to ensure compliance of restoration efforts and to develop an effective plan for education and outreach at the site.
• Under the leadership of Bobbie Webster and academic staff partners Paul Baumgart and Lynn Terrien, the ambitious East Shore Watershed Plan was completed and submitted to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for review. Revisions are being completed during October 2021, and the final version will be sent to the US Environmental Protection Agency during fall 2021.
• Wolf and Howe, in collaboration with Giese, graduate students Jacob Woulf and Brandon Byrne, and a host of partners from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Wisconsin DNR, and USDA Wildlife Services initiated a UW Sea Grant funded study of piscivorous (fish- eating) birds in lower Green Bay during early summer 2021. The first year of this research was highly successful, thanks significantly to expert help from Dr. Brian Dorr from Mississippi State University, who is now a full partner on the project. A “spinoff” of this project, we also are working with private companies Cellcom, Aexonis, and Miromico on developing an inexpensive bird tracking system using LoRaWAN technology.
• Webster, LaPlant, and student assistants have successfully restored native sedge meadow in a 10-acre parcel along Wequiock Creek within the Point au Sable Nature Reserve. Funding was provided by a grant from the US Fish and Wildlife Service and Wisconsin DNR associated with the Wequiock Creek Natural Area acquisition.
• A Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant in collaboration with Door County Soil and Water has supported invasive species management at the Toft Point Natural Area by the CCB natural areas field crew and NES Ecological Services during 2021.
• Planning for replacement of 3 bridges in the Cofrin Arboretum was completed during summer 2021, funded by generous gifts from The 1923 Fund and the David L. and Rita E. Nelson Family Fund. Construction is scheduled for late fall 2021, with a planned completion date in March 2022.
• The administrative structure of the Friends of Toft Point has undergone a change to align the organization’s work more closely with the University. UWGB Foundation President Tony Werner, Chancellor Alexander, and the Chancellor’s Chief of Staff Ben Joniaux have worked with Jim Cauley, Nick Anderson, Charlotte Lukes, and the FOTP Board to design a formal agreement to continue the excellent contributions of this Friends group, providing a model for other local groups associated with UWGB natural areas.
• Graduate intern Andrew Bowker has worked with CCB staff on developing a plan to create a UW System field station at the UWGB Kingfisher Farm property. Meetings are continuing with partners from UW- Milwaukee and the UW System’s Freshwater Collaborative of Wisconsin.
• Herbarium Curator Keir Wefferling attended a 6-week course for developing strategic plans for biodiversity collections. Keir Wefferling, Richter Museum Curator Dan Meinhardt, and Erin Giese developed a draft plan for engaging faculty and others in management of the CCB collections.
• Howe, Giese, Wefferling, and Dean Katers submitted a successful proposal to the Microsoft Azure Compute Grant program: “Delivering Regional Biodiversity Resources through Microsoft Azure”. The grant will provide software credits to develop cloud- based storage and infrastructure for CCB biodiversity data, and, in collaboration with Iftekhar Anam (Computer Science), Wefferling is applying machine learning to herbarium data exploration.
• Richter Museum Curator Dan Meinhardt supervised several internships and Master’s degree projects involving the collections. Michael Pietraszek developed educational “kits” on natural history for K-12 educators; Tiffany Paalman completed an undergraduate design internship on museum exhibits and displays, including a display on pollinators for the new UWGB/Brown County STEM Innovation Center; and Nicholas Reed started a Master’s internship on the Richter Museum fish collections.
• CCB resources continue to be an important part of the UW-Green Bay curriculum. Richter Museum and Fewless Herbarium collections are use extensively by not only Biology Department courses, but also by courses in art and design. The Cofrin Arboretum and Point au Sable Natural Area are important “outdoor laboratories” for courses in biology, environmental sciences, art, and even poetry.
• Erin Giese serves on the UW-Green Bay Council on Inclusivity, Diversity, and Equity, and Bobbie Webster was member of the Martin Luther King Day celebration committee. CCB staff have shown a commitment to recruiting and hiring practices that promote opportunities for underrepresented groups and cultivate a welcoming environment for all people.
• CCB staff participated in a workshop with web developer Lolar Moua of the UWGB Information Technology Department to learn skills for updating the CCB web pages. Transition of web pages to the new campus platform is underway.
• We have partnered with the Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory and web designer Jennifer Davis to revise and modernize the Birder Certification Online web site. This unique resource is used widely to train field observers and to provide validation of bird identification skills for participants in field research projects.
• EPA funding for the Great Lakes Coastal Wetland Monitoring Program has been renewed for five years (2021-2025). The CCB (through Giese and Howe) has been a leader in the bird and anuran (frogs/toads) component of this collaborative project since its beginning in 2011, along with scientists from 16 other universities and agencies.
• Howe and Giese contributed significantly to two chapters on bioindicators for the upcoming revision of the bi-national State of the Great Lakes report, scheduled for release in 2022.
• CCB staff have contributed their time to numerous community organizations and outreach activities. Among the most visible of these commitments, Erin Giese was elected to the prestigious Board of Directors of the National Audubon Society. Bobbie Webster serves on the Land and Water Conservation Board of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection.
• Curator Dan Meinhardt hosted numerous tours of the Richter Museum for educational and community groups. He also presented public education talks to UW-Green Bay’s Lifelong Learning Program, the Bay Area Bird Club, and other organizations and groups.
• Erin Giese has cultivated a growing collaboration between the Oneida Nation, Northeastern Wisconsin Audubon Society, and UWGB’s student Audubon chapter. Giese and UWGB students have formed a team to monitor birds in this highly successful grassland/wetland restoration project on the Oneida Nation west of Green Bay.
• CCB researchers (including students) and UWGB Biology Professor Amy Wolf continued to study the federally endangered Piping Plover at the Cat Island Restoration Site in lower Green Bay, with funding from the US Fish and Wildlife Service. CCB graduate assistant Demetri Lafkas will be completing his Master’s thesis on the Cat Island population during fall 2021.

Which impact areas does the second program/initiative/accomplishment most closely relate to?:

Website URL where more information about the second program/initiative/accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the second program/initiative/accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
OP 10 Biodiversity

A photograph or document associated with the second program/initiative/accomplishment:
Name of a third highlighted program/initiative/accomplishment:

A brief description of the third program/initiative/accomplishment:

Which impact areas does the third program/initiative/accomplishment most closely relate to?:

Website URL where more information about the third program/initiative/accomplishment may be found:

STARS credit in which the third program/initiative/accomplishment is reported (if applicable):

A photograph or document associated with the third program/initiative/accomplishment:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.