A Closer Look
October 2009
Newsletter #90

LMC Events - Activities - Presentations - Publications - Contracts/Grants - Awards - AWRI Seminar Series - AWRI In The News

William Jackson during the dedication of the W.G. Jackson Research Vessel.

Bill and Kay Jackson in front of the W.G. Jackson Research Vessel.

The lakes in our area, Grand Valley State University, and the Annis Water Resources Institute all lost a friend, visionary, and supporter on October 7, 2009, when Dr. William (Bill) G. Jackson passed away. Bill was much more than a friend to us—he also was a partner with respect to education, research, and environmental stewardship. His fight for clean water, long before it was fashionable to be “green”, took courage, integrity, and passion—three qualities Bill certainly had in ample supply. It was his fight for environmental restoration and protection that laid the foundation for Muskegon's future. Perhaps his most endearing quality though was his humility. Bill and Kay, his wonderful wife of 66 years, never sought credit or attention for all their accomplishments and philanthropy; indeed, they usually shied away from them. For example, it wasn’t until the memorial service that we found out that Nobel laureates would solicit his advice on organic chemistry, or that he was an accomplished dancer.

Bill also was generous, extremely generous. We are proud and privileged that Bill’s legacy will live on at the Annis Water Resources Institute in tangible ways through our vessel, the W.G. Jackson, and through the endowment fund that is named in his honor, which helps fund the long-term monitoring of Muskegon Lake. But we also will remember Bill through his memory, smile, optimism, and courage. The community, GVSU, and AWRI all shine a little less bright with the passing of Bill Jackson.

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AWRI Events

October 2 – Dr. Allen Burton, from the Cooperative Institute for Limnology & Ecosystems Research at the University of Michigan, presented “Assessing Aquatic Ecosystem Impairment: Issues and Approaches”.

October 3 – Visit by GVSU families and students for GVSU Family Weekend.

October 8 – Congressman Hoekstra hosted a Federal Procurement/Contracting workshop.

October 9 – The Black Women’s Political Caucus held their 32nd Annual Dinner.

October 14 - Lamont Christian School visited the Institute and participated in hands-on activities in the Annis Educational Foundation Classroom.

October 15 – Graduate Student, Jessica Higgins, defended her thesis “Overland Flow and Tracer Transport: Investigating influences of soil surface and texture.” Jessica Higgins’ major advisor is Rick Rediske.

October 19 – Janet Vail held a Project WET “Healthy Water-Healthy People” teacher workshop for the West Michigan Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative.

October 21 – The Muskegon Sustainability Coalition’s Recycling Committee held a meeting.

October 30 – The West Michigan Strategic Alliance held a City Collaboration meeting.

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AWRI Activities

AWRI undergraduate students participated in the West Michigan Regional Undergraduate Science Research conference held at the Van Andel Institute on October 31.

Driza, K. and B. Biddanda. Poster. Changing trends in primary production and respiration along the Muskegon River-Lake Michigan transect.

LaRue, E., R.A. Thum, and C.R. Ruetz III. Poster. Population structure of the invasive round goby in Lake Michigan.

Prichard, C., C.R. Ruetz III, and J.N. McNair. Poster. A dynamic programming model of patch selection by stream invertebrates.

Elaine Sterrett Isely attended the Critical Issues Symposium - At Water’s Edge: Complacency, Thirst, Action held at Hope College on October 7.

John Koches participated in the West Michigan Business Forum “Discovering Sustainability” workshop at Aquinas College on October 15.

Carl Ruetz attended a session at GVSU titled: "News and views on the ADA Amendments Act: what faculty need to know" on Oct. 21.

Carl Ruetz attended a Bias Incident Protocol Training on the Allendale campus on Oct. 27.

Carl Ruetz participated in a conference call as part of the executive committee of the Michigan Chapter of the American Fisheries Society on Oct. 27.

Al Steinman met with Heather Miller, a new faculty member in the GVSU Geology Department, who visited the Institute on October 16. She talked with both Al and Janet Vail about collaboration and Janet gave her a tour of the Institute.

Al Steinman attended the Board of Directors meeting of Goodwill Industries of West Michigan on October 19.

Al Steinman attended a Healing Our Waters Consortium workshop in Ann Arbor on October 28. He is a member of their technical advisory committee.

Al Steinman participated as a search committee member in the selection of the new MAREC Director.

Kurt Thompson attended two GVSU GIS Committee Meetings on Campus on October 7th and 21st.

Kurt Thompson attended a GVSU Wind Energy Integrated Assessment project meeting at AWRI with project members led by Dr. Erik Nordman on October 27th.

Janet Vail hosted three groups of GVSU familes and students at the LMC for the annual GVSU Family Weekend. The groups were here to take cruises on the W.G. Jackson.

Janet Vail gave a tour of the LMC to the Muskegon Chapter of the Michigan Society of Professional Engineers on October 13. Two professors from Kingston University in England also toured the LMC that day.

Janet Vail taught two classes from Lamont Christian School in the Annis Educational Foundation Classroom at the LMC on October 14.

Janet Vail taught a Project WET Healthy Water-Healthy People workshop held in the Annis Educational Foundation classroom on October 19.

Janet Vail, Elaine Sterrett Isely, and John Koches attended the Ottawa County Water Quality Forum on October 26.

Janet Vail attended the GVSU Grant Leadership & Development Advisory Team meeting in Grand Rapids on October 30.

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AWRI Presentations

Bopi Biddanda was invited to give a talk representing GVSU at the West Michigan Undergraduate Science Research conference held at the Van Andel Institute on October 31. The topic was Exploring Groundwater-fueled Ecosystems in Lake Huron.

Rick Rediske did the final outreach presentation for his MDEQ Cladophora grant in Bay City on October 7 at the Bay County State Recreation Area.

Rick Rediske presented “Stormwater induced changes in streams: when water becomes a pollutant” for Geology's Earth Science Week on October 12.

Carl Ruetz gave a presentation to NRM 150, Introduction to Resource Management, on Oct. 15. The topic was Carl's perspective on being a fisheries scientist.

Al Steinman gave a presentation titled "Critical Issues of Water in Michigan: Focusing on Sustainable Water Quantity and Quality" at the Critical Issues Symposium held at Hope College on October 7.

Ryan Thum gave a presentation at Northern Michigan College's Freshwater Summit in Traverse City on October 2. The title of his presentation was “Hybridization between invasive Eurasian and native northern water milfoils and its potential implications for management”.

Janet Vail was invited by Deb Steketee of Aquinas College to speak at the Leadership West Michigan event at MAREC on October 8.

Janet Vail and Amanda Syers, a technical call-in, presented workshops on urban air quality and the Population Connection program at the Michigan Alliance for Environmental and Outdoor Education conference at the University of Michigan in Dearborn on October 10.

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AWRI Publications

Nold, S. C., J. P. Pangborn, H. Zajack, S. Kendall, R. Rediske and B. A. Biddanda. In Press. Benthic bacterial diversity in submerged sinkhole ecosystems. Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Thum, Ryan. 2009. Deciphering cryptic biodiversity of aquatic plants with DNA sequences. Science and Math Update, GVSU’s InterChange. 16:5.

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AWRI Contract and Grants

Al Steinman received a grant for $9,950 from Consumers Energy Foundation to continue the analysis of phytoplankton in Muskegon Lake.

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AWRI Awards

Jordan Allison, AWRI Graduate Assistant, was awarded $200 as co-recipient of the 2009 Sander Award, which is presented by the Walleye Technical Committee of the North-Central Division of the American Fisheries Society. He will use this money to support his travel to the Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference in Springfield, IL where he will be presenting on his research.

Matt Cooper, former AWRI graduate student, is GVSU's nominee for the Midwest Association of Graduate Schools 2010 Distinguished Thesis Award. Matt began his Ph.D. program this fall at the University of Notre Dame.

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AWRI Seminar Series

November 13, 2009
Dr. Stuart Jones
Postdoctoral Research Associate
W. K. Kellogg Biological Station
Michigan State University
Seminar title: "Influence of Terrestrial Organic Matter on Stability of Aquatic Ecosystems"

January 8, 2010
Sonia Joseph
Michigan Sea Grant Outreach Coordinator
Center of Excellence for Great Lakes Human Health (CEGLHH)
NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory

February 12, 2010
Dr. Greg Dick
Asst. Professor
Department of Geosciences
University of Michigan

March 12, 2010
Dr. Hugh MacIsaac
Professor and Chair and Director
Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Invasive Species Research
Canadian Aquatic Invasive Species Network
University of Windsor

April 9, 2010
Dr. Robert Michael McKay
Department of Biological Sciences
Bowling Green State University

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AWRI In The News

“Workshop to focus on government contracts”

Muskegon Chronicle, October 3, 2009

The article is about the federal procurement/contracting workshop hosted by U.S. Representative Pete Hoekstra that was held at the LMC on October 8.


“William G. Jackson, businessman, environmental champion dead at 90”

Muskegon Chronicle, October 10, 2009

This article paid tribute to Dr. Jackson for his contributions to the community. Al Steinman is quoted.


“What are you going to be when you grow up?”

Kidsville News!: West Michigan’s Fun Family Newspaper, October 2009

The W. G. Jackson research vessel experience is highlighted.


GV Faces: Janet Vail, associate professor, AWRI

Forum: a newsletter for the Grand Valley State university community, October 19, 2009

The article is an overview of Janet’s responsibilities at AWRI.


“AWRI offers winter semester internship”

Forum: a newsletter for the Grand Valley State university community, October 26, 2009

This is an announcement of our VanderMey Internship at AWRI.

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