A Closer Look #125 February 2013 Newsletter

Monitoring the pulse of a lake

Recent evidence from lakes around the world has changed scientists view of the role lakes play in climate change and the global carbon cycle. That role was long assumed to be insignificant, because lakes occupy only a very small proportion of the earths surface. But we now know that the cumulative uptake and release of carbon by lakes is much greater than their size would suggest.

The biological processes by which lakes take up, process, and release carbon show a pronounced rhythm - the "pulse" of a lake. Rates of these processes change rapidly over the course of a day (Figure 1), complicating efforts to estimate how much carbon a lake takes up and releases each day, month, and year. Yet accurate estimates are essential in determining whether lakes tend to reduce or increase atmospheric levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide.

In an ongoing project funded by U.S. EPA's Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a team of AWRI researchers and students is developing improved approaches to estimating the dynamic rates of carbon uptake and release by lake ecosystems using mechanistic models of lake metabolism and data produced by AWRI's Muskegon Lake Buoy Observatory ( www.gvsu.edu/wri/buoy/). The AWRI team includes Dr. Bopi Biddanda, Scott Kendall, and Dr. Jim McNair, as well as graduate students Leon Gereaux and Meagan Sesselmann and undergraduate student Anthony Weinke.

Buoy figure

Figure 1. AWRI's Muskegon Lake Buoy Observatory is shown on the left. An example of data from the buoy appears on the right, showing pronounced daily changes in lake dissolved oxygen concentration that reflect the daily rhythm of lake metabolism.

LMC Events

Feb 8
Seminar Speaker: Dr. J. Denis Newbold, with the Stroud Water Research Center, presented: "Linking upstream to downstream: How nutrients and particles spiral through the River Continuum".



AWRI was a co-sponsor for the 18th Annual Hazardous Waste Workshop held on February 6 in Grand Rapids. Janet Vail arranged for the GVSU CEU's for that event, and was in attendance.

Bopi Biddanda attended the AWRI/MSU Water Initiative Research Grant annual project meeting in East Lansing on February 1.

Bopi Biddanda participated in interviewing admitted students to GVSU for the Awards of Distinction scholarships on February 2.

Bopi Biddanda served on the National Aeronautic & Space Administration - Michigan Space Grant Consortium (NASA-MSGC) panel at the University of Michigan on February 6 - 7.

Al Steinman was interviewed by National Public Radio (NPR) on February 7.

Al Steinman was video-interviewed by Bruce Buursma Communications for a Lake Macatawa Documentary on February 11.

Al Steinman was interviewed by Steve Zagman of WZZM, Channel 13 News, regarding low water levels in the Great Lakes on February 20.

Janet Vail attended the Women and the Environment luncheon hosted by West Michigan Environmental Action Council (WMEAC) and Grand Valley State University on February 15. Janet was nominated for an environmental award honoring local women for their accomplishments on behalf of the environment.



AWRI was represented at the annual meeting of the Michigan Chapter of the American Fisheries Society held in Gaylord, MI from February 19 - 21. Other AWRI staff in attendance, besides the presenters listed below, were Amanda Chambers and Jessica Wesolek. Presenter is first listed, AWRI staff are bolded, graduate students are denoted with an *, undergraduates are denoted with **.
Brian Giordano*, Mark Luttenton, Carl Ruetz III, and Steve Sendek. Poster. The effectiveness of utilizing volunteers for a large scale telemetry study on brown trout in the Au Sable River, Michigan.

Nicholas Albrecht* and Mark Luttenton. Oral. Muskegon River juvenile steelhead survival and production.

Brandon Harris*, Alex C. Wieten*, Matthew E. L. Altenritter*, Carl R. Ruetz III, and Kregg M. Smith. Poster. Population Status of Lake Sturgeon in the Muskegon River, Michigan.

Jared Homola*, Carl R. Ruetz III, Ryan A. Thum, and Steven L. Kohler. Oral. Landscape genetics of mottled sculpin: insights into historic stream colonization.

David Janetski, Carl R. Ruetz III, Yakuta Bhagat, and David F. Clapp. Oral. Yellow perch recruitment dynamics in Muskegon Lake and nearshore Lake Michigan.

Bopi Biddanda and Jim McNair each gave a presentation at the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) 2013 Aquatic Sciences Meeting held in New Orleans from February 17 - 22.
Biddanda, B., S.T. Kendall, E.A. Strickler**, M.E. Weinert, A.L. Defore*, K.M. Driza**, K.E. Coveney**, D.K. Dila*, A.C. Weinke**, L.C. Gereaux*. Oral. Land-lake linkages in a Great Lake Watershed: Production and respiration of carbon in Lake Michigan.
McNair, J.N., L.C. Gereaux*, A.D. Weinke**, M.R. Sesselmann*, S.T. Kendall, B.A. Biddanda. Oral. Using quasi-mechanistic statistical models and high frequency sensor data to estimate components of lake metabolism by the free-water dissolved-oxygen method.

Bopi Biddanda and graduate student, Leon Gereaux, presented to the GVSU Target Inquiry class, SCI 610, about ongoing research that is usable in the high school science classroom on February 27.

Mark Luttenton presented a seminar to the Mason-Griffith Chapter of Trout Unlimited on the phylogenetics of Michigan brown trout in Grayling on February 2.

Mark Luttenton presented an update on the Au Sable River brown trout telemetry study to the Anglers of the Au Sable conservation organization in Grayling on February 9.

Mark Luttenton presented a seminar on the phylogenetics of Michigan brown trout at the CLAS Faculty Research Colloquium on February 21.

Carl Ruetz presented to the Target Inquiry class, CHM 610, about research opportunities in his laboratory on February 13.

Al Steinman gave a presentation to GVSU University Club on February 20.

Ryan Thum was a guest lecturer for the Target Inquiry class, CHM 610, on February 20.



Janetski, D.J., C.R. Ruetz III, Y. Bhagat, and D.F. Clapp. 2013. Recruitment dynamics of age-0 yellow perch in a drowned river mouth lake: assessing synchrony with nearshore Lake Michigan. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 142:505-514.

Rick Rediske is a co-author on two papers that were recently published as Open Access:
Sisson, A.J.*, P.J. Wampler, R.R. Rediske, and A.R. Molla. 2013. An assessment of long term biosand filter use and sustainability in the Artibonite Valley near Deschapelles, Haiti. Journal of Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene for Development. 3(1): 51-60.

Wampler, P., R. Rediske, and A. Molla. 2013. Using ArcMap, Google Earth, and Global Positioning Systems to select and locate random households in rural Haiti. International Journal of Health Geographics 12(3). doi:10.1186/1476-072X-12-3


Awards & Recognition

Alex Ebenstein, undergraduate student working with John Koches, received a Space Grant award for a proposal titled: Mapping Lake Color by UAV to track Harmful Algal Blooms.

Mark Luttenton accepted, on behalf of AWRI, the Rainbow Trout Organization of the Year 2012 award given by the Mason-Griffith Chapter on February 2. The plaque is inscribed "Grand Valley State University - Annis Water Resources Institute in appreciation of its dedication to improving the cold water resources in the Au Sable River".

Carl Ruetz received the Distinguished Graduate Mentoring Award at the Faculty Awards Convocation held on February 7.

Meagan Sesselmann, graduate student working with Jim McNair, received a Michigan Space Grant award for her proposal titled: Estimating lake metabolism using the free water method and a 1-D hydrodynamic model.

James Smit, graduate student working with Alan Steinman, received a Michigan Space Grant Graduate Fellowship for his proposal titled: Nutrient fluxes from restored wetlands due to hydrologic reconnection and climate change.

Jessica Wesolek, graduate student working with Carl Ruetz, received the Don L. Brumbaugh Commemorative Equipment Scholarship from Sonotronics, Inc. to purchase ultrasonic tags for her thesis research.


AWRI In the News

"Lake Michigan water level at record low"
WOOD-TV8, February 6, 2013 Al Steinman was interviewed regarding low water levels in Lakes Huron and Michigan.

"AWRI director says low Great Lakes water levels could impact economy, ecosystems"
GVNext, February 8, 2013 Al Steinman was interviewed regarding low lake levels.

"Where is the Great Lakes water going?"
WZZM13.com, February 20, 2013 Al Steinman was interviewed regarding low lake levels.

Page last modified February 17, 2020