Two Yellow Buoys is now an award-winning Twitter feed

July 20th, 2017 by

Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant’s two Lake Michigan real-time monitoring buoys know that they’re popular. And if you follow the Twitter account, @TwoYellowBuoys, they’ll tell you so.

Part of this popularity may be because the buoys are festive. In addition to decking themselves out for holidays.


4th of July



Alternatives to Easter egg hunts.


Or maybe it’s because the buoys are clearly in love with science so they share interesting data patterns.



Here they introduce themselves to Bill Nye, the Science Guy.


The buoys’ hard work informing people about conditions in southern Lake Michigan was recognized with an APEX Award of Excellence for Social Media – Sites. This is the second IISG project to win a 2017 APEX Award. The buoys are proud to work alongside their Sea Grant colleagues, serving the people who live and recreate in southern Lake Michigan.

*The buoys would like to thank IISG Assistant Research Coordinator Carolyn Foley for managing their Twitter account. They also blame Carolyn for any mistakes made, because they’re buoys. It’s difficult to Tweet when you don’t have arms.

If you love the buoys, let them know!

IISG aquatic invasive species coordinator among ISAM award winners

June 4th, 2014 by
Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant’s Pat Charlebois was one of the professionals selected for this year’s ISAM awards. Recognizing outstanding invasive species work in the state of Illinois, the awards are an annual opportunity to highlight just some of the many important projects dedicated to protecting Illinois’ land and water from invasives. 
“In 2011, the ISAM committee decided to initiate an awards program to formally recognize and honor outstanding contributions to the prevention, control, and management of invasive species in the state of Illinois. For 2014, The Illinois Invasive Species Awareness Month Committee would like to recognize recipients in five categories: Professional of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Professional Organization of the Year, Business of the Year, and Educator of the Year. Recipients of the 2014 ISAM awards were officially recognized at an awards ceremony in Springfield at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) office. IDNR Office of Resource Conservation Director Jim Herkert was on hand to present the awards. The ceremony was part of the 2014 Illinois Invasive Species Symposium on May 29th, 2014 at the IDNR Office Building in Springfield, IL… 

Pat is receiving this award for her leadership in aquatic invasive species education, outreach, messaging, and policy throughout the state. Pat’s hard work has contributed significantly to increasing the public’s awareness of aquatic invasive species. Through her efforts, the new ‘Be a Hero, Transport Zero’ campaign is being expanded towards a comprehensive campaign to address all invasive species spread throughout Illinois. In addition, Pat has been instrumental in supporting policy changes, such as the addition of 27 new aquatic plants to the Illinois Injurious Species list.”

Read about the other award recipients and their work protecting Illinois’ environment at the link above.

2013 APEX Awards recognize two Sea Grant projects for publication excellence

August 28th, 2013 by
The APEX awards are given each year by Communication Concepts to recognize outstanding publication work in a variety of fields, and Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant was selected this year for two separate awards.

IISG’s Laura Kammin was recognized for the creation of our proper medicine disposal website Working with Jane Scherer at the University of Illinois’ Extension program, Laura created the website and blog, providing valuable information about the dangers that improper medicine disposal can pose to the environment, steps that people can take to prevent medicines from getting into the wrong hands or contaminating the environment, and information about local take-back events and collection programs. 

Additionally, the IISG communications team of Irene Miles, Anjanette Riley, and Susan White were recognized for the publication of our 30 milestones, celebrating and highlighting a range of accomplishments in the first 30 years of the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant program. You can browse the milestones with photographs in our Facebook album

IISG’s Robin Goettel receives the College of ACES’ most prestigious award

April 22nd, 2013 by
IISG Director Brian Miller congratulates Robin on her award  

Robin Goettel, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant’s associate director for education, was recently recognized for her career-long commitment and contributions to improving natural resources. 

The Paul A. Funk Recognition Award is given annually “to faculty and academic professionals for outstanding achievement and major contributions to the betterment of agriculture, natural resources, and human systems.” 
Specifically, Robin’s work has extended and expanded water information and education in Illinois by introducing water science concepts, activities, curricula, and more to students and teachers throughout the state and the Midwest. 
Robin was one of three people selected for this prestigious award, and the video below highlights her achievements. 


IISG’s Robin Goettel’s years of service lead to U of I award

February 1st, 2013 by
The University of Illinois’ College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences accepts nominations each year for an award that recognizes outstanding achievement by faculty and academic professionals in the college. 

The Paul A. Funk Recognition Award provides a personal award to the winner as well as funds for their department to use in support of their work benefiting natural resources and human environmental systems. 


This year, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant’s Robin Goettel won the award for her extensive educational outreach work, including the creation of numerous curricula for science teachers and others. In particular, the Fresh and Salt curriculum, the Greatest of the Great Lakes collection of model lessons, and The Medicine Chest have helped to inform, engage, and education over 100,000 students about environmental science related to the Great Lakes. 

Robin isn’t afraid to get totally immersed in her environmental education work either, as this excerpt from her nomination proves: 

“No description of Robin would be complete without a mention of Zelda the zebra mussel, a ‘spokesmussel,’ as Robin describes her. Zelda is a costume that Robin is not afraid to pull out at public events. While maybe not quite ready for Disneyworld, Zelda draws a crowd. People start with a laugh, are compelled to ask questions, and end up with a better understanding of invasive species for the unconventional approach.”


Those examples don’t begin to touch on the work that Robin has engaged in throughout her many years with the program–from direct engagement with students of all grade levels, to educational displays at some of the Midwest’s biggest events, to forging partnerships with other environmental organizations to better educate, inform, and engage people in protecting and preserving natural resources.

Robin’s many years of work on environmental issues, and her dedication to fostering ever higher levels of science education for students of all ages, make her a terrific and very deserving choice for this award.
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