Susan Bence

Environmental Reporter

Susan Bence entered broadcasting in an untraditional way. After years of avid public radio listening, Susan returned to school and earned a bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. She interned for WUWM News and worked with the Lake Effect team, before being hired full-time as a WUWM News reporter / producer.

Susan is now WUWM's Environmental Reporter, the station's first. Her work has been recognized by the Milwaukee Press Club, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, and the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association.

Susan worked with Prevent Blindness Wisconsin for 20 years, studied foreign languages at UWM, and loves to travel.

» Twitter: @WUWMenviron

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The activist was in Milwaukee last week to kick off UWM's Women Leaders Conference. Brockovich told its 500 attendees that she's gathering data to spur a national conversation about environmental and public health concerns.

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During the first public hearing, the Joint Finance Committee heard citizens express their concerns about cuts to education, changes to the state’s long-term care program and funding for transportation projects. Occasional comments about the environment were sprinkled throughout the hour-upon-hour of testimony.

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The University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and its neighbors were shocked to learn  Gov. Walker’s biennial budget would remove state protections for Downer Woods, an 11-acre preserve on campus.

Vice Chancellor of University Relations and Communications Tom Luljak says UWM did not ask for the changes included in the governor's budget proposal. Leaders assume that the protections state law has provided for the woods would be transferred to the UW Board of Regents - UWM's governing body.

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Currently, Milwaukee's inner harbor is not an inviting space. But change is brewing.

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A panel in Milwaukee this week largely criticized the rule that would reduce Wisconsin's coal-burning power plant emissions 34 percent by 2030. Only one renewable energy advocate expressed support.

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An unassuming house on Euclid Avenue, built in the late 1800s, has gotten a face lift. Inside the Bay View home, its been transformed into the Heart Haus. 

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As a high school freshman, Cole Compton introduced his Green Earth Terrariums at Milwaukee's 2014 Sustainability Summit. This year, he was a presenter.

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Organizers of the annual Sustainability Summit and Exposition have worked tirelessly to raise awareness of climate change and the need of sustainable innovation. Now in its 12th year, two educators are trying to draw high school students more deeply into the conversation. 

“Growing Up Green” sprouted from their collaboration and will pilot Thursday during the summit. 

The track features two breakout sessions: Building Sustainable Communities and Rethinking Educational Settings.

Richard Hurd, Flickr

Over the next five years, thousands of volunteers and professionals will track down birds that breed and raise their young in Wisconsin. The data will be distilled into the Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas II.

Menomonee Valley Partners

The Menomonee Valley's astounding renaissance is considered a national model of urban revitalization. Now the Valley is pushing into phase two of its rebirth.

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