A Closer Look
#113 December 2011/January 2012 Newsletter

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

Pictured above: Matt Altenritter and Matt Cooper

Pictured above: Hannah Tavalire and Matt Zuellig

AWRI Graduate Student Alumni Profiles

Matt Altenritter is currently working on his PhD at the University of Maine under the supervision of Drs. Michael Kinnison and Gayle Zydlewski. His research in Maine focuses on the conservation and ecology of shortnose and Atlantic sturgeon. Specifically, Matt is currently assessing the applicability of a metapopulation framework to sturgeon populations throughout the Gulf of Maine. Matt graduated from GVSU with a Master’s degree in Biology with an emphasis in Aquatic Science in 2010 under the supervision of Dr. Carl Ruetz. Matt’s research at GVSU focused on assessing the population status of lake sturgeon in the Muskegon River system as well as more generally examining the juvenile ecology of lake sturgeon. Matt was awarded the 2010 Graduate Dean’s Citation for Academic Excellence in a Major, as well as the Great Lakes Fishery Commission Travel Award, which provided support for him to present his research at the 2010 annual meeting of the American Fisheries Society in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Matt Cooper is currently working on his PhD at the University of Notre Dame under the supervision of Dr. Gary Lamberti. Matt graduated from GVSU with a Masters degree in Biology with an emphasis in Aquatic Science in 2009. Matt also received his BS degree from GVSU, and then worked as a technician in the lab of Don Uzarski for several years before pursuing his MS degree. After Don took a new position at CMU, Matt joined Al Steinman’s lab, and continued his research examining metabolism in coastal wetlands of the Great Lakes. Matt has already published eleven (11) peer-reviewed scientific papers (6 as senior author) and has received the following awards: University of Notre Dame’s Presidential Fellowship; GVSU’s 2009 Nominee for Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools Distinguished Master’s Thesis Competition; 2009 Graduate Dean's Citation for Academic Excellence, Outstanding Master’s Thesis at GVSU; and 2009 Outstanding Student in Biology at GVSU.

Hannah Tavalire is currently working on her PhD at Oregon State University under the supervision of Dr. Michael Blouin, studying host-parasite interactions in Schistosomiasis mansoni. Hannah graduated from GVSU with a Masters degree in Biology with an emphasis in Aquatic Science in 2011. Hannah received her BS in Animal Science from Michigan State University in 2009 and transitioned directly into her MS program under the direction of Dr. Ryan Thum. Hannah’s MSc thesis work demonstrated that hybrid lineages of introduced variable leaf watermilfoil are more invasive than pure parental lineages. This work is one of very few empirical studies supporting an important role for hybridization in the evolution of invasiveness and has drawn widespread attention by lake managers. Hannah’s thesis work is currently submitted to the journal Evolutionary Applications.

Matt Zuellig is currently working on his PhD at the University of Georgia under the supervision of Dr. Andrea Sweigart and Dr. Michael Arnold. Matt graduated from GVSU with a Master’s degree in Biology with an emphasis in Aquatic Science in 2011. Matt received his BS degree in biology from Indiana Wesleyan University, where he spent two years studying a chickadee hybrid zone with Daniel Jones. Drawing on his experience in studying hybridization in nature, Matt joined Dr. Ryan Thum’s lab at AWRI to study the effects of hybridization on invasiveness in several watermilfoil species. Matt co-authored four peer-reviewed scientific papers at AWRI (one as senior author) and has received the following awards: University of Georgia’s Graduate Recruitment Opportunities (GRO) Fellowship; GVSU’s 2011 Nominee for Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools Distinguished Master’s Thesis Competition; and 2011 Graduate Dean's Citation for Academic Excellence, Outstanding Master’s Thesis at GVSU.

LMC Events

Dec 2
Special Seminar: Dr. Lisa Huberty of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality presented “A discussion with MDEQ about invasive starry stonewort (Nitellopsis obtusa)”.

Dec 8
West Michigan accounting firm, Brickley DeLong, held a tax update retreat.

Dec 9
AWRI graduate students gave internal presentations:
Elizabeth LaRue: “Hybridization and the Evolution of Invasiveness in Human-Disturbed Habitats”
Andrew Sisson: "A Pictorial Look of Me, Water, and Biosand Filtration in the Artibonite Valley, Haiti"
Michael Snider: “Probing the Pigments and Physiology of Modern Cyanobacterial Mats that are Analogs of Life on Early Earth”
Amanda Syers: "Preparing a Climate Change Supplement"
Alex Wieten: "Lake Sturgeon in the Muskegon River System"

Dec 12, 14, 19

Three candidates interviewing for the AWRI faculty position of Assistant/Associate Professor in Climate Modeling/Climatology presented:
Dr. Indrani Pal of Columbia University: “Detection and Attribution of Precipitation Extremes: Understanding Hydrological Phenomena from a Climate Perspective”
Dr. Kevin Strychar of Texas A&M - Corpus Christi: “Modeling Climate Change: Can we trust model predictions?”
Dr. Colleen Mouw of the University of Wisconsin-Madison: "Remote sensing and optical variability of the Great Lakes and inland lakes”

Jan 17
The TEDxMuskegon group held an event titled “TEDxMuskegon Conversation”.

Jan 18
The Mona Lake Watershed Council held a Mona Lake Celery Flats restoration project meeting.

Jan 25
GVSU Regional Science and Math Center held a Project PRIME workshop for Muskegon and Newaygo area teachers.

Jan 27
GVSU Kutsche Office of Local History held a planning meeting for their “Third Annual Local History Roundtable” to be held at AWRI in April.

Jan 31
The Muskegon Area Intermediate School District held their “Michigan STEM Partnership-Lake Michigan Hub” meeting.

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Activities

Mark Luttenton appeared on Ask the Expert with Shelley Irwin on January 12. The topic was Ask the Scientist.

Al Steinman attended the final GLEAM (Great Lakes Environmental Assessment and Mapping) Project workshop in Ann Arbor on December 2.

Al Steinman attended a meeting of the USGS-led Rivermouth Collaboratory workshop in Ann Arbor on December 6-7.

Al Steinman met on January 18th with Martin Ruiz from the Michigan Economic Development Commission to discuss attracting foreign investments to Michigan dealing with water.

Al Steinman has been selected to serve on the Board of Trustees of the Michigan Chapter of The Nature Conservancy.

Janet Vail was asked to participate in a National Science Foundation project of the American Psychological Association (APA) to develop a research agenda aimed at broadening the participation and achievement of women with disabilities in STEM education at the undergraduate level.

Janet Vail facilitated a Project WET workshop for the Grand Traverse Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative in Traverse City on January 26.

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Presentations

AWRI was represented at the Midwest Fish & Wildlife Conference in Des Moines, Iowa on December 4-7. Some of our graduate (denoted by one asterisk) and undergraduate (denoted by two asterisks) students presented. AWRI personnel are in bold, with the presenter listed first.

Harris, B.S.**, J.J. Homola*, and C.R. Ruetz III. Oral. Evaluating removal and mark-recapture methods for estimating abundance of a small, non-game fish.

Comben, J.N., C.R. Ruetz III, K.M. Smith, and E. Binoniemi-Smith. Poster. Abundance and habitat use of lake sturgeon in two Lake Michigan tributaries.

Wieten, A.*, C.R. Ruetz III, M.E. Altenritter*, and K.M. Smith. Poster. Population dynamics of lake sturgeon in the Muskegon River system, Michigan, USA.

Kneisel, A.**, C.R. Ruetz III, A.D. Steinman, and S.L. Cooke. Poster. Is phytoplankton sufficient to support bighead and silver carps in Muskegon Lake?

Homola, J.J.*, C.R. Ruetz III, and S.L. Kohler. Poster. Individual-level effects of a microsporidian disease on mottled sculpins in Michigan streams.

Bopi Biddanda gave an invited presentation at Cooperative Institute for Limnology and Ecosystem Research (U of M) and Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (NOAA) on December 7, 2011 in Ann Arbor, MI. The title was Earth’s Eye: Observatory for Ecosystem Changes In Muskegon Lake.

Carl Ruetz was invited to present at a White Lake Public Advisory Council Meeting in Whitehall, MI on January 5. The title was White Lake AOC—evaluating targets for delisting two BUIs: loss of fish habitat and degradation of fish populations.

Al Steinman gave a presentation to the Muskegon Lake Watershed Partnership on January 12th at the Muskegon Township Hall. He spoke about the Bear Lake internal phosphorus loading study.

Al Steinman gave a presentation to the Y Club of Muskegon on January 19. He spoke about AWRI activities.

Ryan Thum was a guest lecturer for Jim Dunn’s Ecology course on December 2, 2011.

Janet Vail, Tom Kelly (Inland Seas), and Steve Stewart (Michigan Sea Grant) presented a talk on their GLRI grant at the Great Lakes Association of Science Ships meeting in Traverse City on January 11.

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Publications

Jim McNair currently has 3 articles accepted for publication:

McNair, J.N., A. Sunkara, and D. Frobish. 2012. How to analyze seed germination data using statistical time-to-event analysis: nonparametric and semiparametric methods. Seed Science Research (20 pages, based on page proofs).

McNair, J.N., A. Sunkara, and D. Frobish. 2012. Supplementary material: How to analyze seed germination data using statistical time-to-event analysis: nonparametric and semiparametric methods. Seed Science Research (19 pages; downloadable online document comprising supplemental technical material, plus R and SAS code for conducting all types of nonparametric and semiparametric analyses discussed in the journal article).

McNair, J.N. and J.D. Newbold. 2012. Turbulent particle transport in streams: can exponential settling be reconciled with fluid mechanics? Journal of Theoretical Biology.

Rick Rediske and Carl Ruetz were co-authors on a recently published article:

MacDonald, N.W., D.W. Mays, R.R. Rediske, and C.R. Ruetz III. 2011. Environmental variation, fish community composition, and brown trout survival in the Pigeon River, Ottawa County, Michigan. Michigan Academician XL (2):135-168.

Carl Ruetz is a co-author of an article due to be published:

Ruetz, C.R., III, M.R. Reneski**, and D.G. Uzarski. In press. Round goby predation on Dreissena in coastal areas of eastern Lake Michigan. Journal of Freshwater Ecology.

Ryan Thum and others from his lab had an article published in Biological Invasions:

Thum, R.A., A. Mercer**, and D. Wcisel. 2012. Loopholes in the regulation of invasive species: genetic identification techniques identify the sale of prohibited invasive aquatic plants. Biological Invasions.

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Grants & Contracts

John Koches received $111,723 from the USEPA/MDEQ for work with the Muskegon River Watershed Assembly on the Houghton Lake E. coli Reduction Project.

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AWRI In the News

“Weeds in White Lake: the problem of eutrophication and undesirable algae”
White Lake Beacon, December 5, 2011
AWRI is mentioned because they have done several studies of the White Lake system in recent years.

“Climatologist candidates to deliver seminars at Annis Water Resources Center (sic)”
Muskegon Chronicle, December 5, 2011
Climatologist candidate seminars are listed. This was picked up by several news agencies and was mentioned on WILX, WNEM, WOOD, WTKG, WWMT, and WWTV.

“GVSU Offers GLOBE Climate Change Workshop”
Interchange (a publication of the GVSU Regional Math and Science Center), December 2011
Regional Math and Science Center and AWRI coordinate to put on this event.

“Climate Seminars”
Muskegon Chronicle, December 9, 2011
AWRI Climatologist candidate seminars are listed.

“Climate experts speak at Grand Valley in Muskegon”
MLive.com, December 12, 2011
Climatologist candidate seminars are listed. This was also picked up by Petoskey News, WDIV-TV online, WNEM-TV online, WOOD-AM online, WTKG-AM online, and WWMT-TV online.

“Graduate Studies presents top awards”
Forum: a newsletter for the Grand Valley State University Community, December 12, 2011
Whitney Nelson, graduate student working with Al Steinman was awarded the Outstanding Master’s Thesis for Biology at an event held on 12/9/11.

“AWRI to host two climate experts at climate change seminar”
Grand Valley Lanthorn, December 12, 2011.
Al Steinman is interviewed about potential impacts of climate change.

“Steinman appointed to Nature Conservancy board”
GVNow, December 22, 2011
Al Steinman has been appointed for a 3 year term as a member of the Michigan Board of Trustees of The Nature Conservancy.

“Community and region reflect on the contributions of Patricia B. Johnson, who died Tuesday”
Muskegon Chronicle, January 3, 2012
Among Mrs. Johnson’s many accomplishments was her assistance in finding funding for the Lake Michigan Center, home of the Annis Water Resources Institute.

“Editorial: Why not Muskegon? New blue-green economy just what area needs.
Muskegon Chronicle, January 29, 2012
AWRI is mentioned in the article.

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Page last modified April 19, 2012