Program and People News
New AIS Fighters on Staff
Wisconsin Sea Grant is reinforcing its ranks of AIS fighters through two new hires. Tim Campbell will be working as an aquatic invasive species outreach specialist for Wisconsin Sea Grant starting in May. Erik Rollefson will be the new watercraft inspector coordinator. For both, partnerships and collaboration will be a big part of the job. Although based in Manitowoc, the pair will cover both of Wisconsin’s Great Lakes coasts working with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and also promoting and expanding the role of citizen monitoring groups.
In particular, Campbell will develop and distribute communication pieces and tools to reach varied audiences. A final set of duties involves coordination with enforcement staff to promote AIS-law compliance.
Campbell has a master’s degree in Biology from the Oakland University in Rochester, Mich. He also has experience doing research on aquatic invasive species, including Chinese mystery snails, round gobies and rusty crayfish.
“Research and outreach are both things I have always been interested in, so the chance to join a program like Wisconsin Sea Grant that does both so well is a great opportunity,” Campbell said. “I have always felt that if people were better educated on issues relating to AIS they would be more than willing to do their part to protect the resources they enjoy using.”
Rollefson’s specific role is coordination of the activities and training of the Lakes Michigan and Superior boat inspectors. Rollefson will also coordinate the boat ramp locations for the other conservation programs that have boat inspectors in the Great Lakes counties, and will work with DNR wardens to post AIS prevention signs at boat access points. He has degrees in Geography and Biology, with an emphasis on ecology, from the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater.
Rollefson said, “Being from Wisconsin, I am very passionate about the natural resources of our state, particularly our water resources. I grew up in Oconomowoc and have always had an affinity for water recreation and fishing. Since childhood, I have seen the spread of many exotic invasive species to our inland waters with the zebra mussel being a prime example.”
“Tim and Erik bring strong backgrounds in field work and the skill to convey scientific principles to Great Lakes users,” said Wisconsin Sea Grant’s Phil Moy, who will supervise the pair’s work.