A Closer Look #116 April 2012 Newsletter
Another busy vessel season for the research vessels D. J. Angus and W. G. Jackson begins!!
For several weeks now the captains and deckhands have been preparing and maintaining the vessels in preparation for the beginning of a new vessel season.
We have hired two new, part-time science instructors to help out with instruction on the vessels: John Bouwman, who recently retired from Westside Christian, and Cheri Gerhart, who retired from Muskegon Public Schools. Most of our science instructors on the vessels are part-time, retired teachers.
We hired a new captain to run the vessels, too. His name is Kevin Fitch, and he was most recently a captain for the S.S. Badger.
Last fall AWRI hired David Ruck, a graduate of GVSU and local film maker, to produce a new DVD about our vessel program, Exploring the Lakes. It shows viewers what goes on during the cruise. Each school that uses the vessels is sent a copy of this DVD in order to prepare their class(es) for the experience.
Some of the schools that use the W. G. Jackson, which is docked next to the Lake Michigan Center (home of the Annis Water Resources Institute), also use our Annis Education Foundation Classroom. While ½ of the class is on the boat, the other ½ are in the classroom learning water quality information that complements the vessel trip; then in the afternoon the classes switch places. This instruction is provided by Dr. Janet Vail, AWRI Education & Outreach Coordinator; Amanda Syers, education assistant; and Tara Eilers, a GVSU undergraduate student who is a D. J. Angus-Scientech Intern at AWRI for the spring/summer semester.
Ottawa County Parks held a resource inventory meeting.
Series Seminar: Dr. Puneet Srivastava, with the Biosystems Engineering Department at Auburn University, presented: Ecologically-Sustainable Surface Water Withdrawal for Cropland Irrigation and Other Uses through Incorporation of Climate Variability
GVSU's Regional Math and Science Center held a Project PRIME workshop (fourth in a series of five) for Muskegon and Newaygo area teachers.
April 18, 25 & 27
Shoreline Elementary 2nd graders visited the Annis Educational Foundation Classroom for hands-on activities.
GVSU's Kutsche Office of Local History held its Third Annual Local History Roundtable focusing on tourism, interurban and water transportation.
AWRI held their annual Diversity Potluck. Rick Rediske gave a presentation on his trip to Ghana last summer.
April 23 & 30
Roguewood Elementary 4th graders visited the Annis Educational Foundation Classroom for hands-on activities and took a vessel cruise on the W.G. Jackson.
Brookwood Elementary 4th graders visited the Annis Educational Foundation Classroom for hands-on activities and took a vessel cruise on the W.G. Jackson.
Muskegon's Access Health held their strategic planning session.
A North Muskegon Cub Scout group visited the Annis Educational Foundation Classroom for hands-on activities.
AWRI held their Summer Student Intern Orientation for 2012.
Elizabeth LaRue, graduate student working with Ryan Thum, has accepted a PhD fellowship to Purdue University beginning this fall.
Carl Ruetz attended the Great Lakes Regional Research Inventory Networks Lake Michigan Food Web meeting in Ann Arbor on April 4.
Andrew Sisson, graduate student working with Rick Rediske, attended the Thirsting to Serve conference at Calvin College on April 14.
Al Steinman attended a MDNR workshop about salmon stocking in Lake Michigan on April 14 in Benton Harbor.
Janet Vail and Geraldine Nogaro attended a meeting on April 11 with Dr. Martin OConnor, Professor of Economics at University at l'Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (UVSQ) & Director Centre international de Recherches en Economie écologique, Eco-innovation et ingénierie du Développement Soutenable (REEDS), and Frances Harrison, Communication specialist, REEDS UVSQ. Members of the GVSU Environmental Studies Minor group, Dean Wendy Wenner, Norman Christopher, Bart Bartels, and Mark Schaub and Rebecca Hambleton of the Padnos International Center were among those in attendance. The discussion focused on international collaboration.
Dustin Wcisel, currently a research assistant working for Ryan Thum, accepted a PhD assistantship to North Carolina State University beginning this fall.
AWRI was represented at GVSU's Student Scholars Day on the Allendale campus on April 11. Graduate students are denoted by one asterisk, undergraduate students with two asterisks. Students in bold are currently working at AWRI.
Ebenstein, Alex**. Oral. Applying atmospheric correction methods to Landsat Imagery to accurately monitor algal blooms in western Michigan lakes. Jim McNair was co-mentor with Wanxiao Sun. Harris, Brandon**. Oral. Evaluating removal and mark-recapture methods for estimating sculpin abundance in streams. Carl Ruetz was a mentor.
Horne, Nicole*. Oral. The living filter Characterization of the structure and function of the biofilm in biosand drinking water systems. Bopi Biddanda was a mentor.
Kneisel, Allison**. Oral. Is phytoplankton sufficient to support bighead and silver carps in Muskegon Lake? Carl Ruetz and Al Steinman were mentors.
Long, Steve**. Poster. Microbial behavior of cyanobacterial mats in low-oxygen, high-sulfur Lake Huron sinkhole. Bopi Biddanda was a mentor. Madaij, Zach**. Oral. Something old and something new: An assessment of two numerical solution techniques for a parabolic partial differential equation arising in turbulent particle transport. Jim McNair was a mentor. Swanson, Neal*. Poster. Larval steelhead densities in the Muskegon River, Michigan. Mark Luttenton was a mentor.
Weinke, Anthony**. Poster. Tracking trends in Muskegon Lake weather, productivity and hypoxia in real-time using a Lake Observatory Buoy. Bopi Biddanda was a mentor. Zuiderveen, Grady**. Poster. A genetic analysis of native and invasive Phragmites australis along Michigan's west coast. Mark Luttenton was a mentor.
John Koches co-hosted a Muskegon County Earth Day Event, which included a Muskegon Area Sustainability Coalition presentation on April 25, at the Muskegon Community College Overbrook Theater.
Mark Luttenton presented at the annual CLAS Sabbatical Showcase on April 4. His poster was titled Invasive cattails; the threat to Michigan's wetlands.
Mary Ogdahl gave a presentation titled Using macrophytes to assess restoration success in Muskegon Lake at NOAAs Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor on April 10.
Rick Rediske was guest lecturer for CHM 311, Green Chemistry, on April 6. Rick spoke on Introduction to Environmental Toxicology.
Carl Ruetz gave a presentation titled Using fish to assess restoration success in Muskegon Lake at NOAAs Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor on April 10.
Al Steinman presented at the annual CLAS Sabbatical Showcase on April 4. His poster was titled Effect of water level fluctuation on sediment nutrient release from Great Lakes coastal wetlands.
Al Steinman presented on the state of job opportunities for environmental professionals in academic research, as part of a panel at the 2012 Spring Conference of the West Michigan Chapter of the Air & Waste Management Association at GVSUs Eberhard Center on April 26.
Janet Vail, Shirley McIntire, Nicole Horne and Michael Snider hosted the AWRI booth at the Muskegon Earth Day Celebration held at the MAREC on April 28th.
Rick Rediske and others from AWRI were co-authors of an article published in Hydrobiologia:
Xie, L., R. R. Rediske, Y. Hong, J. O'Keefe, N. D. Gillett, J. Dyble, A. D. Steinman. The role of environmental parameters in the structure of phytoplankton assemblages and cyanobacteria toxins in two hypereutrophic lakes. Hydrobiologia (online). March 2012.
Hannah Tavalier, recent graduate student working with Ryan Thum, had her thesis manuscript officially accepted to Evolutionary Applications:
Tavalire, H. F.*, G. E. Bugbee, E. A. LaRue*, and R. A. Thum. Hybridization, cryptic diversity, and invasiveness in introduced variable-leaf watermilfoil. Evolutionary Applications.
Ryan Thum is lead author of an article accepted for publication:
Thum, R., D. Wcisel, M. Zuellig*, M. Heilman, P. Hausler, P. Tyning, L. Huberty, M. D. Netherland. Field documentation of decreased herbicide response by a hybrid watermilfoil population. Journal of Aquatic Plant Management.
Awards & Recognition
Elizabeth LaRue, graduate student working with Ryan Thum, was nominated for the GVSU Graduate Deans Citation for Academic Excellence in the Major.
Grants & Contracts
Al Steinman's proposal for $30,000, with Carl Ruetz, Mary Ogdahl and Paul Isley, to fund year 4 of fish, macrophyte, and socio-economic monitoring of the Muskegon Lake shoreline habitat restoration project was approved.
Ryan Thum, Bopi Biddanda, and Al Steinman received $100,000 in funding for a joint collaboration with Peggy and Nathaniel Ostrom at MSU titled Building Partnerships in Water Research between Grand Valley State University and Michigan State University: The Molecular genetic basis for invasiveness of milfoils and a time-series lake observatory for investigating metabolism in Muskegon Lake".
AWRI In the News
Environmental Monitor: application and technology news for environmental professionals (published by Fondriest Environmental) Spring 2012 Scott Kendall is interviewed about the Muskegon Lake Observatory project the Biddanda lab is doing.
AWRI director elected to science board
GV Now, April 3, 2012 Al Steinman was selected to serve on the Society for Freshwater Sciences Board of Directors.
Lake Express and GVSU water institute team up May 5 to celebrate Lake Michigan
MLive, April 16, 2012 The article is about the upcoming AWRI/Lake Express event. Short excursions out to Lake Michigan on the Lake Express ferry and AWRI displays at the Lake Express terminal are highlighted.
GVSU & Lake Express ferry team up for Lake Michigan tours
KDAF, April 17, 2012 Also covered by FOX 17, WXMI-TV, WXIN-TV (Indiana) The article is about the upcoming AWRI/Lake Express event. Short excursions out to Lake Michigan on the Lake Express ferry and AWRI displays at the Lake Express terminal are highlighted.
Grand Valley teams up with Lake Express for Lakers on Lake Michigan
CBS/Detroit, April 18, 2012 The article is about the upcoming AWRI/Lake Express event. Short excursions out to Lake Michigan on the Lake Express ferry and AWRI displays at the Lake Express terminal are highlighted.
$1/2 million study considered for Silver Lake
Oceana's Herald-Journal, April 19, 2012 GVSU-AWRI and USGS may team up to do a study of Silver Lake water quality.
Letter: Restoring the native fishery can only help Lake Michigan
MLive, April 29,2012 AWRI is mentioned in the photo caption to this article.