University collaboration helps connect U.P. resources, communities and residents

New MSU Extension educator based at LSSU campus.

Elliot Nelson, a Michigan Sea Grant Extension educator will be based in Sault Ste. Marie on the LSSU campus and will provide education and outreach programming.

Elliot Nelson, a Michigan Sea Grant Extension educator will be based in Sault Ste. Marie on the LSSU campus and will provide education and outreach programming.

Michigan State University and Lake Superior State University are pleased to announce a new Extension-based collaboration to engage with Michigan’s Eastern Upper Peninsula. Through this new partnership, LSSU will host an Extension educator to help connect MSU and LSSU resources with the communities and residents of the Eastern U.P.

“We are extremely pleased to partner with MSU to bring Michigan Sea Grant Extension to LSSU and the Eastern U.P.,” said Thomas Pleger, LSSU president. “LSSU has a long history of research and education focused on fresh water resources and the Great Lakes. This new partnership will allow us to better serve the region in partnership with MSU, Michigan’s Land Grant Institution. Both LSSU and MSU share a commitment to outreach and enhancing the region through life-long learning.”

Elliot Nelson, a Michigan Sea Grant Extension educator will be based in Sault Ste. Marie on the LSSU campus and will provide education and outreach programming related to commercial, tribal, and aquaculture fisheries; coastal community development, including tourism and Great Lakes commerce; water quality; and coastal ecosystems.

“Partnerships like this one between LSSU and MSU Extension provide opportunities to build communities that make Michigan strong, prosperous and a great place to live,” said Jeff Dwyer, director of MSU Extension. “Having Elliot integrated into the LSSU community gives us a chance to expand our reach in the Eastern Upper Peninsula and allows us to learn from each other as we work on those opportunities.”

Nelson grew up in the U.P. town of Cedarville, is a certified science teacher, has served as a Science Olympiad coach and taught at Grand River Preparatory High School in Grand Rapids. As project coordinator for the Little Traverse Conservancy, Nelson helped local government, business groups and land conservancies organize and create a development plan for a birding trail. As a research assistant at the University of Michigan Water Center, he participated in a grant-based program to categorize and connect water quality research across the state. Working with the Tipp of the Mitt Watershed Council, he was part of a group developing a watershed management plan.

Nelson earned a bachelor of science degree from MSU and a master’s of science at UM. His focus has been on natural resources and environment behavior; education and communications; and conservation ecology.

“Our partnership with LSSU and Elliot’s new position will strengthen and broaden our relationship with our Great Lakes coastal communities and related industries enhancing, through meaningful partnerships with all, the region’s economic, social and ecological well-being,” said Dr. William Taylor, associate director of the Michigan Sea Grant College Program. “Michigan Sea Grant looks forward to a long, successful collaboration with LSSU.”

Michigan Sea Grant College Program helps foster economic growth and protect Michigan’s coastal Great Lakes resources through education, research and outreach. A collaborative effort between U-M and MSU, Michigan Sea Grant is part of NOAA’s National Sea Grant network of 33 university-based programs.

“I have already felt so welcomed by the LSSU faculty and staff,” Nelson said. “Their excitement and commitment to education and research is an inspiration and will make working with LSSU a real joy.”

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