A Closer Look #130 July 2013 Newsletter

Target Inquiry Teachers at AWRI
Summer 2013

Target Inquiry (TI) is a NSF-funded 2½-year program designed to meet the professional development needs of middle and high school science teachers for developing an inquiry-based science classroom. TI is designed to 1) provide teacher participants with an authentic science laboratory research experience, and 2) facilitate the integration of their research experience into their classroom through the design, implementation, and evaluation of inquiry-based curriculum.

AWRI welcomes 4 TI teachers from west Michigan for this summer:

Joe Lutz is a Physics teacher at Lakeshore Middle School in Grand Haven Area Public Schools. His project with Rick Rediske involves working on the development of a cost effective biosand filter prototype, which can be built from locally sourced parts in developing countries. Biosand filters combat the leading cause of death and disease in the developing world by reducing parasites, bacteria and viruses found in contaminated water. Joe will be collecting data and monitoring the efficacy of the prototype in reducing E. coli concentrations in contaminated waters.

Ashley Meyer is a Middle School Science teacher from South Haven Public Schools. Her TI project with Bopi Biddanda involves preparing a literature review on climate change over annual to millennial scales; conducting research on using time-series data from the Muskegon Lake Observatory to understand lake dynamics; and developing a lesson plan about what time-series environmental data can tell us about climate change and lake ecosystems.

Kevin Sylvester is an 8th grade Science teacher at Lakeshore Middle School in Grand Haven Area Public Schools. His project with Ryan Thum involves testing the feasibility of using environmental DNA from water samples for early identification of invasive aquatic plants.

Jennifer Woods teaches Environmental and Veterinary Sciences to 11th and 12th graders at the Muskegon Area Career Tech Center. Her project is studying the downstream drift of benthic macroinvertebrates in streams. Ultimately, her work is aimed at testing the predications of a mathematical model with field data. Her project is a collaboration with other students (Jennifer Waller, an AWRI summer intern), faculty (both Carl Ruetz and Jim McNair) and postdoc (Dave Janetski).

target inquiry teachers

Pictured from left to right: Kevin Sylvester, Joe Lutz, Jennifer Woods, and Ashley Meyer.

LMC Events

July 12 & 19
AWRI summer student interns gave presentations on their experiences while working here titled: What I did this summer.

July 17
Participants in GVSU's Target Inquiry program met as a class in the Annis Educational Foundation Classroom and enjoyed a tour of the AWRI facilities.

July 25
Meagan Sesselmann, graduate student working with Jim McNair, successfully passed her qualifying exam.

AWRI hosted a summer potluck picnic and cruise on the W.G. Jackson so that our staff and students could invite their family or close friends to tour AWRI and participate in a working cruise onboard the W.G. Jackson.

July 26
The Michigan Congressional Delegation Energy Site Tour visited the GVSU Lake Michigan Center as a part of their two day tour of western Michigan.

A Consumers Energy group toured the new field station and enjoyed a cruise on the W.G. Jackson.

AWRI hosted a Lake Macatawa Restoration Project meeting with team members to discuss database structure and management.

July 29
The Muskegon Rotary Club held a strategic planning session in the AWRI multipurpose conference room.



Bopi Biddanda attended the annual GVSU Radiation Safety Committee meeting on the Allendale campus on July 18. He is the Chair of the Committee, serving a 3-year term.

Nicole Horne, a graduate student working with Bopi Biddanda, is sampling biosand filters in Ghana during her study abroad program July-August 2013.

John Koches and Al Steinman attended a workshop hosted by the Great Lakes Commission titled Creating Vibrant Coastal Communities at the Muskegon Holiday Inn on July 11.

Al Steinman hosted a group from Consumers Energy as a thank you for their Field Station gift on July 26th.

Kevin Strychar was invited to attend a conference called Ocean Exploration 2020 held July 19 - 21. Approximately 120 leading ocean scientists discussed where ocean research is going and/or needs to go over the next 7-10 years.

Ryan Thum and his graduate student Syndell Parks attended the Aquatic Plant Management Society meeting in San Antonio, TX from July 13 - 18.

Janet Vail assisted with parts of the Groundswell sponsored Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative (GLSI) professional development workshop for teachers during the week of July 22. That group took a cruise on the research vessel D.J. Angus on July 23.

The W.G. Jackson traveled to Waukegan, IL for four days of cruises July 9th 12th. Highlights included a trip for the Chicago Wilderness committee, two trips for the Waukegan Park District, one trip for the junior sailors from the Waukegan Yacht Club, and five trips for various groups serving children in the predominately Hispanic and African-American communities of Waukegan. Judy Beck from the USEPA Great Lakes National Program Office was onboard one of the cruises.

The W.G. Jackson was in White Lake, MI for three cruises and some open houses on July 20th. Tanya Cabala presented narrated cruises about the White Lake Area of Concern and its restoration.



John Koches presented Science Drones at the G3 (Grandparents, Grandchildren, and Grand Valley) Camp held at the LMC on June 26. G3 is a week-long camp organized by GVSU Regional Math & Science Center.

Rick Rediske gave a presentation to the Traverse City Rotary Club on Designing Sustainable Water Supply Solutions for Developing Countries on July 9.

Al Steinman hosted and presented to Michigan congressional staffers about Great Lakes issues on July 26th.

Al Steinman was a guest lecturer for Environmental Science (BIO 105) on July 29.

Al Steinman presented on the labs Bear Lake internal phosphorus loading study results at the North Muskegon Community Center on July 31st.

Janet Vail presented a Michigan Environmental Education Curriculum Support Climate Change Unit at Michigan Tech on July 8. Participants were teachers in the Michigan Tech Global Change Institute and Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative teachers.

Janet Vail presented a Project WET workshop for educators in Waukegan, IL on July 10.

Janet Vail presented a program for Target Inquiry teachers who visited the LMC on July 17.



Rick Rediske and Jim O'Keefe were co-authors on a paper recently published in Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology:
Madenjian C.P., M.A. Stapanian, R.R. Rediske, and J.P. O'Keefe. 2013. Sex difference in polychlorinated biphenyl concentrations of burbot lota lota from Lake Erie. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 65(2):300-308

Al Steinman is a co-author on an article in press in Journal of Great Lakes Research:
Larsen, J.H., A. Trebitz, A.D. Steinman, M.J. Wiley, M. Carlson-Mazur, V. Pebbles, H. Braun, and P. Seelbach. In Press. Great Lakes rivermouth ecosystems: scientific synthesis and management implications. Journal of Great Lakes Research


AWRI In the News

Floating laboratory hosts educational cruises at port
Portside Magazine (Portage, IN), Summer 2013 The article is about the recent trip to Port of Indiana/Burns Harbor the research vessel W. G. Jackson made.

What the flood of 2013 tells us about the importance of a healthy urban forest
The Rapidian, July 1, 2013 The Urban Tree Canopy project AWRI did in 2008 is mentioned in this article.

Free White Lake tours offered on W. G. Jackson research vessel at annual event
MLive.com, July 19, 2013 The research vessel W. G. Jackson was at the "Celebrate White Lake" event held July 20.

Daily Business Briefs: West MI based Business News, July 22, 2013
Under the Education section, GVSU's new Field Station is discussed.

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