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Strategic Plan for Robert B. Annis Water Resources Institute

Context For Planning

The Robert B. Annis Water Resources Institute (AWRI) became an academic unit in the 2009-2010 academic year. AWRI offers a M.S. degree through the Department of Biology, with an emphasis in Water Resources. Administratively, AWRI is part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS). Programmatically, AWRI is a multidisciplinary research organization committed to the study of freshwater resources. The Institute was founded in 1986 on the GVSU campus in Allendale as a 1-person operation. Over the past 30 years, it has grown to a 65-person research and education program, and is now located on the shoreline of Muskegon Lake in downtown Muskegon.

Mission

The mission of the Institute is to integrate research, education, and outreach to enhance and preserve freshwater resources. AWRI seeks to accomplish its mission through: 1) interdisciplinary research into major questions about water resources; 2) public education for a variety of groups, including K-12, university students, and the community; and 3) outreach to ensure that decision makers are equipped with the best available knowledge on environmental and water resource-related issues to reduce the uncertainty associated with their resource management decisions.

Vision

The vision of the Institute is to enhance the knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of freshwater resources among students, university and professional communities, and the general public, and become recognized at both the national and international levels as a leader in the area of water resources. AWRI has adopted this vision recognizing that sustainable freshwater ecosystems are a fundamental necessity, and that the integrity of these systems helps to define our quality of life. AWRI will advance its mission and commitment through three mechanisms: unique educational programs, outreach, and pure and applied research. To accomplish the goal of broader recognition, we envision growing the Institute through additional faculty lines that reflect emerging water resources issues and also lend themselves to interdisciplinary efforts both within and outside the university (e.g., water policy and environmental economics). We also desire to establish endowed chairs, place a greater emphasis on projects that have broad geographic relevance, and place our scientific findings in broader social and economic contexts.

Value Statement

We at the AWRI value excellence in research, education, and outreach, as demonstrated by: a. Seeking an objective understanding of natural phenomena via scientific inquiry, collaboration, and scholarship. b. Fostering excellence in our teaching and outreach initiatives through active student-instructor engagement, participation of students in research, academic advising and mentoring, hands-on experience, and the application of the most current information available. c. Performing University and community service that is recognized for its contribution and effectiveness.

Strategic Priorities, outcomes, and key objectives

Strategic Priority Area 1: Actively engage learners at all levels.

Outcome A: Grand Valley's learning environment is personal, challenging, and transformational, supporting excellent academic programs and co-curricular opportunities.

Objective 1.A.1

Increase graduate student participation in giving scientific presentations.

Baseline

Prior year's percentage of graduate student presentations.

Progress

2018 Status
Substantial Progress
1st year grad students all give presentations on their proposed thesis research; graduate students are encourage to attend and present at scientific conferences, as well.

2017 Status
Substantial Progress
We continue to emphasize the importance of presentations, and require all incoming graduate students to give a short presentation of their proposed research at the end of their first semester, as well as a seminar prior to their MS defense.

Objective 1.A.2

Increase graduate student productivity

Baseline

Number of submitted manuscripts to peer-reviewed journals per finishing graduate student in the prior year.

Progress

2018 Status
Minimal Progress
Students gave about the same number of presentations as year prior; the average of 2 presentations (not including thesis defense) per student is modest; three would be desirable but is dependent on resources to get students to conferences

2017 Status
Minimal Progress
The number of published manuscripts declined from 2016, despite the continued emphasis on publications. This reduction was due to the inclusion of 5 postdoctoral publications in 2016 (0 in 2017) and more graduating students in 2016.

Objective 1.A.3

Increase undergraduate student participation in giving scientific presentations.

Baseline

Prior year's percentage of summer interns that presented.

Progress

2018 Status
Achieved
All undergraduate interns presented their findings

2017 Status
Substantial Progress
Number of students varies from year to year but all of summer interns (100%) are required to give a scientific presentation at the end of their internship.

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 1.B.1

Retention rates of M.S. graduate students between years 1 and 2 are a minimum of 75%.

Baseline

Retention rates of M.S. graduate students from years 2010-2015.

Progress

2018 Status
Substantial Progress
100% retention between 2017 and 2018

2017 Status
Achieved
100% retention

Objective 1.B.2

Diversity of faculty and staff in AWRI increases relative to current status.

Baseline

Current diversity of faculty and staff in AWRI - internal data from AWRI database.

Progress

2018 Status
Minimal Progress
We had one retirement (replacement won't be hired until 2019), one postdoc who left for a position at Penn State (while, female) who was replaced by another white, female as a technical call-in, and a joint Assistant Professor (with Biology), who is a white, female. We also hired one new postdoc, who is a white male.

2017 Status
Substantive Progress
Two new females hired in 2017

Outcome C: Grand Valley has mutually beneficial relationships, partnerships, collaborations, and connections with local, state, national, and world communities.

Objective 1.C.1

Establish collaboration with at least one new external scientific partner each year.

Baseline

Current number of external scientific collaborations

Progress

2018 Status
Substantial Progress
founding partner (one of 9) for CIGLR (Cooperative Institute of Great Lakes Research)--led by UM but providing AWRI/GVSU access to priority funding; continued collaborations with UM, MSU, CMU, Michigan Tech, Notre Dame, LSSU, Oakland Univ, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (UK), Chinese Academy of Sciences, TNC, Cornell, NOAA, and many others

2017 Status
Substantial Progress
Successful as partner with Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research (1 of 9 institutions throughout region); continue partnerships with UM, MSU, CMU, MI Tech, Notre Dame, UW-Milwaukee, UPI, Purdue University, MDNR, MDEQ, MDARD, Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, Gun Lake Tribe, The Nature Conservancy & National Parks Service, Regional Math & Science Center, University Libraries, Public Health Muskegon County, Duck Creek Watershed Alliance, Outdoor Discovery Center, WMSRDC, Muskegon Lake Watershed Partnership, Muskegon River Watershed Assembly, Spring Lake lake board, NOAA, UM, Macatawa Area Coordinating Council, Nanjing University, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hydrology and Ecology Center (UK). NOAA, WMSRDC GVSU Dept of Music, Theatre, and Dance Chinese Academy of Sciences Keenlance P., Strychar K.B. GVSU College of Education Muskegon Area Math & Science Center Project WET, Mecosta-Osceola School District Central Michigan University/ Michigan DEQ GVSU Regional Math & Science Center MSU, MTU, Michigan Sea Grant GVSU College of Education Regional Math & Science Center Michigan Tech, Wayne State Michigan Section AWWA Sanitary District of Michigan City Indiana Department of Environmental Management Waukegan Harbor Citizens Advisory Group

Objective 1.C.2

Maintain and establish service activities with organizations in AWRI's West Michigan service area, with particular focus on Muskegon.

Baseline

Current number of service activities by AWRI faculty and staff in West Michigan region.

Progress

2018 Status
Substantial Progress
Critical involvement in the PFAS issue in west MI and throughout the state; involvement with numerous presentations, congressional field hearing testimony, scientific panels on pressing aquatic issues facing region.

2017 Status
Substantial Progress
AWRI continues to serve as an important scientific resource in the region.

Outcome D: Grand Valley supports innovative teaching, learning, integrative scholarly and creative activity, and the use of new technologies.

Objective 1.D.1

AWRI will submit its revised graduate curriculum for formal approval

Baseline

Current graduate curriculum

Progress

2018 Status
Achieved
The two "required" courses for MS students at AWRI are finalized, and instructors assigned to courses

2017 Status
Substantive Progress
Advanced Aquatic Ecology and Aquatic Ecosystem Management are currently being offered.

Strategic Priority Area 2: Further develop exceptional personnel.

Outcome A: Grand Valley's learning environment is personal, challenging, and transformational, supporting excellent academic programs and co-curricular opportunities.

Objective 2.A.1

100% of AWRI faculty are involved in high-impact student learning experiences.

Baseline

Current percentage of AWRI faculty involved in high-impact student learning experiences.

Progress

2018 Status
Substantive Progress
Mentoring a student's research project is defined as high impact activity

2017 Status
Substantive Progress
Mentoring a student's research project defined as high impact activity

Objective 2.A.2

100% of AWRI faculty attend and present at scientific conferences

Baseline

Current percentage participation by AWRI faculty.

Progress

2018 Status
Achieved
it is critical that AWRI faculty present at conferences, both to promote the work being done here and to be exposed to the latest findings in their field of study.

2017 Status
Achieved
100% of AWRI faculty attend and present at scientific conferences

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 2.B.1

All appointed bodies at every level AWRI-wide include diverse individuals and reflect diverse perspectives.

Baseline

Current diversity of individuals in decision-making bodies in AWRI.

Progress

2018 Status
Substantive Progress
No change from previous year

2017 Status
Substantive Progress
No change from previous year

Objective 2.B.2

All new employees shall participate in intercultural training and development

Baseline

Current opportunities

Progress

2018 Status
Substantial Progress
One new employee (postdoc) came in 2018 and he attended the training

2017 Status
Minimal Progress
no change from 2016

Outcome C: Grand Valley has mutually beneficial relationships, partnerships, collaborations, and connections with local, state, national, and world communities.

Objective 2.C.1

Increase activity of AWRI faculty members with respect to professional service.

Baseline

Current number of professional service activities by AWRI faculty

Progress

2018 Status
Substantial Progress
Faculty have become more engaged in College and University committees as they have become more established

2017 Status
Substantive Progress
All faculty have some level of professional service; one AP has not been involved

Outcome D: Grand Valley supports innovative teaching, learning, integrative scholarly and creative activity, and the use of new technologies.

Objective 2.D.1

All AWRI faculty will have access to academic advisor training.

Baseline

Training available to faculty at the timeframe start

Progress

2018 Status
Substantive Progress
We had Christine Rener attend and present at a staff meeting to update faculty and staff on training opportunities

2017 Status
Substantive Progress
Internal or external training is being provided upon request.

Outcome E: Grand Valley strategically allocates its fiscal, human, and other institutional resources.

Objective 2.E.1

At least 90% of faculty and staff in AWRI participate in professional development to expand, enhance or extend their competencies and capabilities within the context of the responsibilities of their positions.

Baseline

Current percentage of AWRI faculty and staff participating in professional development.

Progress

2018 Status
Minimal Progress
Faculty are very engaged through attendance at conferences but need to get staff more engaged in training modules

2017 Status
Minimal Progress
Started tracking this activity in 2016

Strategic Priority Area 3: Ensure the alignment of institutional structures and functions.

Outcome A: Grand Valley's learning environment is personal, challenging, and transformational, supporting excellent academic programs and co-curricular opportunities.

Objective 3.A.1

Faculty capacity in AWRI expands to meet expectations of a nationally-recognized graduate program with highly qualified, matriculating students.

Baseline

Current number of AWRI faculty and graduate students.

Progress

2018 Status
Substantial Progress
Successful in converting a retiring AP line to tenure track line, and obtaining permission to hire a new geospatial ecologist/watershed modeler to begin in Fall 2019. Joint position with Biology provided a 1/4 time new hire (Sarah Hamsher) to join AWRI as well.

2017 Status
Minimal Progress
No change in faculty number

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 3.B.1

Hold in-house training in AWRI on diversity and inclusion once every 5 years

Baseline

Prior in-house training activity in AWRI.

Progress

2018 Status
Substantive Progress
Continue to increase awareness on value of DEI initiatives

2017 Status
Minimal Progress
Held diversity luncheon

Objective 3.B.2

Hold diversity and inclusion pot-luck lunch once per year

Baseline

Current measurement

Progress

2018 Status
Achieved
Successful lunch in 2018

2017 Status
Substantial Progress
successful lunch in 2017

Outcome E: Grand Valley strategically allocates its fiscal, human, and other institutional resources.

Objective 3.E.1

AWRI increases and diversifies its donation base.

Baseline

Value of current year's donations

Progress

2018 Status
Substantial Progress
Started using Hunting Innovation and Research Fund for various research projects; received additional gifts from Annis Foundation to offset losses from Scientech Foundation

2017 Status
Substantial Progress
major donation achieved in 2017

Strategic Priority Area 4: Enhance the institution's image and reputation.

Outcome A: Grand Valley's learning environment is personal, challenging, and transformational, supporting excellent academic programs and co-curricular opportunities.

Objective 4.A.1

Meet or exceed scientific productivity (manuscript publication) targets.

Baseline

Each faculty member averages 1-2 publications per year over a 3-year period.

Progress

2018 Status
Substantive Progress
Total number of publications same in 2018 as 2017

2017 Status
Substantive Progress
Meeting overall goal

Objective 4.A.2

Meet or exceed scientific productivity (scientific presentation) targets.

Baseline

Each faculty member averages 3 presentations per year, with faculty member, staff member in lab, or student in lab as lead presenter.

Progress

2018 Status
Substantive Progress
With hiring of Sarah Hamsher and new geospatial ecologist, we expect the presentation numbers to increase with time

2017 Status
Substantive Progress
Significant increase in presentations

Objective 4.A.3

Maintain and acquire state-of-the-art equipment, technology, and facilities.

Baseline

Current inventory of equipment, technology, and facilities

Progress

2018 Status
Substantial Progress
Continue to purchase new equipment as feasible to keep us state of the art

2017 Status
Substantive Progress
We continue to add equipment as needed through our equipment endowment fund.

Outcome C: Grand Valley has mutually beneficial relationships, partnerships, collaborations, and connections with local, state, national, and world communities.

Objective 4.C.1

Publish peer-reviewed papers with external partners as co-authors

Baseline

Current year's number of peer-reviewed papers published with external partners

Progress

2018 Status
Substantial Progress
New partners include University of Granada (Spain), Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (UK), Chinese Academy of Sciences, as well as numerous American and Canadian universities.

2017 Status
Substantial Progress
PIs continue to show successful collaborations through publications with external partners

Outcome E: Grand Valley strategically allocates its fiscal, human, and other institutional resources.

Objective 4.E.1

AWRI identifies specific initiatives and academic programs that attract graduate students, using its location and resources as attractants.

Baseline

Current year's number of graduate student applications to AWRI graduate program.

Progress

2018 Status
Substantive Progress
We continue to attract more graduate students than we can fund through our available GAs

2017 Status
Substantive Progress
Reaching out to relevant Departments in smaller, undergraduate-focused schools about our graduate program

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