A Closer Look
#91 November Newsletter

LMC Events - Activities - Presentations - PublicationsAWRI Seminar Series - AWRI In The News


Graduate student, Matthew Zuellig, working in the lab.

Graduate student, Hannah Tavalire, sampling in the field.


It is no secret - especially here in the Great Lakes region - that invasive species can cause an impressive array of negative impacts on our environment, economy, and recreation. A great deal of effort goes into trying to stop the spread of invasive species. However, very little is known about how human efforts to control invasive species may impact their evolution – and success – as invaders.

Matthew Zuellig is using molecular genetic tools to study the amount of genetic diversity in populations of Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum), an underwater plant that spreads very rapidly in our inland lakes, and that has hybridized with our native northern watermilfoil (Myriophyllum sibericum). His research also explores the degree to which patterns of herbicide tolerance of invasive populations is associated with the occurrence of hybrid Eurasian x northern watermilfoil populations.

Hannah Tavalire is conducting ecological experiments that compare the degree of invasiveness between hybrid and non-hybrid genotypes of variable-leaf watermilfoil (Myriophyllum heterophyllum), a species that is native to much of the US, but is non-native and invasive in the northeastern US. Hannah’s thesis research will represent one of only a very small handful of studies that experimentally compare hybrid and non-hybrid lineages to determine the role that hybridization plays in the evolution of invasiveness.

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AWRI Events

November 4 – The Muskegon Chamber of Commerce held a meeting called “Muskegon In Focus”.

November 9 – GVSU’s ENS201 - Environmental Studies and Sustainability class visited the Institute for a tour and to learn about AWRI.

November 13 – Dr. Stuart Jones, W. K. Kellogg Biological Station at Michigan State University, presented "Influence of Terrestrial Organic Matter on Stability of Aquatic Ecosystems".

November 18 – The Muskegon Sustainability Coalition’s Recycling Committee held a meeting.

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AWRI Activities

Carl Ruetz participated in an Executive Committee conference call of the Michigan Chapter of the American Fisheries Society on November 24.

Al Steinman serves as a member of the MAREC Advisory Board; they held a meeting on November 12.

Al Steinman attended a meeting of the United Way Special Needs Committee on November 20.

Al Steinman attended a Goodwill Board of Directors meeting on November 23.

Al Steinman attended a working group meeting for the Great Lakes Threat Mapping Project in Ann Arbor on November 30.

Al Steinman was invited to be a member of a Cranbrook Institute of Science, Center for Great Lakes Water Strategic Planning Task Force. He has a meeting in Detroit on December 9.

Elaine Sterrett Isely attended the Northwest Ottawa County Sustainability Coalition meeting and tour of the Coopersville Landfill on November 10.

Elaine Sterrett Isely, Rod Denning, and John Koches attended the West Michigan Strategic Alliance’s Green Infrastructure Leadership Council meeting on November 19.

Elaine Sterrett Isely attended the Lower Grand River Organization of Watersheds Steering Committee and Board Meeting on November 19.

Janet Vail, Elaine Sterrett Isely, and John Koches attended the Lower Grand River Watershed Forum on November 6.

Janet Vail and Elaine Sterrett Isely met with the Varnum law firm on November 24 to help plan a water quality conference to be held on February 23, 2010. AWRI will be a co-sponsor.

Two Project WET workshops were held in November - one at the Dahlem Conservancy in Jackson and the other at the Sprinkler Lake Education Center in Glennie.

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AWRI Presentations

Rod Denning presented the Critical Lands Mapping Project - Lower Muskegon River Watershed at the Heart of the Lakes Center for Land Conservation Policy - Fifth Annual Summit in Lansing on November 10th.

John Koches presented to the Great Lakes Fishery Trust in Lansing on November 3.

John Koches was a guest speaker for GVSU’s NRM Watersheds and Wetlands Class on November 6. His topic was Development of a 319 Watershed Management Plan.

John Koches presented a summary of the Muskegon Area Sustainability Coalition to a Muskegon In Focus class at the Muskegon Area Career Tech Center on November 11.

John Koches was a guest speaker for GVSU’s NRM Watersheds and Wetlands Class on November 12. His topic was section 319 grants, TMDLs, and the Clean Water Act of 1972.

Al Steinman presented to a group from the Muskegon Chamber of Commerce on November 4.

Al Steinman was guest lecturer for GVSU’s NRM 150 – Introduction to Natural Resources class on November 5.

Al Steinman was guest lecturer and gave a tour of the LMC to GVSU’s ENS 201- Environmental Studies and Sustainability class on November 9.

Al Steinman was guest lecturer for GVSU’s BIO 610 – Scientific Methodology on November 16.

Al Steinman gave a presentation on the Upper Great Lakes water level study at the Fall Science Update Conference in Grand Rapids on November 18.

Al Steinman spoke at the Muskegon Lake Watershed Partnership habitat meeting held at the LMC on November 19. Elaine Sterrett Isely also attended this meeting.

Ryan Thum was guest speaker for GVSU’s CMB 250 - Introduction to Biotechnology on November 12.

Janet Vail presented watershed activities to teachers at the first of the professional development opportunities to be held for the Kent County Hub of the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative (GLSI) on November 13. Janet is on the Professional Development Committee for GLSI.

Janet Vail gave a presentation at the GVSU Regional Math & Science Center’s annual Fall Science Update for teachers at the Eberhard Center on November 18th.

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AWRI Publications

Madenjian, C.P., D.J. Jude, R.R. Rediske, J.P. O'Keefe, and G.E. Noguchi. 2009. Gender difference in walleye PCB concentrations persists following remedial dredging. Journal of Great Lakes Research 35(3): 347-352.

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AWRI Seminar Series

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

“Making Connections: Inclusion Implementation Plan and the New University Strategic Plan”
Inclusion and Equity Update, November 2009
The article includes a picture of Inclusion and Equity staff aboard the W. G. Jackson research vessel.

“’Lake Invaders’ documentary premieres at Grand Valley”
FORUM: a newsletter for the Grand Valley State University community, November 2, 2009
The article is about a film GVSU faculty members and students produced on the subject of invasive species in Lake Huron. AWRI researchers consulted on this project.

“Asian carp may have breached barrier”
The Grand Rapids Press, November 21, 2009 also in the
Muskegon Chronicle, November 21, 2009
Al Steinman is quoted regarding Asian carp and their potential to invade the Great Lakes.

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Page last modified April 19, 2012