2023 St. Louis River Summit


St. Louis River Summit: River Reciprocity

March 8-10, 2023

We’re looking forward to the 13th year of the St. Louis River Summit, and a return to hosting most of this event at the Yellowjacket Union on the campus of UW-Superior. It feels like coming home! In 2023, the Summit program will begin with a half day virtual program on March 8 and will move into two full days of in-person sessions on March 9 and 10 at the Yellowjacket Union.    

The Summit features a single main session track of speakers as well as an evening poster session and a River Talk. By popular demand, there will once again be field trip opportunities. View the Summit agenda summary below.

2023 Summit Cost & Registration

Join us in celebrating the St. Louis River Estuary.

  • General Admission $60. Attend all three days of the Summit (virtual and in-person).
  • Virtual Session Admission $25. Attend the virtual half-day program on March 8th. Free field trip registration also available for Virtual Session admission.
  • Students FREE. Students of any grade level or status may attend all three days of the Summit program at no charge.

Registration provides access to the following:

  • inspiring keynote and panel discussions
  • presentations about current St. Louis River work
  • in-person poster session
  • networking sessions
  • optional in-person field trips
  • access to virtual Zoom session links

What is the St. Louis River Summit?

The Summit is a multi-day opportunity to learn and share about the St. Louis River.

Like an estuary, the St. Louis River Summit is a place where people meet and mix. It provides a diversity of solutions and strategies for a healthy St. Louis River watershed and nourishes the community with education and outreach opportunities. Since 2010, the St. Louis River Summit has brought together key audiences working in the region.

The Summit provides many learning opportunities.

Join us in learning about the following:

  • the status and findings of current research
  • the results of implementing projects
  • ideas and status of future work

2023 St. Louis River Summit Overview


The Lake Superior Reserve strives to make programming accessible and accommodating to all in attendance. We invite you to make our event planning team aware of accommodations and/or accessibility requests that will allow you to participate fully in this event. Please reach out to Karina Heim at karina.heim@wisc.edu or (715) 399-4089 with any requests or questions about accommodations at this year’s Summit.

Agenda at a Glance


9:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m.
Field Trips Around the St. Louis River Estuary

12:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Virtual Summit program (Zoom)

6:30 p.m.
River Talk at the Lake Superior Reserve


8:30am–12:00 p.m.
Main Summit Program
UW-Superior Yellowjacket Union, Great Room

12:00–1:30 p.m.
Networking Sessions and Lunch Break
UW-Superior Yellowjacket Union

1:30 p.m.– 4:00 p.m.
Main Summit Program
UW-Superior Yellowjacket Union, Great Room

4:30–6:30 p.m.
Poster Session
UW-Superior Yellowjacket Union, Great Room


8:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Main Summit Program
UW-Superior Yellowjacket Union, Great Room

12:00 p.m.–1:30 p.m.
Networking Sessions and Lunch Break
UW-Superior Yellowjacket Union

1:30–5:00 p.m.
Main Summit Program
UW-Superior Yellowjacket Union, Great Room

Keynote Speaker

A portrait of a man with black hair, a mustache and chin whiskers


Ziibii miigiwe’idiyang – river reciprocity, Anishinaabe perspectives on conservation and connection

Thursday, March 9 9:00am, UW-Superior Yellowjacket Union

Michael Waasegiizhig Price is the Traditional Ecological Knowledge Specialist at the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission headquartered in Odanah, WI. He is Anishinaabe and an enrolled member of Wikwemikong First Nations, Canada. His role as TEK Specialist involves integrating Anishinaabe language and cultural perspectives into research methods and resource management to make science more culturally relevant. Michael received his Master of Science in Forestry from the University of Montana and a Bachelor of Art in Biology from Benedictine College in Atchison, KS. He also received his Certificate of Ojibwe Language Instruction from Bemidji State University.

A woman with medium length dark hair wearing a long sleeve blue denim shirt. She is standing in front of a red barn.


Ways of Seeing: How artists relate to the river

Friday, March 10th 1:30-2:30pm

Moderated by Anne Dugan, independent curator and instructor of art history at the College of St. Scholastica and the University of Wisconsin Superior

This panel features artists offering diverse perspectives on the connection between art and the waters of our region. For millennia, water has served as an invariable subject and inspiration and art has been a tool of cultural production and interpretation. Art functions in many ways. It is a source of expression. It can connect us deeply with each other and with our place. It can foster stewardship and provoke social change. It can record, interpret, and reinterpret history. It can be of great comfort to the artist and its audience. It can simply be beautiful. These many functions of art inspired by place feed reciprocally back into the care and protection of land and water.

Session Descriptions


At the St. Louis River Summit, we encourage speakers from across disciplines to share their knowledge in a space where everyone learns together. This event clusters submitted talks of 10 or 20 minutes on a variety of river-related topics into sessions across multiple days. This year, the first day of session talks on March 8 will take place in a virtual Zoom environment, and the second and third days of session talks on March 9 and 10 will be delivered live in-person at the Yellowjacket Union on the UW-Superior campus. The session full schedule will become available in early February.


People with shared interests and unique knowledge have a lot to talk about when they come together! The Summit strives to support collaboration on timely topics to the St. Louis River community by creating space for networking sessions.  These optional sessions are established through the submission of an abstract indicating interest in hosting a conversation or smaller work session during the Summit. This year, networking sessions will be held in side rooms at the Yellowjacket Union during the lunch hour on March 9 and 10. Session topics will be announced in early February.


All registered Summit attendees are welcome to attend the event’s poster session, where presenters highlight updates from new and ongoing projects connected to the St. Louis River area. New this year: we’ve issued a call for artist submissions at the poster session! Art and poster submissions will be featured alongside each other. This session is an opportunity to connect with colleagues and community members. This year, the poster session will be hosted in-person at UW-Superior’s Yellowjacket Union in the early evening of March 9. The session will make use of the ample space in the Great Room to showcase posters and art, and light refreshments will be served. A cash bar will be available.


For the third year in a row, the Summit is offering an opportunity for attendees to get out and experience this amazing place! We have all new field trips planned for this year. There are three field trip opportunities that attendees can choose from and sign up for at the time of registration (at no additional cost). Field trips are space-limited, and will be available until full.

Field trip participants will receive additional information about their event from their trip leader in the week leading up to the Summit.

Explore Science in Superior at Montreal Pier

Montreal Pier in Superior WI. A map location will be shared with participants the week prior to the field trip.

An emerging science destination in Superior, Montreal Pier is home to the Lake Superior Research Institute Ballast Water Treatment site and the UMD Large Lakes Observatory vessel the R/V Blue Heron. Tour both on one visit in this field trip showcasing two major research institutions in our community.

Considerations: Uneven and unpaved ground, walking in snow, some time outdoors.

Visit the Wisconsin Point Bird Sanctuary

Meet in the lighthouse lot at the end of Wisconsin Point in Superior, WI.

A visit to the WI Point Bird Sanctuary to learn about the habitat restoration and establishment that WDNR has led since additional material was placed to expand the site for Piping Plover Nesting. This site is closed during PIPL nesting season, so this opportunity is only available Sept- March. If needed, snowshoes will be provided.

Considerations: Walking or snowshoeing on uneven ground and snow. Time will be completely outdoors. Rustic restrooms available nearby.

Enjoying winter with Snow Snakes!

Lake Superior Estuarium, Barkers Island, Superior WI

Snow Snakes is a Traditional Ojibwe Winter Game (also played by several other Tribes throughout the U.S. and Canada). The snow snakes are wooden poles, often around 6 feet in length, that are carved and weighted so they can slide well on snow or ice. The games will test strength and accuracy as the players will be challenged to throw their snakes as far as they can or try to get as close as they can to a target. The courses for these distance and accuracy games will be set up on the frozen ice of the St. Louis River Estuary just off of Barker’s Island. Come join us to learn more about this traditional game’s history from the Ojibwe perspective and see how well you can throw!


This year’s event is “History and Stories of the Estuary”.

This event will be held at the Lake Superior Reserve Confluence Room at 3 Marina Drive on Barkers Island in Superior, WI.

For questions about this River Talk event, please reach out to Deanna Erickson at 715-399-4086 or deanna.erickson@wisc.edu.

March 9 and 10 in-person Summit events at the Yellowjacket Union

This year, two days of the Summit main session, networking sessions and the poster session will be held in-person at UW-Superior’s Yellowjacket Union (YU) on March 9 and 10. The YU is located on the UW-Superior campus. Get directions to YU. All sessions will be held on the second floor of the YU. An elevator is available to reach the second floor and accessible parking is available. There will be signage to help you find your way to the YU’s Great Room and adjacent rooms where events are being held.


Parking is available at no charge in select UW-Superior parking lots 2 and 11, shown on this map. You may park in either of these lots without requiring a pass or payment. Please do not parking in any space with a yellowjacket symbol or a sign indicating it is reserved for another use.


Restrooms, including a gender neutral bathroom, are located on the same floor just down the hall from the rooms where Summit events are taking place.


Currently, the Yellowjacket Union is not requiring the use of masks inside their building. We encourage Summit attendees to monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and for the safety of all please do not attend if there is reason to believe you may have COVID-19. We encourage everyone to test for COVID-19 before attending this event.

a large group of Summit partner logos


Deanna Erickson, Lake Superior Reserve Director


The St. Louis River Summit is intended to facilitate shared community dialog related to socio-ecological issues and natural and social science in the St. Louis River estuary. The Summit is organized and financially supported by the Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve, with help from many generous sponsors. As a part of the University of Wisconsin–Madison Division of Extension and the NOAA-led National Estuarine Research Reserve system, the Reserve itself does not engage in advocacy and as state employees, staff follow clear guidelines. The views of presenters and sponsors who participate in the Summit are theirs or their organizations and do not represent the views, mission or work of the Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve.