The work of the Water Resources Institute and Sea Grant is far-reaching and varied. The programs’ research, education and outreach yield scientific findings, as well as practical how-to tips to apply to freshwater settings.

Finding effective ways to share such a barrage of information can sometimes pose a challenge. One way the programs meet the challenge is by producing and disseminating videos, which offer an accessible, engaging and informative way to learn more about specific topics. It’s also rewarding when the videos themselves, and their videographer, are recognized for technical merit through awards. More on that later.

Two recently produced videos offer those how-to tips and research information transfer. “Clean, Drain and Dry Your Boat” is a bite-sized way to get a look at how protecting waterways can be achieved by taking simple steps to remove potential aquatic invasive species from a boat. There is fantastic-looking drone imagery too. The video was widely placed as a public service announcement throughout the Great Lakes region last summer, generating views, and hopefully sparking new thinking and behaviors.

The second video delves into nano-plastics research on the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus. Every year, more than 22 million pounds of plastic pollution enter the Great Lakes ecosystem. The video “Nano-and Microplastics in the Great Lakes,” ensures this scientific exploration about what sort of contaminants might be found on those plastics reaches more people than if it were only published in an academic journal.

Now, about the awards. Bonnie Willison, videographer for the two programs, picked up two awards in November of 2022 in a regional competition for these concise digital stories.

Willison said,

“We shot this video to raise awareness of invasive species in the Great Lakes. It was great to partner with local professionals who helped direct, shoot and provide voiceover for this piece.”



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