‘Wicked Problems’ Revealed, along with Kirtland’s Warbler Census

As heard Nov. 9, 2012, on Q-90.1 FM, Delta College NPR …

Those three “wicked problems” have been chosen by Michigan Sea Grant.

photo aquaculture industry
Photo by Burt Lum

The University of Michigan-Michigan State University program is funding three new research projects to tackle so-called “wicked” problems. Submissions were taken just before Halloween.

The wicked problems to be researched are …

  • An expansion of Michigan’s aquaculture industry;
  • Remediation of an Area of Concern at a former mining site in the Upper Peninsula; and
  • Climate change in the Grand Traverse Bay area.

Researchers say they chose the projects for several reasons.

On aquaculture in Michigan: There’s an opportunity to provide an abundant supply of fresh, local fish products to Michiganders. The project aims to develop a strategic plan for aquaculture in the state, dealing with business and science issues, and grow a sustainable sector for Michigan.

On the U.P. Area of Concern: Researchers say there have been more than 20 years of study and meetings on Torch Lake. The project will compile a history of the site to use as a guide for remediating similar contaminated areas.

On climate change in the Grand Traverse Bay area: The research seeks to provide information on the bay’s vulnerability to climate change and begin a process of adaptive management to improve the region’s ability to respond in the future.

The Kirtland’s warbler is doing well.

photo kirtlands warbler singing

Huron Pines, a nonprofit in Gaylord, says a new census of the endangered bird’s population is cause for celebration.

A census is conducted each year by state and federal agencies, with the help of volunteers.

For 2012, 2,063 singing males were recorded in Michigan – 2,025 in the Northern Lower Peninsula and 38 in parts of the Upper Peninsula.
Another 23 were counted in Wisconsin and four more were heard as far north as Ontario, Canada.

That’s an overall total of 2,090 (up from 1,828 in 2011).

The Kirtland’s warbler was listed on the Endangered Species List since 1973.

Huron Pines is part of a Kirtland’s Warbler Initiative to delist the warbler as a species.


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