A Closer Look
AWRI's Monthly Newsletter
AWRI graduate student Brandon Harris holds a juvenile lake sturgeon that was captured and released in Muskegon Lake.
Lake sturgeon research in the Muskegon River system
The lake sturgeon is a threatened species in Michigan, and their numbers have been decimated throughout much of their native range. Efforts are underway to restore lake sturgeon abundance throughout the Great Lakes basin, including many Michigan tributaries to Lake Michigan. Dr. Carl Ruetz and his graduate students at the Annis Water Resources Institute in collaboration with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) have studied lake sturgeon in the Muskegon River system since 2008. Funding for this research is provided by MDNR and Consumers Energy.
The overall goals of the research are to assess the population status of lake sturgeon that spawn in the Muskegon River as well as better understand the basic natural history of the species. For instance, one of the aims of the study is to understand the habitat use of juveniles in Muskegon Lake. To address this question, juveniles were collected with gill nets in Muskegon Lake and a subset of individuals was surgically implanted with ultrasonic tags so that their location could be tracked.
The results of this research suggest that Muskegon Lake is an important nursery habitat for juvenile lake sturgeon after hatching in the Muskegon River. Juveniles appear to spend several years in Muskegon Lake before migrating to Lake Michigan, where they will spends upwards of a decade before returning to the Muskegon River to spawn as adults. Understanding the basic natural history of lake sturgeon is a critical component for successful restoration of the species.
Angela DeFore, graduate student who worked with Bopi Biddanda, successfully defended her masters thesis with a presentation titled Seasonal inventories and fluxes of carbon and nutrients in Muskegon Lake, MI.
Special Seminar: Dr. Solange Duhamel, with the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University, presented: Phosphorus resource partitioning in the open ocean: new insights from single cell approaches".
Compensation 101 was presented to Executive, Administrative Professional staff from AWRI, MAREC, and the Stephenson Center in Muskegon. Presenters included Linda Yuhas, Director, Compensation and Employment Services, Joe Godwin, Associate Vice President Academic Affairs and Jon Jellema, Associate Vice President Academic Affairs.
Seminar Speaker: Dr. Vincent Denef, with the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Michigan, presented: "Studying evolutionary dynamics and ecological complexity of microbial communities in nature".
Grand Haven High School AP Environmental Science students visited the Annis Educational Foundation Classroom for hands-on activities and attended presentations given by Rick Rediske, Bopi Biddanda, and Bopi's graduate students, Leon Gereaux, Nicole Horne, and Michael Snider.
Al Steinman and John Koches attended a meeting with Grand Rapids mayor George Heartwell, on November 1. The mayor is looking for AWRI to provide assistance with content delivery for a virtual conference focused on water that he hopes to host this spring.
Al Steinman hosted two representatives from ADAC Automotive for a meeting and tour of our facilities on November 6.
Al Steinman hosted a meeting with Steve Chappell, Ken Kolbe, and Michael Walenta, from WGVU, on November 7.
Al Steinman served on a panel discussing the restoration of the Muskegon Lake shoreline. The event took place on the Frauenthal stage as part of a community forum sponsored by the Community Foundation for Muskegon County on November 14.
Al Steinman participated in Lauren Kinsman-Costellos dissertation defense at MSUs Kellogg Biological Station on November 27. Al is a member of her PhD committee.
Janet Vail facilitated two Michigan Environmental Education Curriculum Support (MEECS) workshops on Ecosystems and Water Quality for the Groundswell teachers and others. The workshops were held on November 1 and 2 at Ada Park.
Bopi Biddanda gave an invited talk titled Whats Karst got to do with it? Dynamics of sinkholes in Lake Huron, at the annual meeting of the Michigan Karst Conservancy in Waterford, MI on November 3.
Bopi Biddanda, Michael Snider, Leon Gereaux, and Nicole Horne gave a collaborative presentation on their research activities to ~35 Advanced Placement Environmental Science students from Grand Haven High School on November 15.
Scott Kendall and Leon Gereaux gave a presentation titled Studying lakes using real-time series Observatories at the Fall Science Update organized by GVSUs Regional Math and Science Center for K-12 educators at the Grand Rapids campus on November 14.
Jim McNair gave an oral presentation at the 2012 annual meeting of the American Water Resources Association in Jacksonville, Florida on November 12.
McNair, J., C. Ruetz, and B. Harris. Oral. How much bias does migration cause in 2-sample mark-recapture estimators of stream fish abundance?
Rick Rediske gave a presentation to ~35 Advanced Placement Environmental Science students from Grand Haven High School on November 15.
Al Steinman was guest lecturer for Mark Luttentons class, BIO 610, on November 8.
Al Steinman gave a presentation updating the results of the Bear Lake internal phosphorus loading study at the Muskegon Lake Watershed Partnerships meeting at United Way Headquarters in Muskegon on November 14.
Al Steinman gave a presentation on AWRIs activities on Spring Lake, at an event hosted by University Development, with the goal of informing Spring Lake residents about our new field station on November 29.
Ryan Thum attended and presented at the North American Lake Management Society on November 9.
Thum, R. Oral. Reduced herbicide susceptibility in hybrid watermilfoils: research and management.
Ryan Thum was guest lecturer for Dawn Harts class, Intro to Biotech, on November 20.
Janet Vail presented a session at the GVSU Regional Math & Science Centers 2012 Fall Science Update held at Eberhard Center on November 14. Her topic was Next Generation Science Standards: Teaching about Climate Change. She also attended the RMSC Advisory Board meeting on November 28.
Return to Top
Bopi Biddanda had an article recently published in the GVSU Regional Math and Science newsletter Interchange.
Biddanda, B. 2012. Underwater sinkholes in Lake Huron are refugia for versatile microbial ecosystems that are analogs of life on early Earth. Interchange 19:7. http://gvsu.edu/rmsc/interchange/connections-for-the-k-12-classroom-299.htm
Liz LaRue, graduate student who worked with Ryan Thum, has a manuscript in press with the journal Evolutionary Applications:
LaRue, E.A., M.P. Zuellig, M.D. Netherland, M.A. Heilman, and R.A. Thum. Hybrid watermilfoil lineages are more invasive and less sensitive to a commonly used herbicide than their exotic parent (Eurasian watermilfoil). Evolutionary Applications. Online first: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/eva.12027/full
Al Steinman has a manuscript in press, with co-authors from AWRI, Notre Dame, and CMU:
Steinman, A.D., M.E. Ogdahl, K. Thompson, M.J. Cooper, and D.G. Uzarski. 2012. Water level fluctuations and sediment-water nutrient exchange in Great Lakes coastal wetlands. Journal of Great Lakes Research 38: 766-775.
Al Steinman is a co-author on a manuscript in press, with co-authors from the GLEAM (Great Lakes Environmental Assessment and Mapping Project:
J.D. Allan, P.B. McIntyre, S.D.P. Smith, B.S. Halpern, G. Boyer, A. Buchsbaum, A. Burton, L. Campbell, L. Chadderton, J. Ciborowski, P. Doran, T. Eder, D.M. Infante, L.B. Johnson, C.G. Joseph, A.L. Marino, A. Prusevich, J. Read, J. Rose, E. Rutherford, S. Sowa, A.D. Steinman. In Press. Joint analysis of stressors and ecosystems services to enhance restoration effectiveness. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Al Steinmans former graduate student, Matt Cooper, is the lead author on a manuscript in press with co-authors Al and former AWRI colleague Don Uzarski:
Cooper, M.J., A.D. Steinman, and D.G. Uzarski. In Press. Influence of geomorphic setting on the metabolism of Lake Huron fringing wetlands. Limnology & Oceanography.
Return to Top
Awards & Recognition
Janet Vail has been asked to be on the school board for a new K-12 environmental academy in Muskegon, which will be a charter school managed by Choice Schools. The name of school will be Muskegon Area Academy for Environmental Change.
Preview of AWRI research station draws supporters
Grand Valley Magazine, Fall 2012, page 7 The article is about the September 6 event held at AWRI to preview the plans for the new Field Station.
Campaign for AWRI field station kicks off
Grand Valley Magazine, Fall 2012, page 13 The article is about the September 6 event held at AWRI to preview the plans for the new Field Station.
Muskegon shoreline habitat restoration update
West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission, Oct/Nov 2012 newsletter. The article mentions AWRIs role in monitoring Muskegon Lake.
Invasive species and lake research highlight conference
Lake Effect (newsletter of the Michigan Chapter of the North American Lake Management Society [McNALMS]), November 2012. Ryan Thums presentation regarding hybrid watermilfoil was highlighted at the McNALMS Conference on November 9.
Biology thesis submitted to competition
Lanthorn (GVSU student-run publication), news briefs, page A3, November 8, 2012. The GVSU Office of Graduate Studies has submitted Whitney Nelsons thesis to the Midwest Association of Graduate Schools Thesis Competition. Whitney Nelson is a recent graduate student who worked with Al Steinman. She is currently at the University of Arkansas working on her PhD.
Bridge Q & A: Water expert says conservation is in Michigan's future
bridgemi.com, November 14, 2012 also carried by MLive.com Al Steinman is interviewed concerning low lake levels in the Great Lakes.
Water expert: Conservation becoming essential: Great Lakes near record low levels
The Grand Rapids Press, November 18, 2012 Al Steinman is interviewed concerning low lake levels in the Great Lakes.
Great Lakes affected by fiscal cliff?
Petoskey News, November 19, 2012 also carried by KDAF, KTUU-TV, WPMT-TV, and WXIN-TV The article refers to a report done by AWRI that shows restoration of Muskegon Lake would provide a six to one return on investment.
AWRI to take part in Muskegon River restoration project
GVNow (publication of GVSU News & Information Services), November 20, 2012 also picked up by CBS Detroit AWRI received a subaward from the Muskegon River Watershed Assembly for $85,000 to help restore portions of the Muskegon River.
USGS sets up Silver Lake monitoring website
Oceana's Herald-Journal, November 25, 2012 AWRI is a partner with USGS in this new study of Silver Lake.
Letters: Whats wrong with planting native species in Lake Michigan?
MLive.com, November 26, 2012 The author mentions information he obtained from a Natural Resources Commission meeting he attended in October. There is a picture that mentions AWRI in caption.