Purdue research and extension fishery scientist joins the team

September 12th, 2016 by

We’re excited to welcome Mitchell Zischke, our new research and extension fishery scientist! He will be located at Purdue University’s West Lafayette campus. The focus of his research, extension, and teaching program is the biology, ecology, and socioeconomics of fisheries.

“I’m excited to be joining the IISG team. It’s great to be part of such a diverse team working towards conserving and promoting Lake Michigan,” Mitchell said.

“The southern shores of Lake Michigan with its tall dunes, white sand, and blue water reminds me quite a bit of the east coast of Australia—well except for the coral reefs and animals that can kill you…”

Mitchell’s work primarily focuses on the Great Lakes where he employs laboratory and field-based tools to explore population dynamics and ecology of fish species such as lake whitefish, walleye, yellow perch, and salmonid species. He also uses survey data to explore changes in recreational fishery characteristics such as catch rates and angler satisfaction. His extension program aims to increase communication among fisheries, researchers, managers, and other stakeholders by hosting public workshops and developing products such as online data portals.

Mitch also has extensive experience in tropical marine fish and fisheries. He has conducted research on pelagic species such as wahoo, mackerel and tunas, and estuarine species such as blue threadfin. He was worked for state and federal fishery management organizations in Australia.

Mitchell obtained a Bachelor of Science (honors) majoring in tropical marine science in 2006 and a PhD in fisheries science in 2013, both from the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia.

Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant is a part of University of Illinois Extension and Purdue Extension.

Be Current Smart wins 2016 APEX Award

June 23rd, 2016 by

The Be Current Smart water safety campaign won an APEX Award of Excellence for  its social media effort last summer. At the heart of this award are the colorful graphics designed by IISG’s Joel Davenport. Communicator Anjanette Riley planned the social media promotion of the graphics on Facebook, Twitter and Google.

02_Steer_Clear_of_the_Pier Be_Current_Smart

Be Current Smart is a collaborative Great Lakes project led by Michigan Sea Grant, Wisconsin Sea Grant and IISG. With funding from NOAA, Be Current Smart provided important safety and rescue equipment to beach managers and others in Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana. The project also included bringing together water safety experts and managers in the region and developing new outreach messages for beachgoers.


The IISG communication team led the social media component of this outreach effort, which included seven cartoon graphics with water safety tips. These graphics ran in most of the Great Lakes states and resulted in over 1.3 million impressions. This campaign is up and running again this summer on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. To see all the graphics and learn more about how to Be Current Smart, visit Michigan Sea Grant’s Dangerous Currents website.


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