A Closer Look
#96 May Newsletter

LMC Events - Activities - Presentations - Publications - AWRI In The News


Pictured Left to Right: Caleb James, Amanda Mercer, Aaron Ferguson, Kate Coveney, Amanda Maycroft, Andrea Koster, Patricia Phillips, and Lee Schoen


2010 AWRI Summer Student Interns

One of the joys of summer at AWRI is our student intern program. This summer, we welcome 8 undergraduate students, both new and returning, to the Institute. These students are funded by a variety of sources and work with different principal investigators.

Three interns are being funded through the D.J. Angus-Scientech Educational Foundation, a long-time sponsor of student internships at AWRI: Aaron Ferguson will be working with John Koches in the Information Services Center implementing a Delphi Process for the Michigan Sea Grant Wind Energy Project and developing a "food map" that helps to identify the strengths and weaknesses in our current local food distribution system; Kate Coveney will be working with Bopi Biddanda examining the response of climate warming on the balance of photosynthesis and respiration (carbon cycle) in lakes; and Patricia Phillips will be working with Ryan Thum helping out with the Eurasian watermilfoil genetics project.

Three interns are being funded through the R.B. Annis Foundation: Amanda Maycroft will be working with Janet Vail presenting programs in the R.B. Annis Educational Foundation classroom, updating education materials, and developing new activities and program modules; Andrea Koster will be working with Carl Ruetz on a variety of fish sampling projects, including sampling larval lake sturgeon in rivers; and Lee Schoen will be working with Mark Luttenton helping to quantify the abundance of larval steelhead and aquatic invertebrates in the Muskegon River, analyzing previously collected samples from the Manistee River, and assisting with surveys of trout populations in the Au Sable River.

Caleb James and Amanda Mercer will both be working with Ryan Thum. Caleb’s internship is funded through the MDNRE. He will be helping to examine genetic variation in populations of invasive Eurasian watermilfoil. In addition to helping with sample processing, he will be working on developing an independent research project on chromosome counts for different genotypes of Eurasian and hybrid milfoils. Amanda’s internship is funded through an NSF grant. She will be helping to examine the role of genetic variation in biological invasions of variable leaf watermilfoil. In addition to helping with sample processing, Amanda will be conducting a genetic survey of milfoil sold in the aquarium trade to evaluate this industry as a potential source of spread of non-native genotypes.

A special thanks to all of these bright, young researchers for their hard work and dedication!

Return to top

AWRI Events

May 3 – North Muskegon 4th graders visited the R. B. Annis Educational Foundation Classroom for hands-on activities.

May 10 and 11 – Crossroads Middle School visited the R. B. Annis Educational Foundation Classroom for hands-on activities.

May 17, 18, 20, and 21 – Fruitport Middle School visited the R. B. Annis Educational Foundation Classroom for hands-on activities.

May 17 – Goodwill Industries of West Michigan’s Task Force held a meeting.

May 24 – Sara Busken's students from Mona Shores High School released the salmon that had been raised at the LMC through the Salmon in the Classroom program.

May 25 – GVSU’s University Development held a Planned Giving Annual Meeting.

May 25 and 26 – Murray Lake Elementary visited the R. B. Annis Educational Foundation Classroom for hands-on activities.

May 25 – Mona Lake Watershed Council held a public meeting.

May 26 – City of Muskegon held a “Hackley Lunch”.

May 27 – Alto Elementary visited the R. B. Annis Educational Foundation Classroom for hands-on activities.

May 28 – College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) Advising Center held a retreat.

May 28 – Master’s student Kelli Johnson defended her thesis.

Return to top

AWRI Activities

Matt Altenritter was awarded one of the 2010 student travel awards from the Great Lakes Fishery Commission for his presentation “Reproductive status and juvenile ecology of lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) in the Muskegon River ecosystem” at the upcoming Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in September.

Bopi Biddanda chaired two sessions at the 53rd annual International Association for Great Lakes Research (IAGLR) conference held in Toronto, Canada from May 17 – 21.

1. Biddanda, B. and T. Johengen. Changing water’s edge: nearshore-coastal ecosystem response to loading of inorganic nutrients and organic matter.

2. Ruberg, S. and B. Biddanda. Groundwater in the Great Lakes: sources, magnitude, composition, reactivity and ecosystem response.

Rod Denning gave a Biology Research Seminar titled “Modeling the value of the urban tree canopy – ecological services assessment for the City of Grand Rapids” at Calvin College on April 30.

John Koches and Janet Vail co-hosted the 2010 Sustainability Workshop for the Muskegon Area Intermediate School District (MAISD) Adult Education Teachers at the LMC and at MAREC on April 30, 2010.

John Koches participated in a Shelly Irwin Radio Show about Sustainability on May 19 in Grand Rapids, MI.

Rick Rediske attended another Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment EAC (Environmental Advisory Committee) meeting on May 20.

Al Steinman attended a meeting of the Lake Michigan Monitoring Coordinating Council held in Michigan City, IN on May 11.

Kurt Thompson attended a GVSU GIS Committee meeting on the Allendale Campus on May 19.

Janet Vail, Amanda Maycroft, and Amanda Syers had programs in the R.B. Annis Educational Foundation classroom for:

  • North Muskegon Elementary (May 3 – 1 class)
  • Roguewood Elementary (May 7 – 1 class)
  • Crossroads Middle School (May 10, 11 – 4 classes)
  • Fruitport Middle School (May 17, 18, 20, 21 – 8 classes)
  • Murray Lake Elementary (May 25, 26 – 3 classes)
  • Alto Elementary (May 27 - 2 classes)
  • Daisybrook Elementary (June 1, 2, 3, 4 – 7 classes)

Janet Vail, Amanda Maycroft, Michelle Smith, and Maggie Weinert ran two stations at the annual Reeths-Puffer salmon release on May 6 and May 14 for 5th and 6th grade students. Two other release dates were canceled due to rain.

Janet Vail facilitated a two-day meeting of the U.S. EPA Lake Michigan Forum. She is the co-chair of that group. The meeting was held in Michigan City, Indiana on May 12 and 13.

Janet Vail assisted Kathy Evans with a Muskegon Harbor Port Tour on May 20.

Return to top

AWRI Presentations

AWRI was represented at the 53rd annual International Association for Great Lakes Research (IAGLR) conference held in Toronto, Canada from May 17 – 21. (First listed was scheduled presenter; AWRI staff/students in bold.)

Bhagat, Y. and Ruetz III, C.R. Oral. Assessing patterns of spatial and temporal variation of fish assemblages in a drowned river mouth (DRM) system of Lake Michigan.

Biddanda, B.A., Kendall, S.T., Strickler, E.A., Weinert, M.E., Defore, A.L., and Driza, K.M. Oral. Balance of production and respiration in Lake Michigan: insights into land-lake linkages and the carbon cycle.

Defore, A.L. and Biddanda, B.A. Oral. Carbon cycling in Muskegon Lake: what's driving it?

Hanna, E.A., Rediske, R., and O‘Keefe, J. Oral. PBDEs in the fish of Lake Huron.

Isely, E.S. and Steinman, A.D. Oral. Rein in the Runoff Integrated Assessment: stormwater management in Spring Lake (MI).

Kendall, S.T., Biddanda, B.A., Ruberg, S.A., Nold, S.C., Green, R., Lusardi, W., Casserly, T., and Newman, S. Poster. Production and respiration of microbial mats in the groundwater layer of submerged sinkholes in Lake Huron.

Klump, J.V., Paddock, R.W., Anderson, P.D., Ruberg, S., Johengen, T., and Biddanda, B. Poster. Tracking the rate of groundwater mixing in a Lake Huron sinkhole using Rn-222.

McIntyre, P.B., Allan, J.D., Halpern, B., Boyer, G., Buchsbaum, A., Burton, A., Campbell, L., Chadderton, L., Ciborowski, J., Doran, P., Eder, T., Hecky, R., Infante, D., Johnson, L., Lodge, D., Read, J., Rutherford, E., Sowa, S., Steinman, A., Joseph, C., and Fenner, J. Oral. The Great Lakes Threat Mapping Project: a new tool to aid in prioritization.

Nold, S.C., Bellecourt, M.J., Biddanda, B.A., Kendall, S.C., Ruberg, S.A., Sanders, T.G., and Klump, J.V. Oral. Lacustrine submerged sinkhole sediments are a sink for organic carbon.

Rediske, R.R. and O‘Keefe, J.P. Poster. (Elizabeth Tromp for Rediske). Assessment of PCBs and PBDEs in fish from several trophic levels in western Michigan drowned river mouth lakes.

Ruberg, S.A., Black, T.J., Biddanda, B.A., Hawley, N., Kendall, S.T., Paddock, R.W., and Green, R. Oral. Exploration of Submerged Karst Systems in Lake Huron.

Ruetz III, C.R., Reneski, M.R., and Uzarski, D.G. Oral. Round Goby predation on Dreissena in drowned river mouth lakes: evidence for spatial heterogeneity?

Rick Rediske presented about water quality issues in the Grand River during the Friends of the Grand River cruise on May 27. The cruise departed from Grandville and ended in Grand Haven. It was sponsored by the Ottawa County Parks Department.

Al Steinman gave a presentation on AWRI's Muskegon Lake Long-term Monitoring project to the Community Foundation for Muskegon County on May 11.

Al Steinman gave a presentation on the Great Lakes at Steelcase University in Grand Rapids on May 20.

Al Steinman gave a presentation on the findings from his Mona Lake celery fields project at a meeting hosted by the Mona Lake Watershed Council at the LMC on May 25.

Janet Vail presented a Project WILD Workshop for teachers attending a day-long environmental workshop at Camp Newaygo on May 4. The workshop was sponsored by the Muskegon River Watershed Assembly.

Jon VanderMolen presented at the 2010 Sustainability Workshop for the Muskegon Area Intermediate School District (MAISD) Adult Education Teachers at the LMC and at MAREC on April 30.

Return to top

AWRI Publications

Bopi Biddanda is co-author of a paper published in Journal of Great Lakes Research:

Nold, S. C., H. A. Zajack and B. A. Biddanda. In Press. Archaeal and eukaryal diversity in a submerged sinkhole ecosystem influenced by sulfur-rich, hypoxic groundwater. Journal of Great Lakes Research.

Elaine Sterrett Isely, Al Steinman, and Kurt Thompson are co-authors on a manuscript accepted for publication in the Journal of Great Lakes Research.

Isely, E.S., P. Isely, S. Seedang, K. Mulder, K. Thompson, and A. D. Steinman. In Press. Addressing the information gaps associated with valuing green infrastructure in west Michigan: INtegrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services Tool (INVEST). Journal of Great Lakes Research.

Ryan Thum is a co-author on a manuscript accepted to Molecular Ecology:

Allen, M.R., Thum, R.A., Caceres, C.E. In Press. Does resource monopolization explain genetic differentiation in Daphnia populations?

Return to top

AWRI In The News

“Big Shots”
Muskegon Chronicle, Saturday, May 8, 2010
There is a photo of Calvary Christian School students while on a demonstration cruise onboard the W. G. Jackson research vessel.

“Oil spill highlights risk in Great Lakes”
WZZM 13.com, Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Al Steinman was interviewed regarding consequences if there was an oil spill in the Great Lakes.

“WCMU-TV to air invasive species documentary Tuesday”
WATZ (Alpena and Northeast Michigan) radio, Monday, May 10, 2010
This article is announcing that the documentary “Lake Invaders: the fight for Lake Huron” was being shown. GVSU-AWRI was involved in this movie project.

“1.1 million in NSF grants fund GVSU research”
GV Now, Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Also published in WNDU, WSBT2, FOX 33, WLNS, WTOL, S. Bend Tribune, Alpena News, Mining Journal, Mining Gazette, Daily Press, Detroit News, WZZM 13.
The article is about NSF grants recently awarded to GVSU researchers. Dr. Ryan Thum is one of those researchers.

“Environmental scientists converge on Grand Valley State University’s Muskegon Institute”
Muskegon Chronicle, Monday, May 17, 2010
The article is about the three new postdoctoral candidates working at AWRI.

“Old celery flats harming water: phosphorus is main culprit affecting Mona Lake.”
Muskegon Chronicle, Tuesday, May 25, 2010.
The article mentions the public meeting held May 25, at which Al Steinman spoke of his research on the phosphorus flowing from the celery fields into Black Creek and then into Mona Lake.

Return to top

Page last modified March 11, 2014