A Closer Look
#119 July 2012 Newsletter


Top left:  Stormwater runoff directed away from Muskegon Lake.  Top right: Green roof on boat storage building.    


Bottom Left:  AWRI Rain Garden.  Bottom Right:  Pathway which processes rainwater from parking lot to rain garden.

Sustainability – A Journey without End

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

When we consider what makes a community sustainable, it is one that has identified a way to successfully balance social, economic, and environmental goals; it realizes that giving attention to just one area of emphasis can have detrimental effects on the other two.  At the Annis Water Resources Institute (AWRI), our passion and our expertise lend themselves to the examination of environmental concerns.  Even so, we are mindful that in order to have a healthy and sustainable environment, consideration needs to be given to helping foster a healthy society and a prosperous economy.  This is one of the reasons that AWRI helped to organize the Muskegon Area Sustainability Coalition (MASC).  MASC is entirely volunteer-based and yet has accomplished much since its creation in 2006.  MASC has published The Prosperity Index every year since 2007.  MASC has members that are involved in recycling, school lunch and local foods programs, energy conservation, and education policy.  MASC meets as a whole the fourth Monday of every month at GVSU’s Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center in Muskegon. 

Staff and faculty at AWRI realized a long time ago that there is a lot we can do both as individuals and as an institute that would contribute to a sustainability goal.  If you ever have the opportunity, come and visit AWRI’s Lake Michigan Center (LMC) in Muskegon.  The first thing you are likely to notice before you even pass through the gate is the green roof on our boat storage building.  Adjacent to that same building is a rain garden that processes rainwater flowing from our parking lot.  Note that none of our parking lots discharge directly to Muskegon Lake, with stormwater runoff being directed to soils surrounding the facility.  And perhaps most obvious is the dune grass that surrounds the LMC.  This natural grass requires no mowing, limited maintenance, and eliminates the need for regular watering.  Once you enter the building you will find a well-organized recycling center for plastics and glass, facilities for cardboard collection, and of course office paper recycling.  In recent years many of our printers have been converted to double-sided printing, reducing the overall use of office paper.  Just so you know, if you are caught using only one side of the paper, you are likely to hear about it from our Director!  Yes, we take the whole idea of SUSTIANABILITY pretty seriously around here!!

LMC Events

July 27
The following AWRI Summer Student Interns (mentors in parentheses) gave presentations on the work they have been doing this summer: Shaughn Bennett (Mark Luttenton); Youssef Darwich (Ryan Thum); Alex Ebenstein (John Koches and Jim McNair); Tara Eilers (Janet Vail); Terry Felty (Rick Rediske); Anna Harris (Geraldine Nogaro and Al Steinman); and Tony Weinke (Bopi Biddanda).

July 30
Representatives from Consumers Energy in Lansing met with GVSU’s Matt McLogan and Al Steinman to discuss water resource issues.  Al Steinman gave them a tour of the AWRI facilities.

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The Discovery Channel’s Profile Series will broadcast an episode on freshwater conservation, featuring AWRI, on August 15th at 7 am EDT.

The W.G. Jackson was at White Lake for “Celebrate White Lake” on July 21.  There were three cruises and an open house.  Tanya Cabala provided the commentary on the cruises.

The W.G. Jackson left for Chicago on July 30 to provide events for DePaul University.  This will be followed by a visit to Milwaukee for a shoreline festival on August 4.

Bopi Biddanda and Scott Kendall hosted the U. of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Great Lakes Water Institute’s Lake Buoy team members and exchanged ideas on running observing systems on July 11.

Bopi Biddanda initiated collaboration with U. of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada on photophysiological studies during a July 12 visit – and now has a Dive-PAM (underwater fluorometer) on loan from them for the rest of the summer.  Summer student intern Elizabeth Sommers accompanied Bopi on the trip to pick up the equipment.

Bopi Biddanda carried out a second field trip with MSU colleagues on Muskegon Lake as part of the Water Initiative Research Grant between our two institutions on July 10.  Graduate student Leon Gereaux and summer student Anthony Weinke accompanied Bopi on this trip.

Bopi Biddanda took part in a summer expedition to the Lake Huron Sinkholes with collaborators from U. of Michigan and U. of California-Davis on July 24 - 27.  Graduate student Michael Snider and summer student intern Elizabeth Sommers accompanied Bopi on this trip.

Al Steinman attended a Great Lakes Science Planning meeting in Ann Arbor on July 12.  The intent of this group is to develop a science strategy to highlight the importance of science and academic involvement in Great Lakes restoration efforts.

Al Steinman attended a meeting on July 19 at the USGS office in Lansing to discuss the recently funded Silver Lake study. 

Amanda Syers and Tara Eilers provided a tour for the Kandu group of disabled adults on July 13.

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Rick Rediske presented the preliminary results of the AWRI benthic sampling for the Mill Debris project to the Muskegon Lake Watershed Partnership and NOAA on July 17.

Chuck Madenjian of USGS presented a paper titled "Sexual difference in PCB concentrations of burbot from Lake Erie" at the Tenth International Congress on the Biology of Fish in Madison, WI on July 17.  Rick Rediske and Jim O’Keefe are co-authors.

Carl Ruetz was featured on the WMUS radio show to discuss fisheries issues on July 25.

Al Steinman participated in an NSF-sponsored journalist/scientist Climate Change Communication Workshop titled “Translating Science/Telling Stories: Agriculture, Water Quality, and Changing the Climate Conversation” held at MSU’s Kellogg Biological Station on July 10.  Steinman spoke about climate change and the Great Lakes, as part of a pontoon boat tour on Gull Lake. 

Al Steinman gave a presentation for the general public on how climate change may affect the Great Lakes and surrounding areas at the Spring Lake District Library on July 24.  

Ryan Thum and Liz LaRue attended and presented a poster at the annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Evolution in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on July 5 – 11.  AWRI staff members are bolded, graduate students are denoted with an *, undergraduate students are denoted with **.
R.A. Thum, E.A. LaRue*, and M.P. Zuellig*.  Poster. Hybridization and rapid evolution of invasive aquatic plants in herbicide-treated lakes.

Liz LaRue, graduate student working with Ryan Thum, presented at the Aquatic Plant Management Society Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah on July 22-25.
LaRue, E.A.* Oral.  Hybrid watermilfoils exhibit reduced sensitivity to 2, 4-D in comparison to parental Eurasian watermilfoil in a laboratory assay experiment.

Janet Vail spoke about AWRI at a Grand River Greenway Celebration event in Grand Haven on July 19.

Janet Vail presented a MEECS Air Quality workshop in Lansing on July 27.  The workshop is for the new cadre of MEECS trainers.

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Awards & Recognition

Rick Rediske, Peter Wampler, and Azizur Molla attended the GVSU Board of Trustee's Annual Meeting on July 13.  Their project titled “Safe and Sustainable Water for Haiti Project” was recognized in the President's Report for outstanding work on behalf of the University.

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Grants & Contracts

Ryan Thum has received funding for an Aquatic Plant Management Society Graduate Research Fellowship titled “Experimental breeding to develop pedigree-based methods for identifying the genetic architecture of herbicide susceptibility, tolerance, and resistance in hybrid watermilfoils (Myriophyllum spicatum x M. sibiricum)”. This will fund a graduate student for the academic year of 2013-2014.

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 AWRI In the News

July 3, 2012
Mark Luttenton was interviewed by Shelley Irwin for the Morning Show on WGVU radio.

“Supports diagnostic evaluation for Silver Lake”
Oceana’s Herald-Journal, July 5, 2012
This is an editorial in support of proposed research of Silver Lake; AWRI is a partner in this proposed project.

“Progress made in addressing Muskegon Lake concerns”
MiBiz, July 9, 2012
Rick Rediske was interviewed concerning Muskegon Lake Areas of Concern.

“Grand River Greenway Celebration continues at LDL with water research program”
WZZM13.com, July 9, 2012
Article promoting Janet Vail’s presentation titled “Science on the Grand” to be held at Loutit District Library on July 19.

“Climate change and the Great Lakes: Who wins, who loses?”
WZZM13.com, July 10, 2012
Article promoting Al Steinman’s presentation about climate change at the Spring Lake District Library on July 24.

July 13, 2012
Al Steinman was interviewed by Shelley Irwin about the W. G. Jackson trip to Ludington and about a scientist/media workshop on climate change.

“Celebrate White Lake Day coming July 21”
White Lake Beacon, July 16, 2012
The AWRI research vessel W. G. Jackson gave educational cruises during the one day event.

“Restoration tours available at Celebrate White Lake”
White Lake Beacon, July 16, 2012
Public tours onboard the W. G. Jackson are highlighted.

“Free boat show, tours on GVSU ship planned for ‘Celebrate White Lake Day’”
MLive.com, July 18, 2012
Public tours onboard the W. G. Jackson are highlighted.

“In the News”  
MiBiz, July 23, 2012
Article is about the collaboration between GVSU-AWRI and MSU on two grants.  One grant is with AWRI PI Bopi Biddanda, the other is with AWRI PI Ryan Thum.

“GVSU gets grant to study Lake Sturgeon in Kalamazoo River”
detroit.cbslocal.com, July 25, 2012
Also covered by Federal News Service, July 25, 2012
A $50,000 grant to study Lake Sturgeon has been given to the Carl Ruetz and Ryan Thum labs.

“What GVSU researchers hope to learn by studying lake sturgeon in Kalamazoo River.”
MLive.com, July 25, 2012
Carl Ruetz and Ryan Thum are interviewed regarding the scope of the project they will be doing.

“Grand Valley researchers to study culturally significant fish”
GVNow, July 25, 2012
Carl Ruetz and Ryan Thum are interviewed regarding the scope of the project they will be doing.

“GVSU receives $1 million donation for Annis Water Resources Institute building”
MLive.com, July 27, 2012
Karen Loth, Vice President for University Development, was interviewed regarding the $1 million donation AWRI recently received toward rebuilding the field station.

“GVSU water institute donation comes from $4 million anonymous Muskegon fund”
MLive.com, July 28, 2012
Al Steinman was interviewed regarding the new field station and about the anonymous donation to this new facility.

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Page last modified March 11, 2014