ASHLAND, Wis. — A project that explores potential cultural and natural resource impacts of climate change on the Great Lakes region garnered a U.S. Forest Service Honor Award.
The Forest Service awards highlight outstanding projects in the U.S. Forest Service Eastern Region that illustrate “Courageous Conservation.”
Titled Gikinoo’wizhiwe Onji Waaban: Guiding for Tomorrow-Changing Climate, Changing Culture Initiative — “G-WOW” for short — was honored by the Forest Service in the “Connecting Citizens to the Land” category.
The award-winning project consists of a 200-square-foot interactive exhibit developed at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center near Ashland that integrates Ojibwe perspectives, such as the effect of climate change on wild rice.
G-WOW team members receiving the honor included UW-Extension’s Cathy Techtmann; Jason Maloney, USFS; Sue Erickson, Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission; James St. Arnold, GLIFWC; and Neil Howk, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.
G-WOW was developed through a partnership among UW-Extension, the visitor’s center, the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, the U.S. Forest Service and other partner agencies, including the National Park Service and the Wisconsin State Historical Society. Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts provided climate research. Funding partners include the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and Wisconsin Coastal Management Program.
Cathy Techtmann, state environmental outreach specialist with UW-Extension, said G-WOW takes a unique approach by combining scientific climate change research with real-world evidence of how climate change is affecting traditional Ojibwe culture. “We’re bringing native perspectives and involvement to help people of all cultures better understand how climate change may affect them and what they can do to address it,” she said.
A website at www.g-wow.org offers the full G-WOW curriculum, and regional impacts of climate change. Also visit http://