Skip to main content

June 2015 Newsletter

A Closer Look #151

Diverse undergraduate research experiences at AWRI funded by NSF

Pictured above, left to right:  Tina Scott; Drew McWilliams; Brittany Jacobs; Gabrielle Thelen; Emily Luke; and Nick Weber.

Ten promising young scientists from across the United States and Puerto Rico have arrived at AWRI and are hard at work on summer research projects. The students are as diverse as their research topics and include a Navajo student from New Mexico, a native Hawaiian student, a Comanche student from Oklahoma, four Hispanic students (two from Puerto Rico and one each from New Jersey and Connecticut), an Asian student from Illinois, and two African American students from Missouri and Connecticut. They are participating in a new 3-year Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program at AWRI, operated with funding obtained from the National Science Foundation (NSF) by AWRI scientists Drs. Jim McNair and Kevin Strychar. The program mainly targets undergraduates from minority groups that are underrepresented in the biological sciences. It aims to provide them with genuine research experiences, with the expectation that a substantial proportion of the projects will result in peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals. Further information about AWRI’s REU program is available on its website.


LMC Activities

The research vessel W.G. Jackson was in Michigan City, Indiana on June 12, 13, and 14 for cruises sponsored by the Sanitary District of Michigan City.  This was followed by events at the Port of Indiana – Burns Harbor on June 15.

Rod Denning attended the “Forest Adaptation Planning and Practices” workshop for professional foresters in Gaylord on June 8-9. The workshop was put on by the United States Forest Service – Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science.

Travis Ellens, graduate student working with Carl Ruetz, successfully passed his qualifying exam.

Al Steinman attended a GLEAM (Great Lakes Environmental Assessment and Mapping) workshop in Ann Arbor on June 18.

Al Steinman attended a Board of Trustees meeting of the Michigan chapter of The Nature Conservancy in Ann Arbor on June 19.

Al Steinman, Mary Ogdahl, and Delilah Clement attended a groundbreaking event for the Haworth property in Holland on June 23.  This land is being donated for a restoration project as part of Project Clarity.

Al Steinman attended a NERRS (National Estuarine Research Reserve System) Proposal Panel Review meeting in Ann Arbor on June 23-24.

Al Steinman was interviewed for a GVSU Communications Department videotaping highlighting the Macatawa Water Festival on June 26.

Janet Vail hosted the West Michigan GLSI (Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative) partner dinner at the Lake Michigan Center on June 23.  Some members of the group also took a brief cruise on the W. G. Jackson before the dinner.

Janet Vail assisted in hosting the Regional Math and Science Center’s G3 camp when they visited the Lake Michigan Center and took a cruise on the research vessel W. G. Jackson on June 24.

Janet Vail attended the 2015 Annual Gathering and Reception of the Community Foundation for Muskegon County on June 24.  AWRI was recognized as an organization that makes the community strong and builds their reputation for world-class excellence.

Janet Vail gave a tour of the AWRI to Dr. Hamdy Helal and his West Shore Community College class on June 26.


Presentations & Publications

AWRI staff are in bold, graduate students are denoted with a *, and undergraduate students are denoted with **.

Publications

Janet Vail, former Target Inquiry teacher Ashley Meyer, graduate student Anthony Weinke, and Bopi Biddanda were co-authors of an article published in MSTA (Michigan Science Teachers Association) Journal:
Vail, J., A. Meyer, A. Weinke* and B. Biddanda.  2015.  Water quality monitoring: Lesson plan for exploring time-series data.  MSTA Journal.  60 (1): 37-48.

Presentations
(Presenter listed first)

John Koches and Gabriella Thelen, summer Annis Intern, prepared curriculum and hosted a G3 (Grandparents, Grandchildren, and Grand Valley) event at the Lake Michigan Center on June 24.  The G3 is organized by the GVSU Regional Math and Science Center.

Al Steinman presented about the natural resources of Muskegon Lake at a Visioning 2020 event held by West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission at MAREC on June 10.

Al Steinman presented on the topic of Managing Michigan’s Water Resources at the Spring Lake Library on June 15.

Al Steinman presented the Leadership topic at the Community Foundation for Muskegon County’s Board of Trustees meeting on June 17.  His presentation was titled: “Muskegon Lake: A model success story combining science, community, and philanthropy”.

Al Steinman presented at the Detroit Grand Lecture Series regarding the Blue Economy project on June 30.

Kevin Strychar was a keynote speaker at the Oceanography 2015 conference held in Philadelphia, PA from June 22 - 24.  He also presented at a break out session, and was co-chair for three sessions - Marine Science and Engineering, Coastal and Marine Resources, and Marine Pollution and its Management.
Strychar, K.  Oral (Keynote Speaker).  Climate Change: memory in corals allows faster adaptation to global warming and changing environmental issues.
Strychar, K.  Oral.  Climate change responses of the stony coral Tubastrea sp. and their bacterial symbionts.

Janet Vail co-presented the MEECS (Michigan Environmental Education Curriculum Support) Climate Change unit during MEECS Week at the GVSU Regional Math and Science Center held June 16 - 18 on GVSU’s Allendale campus.  She also assisted with two other units – Water Quality and Ecosystems. 


Awards & Recognition

There were no new Awards and Recognition this month.  Check again next month!


Grants & Contracts

Rick Rediske’s Analytical Lab received a sub-award from the West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission to do benthos monitoring for the Muskegon Lake Watershed Partnership.

 


News & Events

AWRI in the News

“In Celebration of Coastal Awareness Month”
Advertisement for public cruises being held on our research vessel W. G. Jackson on June 12, 13, and 14 in Michigan City.

“Grand Valley State University and Crain’s Detroit Business present the Detroit Grand Lecture Series”
An advertisement for a lecture Al Steinman will be giving about the Blue Economy on June 30 in Detroit.

“Grand Valley, working to preserve our lakes”
WOOD-TV 8, June 4, 2015
This article provided a quick overview of what the AWRI does to preserve and protect our water.

“Help to decide the future of Muskegon Lake”
WZZM 13 News, June 4, 2015
The article is about a series of four forums, each with a different theme, being held at GVSU’s MAREC in June.  The June 10 speaker was Al Steinman on Environment/Natural Resources.

“Muskegon Lake forums seeking sharper insight for Vision 2020 plan”
MLive, June 5, 2015
The article is about a series of four forums, each with a different theme, being held at GVSU’s MAREC in June.  The June 10 speaker was Al Steinman on Environment/Natural Resources.

“Silver Lake friends annual meeting June 13”
Ludington Daily News – online, June 10, 2015
The article is about a meeting held by the Friends of Silver Lake on June 13.  The agenda included updates from USGS and GVSU-AWRI, among other items.

“Residents sail to learn about the lake”
The Sunday News Dispatch (Michigan City, IN), June 14, 2015
The article is about the recent trip the W. G. Jackson took to Michigan City.  They gave several public tours while there.

“W. G Jackson educational boat tour comes to Northwest Indiana”
Lakeshore Public Media, June 15, 2015
The article is about the recent trip the W. G. Jackson took to Port of Indiana – Burns Harbor.  They gave several public tours while there.

“New water quality testing to begin at Michigan beaches”
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality e-mail bulletin, June 18, 2015
The article is about state-wide beach monitoring, which is being done with a new rapid testing method.  AWRI’s Analytical Lab is one of the recipients of this testing equipment, to be used in monitoring local waters.

“New water quality testing to begin at Michigan beaches”
Michigan Newswire.gov, June 18, 2015
The article is about state-wide beach monitoring, which is being done with a new rapid testing method.  AWRI’s Analytical Lab is one of the recipients of this testing equipment, to be used in monitoring local waters.
Also carried by State News Service and U.S. State News.

“Haworth donation to Project Clarity to lead to new wetlands”
Holland Sentinel, June 24, 2015
Al Steinman was one of the people interviewed for this article about Project Clarity and the donation of the Haworth property.  AWRI is involved in this restoration/monitoring process.

“Turning soggy to sunny is Parjana’s mission”
Bloomberg Business, June 28, 2015
Al Steinman, AWRI, and the Blue Economy Report are mentioned in this article about water management.

LMC Events

June 1 & 2
Murray Lake Elementary (Kent County) 4th graders visited the Annis Educational Foundation Classroom for hands-on activities and took a vessel cruise on the W.G. Jackson

June 3
Northern Trails Elementary (Kent County) 5th graders visited the Annis Educational Foundation Classroom for hands-on activities and took a vessel cruise on the W.G. Jackson.

June 12
Muskegon County’s Planned Parenthood held a service event at the LMC.