A Closer Look
#98 July Newsletter

LMC Events - Activities - Presentations - Grants and Contracts - Publications - AWRI In The News


Masters Student from Germany Studies at AWRI

Since June 2010, Aileen Leinenbach has been involved in AWRI’s education and outreach program under the direction of Dr. Janet Vail. Aileen started studying English and Geography at the University of Cologne in 2006. Since she is interested in secondary education, she also took classes in pedagogy and bilingual education, which enables her to teach Geography in English. After her “Zwischenprüfung” (equivalent to a bachelor’s degree) in 2007, she aimed for her German state exam (equivalent to a master’s degree) in the subjects mentioned above and focused on physical geography. After having passed her oral and written final exams successfully, she then arranged the internship at AWRI, which she has been enjoying greatly: “I am very thankful and happy to be part of the institute, they are doing a great job and I am learning so much every day”.

AWRI has developed a relationship over the years with the University of Cologne in Germany, through Professor Dr. Karl Schneider, the head of the university’s Physical Geography Department. Professor Schneider visited AWRI with several of his students during the last few years, and the idea of an internship was discussed. Further discussions with Dr. Vail led to Aileen’s internship, which combines her area of studies with her vested interest in the United States. Aileen is using her time here to 1) learn about the Institute’s work; 2) concentrate on completing her master thesis: “Building climate change literacy: An analysis of climate change material”; and 3) engage in projects of the education and outreach program.

Aileen will be representing GVSU at the GLOBE Annual Partner Meeting and Professional Development Workshop, taking place 29 July - 3 August 2010, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The theme of the meeting is “Exploring Climate Through GLOBE Student Research.” GLOBE is an international student environmental monitoring program that links K-12 students with scientists. Janet Vail of AWRI and Karen Meyers, GVSU Regional Math & Science Center Director, maintain the GVSU GLOBE partnership. Aileen will also be attending the Climate Change Summit 2010 for Teachers in Detroit in August.

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Lake Michigan Center Events

July 11              Lake Guardian Summer Teaching Workshop took place here.

July 13              Goodwill Industries of West Michigan’s Task Force held a meeting.

July 14              Muskegon Area Municipal Storm Water Education Committee held a meeting.

July 15              A meeting of the International Upper Great Lakes Water Study’s Public Interest Advisory Group (IUGLS/PIAG) was hosted here.

July 20              Elizabeth Tromp, graduate student working with Rick Rediske, passed her qualifying exam.

July 20 - 21       The Wetland Detectives, a Spring Lake Middle School group, took a trip on the D.J. Angus and visited the R.B. Annis Educational Foundation Classroom for hands-on activities.

July 28              Disability Connection, a community-based nonprofit Center for Independent Living, held an event in the Multi-Purpose Room.

July 29              A Gillette Society Luncheon was hosted by GVSU’s University Development office.

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AWRI Activities

Carl Ruetz assisted Don Uzarski of Central Michigan University, in conducting training on bio-assessment of Great Lakes coastal wetlands in Saginaw Bay on July 13 and 14, for agency personnel from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment.

Carl Ruetz was interviewed about his research on lake sturgeon and the threat of Asian carp to the Great Lakes on the 107 MUS morning radio show on July 29.

Al Steinman attended the Muskegon County Storm Water Education meeting on July 14 at AWRI.

Al Steinman hosted a meeting of the Upper Great Lakes Water Study’s Public Interest Advisory Group (PIAG), of which he is a member, on July 14 - 15 at AWRI. The meeting was attended by the new American Co-chair of the International Joint Commission, Lana Pollack. The PIAG took a trip on the W.G. Jackson.

Al Steinman attended a meeting requested by the Muskegon County Drain Commissioner at WMSRDC on July 21 to discuss a county-wide GIS initiative.

Al Steinman attended a search committee meeting for MAREC's new Associate Director of Research & Technology position on July 30.

Al Steinman was interviewed by the NY Times, Detroit Free Press, and GreenWire about the oil spill on the Kalamazoo River.

Amanda Syers, AWRI Education Assistant, attended the MDNRE Teacher Academy held at Higgins Lake on July 19 - 23.

Janet Vail and Rick Rediske participated in a teacher workshop on July 11. Teachers from eight states attended the Lake Guardian summer workshop sponsored by the Great Lakes Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE). They visited the Lake Michigan Center and had a trip on the W.G. Jackson. Janet Vail provided a disk of the Lake Michigan Lakewide Management Plan information and water quality data for the teachers. Rick Rediske spoke about the Muskegon Lake Area of Concern and Mark Gleason from the Great Lakes Naval Museum brought his ROV on the Jackson.

Janet Vail attended a meeting about the GLISTEN project at Blandford Nature Center on July 14.

Janet Vail worked with the Lower Grand planning group for the Grand River Expedition 2010. AWRI had a display at 6th Street Park in Grand Rapids on July 24 and in Grand Haven on July 26. The D. J. Angus hosted public officials and others as it led the kayaks and canoes in Grand Haven. Tony Fiore ran the AWRI pontoon boat escorting the paddlers. Al Steinman paddled the final reach of the Expedition. Janet Vail did E.coli sampling of the Lower Grand River as part of this project.

Janet Vail, Amanda Syers, and Amanda Maycroft participated in the Groundswell summer professional workshop on July 27 - 29. The AWRI team planned the activities on July 28, which included a cruise on the D. J. Angus and a visit to P.J. Hoffmaster State Park.

Matt Altenritter has been offered a graduate assistantship at the University of Maine to work toward his Ph.D.  

John Koches was interviewed by Jeff Alexander for The Grand Rapids Press on June 23 regarding the Grand River Watershed.

Amanda Maycroft, summer student intern for Education & Outreach, attended an Inland Seas Invasive Species workshop in Traverse City on July 12 - 13.

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AWRI Presentations

AWRI was represented at the annual meeting of the Aquatic Plant Management Society in Bonita Springs, FL on July 11 - 14. (AWRI staff in bold; students denoted by asterisk.)

Thum, R. A., M. P. Zuellig*, and H. Tavalire*. Oral. Uncovering even more genetic diversity and hybridization in variable leaf watermilfoil.

Zuellig, M. P.* and R. A. Thum. Oral. Identifying unique biotypes of Eurasian watermilfoil using a genetic fingerprinting method.

Carl Ruetz gave a presentation on Asian carp at the West Michigan Regional Meeting of the Michigan Environmental Council at the Haworth Inn & Conference Center in Holland on July 27.

Al Steinman gave a presentation on AWRI at the Gillette Society Luncheon hosted by the University Development office at the LMC on July 29.

Al Steinman was the featured speaker at the annual banquet of the Hamlin Lake Association in Ludington on July 31.

Amanda Syers, Amanda Maycroft, and Aileen Leinenbach presented a water-themed program at Family Night at the Whitehall Library on July 8.

Janet Vail and Amanda Syers presented a Project WET workshop at the Wege Wittenbach Center in Lowell on July 13.

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AWRI Grants and Contracts

Al Steinman was awarded a contract to study internal phosphorus loading in Spring Lake: five years after alum treatment. The contract is funded by the Spring Lake - Lake Board for $27,500.

Al Steinman and Rick Rediske have been awarded $63,625 from the Muskegon River Watershed Assembly as a sub-recipient of their Bear Creek/Bear Lake Implementation 2 Project, 10/1/2010-9/30/2013, funded by a grant from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment (MDNRE).

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AWRI Publications

Steinman, A.D. and M.E. Ogdahl. Phosphorus dynamics in flooded celery fields.
Submitted to the Journal of the North American Benthological Society.

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AWRI In The News

“Grand River series: waterway’s history is one of ruin and recovery”
The Grand Rapids Press, July 13, 2010

AWRI’s 2004 Lower Grand River Watershed Management Plan is mentioned.

“Asian carp latest in line of invaders: carp grab attention while other species are here”
WOOD-TV 8, July 19, 2010
Al Steinman was interviewed about the threat of Asian carp possibly entering the Great Lakes.

“Feds tap GVSU, others for Great Lakes projects”
MiBiz, July 19, 2010
Al Steinman is interviewed regarding GVSU-AWRI as recipient of federal dollars as part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

“Waterfront property owners want to fight pest: invasive species forms tangled mat of Twin Lake”
Muskegon Chronicle, July 26, 2010
Ryan Thum was interviewed regarding Eurasian water milfoil.

“Grand River’s Latest Threat: Asian carp”
Muskegon Chronicle, July 27, 2010
John Koches is quoted regarding the Grand River and its wetlands.

“GVSU’s Annis Water Resources Institute watching Kalamazoo River oil spill closely”
WZZM 13, July 28, 2010
Rick Rediske was quoted regarding the oil spill in the Kalamazoo River.

“Could oil spill be ‘tragedy’ for Lake Michigan? Water experts say Granholm ‘went a little overboard’ about threat”
The Grand Rapids Press, July 30, 2010
Rick Rediske is quoted regarding the oil spill in the Kalamazoo River and its possible effect on Lake Michigan.

“Officials try to calm Lake Michigan oil spills fears”
Chicagoist (via The Detroit Free Press), July 30, 2010
Rick Rediske was quoted regarding the oil spill in the Kalamazoo River and its possible effect on Lake Michigan.

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