AWRI Field Research Station preview event draws community support

Grand Valley President Thomas J. Haas addresses supporters at the Field Research Station preview.
Grand Valley President Thomas J. Haas addresses supporters at the Field Research Station preview.

Community members, volunteers, donors, alumni, and elected officials gathered Thursday night at the Grand Valley State University Robert B. Annis Water Resources Institute in Muskegon for a preview of the institute’s new Field Research Station building.

The event brought together community leaders to demonstrate the need for a larger research station at the AWRI’s Lake Michigan Center. Speakers at the event included Grand Valley President Thomas J. Haas; AWRI Director Alan Steinman; and campaign co-chairs Larry Hines and Mike Olthoff.

“I’m pleased to be here in Muskegon tonight, and glad that we’re here to help support world-class research on the Great Lakes,” Haas said. “The work we’re doing right here on Muskegon Lake and in Lake Michigan has a direct impact on the fresh water we value so much.”

Steinman stressed the importance of research taking place at AWRI, including ecological, biological, and environmental issues.

“Whether it’s protecting the waters for the benefit of the fisheries, or finding ways to fight against invasive species, we have a resource here on the Great Lakes that we are here and working to protect,” Steinman said.

Campaign co-chair Larry Hines cited the features of the new facility as “the next stage for the Annis Water Resources Institute.”

The new facility will be a 14,700 square foot field station which will house dedicated research laboratories, four research scientists’ offices, space for graduate and undergraduate student research, and spaces for year-round research— something that was never possible in the old field station.

“Over the past two decades, I personally have been very pleased with the level of commitment from Grand Valley to this community, and I want to say thank you to them for being a partner to, and with, Muskegon,” said campaign co-chair Mike Olthoff.

The current field station building on the AWRI site is being taken down and recycled, following with Grand Valley’s commitment to sustainability.

For more information on the new field research station and the Annis Water Resources Institute.