December 1, 2020
The University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension has announced that following completion of a competitive national search, Deanna Erickson will serve as the new director of the Lake Superior Reserve. “It is a tremendous honor to bring my vision of the Reserve as a community-engaged organization that leads in science, education, coastal training and stewardship to the director position” said Erickson. “I am so grateful to our diverse and dedicated partners and staff for their support in the past and the future. With their insight and guidance, the Reserve will continue to be a hub of research and collaboration along the St. Louis River Estuary and the Lake Superior shore.”
Having served as interim manager since April and as education coordinator in the nine years following the Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve’s 2010 designation, Erickson initiated the Rivers2Lake Education Program, which has provided extended mentoring in place-based and outdoor education for over 80 teachers in partnership with regional schools, the Great Lakes Aquarium, Fond du Lac Resource Management and many others. She was the winner of the 2014 U.S. Individual Lake Superior Stewardship award for the development of the Rivers2Lake program and has secured nearly $1.7 million in grant funding to support the community and the Reserve. In 2017, Erickson led the development of the Lake Superior Estuarium exhibit hall and the confluence room meeting space on Barkers Island in Superior.
Erickson holds a bachelor of science in Natural Resource Management from the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point and a master of education from the University of Minnesota Duluth, and has provided leadership in conservation, natural resource management and environmental education since 1998.
Erickson deeply values the St. Louis River Estuary at the Great Lakes headwaters and spends her free time paddling and exploring these local waterways. She expressed gratitude for the support of her family and friends and the historical and present-day stewardship in the region by the Anishinaabe people.