AWRI Education

Outreach and Education



The Annis Water Resources Institute (AWRI) operates its own research and education vessels, the D. J. Angus and the W. G. Jackson, and offers the Water Resources Outreach Education Program for schools and community groups. Over 150,000 students and others have experienced the Great Lakes and adjoining waters through this unique hands-on science program that features cruises on the vessels. This experience addresses the Michigan Grade Level Content Expectations for science and social studies as well as high school standards (Biology, Earth Science).


AWRI Outreach and Education reaches beyond just the vessels. Teachers and students can enjoy a variety of activities in the Annis Educational Foundation Classroom at the Lake Michigan Center. This includes free classroom programs for students. teacher workshops (WET, WILD, Project Learning Tree, Population Connection, MEECS), and short courses (Education 600, Science 580). The Hilt A/V Classroom hosts activities that need access to computers. Tours of the Lake Michigan Center, home of AWRI, can be arranged for community groups. Events such as seminars and workshops that link to the AWRI mission are held in the Lake Michigan Center's Community Foundation for Muskegon County conference room.


AWRI is the state coordinator for Michigan Project WET (Water Education for Teachers). There are over 20 Project WET facilitators in Michigan who present Project WET workshops to educators. Annual "Make a Splash with Project WET" water festivals reach hundreds of students per year.  Check us out on Facebook a Michigan Project WET.

Project WET NEWS:  The 2010 Alignment of Michigan Content Expectations with the Project WET Guide is available online on the Michigan Project WET page.  The new Project WET 2.0 guide was published in fall 2011.  It is being correlated with the Next Generation Science Standards.

AWRI along with the GVSU Regional Math and Science Center is  affiliated with the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) program. GLOBE is an international student environmental monitoring program that links students with scientists. As a GLOBE partner, we offer teacher training and opportunities for students to come to the Lake Michigan Center to practice GLOBE protocols.

AWRI produced the Air Quality Unit and helped with the Climate Change Unit for the Michigan Environmental Education Curriculum Support project. MEECS was initially funded by the Clean Michigan Initiative through the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. AWRI hosts MEECS educator workshops in partnership with Math-Science Centers.

We can help with activities for Salmon in the Classroom and building remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) for underwater viewing. We have trainers for Project Learning Tree, Project WILD, and Population Connection.


Special events of note include the Making Lake Michigan Great Tours funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Great Lakes National Program Office. Since 1998, the W.G. Jackson has traveled to 33 ports of call in Lake Michigan to spread the word about the U.S. EPA Lake Michigan Forum and the Lake Michigan Lakewide Management Plan.  The 2011-2014 tours are supported by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

AWRI has convened the Lake Michigan: State of the Lake Conference. Online abstracts are available for the Lake Michigan: State of the Lake '99 Conference [PDF], the Lake Michigan: State of the Lake '01 Conference [PDF] and the Lake Michigan: State of the Lake '03 Conference [PDF].

Contact Dr. Janet Vail at or (616) 331-3048 for more information about outreach and education.

Page last modified February 18, 2014