Program People News

Theresa Qualls hired as Wisconsin Clean Marina Program coordinator

Theresa Qualls is returning to her work roots as the Clean Marina Program coordinator for Wisconsin. Qualls, who has an undergraduate degree in zoology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a master’s degree from UW-Green Bay in environmental science and policy, worked for the program with former coordinator, Victoria Harris.

“We actually helped get the Clean Marina Program started,” said Qualls. “One of the big things I worked on was development of the program guidebook. I also was able to go on marina site visits. I always really liked this project – it’s a voluntary program. The marina operators like it and it’s good for the boaters, plus it’s good for the environment. It’s great to be back!”

The Clean Marina Program ( is designed to reduce pollution from marinas to protect Wisconsin’s waterways. To become certified, marinas adopt a list of best-management practices. Program staff conduct site visits to verify marina practices and provide training and technical support to marina and boatyard managers.

The program has certified 21 marinas since its start in 2009. With another three certifications pending and 14 more marinas interested in the program, Qualls will have plenty to do in her part-time position.

Her hire is thanks to a $200,000 grant from the Fund for Lake Michigan. Julia Noordyk, Wisconsin Sea Grant’s water quality and coastal communities outreach specialist and coordinator for this grant, said the funding allows for increased one-on-one support between the clean marina coordinator and marinas that are interested in the program.

Qualls plans to increase the number of marina certifications and recertifications. “I’ll also be updating the guidebook – there’s been new regulations and things have changed since I wrote it in 2012. And I’ll be coming up with more boater education programs and tip sheets for distribution at marinas,” Qualls said.

The Clean Marina Program is administered by Wisconsin Sea Grant in partnership with the Wisconsin Marine Association and the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program. Additional partners include the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources-Office of Great Waters, SmithGroup and the U.S. Coast Guard.

Interested in participating in the Clean Marina Program? You can contact Qualls at or (920) 465-5031.

Vintage Science Demonstrates Research Impacts

1988 was a very good year for Wisconsin Sea Grant-funded research papers. Project Assistant Molly Daniels surveyed 48 years’ worth of peer-reviewed journals – going back to 1970 – and identified 1988 as having the greatest number of citations: 1,857.

The popularity of one particular paper accounts for most of 1988’s good vintage. That was Thomas J. Miller and team’s seminal work on the larval size and recruitment mechanisms in fishes, published in the “Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences.” The paper promoted the idea of using the body size of larval fishes as a predictor of survival success – a measure useful to fisheries managers.

Miller et al.’s paper generated 876 citations. Coming in second with 687 citations was Adrian J. Hill and team’s 2005 paper on zebrafish as a model vertebrate for investigating chemical toxicity, published in “Toxicological Sciences.” Next was James F. Kitchell and colleagues’ 1977 paper on applications of a bioenergetics model to yellow perch and walleye, with 644 citations.

“The 15 most highly cited papers demonstrate the breadth of expertise that Wisconsin Sea Grant-funded researchers have contributed to their fields, particularly in the areas of fisheries, toxicology and contaminants, lake ecology and aquatic invasive species,” said Jennifer Hauxwell, Wisconsin Sea Grant’s research coordinator.

In total, since the 1970s, Sea Grant researchers published more than 930 papers, which have been cited over 33,850 times.

“It’s important for researchers to publish in peer-reviewed journals because it means their work is high quality,” Hauxwell said. “It also means that the world has access to the details of their studies in perpetuity, and it lays the foundation for the next set of scientific questions. Over time, researchers can build off the work that came before them as they continue to explore how our world works and functions.

“We are proud of the scientific legacy associated with over 900 published papers cited over 33,000 times in a wide array of scientific journals. It means our researchers are conducting top-notch work on a number of different topics and getting their work out there for others to use. That is the foundation of our mission,” Hauxwell said.

An archive of Sea Grant-funded journal articles is available on our website. To see the searchable list, visit


New education coordinator: Ginny Carlton

Ginny Carlton joined Wisconsin Sea Grant in March as the new part-time education outreach specialist. Carlton, who has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction and environmental resources from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will work out of the Sea Grant Office in Madison.

Carlton has a depth of experience in the educational field and will keep her other part-time job as a training coordinator for the UW-Madison Division of Extension. In that position, she oversees planning and development of a dozen online professional development courses offered through the Natural Resources Conservation Service. The courses are designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of conservation planners. She has also worked as an environmental education instructor for UW-Stevens Point and was on the staff of the Wisconsin Environmental Education Board.

“Ginny brings a wealth of experience together with a passion for environmental education to our program,” said David Hart, Wisconsin Sea Grant’s assistant director for extension. “We have a wide range of educational activities – from Grandparents University to collaborations with other Sea Grant programs on Great Lakes literacy. We are excited to have Ginny on board.”

Carlton, who fills the position vacated by Kathy Kline last year, will help with teacher training programs such as those aboard the schooner Denis Sullivan, and she will work closely on outreach programs with Wisconsin Water Librarian and Education Coordinator Anne Moser.

Carlton began her academic career in the natural resources field and then combined that with education. She earned her bachelor’s degree in forest biology for the State University of New York and her master’s in natural resources from UW-Stevens Point.

“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to work with colleagues across the state who are doing important work in water education,” Carlton said. “The opportunity to work with teachers in K-12 settings as well as in informal education settings like nature centers and parks attracted me to this position as well as the opportunity to include cutting-edge education research that others are doing and sharing.”

Carlton enjoys swimming and canoeing. She has taught education classes centered around water in the past and is thankful to live in Wisconsin with its rich water resources.

You can contact her on Mondays and Wednesdays (all day) or Friday mornings at either or 608-262-0645.


The Aquatic Sciences Center is the administrative home of the
University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute & University of Wisconsin Water Resources Institute.

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