Sustainable Commercial Fisheries of the Great Lakes; The UW MIA Recovery & Identification Program; Representations of Railroads Starting from the 1820’s

Explore the Unknown!

For November 4, 2020

Please share this missive with your friends & neighbors.

If you’ve already registered for a previous WN@TL this fall, you’re good—you don’t have to register again.

If you’ll be watching for the first time this week, please register for the WN@TL Zoom at


Hi WN@TL Fans,

Before Wisconsin was about cows, back when its seal & flag were first peopled by a sailor and a miner, Wisconsin was defined as much by its waters as by its lands.  Foremost of those waters were the Great Lakes which formed nearly all of the state’s eastern border and some of the most breathtaking parts of its northern borders.  Lakes Michigan and Superior were highways for shipping lumber, grain, ore and people when “shipping” still meant putting stuff on a ship.

The Great Lakes were also fisheries, and that’s another reason mid-19th Century lakeshore towns of Wisconsin resembled their seaside counterparts in New England.  The Wisconsin Friday night fish fry, so peculiar to me as a boy from northwestern Illinois who first moved here as a 17 year old, is a vibrant reminder of that era.  My first fish boil, as a grad student visiting the Peninsular Ag Research Station near Sturgeon Bay in 1982, was my introduction to ichthyological theater.

I don’t know much about the story of the rise and decline of the fisheries of the Great Lakes.  I do know from visiting Manitowoc, Door County and Marinette on Lake Michigan, as well as Ashland, Bayfield and Cornucopia on Lake Superior, during my travels over the last few years that communities are working to strengthen the fishery and grow the industry.

And so I am delighted that this week on November 4 Titus Seilheimer from the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant will be here to talk about this research on the commercial fisheries of Wisconsin’s Great Lakes.   The title of his talk is “Applied Research with a Side of History – Sustainable Commercial Fisheries in the Great Lakes.” 

Description:  The Great Lakes have been an important source of food for thousands of years. Commercial harvest of Great Lakes fishes is still an important industry today that supports coastal communities and is a source of local seafood. Titus Seilheimer, Wisconsin Sea Grant’s Fisheries Specialist, started riding on commercial fishing boats in 2015 as part of a study on monitor harvest and bycatch in the Lake Michigan lake whitefish fishery. This presentation will provide background in the history of Great Lakes fish harvest and discuss the current fishery and the lessons learned in applied research that have helped to inform science-based management decisions.

Bio:  Titus Seilheimer is the Fisheries Specialist with Wisconsin Sea Grant and is based in Manitowoc, WI. He grew up in the Northwoods of Wisconsin and developed a keen interest in water at an early age. He has studied Great Lakes issues for nearly 20 years with a brief detour to work on Oklahoma streams and rivers. Titus has a B.A. in Biology from Lawrence University and a Ph.D. in Biology from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. Titus enjoys spending time on the Great Lakes coast with his family and exploring the country roads of Wisconsin on his bike.

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Next week on November 11 we will observe Veterans Day with a presentation by Gregg Jamison, archeologist and professor of anthropology at UW-Milwaukee.

His talk is entitled “The UW MIA Recovery and Identification Project: Archaeological Approaches to Recovery Missions in Europe.”

Description:  Since 2016, the UW MIA Recovery and Identification Project has partnered with the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) to help recover, identify, and repatriate the remains of missing American armed services personnel from WWII in Europe. In this presentation, the team’s Scientific Recovery Expert and Lead Archaeologist Dr. Gregg Jamison will discuss archaeological approaches and perspectives on our recovery missions. This will include an overview of research methods, a summary of past successes and future goals, and emphasize the unique character of our recovery missions. In closing, Dr. Jamison will reflect on how the project provides valuable teaching and learning experiences for students and other volunteers. These experiences provide our team with valuable, hands-on experiences in archaeology and help us to remember and honor the sacrifices of our fallen heroes.

Bio:  Gregg Jamison is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee at Waukesha, where he teaches a wide variety of introductory and upper-level anthropology courses. He received his PhD in Anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and specializes in anthropological archaeology.

His research interests are diverse and include the ancient Indus Civilization, the origins of cities, states, and civilizations, prehistoric craft production, experimental and ethnoarchaeology, and cultural resource management. Professor Jamison has twenty years of archaeological field experience and has served as the Scientific Recovery Expert and Lead Archaeologist for the UW MIA Recovery and Identification Project since 2018.

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In two weeks on November 18 Scott Lothes of the Center for Railroad Photography & Art here in Madison will be here to speak on “Representations of Railroading From the 1820’s.”

Description: As one of the world’s most transformative technologies, railroads are frequent subjects of all forms of art. Beginning with the first paintings of steam locomotives from the 1820s and moving all the way through to digital photographs of today’s trains, we will consider the long relationship between railroads and visual media. Featured works will include highlights from the collections of the Center for Railroad Photography & Art, a Madison-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to preserve and present significant images of railroading.

Bio: Scott Lothes is president and executive director of the Center for Railroad Photography & Art and editor of its quarterly journal, Railroad Heritage. An accomplished freelance photographer and author, his work appears frequently in a variety of publications. He grew up watching coal trains in West Virginia and received a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He lives in Madison’s Glen Oak Hills neighborhood with his wife Maureen Muldoon, who works as a career advisor at UW-Madison’s SuccessWorks. They enjoy exploring Madison and Wisconsin with their dog, Maddie.

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We’ll be dark for November 25, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.


Remember, we now meet by Zoom, since we can’t gather all in one room.

If you have registered for the WN@TL zoom series, you don’t have to register again.

If you haven’t signed up yet, please register at

A Zoom Meeting allows everyone to choose whether to turn on their video; and I’ll be able to unmute you in the pre-talk warmup (we’ll fire up the video around 6:50pm) and you’ll be able to ask questions by audio or by chat.

So the WN@TL by Zoom will be include 4 components:
1. Prelude Chat (not recorded),
2. Intro & Talk (recorded),
3. Q&A (recorded), and then
4. Linger at the Lectern when you can chat with the presenters informally (not recorded).

I believe this is as close to the WN@TL experience in the Biotech Center Auditorium as the technology permits.

The recorded presentations and Q&A will be posted on the WN@TL YouTube site.


I hope to see you this Wednesday at 7 by Zoom.

Tom Zinnen
Biotechnology Center & Division of Extension, Wisconsin 4-H