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Class Notes

Alumna teams up with legendary environmentalist Lee Botts to tell the story of ‘Shifting Sands’

Monday Mar 03, 2014


Alumna Pat Wisniewski (B.A., Communication, 2009) of Valparaiso is embarking on another important documentary, this time teaming up with prominent Great Lakes Environmentalist Lee Botts. Botts, who founded the Alliance for the Great Lakes, is an honorary alumna of IU Northwest, which presented her with an honorary doctorate in the 1990s.

Wisniewski recently participated in another groundbreaking documentary, “Everglades of the North,” a piece about the Grand Kankakee Marsh, which led her to be invited to join Bott’s project, “Shifting Sands.”

Wisniewski is a former steelworker who decided to chart a new life course and pursue communications at IU Northwest. “Everglades of the North” was her first production that came out of her life-altering education at IU Northwest.

Botts has been working towards a better environment on the south shore of Lake Michigan and throughout the Great Lakes for many years. She started a production company "Green Heron Productions" for the purpose of creating this documentary in order to inform the public about some of the positive clean-up and restoration efforts taking place in Northwest Indiana today due to partnerships between various stakeholders.

Together with the entire team, Botts and Wisniewski worked out an outline for the story, which will also include some of the history of the shoreline with the creation of a National Park and industrialization leading up to today and how we all must work together towards a more sustainable world in this day and age.

The other production team members include Rana Segal, Paul Nelson and Mathew Keene. The filmmakers are being advised by a committee of local scientists, historians, environmentalists and various community stakeholders.  

The team’s Shifting Sands Facebook page, chronicles progress on the documentary.The production’s sponsors, to date, include: The Legacy Foundation, the Lake Michigan Coastal Program and Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

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