A Closer Look
#109 July/August 2011 Newsletter

LMC Events - Activities - Presentations - Publications - Awards & Recognition - Grants & Contracts - AWRI In The News

Members of the International Upper Great Lakes Study’s Public Interest Advisory Group and Study Board, meeting at the Annis Water Resources Institute in July, 2010.

Public Input Meeting Held at AWRI on Final Phase of Upper Great Lakes Study

In 2007, the International Joint Commission (IJC) launched a five-year study (International Upper Great Lakes Study, or the “Study”) to look at future water levels in the Upper Great Lakes (Erie, Huron, Michigan, and Superior), and the options for regulating those levels to support the region’s economic and environmental interests.

From the start, public involvement has been a critical part of the Study. To that end, a 20-person Public Interest Advisory Group (PIAG) was formed, with 10 members each from Canada and the US, and representing all the stakeholders with an interest in water levels, including shoreline property owners, boaters, anglers, governments, Native Americans, First Nations, hydroelectric power producers, and environmental and shipping organizations. Dr. Alan Steinman, Director of the Annis Water Resources Institute, was appointed to the PIAG from the start, and continues to serve on both this committee and the Study’s Ecosystem Technical Work Group.

As part of the PIAG’s outreach, the Study held a public input meeting in Muskegon on Saturday, July 30, in AWRI’s multipurpose room. The meeting was one of only two scheduled for Michigan. The Study held public meetings throughout the region this summer to provide information regarding the status of the second and final phase of its work, examining Great Lakes water levels.

At the meetings, the public had an opportunity to hear from Study Board members and researchers about preliminary findings and potential regulation plans. The meetings also offered an opportunity for the public to provide input and ask questions of Study Board members and researchers. Input received in Muskegon and at other meetings will help inform the drafting of a final, peer-reviewed Phase 2 report to be submitted to the IJC in March 2012.

The topics that were covered included:

  • The potential to improve the regulation plan for Lake Superior outflows at Sault Ste. Marie as well as the need for ongoing monitoring to allow for adaptive management;
  • Restoration scenarios for Lake Michigan-Huron water levels, including an exploratory analysis of potential lake restoration options. The methods, construction impacts and long-term lake level impacts will be presented; and,
  • Multi-lake regulation options.

As part of the Study Board’s summer meeting schedule, people also were able to submit comments and input by traditional mail, email and via the Great Lakes Study website at www.iugls.org.

LMC Events

July 21
Students from Ottawa Hills High School visited the Annis Educational Foundation Classroom for hands-on activities.

July 22
AWRI & University of Wisconsin educators held an Earth Partnership for Schools workshop strategy meeting in the Bultema room.

July 26
Geraldine Nogaro, candidate for a postdoctoral research fellowship position, presented a seminar titled "Influence of bioturbation on the biogeochemistry of impacted aquatic ecosystems" in the MPR.

July 26
Wyoming Public Schools students with the Team 21 Program visited the Annis Educational Foundation Classroom for hands-on activities.

July 28
The Wayne State University Fish Advisory Focus Group held a meeting in the MPR.

July 29
The McLaughlin Neighborhood Elementary Group visited the Annis Educational Foundation Classroom for hands-on activities.

July 30
The International Upper Great Lakes Study held a public input meeting in the MPR.

August 1 - 4
The “Great Lakes Earth Partnership for Schools” workshop was held in various AWRI classrooms and the MPR. Teachers from five states attended the workshop.

August 1
A group from Hope College & AWRI held a collaborative project meeting in the Bultema room.

August 2
GVSU University Development held a meeting in the Bultema room.

August 3
The National Park Service held a Michigan Maritime Heritage SRS meeting in the MPR.

August 5
Hannah Tavaliere, graduate student working with Ryan Thum, successfully presented her Thesis Defense in the MPR.

August 9
The NOAA Brazilian Student Group visited the Annis Educational Foundation Classroom for a demonstration, followed by an AWRI presentation in the MPR.

August 10
A meeting to discuss the Celery Flats project was held with representatives of the Mona Lake Watershed Council and AWRI in the Bultema room.

August 15
Nicole Horne, graduate student working with Bopi Biddanda, successfully passed her Qualifying Exam.

August 15
Andrew Sisson, graduate student working with Rick Rediske, successfully passed his Qualifying Exam.

Aug 16 & 19
The W.G. Jackson held two days of public cruises in Muskegon. The boat was docked at the Great Lakes Naval Memorial and Museum.

August 18
A planning session for local high school teachers was held in the MPR by the Educator's Mathematics Content Collaborative group.

August 22
GVSU Deans Council held their retreat in the MPR.

August 23
GVSU Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) group had brief trips on the W. G. Jackson and classroom presentations.

August 24
A meeting with Cascade Engineering and AWRI faculty and graduate students was held in the Bultema room.

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Activities

As part of a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant, the research vessel W.G. Jackson was in Waukegan, Illinois for three days of public cruises on July 11 - 13. The vessel provided open houses and trips for “Celebrate White Lake” on July 23. With the help of some Indiana Coastal Zone funds, the Jackson will travel to Michigan City, Indiana for cruises on September 8 and 9.

Scott Kendall attended a Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) workshop on Drifter Technology at the MATE Center in Monterey, CA during the first week of August.

Carl Ruetz attended the Cooperative Institute for Limnology and Ecosystems Research (CILER) Council of Fellows meeting on August 16 at the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor.

Car Ruetz and Tony Fiore were on the WMUS morning radio show on August 24 to discuss fisheries research.

Carl Ruetz served as a faculty leader for a small group discussion with students as part of the University’s Transitions Fall Orientation on August 26.

Al Steinman was a committee member participating in the defense of Janine Ruegg, a PhD candidate in the Department of Biology at the University of Notre Dame, on July 6th.

Al Steinman participated in a panel hosted by the Keystone Summit at Western Michigan University dealing with the Great Lakes and energy on July 12th.

Al Steinman was a panel member for EPA’s STAR program, evaluating proposals to their RFP for “Extreme Events: Effects of Climate Change on Air and Water Quality” in Washington, DC on July 19-21.

Al Steinman was invited to assist the Grand Angels, a venture capital group in Grand Rapids, in evaluating a proposal and presentation, at Cascade Engineering on August 3rd.

Al Steinman attended a meeting of the IJC’s Public Interest Advisory Group in Detroit on August 30th-31st.

Hannah Tavaliere, graduate student working with Ryan Thum, successfully defended her thesis on August 5, and will leave for Oregon State University at the end of the month to pursue her Ph.D.

Janet Vail took part in the summer Lake Michigan Forum conference call on July 26th.

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Presentations

Bopi Biddanda gave invited presentations on collaborative research and on interactive feedback to NOAA’s Science Advisory Board evaluating GLERL on July 21st in Ann Arbor, MI.

Rod Denning and Erika Arndt (R.B. Annis summer intern working in the ISC) gave presentations to the teachers enrolled in the Earth Partnership for Schools (EPS) summer institute during the week they spent at the LMC at the beginning of August.

Brandon Harris, S3 student working with Carl Ruetz, presented a poster on his summer research titled "Comparing two methods for estimating stream fish abundance". The Student Summer Scholars Showcase took place on August 4 at the DeVos Center. Carl Ruetz attended this event.

Nicole Horne, graduate student working with Bopi Biddanda, and Andrew Sisson, graduate student working with Rick Rediske, gave presentations to Cascade Engineering representatives regarding their ongoing student projects using Cascade’s hydraid biosand water filters. This meeting was held at AWRI on August 24.

Scott Kendall gave a presentation highlighting the Buoy Observatory that the Biddanda Lab has established in Muskegon Lake while at the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) workshop in Monterey, CA during the first week of August.

Carl Ruetz gave an invited presentation titled “Intensive Site Assessment and Michigan IBIs” at the Michigan Wetlands Association Annual Conference in Traverse City, Michigan on August 31.

Ryan Thum gave an invited talk titled “Genetic approaches to studying herbicide response: where we're at, and where we might go” at a special session on herbicide resistance at the annual meeting of the Aquatic Plant Management Society on July 25 in Baltimore, MD.

Janet Vail presented a MEECS Air Quality workshop to teachers at the DNR-DEQ Academy of Natural Resources at the Ralph MacMullan Center on July 21.

Janet Vail presented summer teacher workshops to the GVSU Woodrow Wilson Fellows on July 14 and July 29. A trip on the W.G. Jackson was also included on July 29.

Janet Vail hosted and presented at the Week One of the Earth Partnership for Schools (EPS) summer institute the week of August 1-5. The EPS event was spearheaded by the University of Wisconsin, Madison and the AWRI Education and Outreach team as part of a GLRI grant. The second week was held at the Indiana Dunes Environmental Learning Center.

Janet Vail and Amanda Syers gave a classroom presentation to the GVSU Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) group and a brief trip on the W. G. Jackson on August 23.

Janet Vail gave a presentation to the Grand Haven Rotary about educational cruises aboard the research vessel D. J. Angus on August 30.

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Publications

Three papers from Al Steinman’s lab were recently published:

Steinman, A.D., M.E. Ogdahl, K. Wessell, B. Biddanda, S. Kendall, and S. Nold. 2011. Periphyton response to simulation nonpoint source pollution in the lower Muskegon River watershed. Aquatic Ecology.

Steinman, A.D., and M.E. Ogdahl. In Press. Does converting agricultural fields to wetlands retain or release phosphorus? Journal of the North American Benthological Society 30: 820-830.

Johnson, K.A., A.D. Steinman, W.D. Keiper, and C.R. Ruetz III. In Press. Biotic responses to low concentration urban road runoff. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 30: 710-727

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Awards & Recognition

Al Steinman was made a Paul Harris Fellow by the Muskegon Rotary at their July meeting.

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AWRI In the News

“Great Lakes water-level study group schedules Muskegon public meeting”
Muskegon Chronicle, July 10, 2011
The article is announcing a meeting to be held at AWRI on July 30, hosted by the International Joint Commission.

“Public input sought on Great Lakes water levels”
Muskegon Chronicle, July 12, 2011
The article is announcing a meeting to be held at AWRI on July 30, hosted by the International Joint Commission.

“Kids conduct science experiments on Lake MI”
Triblocal (Gurnee, Illinois), July 20, 2011
The W. G. Jackson was in Waukegan, IL to help promote Great Lakes education. Dr. Janet Vail was interviewed.

“Editorial: a day to celebrate: White Lake moves step closer to clean bill of health”
Muskegon Chronicle, July 21, 2011
The article mentions the GVSU shoreline restoration study done on Muskegon Lake.

“White Lake: on the path to delisting”
Michigan Office of the Great Lakes, July 2011
The article mentions the GVSU shoreline restoration study done on Muskegon Lake.

“Great Lakes water levels”
WOOD-TV8, July 22, 2011 and again on July 29, 2011
The meeting to be held at AWRI on July 30, hosted by the International Joint Commission is mentioned.

“Muskegon – Making Lake Michigan Great – educational cruise and research expedition (free) Tuesday, August 16 and Friday, August 19, 2011!”
Michigan Lake Effect Boating, July 25, 2011
Public cruises on the W. G. Jackson were offered.

“Wind education outreach project – making the case”
The MAREC Minute, Summer 2011, vol. 3, no. 2
Jon VanderMolen is mentioned as a partner in the Wind Project.

“DJ Angus offers tours, education on local waterways”
Muskegon Chronicle, August 17, 2011
Ottawa County Parks is hosting trips on the research vessel D. J. Angus for the general public on August 24.

“Editorial: Lovin’ the lakes: boat time celebrates our maritime culture”
Muskegon Chronicle, August 19, 2011
Public cruises on the W. G. Jackson were offered on Aug. 16 and 19 as one of the events for the first ever Boat Time festival.

“Revisiting Lake Huron’s bizarre anaerobic ecosystems”
Muskegon Critic for Michigan, My Michigan (web site), August 21, 2011
www.DailyKos.com (Kos Media LLC)
Mentions research done by AWRI’s Biddanda Lab on the Lake Huron sink holes.

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Page last modified April 19, 2012