Tag Archives: Strategic Evaluation

From the Blake to the Drake

Chicago, Illinois

Evidently there are two “Great Lakes” Commissions. One is the Great Lakes Fishery Commission (GLFC). Did you know about that one? Hehe. The other is the Great Lakes Commission, which promotes the integrated and comprehensive development, use, and conservation of water resources (though they address fisheries issues, too!). Well, the Great Lakes Commission celebrated its 60th anniversary this week in Chicago, Illinois. The Commission invited the GLFC Commissioners and Secretariat to join the celebrations and participate in joint discussions with a focus on invasive species, nutrient reduction, and waterfront revitalization. The Great Lakes Commission sponsored a reception at the Shedd Aquarium that evening with excellent food and wonderful company. I had a blast connecting with members from BOTE and SLRB and some of the Commissioners.

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Our meeting room at the Drake Hotel in downtown Chicago, Illinois. Photo credit: Molly J. Good

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Bob Hecky (Canadian Commissioner) and Dr. Bill Taylor (U.S. Alternate Commissioner) discuss something important. Photo credit: Molly J. Good

The GLFC held a separate Executive Meeting on the second day of anniversary meeting. There, we discussed a few more loose ends from our Executive Meeting in June regarding the strategic evaluation of the GLFC vision. This project is coming to a close.

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A beautiful photo of the downtown skyline from the Shedd Aquarium. Photo credit: Molly J. Good

LESSON #27: It is not easy to have a conference call on a party bus.

LESSON #28: If you are in a party bus and you look hard enough, you will find beer.

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My Moment

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Annual Meeting

This was a good Great Lakes Fishery Commission (GLFC) Annual Meeting for me. For a couple of reasons…

At the Executive Meeting session of the Annual Meeting, I provided some materials for and made a presentation to the Commissioners (eek!) and Secretariat detailing the work that was completed during our GLFC Retreat in April. I plan to write up the retreat materials and major findings into a manuscript for the GLFC to have and include in its progress report.

commissioners table presentation - t. lawrence (7)

The Commissioner’s Table at the GLFC Annual Meeting Plenary Session. (From L to R) Tom Melius, Trevor Swerdfager, Bill Taylor, Don Pereira, Bob Hecky, Tracey Mill, Doug Stang, and Jim McCain. Dave Ullrich, not pictured. Photo credit: Nick Ebinger

In other news, over the last year, Bob Lambe, Dr. Bill Taylor, and I have been working on the development of an endowment to create a fellowship for a graduate student working on fisheries research in the Great Lakes Basin. This endowment was intended to be supported jointly by the GLFC and the Graduate School at Michigan State University. Because the paperwork for this endowment was finalized just before the Annual Meeting, Dr. Karen Klomparens, the Dean of the Graduate School at Michigan State University, was invited to announce this endowment and fellowship at the Annual Meeting Luncheon. As Dr. Karen Klomparens finish her comments, she mentioned that the first recipient of this fellowship had already been selected. Uh, cue confusion on my part because no one had told me about a fellowship recipient – and I wrote the fellowship language! Dr. Karen Klomparens continued with her closing comments, and announced that I would be the first recipient of the William W. Taylor and Henry A. Regier Great Lakes Fisheries Graduate Fellowship. Needless to say, I had a great night of celebrating with the GLFC at The B.O.B. (The Big Old Building) in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

LESSON #20: Persistence pays off.

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Retreat to Reflect

Ann Arbor, Michigan

GLFC Commissioners and Secretariat Retreat

This week, I helped gather the Commissioners and Secretariat together at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens facility at the University of Michigan to hold a retreat. The objective of this retreat was to continue discussions about the evolution of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission (GLFC) as an organization. The Commissioners and Secretariat recognized that it is best to discuss an evolution of the GLFC in the context of the Convention of Great Lakes Fisheries. The 1955 Convention on Great Lakes Fisheries established the GLFC as an organization with a mission to work across borders to combat sea lampreys, promote science, and establish working relationships among natural resource agencies and personnel. Today, the Convention still guides the GLFC, thus, discussing the evolution of the GLFC based on the actual language and meaning of the Convention was critical.

As a participant in this retreat, I can say that we put in a tremendous about of reflection and thoughtfulness into this retreat. And, as an organizer of this retreat, I can say that I captured a lot of insightful information that, if accepted and implemented, will help the Commission evolve.

LESSON #18: You do not have to know a lot about something to have something worthwhile to contribute.

LESSON #19: Sometimes there is conflict in a group. It is okay if there is conflict, as long as voices on both sides of that conflict are heard.

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Project Planning

East Lansing, Michigan

I wanted to share some details about the two primary projects I have been working on…

Law Enforcement Symposium

With help from Bob Lambe (GLFC), Dr. Bill Taylor (MSU), and the Great Lakes Fishery Commission (GLFC), I have designed a half-day symposium on fisheries law enforcement for the 145th American Fisheries Society (AFS) Annual Meeting. The symposium is entitled, “Fisheries Sustainability, Crime, and Enforcement: Whodunnit and How Do We Manage It?” I have asked nine individuals to be a part of this symposium, and they have all accepted my invitation. These individuals represent different sectors, ranging from federal and state law enforcement to provincial and tribal law enforcement programs. As part of this symposium, I have submitted an abstract for a presentation that I will give, entitled “Law Enforcement: A Critical Management Tool for Ensuring Fisheries Sustainability.” I hope the AFS Organizing Committee understands the significance of this symposium and associated presentations and decides to include them as part of the final meeting agenda.

Strategic Evaluation of the GLFC Vision

Bob Lambe, Dr. Bill Taylor, John Beck (MSU), and I have met a few times to discuss the need for a joint meeting between the Commissioners and Secretariat to lead a strategic evaluation of the vision of the GLFC. We have tentatively planned to hold a retreat in Ann Arbor, Michigan in early April to talk about the role of the GLFC in the future facilitation of coordinated fisheries management in the Great Lakes Basin. John Beck and I have developed and discussed a detailed agenda5 for us to use at this retreat, which will guide the Commissioners and Secretariat in their discussions.

LESSON #17: An organization’s vision and mission should be evaluated often to make sure that the organization is maintaining its role and functioning effectively for now and for the future.

View Molly’s submitted abstract for her symposium, “Fisheries Sustainability, Crime, and Enforcement: Whodunnit and How Do We Manage It?” here.

View a list of Molly’s invited presenters and their affiliations, presentation titles, submitted abstracts, and brief biographies here.

View Molly’s submitted abstract for her presentation, “Law Enforcement: A Critical Management Tool for Ensuring Fisheries Sustainability” here.

View Molly’s draft agenda for the GLFC Retreat here.

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