About Great Lakes Now

With a monthly magazine-style television program and daily online reports at GreatLakesNow.org, the Great Lakes Now initiative offers in-depth coverage of news, issues, events and developments affecting the lakes and the communities that depend on them, while capturing the character and culture of the region. Find our Watch Parties and other events HERE.

Housed at Detroit PBS, Great Lakes Now’s growing network of regional partner public broadcaster stations and other media outlets contribute coverage to the television program and to the Great Lakes Now website. The monthly show, “Great Lakes Now,” launched in April 2019, and since then has expanded to a basin-wide, bi-national program carried on more than 25 PBS stations in six states as well as on more than 800 Canadian cable systems.

A growing team of award-winning journalists provide authoritative coverage online about a wide range of subjects affecting life in the Great Lakes Basin including water quality, public policy, environmental justice, economic development, resource conservation and tourism.

In addition, Great Lakes Now produces activities and lessons plans for Grades 5-8 with a curriculum and virtual field trips available HERE for free.

Great Lakes Now staff also appear at a wide range of events throughout the region, partnering with universities, cultural institutions, civic and historical groups, and recreational clubs to bring audiences screenings, panel discussions and opportunities to shape show segments and website stories.

Editorial Guidelines

Disclosing Funders

Funders of Great Lakes Now and Detroit PBS content cannot be anonymous. Federal law requires that broadcasters “fully and fairly disclose the true identity” of all funders. The purpose of this requirement is to be fully transparent with the audience. While this legal requirement is limited to broadcast programming, Great Lakes Now, One Detroit and Detroit PBS ensure transparency by requiring that funders be disclosed for content distributed on all platforms, including online videos, mobile applications, and websites.

We define a funder as any third-party donor (e.g., corporation, foundation, or private individual) that has made a financial contribution to support: (1) the production or acquisition of specific content distributed by Great Lakes Now, One Detroit and/or Detroit PBS; (2) the research and development for that content; (3) the packaging or repackaging of that content; or (4) the program service through which that content is distributed.

Editorial Independence

Editorial independence is essential to serving the public interest and preserving the public’s trust. Content distributed by Great Lakes Now, One Detroit and Detroit PBS must be free of undue influence from third-party funders, political interests, and other outside forces. Great Lakes Now, One Detroit and Detroit PBS must remain unwavering in a commitment to distributing content that exemplifies ethical and journalistic integrity rather than advancing commercial interests. This obligation is achieved through the good-faith professional judgment of producers and staff and by carefully listening to the public. Detroit PBS/Great Lakes Now/One Detroit partnerships and collaborations with outside academic, research, and/or other media outlets are also held to the same standard of journalistic and ethical integrity. Editorial independence gives producers the intellectual freedom to achieve and demonstrate a commitment to accuracy, fairness, inclusiveness, accountability and transparency.

Monthly Show Staff and Regular Contributors

Rob Green, Executive Producer

Rob Green has worked in non-fiction television for more than 20 years, making shows about history, science, food, travel, and more—and telling a range of stories broad enough to include high risk SWAT raids, explosive demolition of bridges and buildings, the inner workings of volcanos, and opulent birthday parties for teenagers.

Born in Detroit, Rob graduated from the University of Michigan with an English degree. After a stint with the Oprah Winfrey Show in Chicago, he moved to New York City but returned to the Midwest in 2015 to work in his hometown. He co-produced “The Forever Chemicals,” a documentary about PFAS contaminants’ effect on west Michigan communities in 2019.

Anna Sysling, Host and Manager of Engagement and Partnerships

Anna Sysling is a multimedia storyteller and lifelong Michigander. She has worked as a reporter, anchor, host and producer in both commercial and public media since 2013. Her areas of focus include history, policy, climate and social equity. She’s written for a variety of print and digital publications and worked as a producer for “The Mitch Albom Show” on 760 WJR, and “Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson” on WDET Detroit’s NPR station. During her tenure at WDET, Sysling launched, produced and hosted the intersectional environmental series “Rooted.”

Sysling graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in Print and Digital Journalism. When she’s not working on the Great Lakes Now initiative, Sysling is probably out rock climbing, writing poetry or nerding out about an heirloom bean variety.

Adam Fox-Long, Coordinating Producer

Adam Fox-Long is a lifelong Michigander who has worked as a photographer and video producer since 2015. He first joined Detroit PBS in 2021 as a Promotions Producer before joining Great Lakes Now in 2023 as Coordinating Producer.

When he’s not working, Adam enjoys taking pictures (especially of Great Lakes lighthouses) and roadtripping with his wife.

Jordan Wingrove, Video Editor

Jordan Wingrove has been editing the Great Lakes Now monthly program since the premier episode in 2019. He has worked at Detroit PBS since 2004 except for a year-long stint on the West Coast. He missed the Great Lakes region, so he returned to Michigan where he grew up. Jordan has a degree in computer information systems from Henry Ford College, which makes him an invaluable member of the GLN team as more content on more platforms becomes part of the work. Known for being creative, detail-oriented and a quick learner, he brings the polish to the final show and most of the video content audiences see from Great Lakes Now. When he’s not working, find him playing tennis, spending time with family or taking long walks with his rescue dog, Lizzie.

David J. Ruck, Producer

David J. Ruck has been focusing his camera on the Great Lakes since his first documentary project, “This is Not a Chocolate Factory”, which explored the toxic history of a chemical company near his hometown Whitehall, Michigan.  He became fascinated with the drama of real life and has been focusing more and more intently on issues of justice – especially environmental justice – since this first experience.

David spent time in Nepal during the mid 2000’s documenting stories from victims of the civil war that was ravaging the country before returning to work focused on science, innovation, environment, and space.  He was hired as the video storyteller for NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and covered a range of narratives throughout the sanctuary system, both above and below the waves in Alpena, Michigan; American Samoa; Olympic Coast, and the Florida Keys.

He has since launched Great Lakes Outreach Media, servicing mainly government and government funded organizations, focusing more intently on issues facing the Great Lakes.  He spent the summer of 2019 capturing a plurality of perspectives on the toxic algae blooms endured by citizens living near Lake Erie and is currently finishing a documentary with the material.

David is an avid runner, enjoys photography, and loves his cattle dog, Billie.

Greg King, Producer

Greg King is a freelance journalist based in Chicago. He has worked as a reporter, news anchor and talk show host in Los Angeles, Chicago and Wisconsin. Greg has covered everything from politics to entertainment to farming. One of his most memorable stories involved trudging through the Deep Tunnel system in the Chicago area 300 feet below the surface. Lately, Greg has been focusing on stories related to the environment. For Great Lakes Now he has produced stories about lead in our drinking water, the impact coal ash ponds have on groundwater, and the return of Piping Plovers to the Great Lakes region. He is passionate about keeping viewers informed on a number of environmental issues impacting our everyday lives.

Laura Weber Davis, Narrator

Laura Weber Davis is a senior producer and fill-in host on Stateside on Michigan Radio. Before landing with Michigan Radio, she worked at WDET in Detroit, where she was senior producer on the current events program, Detroit Today. She began her career in public radio as a Michigan Radio intern before taking a job as a Capitol-beat reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network. Laura was born and raised in Ann Arbor, and has had a lifelong love affair with the Great Lakes. She is a graduate of Michigan State University and she received a master’s degree in Journalism from the University of Southern California.

Nick Austin, Narrator and Field Producer

A native Detroiter with a post graduate degree from Wayne State, Nick Austin is a on-air personality and program host for Soul Saturday on WDET. Also an attorney by trade, prior to landing with WDET, he got his start in radio and TV serving in various on-air and leadership positions for his college stations. As a classically trained musician who developed his love and interest in a diverse array of musical styles at a young age. Nick’s background ranges from performing as scholarship member of the university’s jazz band, symphonic band, and orchestra, publishing 2 full-length albums. As a contributor to Great Lakes Now, Nick shares his love of the area, assisting with narrating, producing and introducing viewers to the wonders of the Great Lakes.

Zosette Guir, Integrator

After receiving her bachelor’s degree in Communications Studies from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Zosette Guir has worked on various production projects in the metro Detroit area including Autoweek’s Vinsetta Garage, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards for Crain’s Detroit Business, Detroit Performs, Connect, The Seven Generation River as well as nationally distributed documentaries When I’m 65 and Ride the Tiger,  as well as pieces for Detroit PBS’s weekly news and public affairs program, One Detroit, which focuses on journalism based on immersive community engagement.

Kathy Johnson, Producer and Contributor

Kathy Johnson was born in Detroit, grew up on the banks of the St. Clair River, and was married on a shipwreck in Lake Huron. As a professional diver, she has worked with organizations across the Great Lakes researching and documenting aquatic behaviors. She joined the Great Lakes Now team in 2020 after graduating from Wayne State University with a degree in Print and Digital Journalism.

An advocate for native freshwater species, Kathy has produced two full-length lake sturgeon documentaries, and her freshwater videos have been screened at film festivals in Chicago, New York, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and India. At Great Lakes Now she regularly produces segments highlighting freshwater fish and writes the monthly column, “I Speak for the Fish.”

Doug Clevenger, Videographer

Doug Clevenger is an award-winning director of photography, licensed drone operator and underwater cinematographer. His work has taken him around the globe for National Geographic, Discovery Networks, PBS and many others. Based in Chicago, he regularly shoots for Great Lakes Now in Illinois and Wisconsin for stories about Lake Michigan and its watershed. He also was the videographer on the “Polluting with Purpose” segment in Ontario, Canada.

Sandy McPhee, Producer

Sandy McPhee is freelance producer whose background includes both commercial and public broadcasting. She worked for news stations in Detroit, Atlanta, and Baltimore, producing documentaries, live multi-camera event productions, news features, long format programming, children’s programs and news magazines. She managed programming at WXYZ, the ABC affiliate in Detroit, and as a freelancer produced features for CNN, the University of Michigan and the Detroit Medical Center.

Her work has won an RTDNA Edward R. Murrow Regional Award, a New York Festivals Gold Award, a NATPE Iris Award and more than two dozen Emmy Awards from the Michigan chapter of the National Association of Television Arts and Sciences.

“Great Lakes Now” has allowed her to enjoy her two biggest passions: storytelling and the Great Lakes. She currently lives on the shores of Lake Huron in northern Michigan and spends her time sailing, kayaking and exploring the Great Lakes.

Writers and Website Contributors

Mila Murray, Digital Content Generalist

Mila Murray graduated with two degrees from Michigan State University, where she was heavily involved in journalism and the behind-the-scenes of journalism. From working as a reporter at her student publication – The State News – her freshman year to helping lead it as an executive editor in her senior year, she has been recognized for multiple awards through the Michigan Press Association, the Associated Collegiate Press, the State News Alumni Association and more.

After dedicating most of her college career to student journalism, she moved on to report on major news stories such as the Flint water crisis as an intern with MLive Media Group. She also has extensive experience in digital media from starting The State News’ first-ever news roundup podcast, to managing a Toronto-based startup’s social media platforms, to making educational content more accessible while interning for the IT department’s DigitalX Team her final year at Michigan State University.

Mila grew up in Michigan and loves everything the Great Lakes region has to offer.

Lisa John Rogers, News Editor

Lisa John Rogers is a journalist in the Midwest whose interests intersect at art, culture, health, history, and the environment.

Formerly worked as a producer for the Peabody-nominated podcast, Unfinished: Deep South. She’s worked in various aspects of media, from radio and podcasts, to magazines and hard-news reporting.

She loves all of the Great Lakes, but Lake Huron is her first love.

Staci Lola Drouillard, Contributor

Staci Lola Drouillard was born and raised on the North Shore of Lake Superior, where she currently lives with her partner, their two dogs and one cat in an off-grid, solar home. Staci works as a producer and project leader for WTIP North Shore Community Radio in Grand Marais, Minnesota.

A Grand Portage Band of Ojibwe direct descendant, she is the author of Walking the Old Road: A People’s History of Chippewa City and the Grand Marais Anishinaabe (U of MN Press, 2019), which won the 2020 Hamlin Garland Prize for Popular History, and the 2020 Northeastern Minnesota Book Award for nonfiction. Her second book, Seven Aunts, a work of creative nonfiction, was published by the U of MN Press in June of 2022. She is currently working on two children’s stories for Harper Collins and hopes to explore writing in every genre, as long as the words flow and the sun continues to power her keyboard.

Ian Solomon, Contributor

Ian Solomon is a journalist, artist and outdoor enthusiast from Detroit, Michigan. Ian is the founder of Amplify Outside, a community organization dedicated to increasing access to Michigan’s wilderness for Black Michiganders.

When Ian isn’t Amplifying Outside, he’s working towards his master of fine arts degree at Cranbrook Academy of Art and managing communications for the Detroit Parks Coalition.

Lisa M. Rose, Contributor

Lisa M. Rose is an ethnobotanist, wild foods chef, and author with a profound dedication to exploring the symbiotic relationship between humans and plants. With an academic background in anthropology and community health, her culinary journey has been rich and varied, including stints with notable establishments and figures such as Stags Leap in Napa Valley, Alice Waters’ The Edible Schoolyard, and organic farmers in Northern Michigan.

Rose’s work is celebrated in her bestselling books, “Midwest Foraging” and “Midwest Medicinal Plants,” among others and her expertise is frequently sought by major media outlets, including the Chicago Tribune, PBS, NPR, Martha Stewart and CNN.

Lorraine Boissoneault, Contributor

Lorraine Boissoneault is a Chicago-based journalist who covers science, history and the outdoors for a number of publications. Formerly a staff writer for Smithsonian Magazine, her work has also appeared in The Atlantic, Hakai Magazine, Mental_Floss, Playboy Magazine, PassBlue, OnEarth and elsewhere. She is the author of The Last Voyageurs, which tells the true story of a group of teenagers and high school teachers who spent eight months living in canoes to retrace La Salle’s route to the end of the Mississippi River. The book was a finalist for the Chicago Book of the Year award.

An Ohio native, Lorraine grew up sailing on Lake Erie and visiting all the islands. These days she spends her time off traveling to new places, backpacking and kayaking.

Photo courtesy of fws.gov

Dr. John H. Hartig, Contributor

Dr. John Hartig is currently a Visiting Scholar at the Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research at the University of Windsor. He also serves as the Great Lakes Science-Policy Advisor for the International Association for Great Lakes Research and on the Board of Directors for the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy. In 2017-2018 he was a Fulbright Scholar serving as the Fulbright Canada Research Chair in Global Governance at Balsillie School of International Affairs in Waterloo, Ontario.

The focus of John’s multidisciplinary research is cleanup of the Great Lakes. From 2004-2018 he served as Refuge Manager for the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge.

John has received a number of awards for his work, including the 2017 Community Peacemaker Award from Wayne State University’s Center for Peace and Conflict Studies, the 2016 Edward G. Voss Conservation Science Award from Michigan Nature Association, the 2015 Conservationist of the Year Award from the John Muir Association, and the 2013 Conservation Advocate of the Year Award from the Michigan League of Conservation Voters.

He has authored or co-authored over 100 publications on the environment, including five books: Waterfront Porch; Bringing Conservation to Cities; Burning Rivers; Honoring Our Detroit River, Caring for Our Home; and Under RAPs: Toward Grassroots Ecological Democracy in the Great Lakes Basin.

John’s book titled Bringing Conservation to Cities won a Gold Medal from the Nonfiction Authors Association in the “Sustainable Living” category and a bronze medal from the Living Now Book Awards in the “Green Living” category.

Gary Wilson, Senior Correspondent 

Gary Wilson reports from Chicago where he lives with his wife, Diane. He’s a Michigan native from the Downriver area of Detroit. He has worked for DPTV’s Great Lakes Bureau for 5 years.

He has covered the range of the region’s diverse environmental issues while specializing in the policy and politics of the Great Lakes at the national and state level.

Gary has reported extensively on the federal Great Lakes restoration program, water wars in Wisconsin, budding scientists on Beaver Island, environmental injustice in urban areas, algae in Lake Erie, and even the “6th Great Lake” – the groundwater of the Great Lakes, and all the problems associated with it these days.

Prior to joining Great Lakes Now, Wilson did commentary for Detroit PBS’s Great Lakes Week coverage, commentary for Great Lakes Echo and contributed to the Great Lakes Month in Review segment for WKAR Public Radio in Lansing.

He is also an occasional contributor to WMUK Public Radio in Kalamazoo. Wilson became Great Lakes Now’s Senior Correspondent in September.

Sharon Oosthoek, Contributor

Sharon Oosthoek is an award-winning freelance journalist who writes about science and the environment. She has more than 20 years experience working for daily newspapers, magazines, online news services and non-governmental organizations.

Her writing has appeared in New Scientist, Canadian Geographic, Maclean’s, The Globe and Mail, cbc.ca, Chemical & Engineering News and Science News for Students. Before becoming a freelancer in 2002, she was a reporter for The Hamilton Spectator for 10 years covering social trends, education and crime.

Sharon lives in Toronto where far too many lanes of traffic separate her from Lake Ontario.

James Proffitt3

James Proffitt, Lake Erie Contributor

James Proffitt was a freelance reporter for papers in Cincinnati and northern Kentucky before moving north to Marblehead, Ohio.

He worked for Gannett’s Newspaper Network of Central Ohio as a reporter and photographer for eight years and is now a frequent contributor to the Outdoor News Network.

He has work forthcoming in Lake Erie Living and Cooperative Living magazines.

Many of his news and photo features received AP awards and his verse and fiction have appeared in dozens of university and literary journals.

He writes and does videos about fishing, hunting, outdoors, conservation and all things Lake Erie, as well as its tributaries. In 2015 he published Marblehead Lighthouse on Lake Erie: Ohio’s Historic Beacon (now in its second printing) with Arcadia Press.

Brian Owens, Contributor

Brian Owens grew up on the shores of Lake Ontario in Kingston. He then spent 8 years in London, UK, studying science journalism at Imperial College London, then working as a reporter and news editor at the influential science policy magazines Research Fortnight and Research Europe, and at the international journal Nature.

He returned to Canada in 2012, and now lives on the shores of the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick, where he writes about science and the environment for a variety of international publications, including Nature, New Scientist, Hakai Magazine and Inside Science.

Andrew Reeves, Contributor 

Andrew Reeves is an award-winning, Toronto-based environmental journalist and the author of Overrun: Dispatches from the Asian Carp Crisis, his in-depth look at how the invasive fish Asian carp have spread throughout America to the Great Lakes.

Andrew is also the editor-in-chief of Alternatives Journal, Canada’s oldest environmental publication. Before AJ, he was an energy and resource reporter with Queen’s Park Briefing, part of the Toronto Star Media Group, and a political reporter with Queen’s Park Today. Andrew was also the environmental columnist at This Magazine from 2015-2017 and, when called upon, is a contributing editor at the Missouri-based journal The New Territory.

In 2009, Andrew received his Masters degree in human geography from the University of Toronto and a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction from the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2016.

John McCracken, Contributor 

A Green Bay-based freelance journalist, John McCracken has bylines in The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting, The Capital Times, and more. He writes about labor, politics, music, community and Midwest culture.

Taylor Haelterman, Contributor

Taylor Haelterman grew up in a tiny town in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. She spent her time exploring the beautiful nature Michigan has to offer and touched every Great Lake along the way.

Taylor earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Michigan State University in May 2021 after finding a passion for sharing environment-focused stories. She remains a full-time student there while pursuing a master’s degree in environment and science journalism.

Along with Great Lakes Now, she is a contributing writer for the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism’s Great Lakes Echo. And she received a 2020 Society of Professional Journalists Detroit Excellence in Journalism Award in environment reporting for her audio work at WKAR Radio in East Lansing.

Alex Hill, Contributor

Alex B. Hill is GIS director at Wayne State University and project director of the Detroit Food Map Initiative, which has been mapping nutritional access of Detroit grocers, small stores and farmers markets since 2011. He started the website DETROITography in an attempt to bring together various Detroit cartographers and their great work. He is the author and cartographer of the book, Detroit in 50 Maps, from Belt Publishing.

Capri S. Cafaro, Contributor

Capri S. Cafaro is the former minority leader of the Ohio Senate. During her 10 years as a State Senator, Cafaro represented part of Ohio’s North Coast on Lake Erie, co-authored Ohio’s tourism promotion law and worked on a variety of important issues to the region including Great Lakes Compact implementation, U.S.-Canadian relations, agriculture and economic development.

Since her time as a public servant ended in 2016 due to state mandated term limits, Cafaro is now an executive in residence and professor at American University’s School of Public Affairs in Washington, D.C., and holds visiting fellowships at both the University of Toronto and the London School of Economics.

Last year, she released her first cookbook, United We Eat, and launched the podcast Eat Your Heartland Out, a show about the intersection of food and culture in the American Midwest.

Capri splits her time between Ohio and Washington, D.C. You can follow Capri on both Twitter and Instagram.

Rachel Duckett, Contributor

Rachel Duckett is an undergraduate student studying broadcast journalism at the Michigan State University School of Journalism. She was previously a student writer for The Washtenaw Voice, where she focused on stories about local history and the effects of climate change in Washtenaw County. After a stint as an intern for Great Lakes Now, she continues to write stories for the organization. She also works as a copy editor at the Spartan Medical Research Journal. In her free time, she enjoys watching scary movies, listening to podcasts, camping, cooking and hanging out with her cat!

Education Support

Great Lakes Now produces “An Exploration of the Great Lakes,” an introductory curriculum to the science and study of the Great Lakes. This collection aims to introduce students to basic scientific and geographic concepts about the Great Lakes. It includes lessons plans and activities for families.

Click HERE to see it along with the Virtual Field Trip videos.

Curriculum Author Gary Abud, Jr.

Gary Abud is an award-winning educator and double cornea transplant recipient who, since having his sight restored, was moved to use his teaching gifts to make science fun for kids. He is the author of Science With Scarlett, a children’s book about a young girl scientist and her teddy bear assistant who do experiments with the reader.

Gary lives with his family in Grosse Pointe and writes to inspire children, like his preschool daughter, to love science. When he’s not writing, Gary is an educational consultant specializing in ADHD, providing executive coaching for adults and kids in school.

Previously, Gary has served in education as a STEM teacher, principal and college instructor. In 2014, he was named Teacher of the Year for the state of Michigan. For more information on his educational consulting practice, visit SagaEducators.org or to learn more about his book, check out ScienceWithScarlett.com

Great Lakes Now Interns

Jada Vasser, Great Lakes Now Intern – Summer 2023

Jada Vasser is a Detroit native and a junior at  Michigan State University majoring in journalism with a minor in documentary production.  She’s always had a passion for writing, editing and helping people in any way possible. As a journalist, she wants to report on issues focusing on uplifting the black community and highlighting stories that deserve to be told, so she can spread awareness and help make a change for black communities that don’t get to shine as much as they should. She also has a lot of interest in production and creating something meaningful and relevant for years to come.

During her internship with Great Lakes Now, she hopes to build positive work relationships and meet people who can lead her to her next big thing.

Carlie Peterman, Great Lakes Now Intern – Fall 2022

Carlie Peterman is a Michigan native studying business administration and environmental studies at the University of Michigan. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends and loved ones, traveling, and going to football games. During her internship with Great Lakes Now, she hopes to gain more experience and knowledge on the environment and working with non-profit organizations. She is excited to get hands-on experience and make a positive impact.

Tynnetta Harris, Great Lakes Now Intern – Summer 2022

Tynnetta R. Harris is a Detroit native who’s a senior at the University of Michigan – Dearborn studying journalism and screen studies. Her main focus is on print journalism. She’s always had a passion for writing. As a journalist she primarily wants to report on issues regarding social justice and human rights like racism, poverty, healthcare, rape culture, etc., so she can spread awareness and help make a change for marginalized communities. She also has an interest in photography, which is a hobby of hers. She’s really looking forward to interning with Great Lakes Now to learn and gain more experience.

Maya Sundaresan, Great Lakes Now Intern – Winter 2021/Spring 2022

Maya Sundaresan is an undergraduate student at the University of Michigan who plans on studying business administration. She enjoys traveling and shopping in her free time. Because she grew up in Michigan, Maya is very familiar with the Great Lakes and excited to expand her knowledge on this region while interning for Great Lakes Now.

Noah Bock, Great Lakes Now Intern – Summer 2021

Noah Bock is an undergraduate student planning to study economics and public policy at the University of Michigan. He enjoys all kinds of outdoor activities, whether it’s hiking, camping, canoeing, or trying something new. In his spare time, you can find Noah running, reading, playing the piano, gardening, or playing a board game. Growing up in Michigan, he has fond memories of visiting the Great Lakes, and he is excited to learn more about them and share his love for them with others at Great Lakes Now!

Grace Dempsey, InternGrace Dempsey, Great Lakes Now Intern – Winter 2020/Spring 2021

Grace Dempsey is an undergraduate student at the University of Michigan studying architecture, the environment and Spanish. She’s passionate about the Great Lakes after growing up near one in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Back home, she participated in water testing of rivers in the Lake Michigan watershed and wrote for her school paper, so she can’t wait to continue her education at Great Lakes Now!

Zalika Aniapam, Great Lakes Now Intern – Winter, Spring/Summer 2020

Zalika “Zee” Aniapam is a Detroit native who is currently pursuing a master’s degree at Wayne State University where she studies public relations and organizational communications. As someone who has a passion for writing, production and media relations, she is super thrilled to be a part of the public broadcasting community.

Alex Brisbey, Great Lakes Now Intern – Spring/Summer 2020

Alex Brisbey is an undergrad at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, studying Screen Studies and Digital Marketing. Moving to Michigan in 2013, Alex has grown to love the beauty of Michigan and all it has to offer. He is excited to be a part of the Great Lakes Now team and learn more about this great state. He’s focusing on video production during his internship.

Sam Cantie, Great Lakes Now Intern – Spring/Summer 2020

Sam Cantie is a rising senior at The University of Michigan studying English and Marketing. She’s passionate about all things multi-media storytelling: She works as an Arts editor for The Michigan Daily, and she’s also a producer/cinematographer for Filmic Productions. She’s extremely excited to illuminate the stories that matter in The Great Lakes region; growing up in Michigan, Sam’s most lively and fundamental stories of her friends and family are embedded in the landscape of The Great Lakes. You can always catch Sam hammocking or reading, with a coffee or a camera in hand!

Leah Purkiss, Great Lakes Now Intern – Spring/Summer 2020

Leah Purkiss is a full-time student attending Northern Michigan University studying Art & Design with a concentration in Digital Cinema. She is also minoring in Deaf Studies and hopes to one day combine her love for Deaf culture and film. During the school year, she partakes in her school’s broadcasting club with an all-student crew to produce a daily live show, Public Eye News, hosted through WNMU-TV in Marquette Michigan. While interning for Great Lakes Now, she hopes to learn more about local opportunities within the industry as well as gain an environmental understanding of the world around her. She is very thankful for this opportunity and the skills, connections, and knowledge she will be gaining through the internship.

Emily Simroth, Great Lakes Now Intern – Spring/Summer 2020

Emily Simroth is an undergraduate student at the University of Michigan pursuing a double major in creative writing and environmental studies and a minor in water issues. She has interned previously with New Jersey Future, working on lead in drinking water, and with the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey. She is excited to combine her passions for writing and the environment through her work with Great Lakes Now and looks forward to exploring and sharing stories about the region that has become her second home.

George Elkind, Great Lakes Now Intern – Winter 2020

George Elkind is a graduate student in Wayne State University’s department of communication, specializing in media arts and studies. He works regularly as a film and arts critic for publications including The Comics Journal and the Detroit Metro Times, and has a working background that includes writing along with film and audiovisual production. While working at Great Lakes Now, he hopes to dig into stories that matter to the city and region he calls home while getting to know them both as well as he can in his spare time.