AWRI Graduate Student Alumni Profiles
T. Garrison Sanders, Jr. is currently the Restoration Project Manager at Crooked River Watershed Council, located in Prineville, Oregon. Garry graduated with a Masters degree in Biology with an emphasis in Aquatic Science in 2009. While at AWRI-GVSU, he was part of an interdisciplinary and multi-institutional project team led by Dr. Bopi Biddanda. Garry excelled both in the classroom (3.95 GPA) and the field/laboratory. Supported by a National Science Foundation-funded Graduate Assistantship, Garry carried out groundbreaking studies on the “Community and Stable Isotope Ecology of Groundwater Vents in Lake Huron”. He is a co-author on 2 peer-reviewed articles, and is the first author on a forthcoming feature article in a top-tier journal – Aquatic Biology. During his 2006-2009 tenure at GVSU, Garry won many awards including NASA’s Michigan Space Consortium Graduate Fellowship in 2007 and GVSU’s Graduate Academic Excellence Award in 2009.
Kristin (Nelson) Thomas completed her master’s thesis in biology at GVSU in 2008 under the supervision of Dr. Carl Ruetz at the Annis Water Resources Institute. For her thesis research, Kristin examined the distribution of invasive dreissenids (i.e., zebra and quagga mussels) in Great Lakes coastal ecosystems. Kristin’s research, which was published in the peer-reviewed journal Freshwater Biology, suggested that some types of coastal wetlands (i.e., those with deep organic sediments and less turbulent water) were less suitable to dreissenids than others. Kristin received a Graduate Student Presidential Research Grant from GVSU to help support her work and the International Association for Great Lakes Research-OMNR Student Travel Award to present her research at a scientific meeting in 2007. Kristin currently works as an Aquatic Ecologist for the Michigan Council of Trout Unlimited.
Special Faculty Seminar: Dr. Evens Emmanuel of Quisqueya University, Port-au-Prince, Haiti, presented “Water quality in Port au Prince, Haiti”
William Keipers, graduate student working with Carl Ruetz, gave his thesis defense presentation.
The GVSU Muskegon Group held their quarterly meeting in the Bultema conference room.
The public accounting firm of Brickley DeLong, held a Tax Update Workshop in the Multipurpose room.
Series Seminar: Dr. Kim Scribner of Michigan State University, presented "Long-term ecological and genetic studies of lake sturgeon in Black Lake, MI”
GVSU Know Your Numbers Clinical Health Risk Assessment was held in the Multipurpose room.
Students from Steele Middle School visited the Annis Educational Foundation Classroom for hands-on activities.
The GVSU National Science Teachers Association Student Chapter attended an Environmental Education Workshop presented by Janet Vail.
The Muskegon Lake Watershed Partnership held a Habitat coordination/NOAA planning meeting in the Multipurpose room.
Megan Cookingham Altenritter, who worked for AWRI when she was an undergraduate student, gave her thesis defense presentation on January 17 on the Allendale campus.
Bopi Biddanda attended a summer field work planning meeting on common projects with University of Michigan (U of M) and Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (NOAA) colleagues, at U of M, Department of Geosciences, on January 17 - 18.
Bopi Biddanda and Scott Kendall attended a Great Lakes Observing Systems workshop for principal investigators involved in Great Lakes Observatories, at U of M, Cooperative Institute for Limnology Ecosystem Research (CILER), on January 25.
Rod Denning attended the Rogue River Annual Meeting in Rockford on December 1.
Rod Denning attended a meeting of the West Michigan Strategic Alliance at GVSU for Green Infrastructure Leadership Council (GILC) planning on January 28th.
Tony Fiore, AWRI Fleet Captain, attended the Great Lakes Association of Science Ships (GLASS) annual meeting in Traverse City on January 11.
John Koches chaired a Muskegon Area Sustainability Coalition Leadership Committee meeting at MAREC in Muskegon, on January 10.
Rick Rediske attended the Study Abroad Fair held on the Allendale campus on January 18.
Carl Ruetz, Yakuta Bhagat, and Jessica Comben attended a GLRI CMU Great Lakes Basin-wide Coastal Wetland Project meeting in Detroit on January 13 - 14.
Al Steinman attended a Rivermouth Collaboratory kick-off meeting at the Great Lakes Commission in Ann Arbor on December 6 - 7.
Al Steinman was in Washington, D.C., serving on an EPA Science Advisory Board committee evaluating TMDLs for Florida waters on December 13-15.
Al Steinman hosted newly elected U.S. Congressman Bill Huizenga at the Lake Michigan Center on January 17.
Janet Vail traveled to Traverse City on January 10 to facilitate a meeting with two of her GLRI Coordinated Lake-specific Education and Outreach project partners – BaySail and the Inland Seas Education Program. An abstract about the project will be submitted for the IAGLR Conference.
Janet Vail was re-elected as co-chair of the U.S. EPA Lake Michigan Forum. She was asked to represent the Forum on an advisory committee for a Nature Conservancy GLRI project on Lake Michigan biodiversity.
Jon VanderMolen and Rod Denning attended an interactive mapping workshop in Mt. Pleasant on December 17.
Several AWRI faculty and staff provided experiments or displays and others assisted in GVSU’s annual Super Science Saturday event held on the Allendale Campus on January 29. The theme of the AWRI displays was “Water: An Amazing Molecule.” AWRI staff included: Bopi Biddanda, Yakuta Bhagat, Deb Dila, Scott Kendall, John Koches, Amanda Maycroft, Rick Rediske, Amanda Syers, Janet Vail, and Jon VanderMolen.
Amanda Syers and Janet Vail presented a Project WET and Project Learning Tree workshop at the Lake Michigan Center on January 22. The audience was the GVSU student chapter of the National Science Teachers Association.
Janet Vail gave a presentation on her GLRI grant at the Great Lakes Association of Science Ships (GLASS) annual meeting in Traverse City on January 11.
Jon VanderMolen gave a presentation titled, “Environmental and Social Dimensions of Offshore Wind Development” at Michigan Sea Grant’s Regional Fisheries Workshop in Ludington on January 8.
Garry Sanders, former AWRI graduate student, has a paper accepted for publication. It will be the feature article in the February 2011 issue of Aquatic Biology.
Sanders, Jr. T. G, B. A. Biddanda, C. A. Stricker, S. C. Nold. In Press. Stable isotope analysis reveals benthic macroinvertebrate and fish communities linked to submerged groundwater vents in Lake Huron. Aquatic Biology.
Al Steinman and members of AWRI were authors on three articles recently published:
Steinman, A.D., J.R. Nicholas, P. Seelbach, J. Allan, and F. Ruswick. 2011. The role of science in developing policy for the use of groundwater in the state of Michigan. Water Policy 13: 69-86. doi:10.2166/wp.2010.047.
Steinman, A.D., M.E. Ogdahl, and C.R. Ruetz III. 2011. An environmental assessment of a small, shallow lake threatened by urbanization. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 173: 193-209. doi: 10.1007/s10661-010-1381-z.
Gillett, N. D. and A. D. Steinman. In Press. An analysis of long-term phytoplankton dynamics in Muskegon Lake, a Great Lakes Area of Concern. Journal of Great Lakes Research.
Ryan Thum and members of his lab recently had three articles accepted for publication:
Thum, R., Zuellig, M. P., Moody, M., Johnson, R., Vossbrinck, C. In Press. Molecular markers reconstruct the invasion history of variable leaf watermilfoil (Myriophyllum heterophyllum) and distinguish it from closely related species. Biological Invasions.
LaRue, E., Ruetz III, C., Stacey, M. B., Thum, R. 2011. Population genetic structure of the round goby in Lake Michigan: implications for dispersal of invasive species. Hydrobiologia 663:71-82 : doi 10.1007/s10750-010-0555-6).
Andris, M., G.I. Aradottir, G. Arnau, A. Audzijonyte, E.C. Bess, F. Bonadonna, G. Bourdel, J.L. Bried, G.J. Bugbee, P. A. Burger, H. Chair, P. C. Charruau, A. Y. Ciampi, L. Costet, P.J. Debarro, H. Delatte, M. Dubois, M.D.B. Eldridge, P.R. England, D. Enkhbileg, B. Fartek, M.G. Gardner, K. Gray, R.M. Gunasekera, S.J. Hanley, N. Havil, J.P. Hereward, S. Hirase, Y. Hong, P. Jarne, Q. Jianfei, R.N. Johnson, M. Kanno, A. Kijima, H.C. Kim, K.S. Kim, W. Kim, E. LaRue, J.W. Lee, J. Lee, C. Li, M. Liao, N. Lo, A.J. Lowe, T. Malausa, P.G. Male´, M.D. Marko, J.O. Martin, R. Messing, K.J. Miller, B. Min, J. Myeong, S. Nibouche, A.E. Noack, J.K. Noh, J.R.M. Orivel, C. Park, D. Petro, K. Prapayotin-riveros, A.L. Quilichini, B. Reynaud, C. Riginos, A.M. Risterucci, H A. Rose, I. Sampaio, K. Silbermayr, M B. Silva, N. Tero, R.A. Thum, C.C. Vinson, A. Vorsino, C.R. Vossbrinck, C. Walzer, J.C. White, A. Wieczorek, and M. Wright. Permanent genetic resources added to molecular ecology. Resources database 1 June 2010 – 31 July 2010. Molecular Ecology Resources (2010) 10, 1106–1108. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-0998.2010.02916.x
Ryan Thum was awarded the Distinguished Early-Career Scholar Award by GVSU’s Center for Scholarly and Creative Excellence.
Alex Wieten, graduate student working with Carl Ruetz, was awarded the 2011 Don L. Brumbaugh Scholarship from Sontronics, Inc. The Scholarship is for $1000 of Sonotronics equipment to help with his research on lake sturgeon.
Ryan Thum has been awarded a supplement for his NSF PEP/RUI grant in the amount of $7500. This will provide his lab with a summer intern and will supplement AWRI’s summer intern program.
Hannah Tavalire was awarded a Presidential Research Grant for $1000 during the Winter 2011 semester from the Office of Graduate Studies at GVSU.
“North Muskegon eyes wetland as way to improve Bear Lake water quality”
Muskegon Chronicle, December 27, 2010.
The article mentions that AWRI is doing research on Bear Lake.
“Three presenters discuss State of Wind Energy on the Great Lakes (USA)”
www.offshorewind.biz, January 11, 2011.
AWRI’s Jon VanderMolen was one of the presenters a workshop in Ludington on January 8, from which the information in this article was collected.
"Free map highlights West Michigan trails”
The Grand Rapids Press, January 23, 2011.
AWRI’s Rod Denning developed this for the West Michigan Trails and Greenways Coalition and the Meijer Foundation.
Page last modified April 19, 2012