As we enter 2007, we look back at the past year and take stock. In short, 2006 was a very successful year for the Annis Water Resources Institute. From the perspective of our facilities, we continued the restoration of the Field Station, including our overhaul of the exterior shell of the building which now provides a more functional and attractive exterior, and the installation of a davit at the Lake Michigan Center to launch small research boats. The federal government also approved our $396,000 federal grant to continue improvements, which will include the construction of a storage facility to house the Institute's boats and vehicles. This will free up space in the Field Station for future office expansion and research laboratories. Finally, we are proud to note that the D.J. Angus finally has a permanent home - thanks largely to the efforts of Tony Fiore, Mike Sanders, and Jim Winks, a new dock was constructed off Harbor Island in Grand Haven this year.
AWRI faculty and staff also received a number of prestigious awards in 2006. We received a State of the Lakes Ecosystem Conference (SOLEC) award for our work on the Ruddiman Creek clean up project, acknowledging faculty member Rick Rediske and his colleagues for their studies on the contaminated sediments in this system. In addition, Matt Cooper, a graduate student of Don Uzarski, received a graduate fellowship from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which will fund his research on Great Lakes coastal wetlands. Finally, Mark Luttenton, who holds a half-time position at AWRI, received the Outstanding Educator Award at the 2006 GVSU April commencement.
Programmatically, AWRI faculty and staff continue their impressive record of productivity, as evidenced by the following 2006 indicators: 1) we were awarded over $1,000,000 in grants and contracts; 2) we made over 90 public presentations; 3) almost 100 events were held at the Lake Michigan Center, including a visit from foreign correspondents working at the U.S. State Department and several public meetings on behalf of Congressman Pete Hoekstra; and 4) AWRI faculty members once again were asked to provide expert testimony in environmental matters before state and federal legislators, and served on numerous local, state, and federal scientific committees and panels.