CFRE Partners

Mr. Elliot Nelson
Extension Educator, Michigan Sea Grant

B.S. 2010, Michigan State University
M.S. 2016, University of Michigan

I am an employee of Michigan Sea Grant, a joint program through Michigan State University Extension, the University of Michigan, and the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration. Since I started in this position, I have been housed at the Center for Freshwater Research and Education. This exciting partnership allows me to work closely with CFRE staff on a variety of collaborative projects.  I couldn’t think of a better place for my Sea Grant position to be housed.

I am originally from the Les Cheneaux Islands area, growing up on the shores of Lake Huron. I believe my proximity to the lakes and copious amount of time running through the woods as a child instilled a love for the outdoors in me. I left the UP for about 13 years when I pursued college degrees and worked a variety of environmental education jobs. I received a B.S. in Biology at Michigan State University in 2010. I then went on to become a teacher for a number of years in the Grand Rapids area. I also worked other jobs including connecting urban students to environmental science professors and research through the Third 90 program. After a time I returned to school full time to pursue my Master’s degree. I attended the University of Michigan’s School for Environment and Sustainability, obtaining an M.S. in Natural Resources and the Environment in 2016.

I now am very fortunate to have returned to my home area and work with MI Sea Grant. MI Sea Grant works to promote the sustainable use of Great Lakes resources, and promote coastal economies across the state of Michigan. We take research from the universities and NOAA to communities and help run education and outreach programs to make science work for Michigan’s coastal communities and to protect Great Lakes ecosystems. My focus areas include aquaculture (hatcheries and fish farms), Great Lakes environmental literacy programs, ecotourism including birding trails, and Great Lakes resiliency and restoration.

In my personal time I enjoy spending time with my three children, wife and two dogs anywhere outside. I love kayaking, camping, mountain biking and most of all birding. Birding has been a passion hobby of mine for many years and I love any chance I get to get outside and watch the amazing biodiversity around us.

LT CMDR Kit Pace

U.S. Coast Guard, Great Lakes Center of Expertise

CWO Cliffton Hendry

U.S. Coast Guard, Great Lakes Center of Expertise