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.

Ways to Connect

On this Valentine’s Day, we take a look at a business that’s rooted in love - and diapers. Susan Bence is WUWM’s environmental reporter. She was curious to find out just how colorful Catherine Bolden’s “Sprout Change” diapers are.

From Birdies to Birds

Dec 7, 2010

WUWM’s environmental reporter Susan Bence takes us to a former golf course where water is no longer a hazard. There’s more information on the Forest Beach Migratory Preserve and the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust.

There’s a national movement afoot to grow more food in cities.

And the Milwaukee area stands out as an urban agricultural hotbed, as raised gardens multiply in backyards, empty lots and community spaces. Another promising piece of urban food production is called “aquaponics”.

They’re systems that combine fish and produce.

On this final day of our Project Milwaukee series on the local food economy, Environmental Reporter Susan Bence introduces us to local innovators using this fishy model to inspire future leaders.

Organic Farming Factor

Nov 16, 2010

Wisconsin is second only to California, in the number of organic farms operating in the state.

The numbers, though, are still fairly low.

Of Wisconsin’s 78,000 farms, less than two percent are managed organically.

As we continue Project Milwaukee: What’s on Our Plate?” WUWM Environmental Reporter Susan Bence digs a little deeper into the variety and spirit among the state’s organic farmers.

We travel to Organic Valley to learn how supporting family farms and committing to organic practices made this Wisconsin company very successful – and a national role model. WUWM environmental reporter Susan Bence takes us there for our Project Milwaukee: What's on Our Plate? series, and we hear from reporter Joanne Weintraub, who wrote about Organic Valley in the current issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

WUWM now continues its Project Milwaukee series, exploring the barriers that hold back some Milwaukee Public School students from achieving at a higher level.

Today we look at the role parents play in their children’s success.

WUWM’s Susan Bence met people who care passionately and have strong opinions about the importance of family in a child’s life.

Today is Earth Day. Wisconsin’s own Senator Gaylord Nelson came up with the idea 40 years ago, to call attention to dangers threatening the environment. The U.S. Senator hoped to inspire awareness and action. On this 40th anniversary, we stop by several schools, in search of future environmentalists.

It’s a Saturday, but a dozen or so Whitefish Bay High students are digging their hearts out on the west side of school. They’re installing a series of raised vegetable beds – some for the school, others for the community.

I’ll step aside and let senior Micah Leinbach explain.

Today, WUWM begins a week-long series called “Project Milwaukee: The Currency of Water.”

We will explore southeastern Wisconsin’s prospects of becoming an international hub for water technology.

WUWM environmental reporter Susan Bence starts with a look at the history of water use in Milwaukee and what’s contributing to the water hub dream.

Dairy farming has been a part of Wisconsin’s landscape for generations. A small fraction of those operations is organic. WUWM’s environmental reporter Susan Bence visited a couple committed to organic farming and to passing on their methods to the next generation.

This is the sound of 140 happy cows grazing a few miles outside Elkhorn, Wisconsin.

A few months ago WUWM News met three Milwaukee entrepreneurs who set their sights high. They hope to create a commercial aquaculture business in an old factory building in Bay View. The idea is to raise, and then sell, thousands of fish, using a natural filtering system that grows edible plants along the way. WUWM’s environmental reporter Susan Bence visited Sweet Water Organics to see how the business is coming along.

This is a space transformed.

Starting today, WUWM will provide stories on a regular basis, about environmental issues. We begin by meeting the person whose work led to the creation of UWM’s Great Lakes WATER Institute that sits along the shore of Lake Michigan in Milwaukee. WUWM Environmental Reporter Susan Bence introduces us to the man who’s considered by some to be the father of Great Lakes studies.

Dr. Clifford Mortimer is nearly a century old, but he’s not the least bit interested in slowing down.

We continue our Project Milwaukee series: Black & White, examining race relations in the city.

WUWM’s Susan Bence visited New Hope Missionary Baptist Church on the northeast side, as members gathered for a weekly discussion group.

They shared their experiences and views of race relations in Milwaukee.

Talking It Out

Jun 18, 2009

We continue our Project Milwaukee series: Black & White, examining race relations in the city.

We discovered a group that gathers once a month specifically to talk about race. WUWM’s Susan Bence attended a recent meeting.

We add some new voices to our Project Milwaukee series: Black & White, as we continue examining race relations in the city.

WUWM’s Susan Bence talked with several interracial couples to learn about their lives and some of the challenges they face.

During World War II Eleanor Roosevelt encouraged Americans to plant Victory Gardens. The First Lady planted hers at the White House and some 20 million Americans followed her lead. They hoped to conserve fuel for the war effort and make sure there was enough food to go around.

Now a grassroots movement is spreading around the country to rekindle the tradition. Over the weekend a group of Milwaukee area residents will help plant vegetable beds in yards and shared spaces. It’s called the Victory Garden Blitz. WUWM’s Susan Bence got in on the group’s first planning meeting and has been watching its momentum grow.

Gretchen Mead calls herself a food activist.

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