August 2014 Newsletter

A Closer Look #142

Sabbatical Visitor Spending Fall at AWRI

David Fowle

Dr. David Fowle is conducting his sabbatical in Al Steinman’s lab this Fall 2014 term.  David is an Associate Professor in the Geology Department and the Associate Director of the Environmental Studies Program at the University of Kansas.  He received his PhD from the University of Notre Dame in Biogeochemistry.  Broadly his research focuses on how microorganisms influence the cycles of trace elements and carbon in the environment.  His approach to studying these systems relies on field observation, and lab and field-based experiments and has been conducted in the Great Lakes, Ancient Lakes in Indonesia, Wetlands and Northern soil environments.    Examples of specific research questions investigated include using large iron-rich lakes as analogues for the early earth, quantifying how methane is consumed by microbes in the absence of oxygen, and whether microbes can be used to predict the location and quality of mineral resources.

LMC Activities

The W.G. Jackson traveled to Holland for six cruises on August 8 and 9.  The Macatawa Area Coordinating Council was the host.  Information about Project Clarity was part of the outreach.

Al Steinman was an invited guest on the Laurentian, hosted by NOAA, giving a tour of Muskegon Lake to U. S. Representative Bill Huizenga.

Al Steinman toured the Holland Dredge Placement Facility on August 15 as a possible staging site for Macatawa watershed restoration activities.

Al Steinman gave a tour of the AWRI facilities to Senator Debbie Stabenow and U. S. Representative Gary Peters on August 21.

Al Steinman hosted and participated in a meeting at the request of U. S. Representative Bill Huizenga regarding ballast water issues facing the Great Lakes.

Janet Vail attended a Muskegon Lake Restoration celebration on August 15, which included remarks by Senator Carl Levin.

Presentations & Publications

 AWRI staff are in bold, graduate students are denoted with a *, and undergraduate students are denoted with **.


Ryan Thum was a co-author with Jane Herbert of Michigan State University Extension on a 2-part publication.  Part 1 title: Keeping an eye on hybrid watermilfoils in Michigan inland lakes, and Part 2 title: Stepping up to cooperatively manage your lake’s aquatic plant community.  Here are the links:

Al Steinman is a co-author of a recently published manuscript.  The lead author is Liqiang Xie, a former postdoc at AWRI.
Xie, L., H. T. Hanyu, N. Futatsugi, M. Komatsu, A.D. Steinman, H-D Park. 2014. Inhibitory effect of naringin on microcystin uptake in the freshwater snail Sinotaia histrica. Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology 38: 430-437.

(Presenter listed first)

Brandon Harris, graduate student working with Carl Ruetz, attended and presented at the 144th Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society held in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada from August 17 – 21.
Harris, B.S.*, C.R. Ruetz III, A.C. Wieten, M.E.L. Altenritter, and K.M. Smith.  Oral.  Population status of lake sturgeon in the Muskegon River system, Michigan.

Rick Rediske gave two workshops aboard the research vessel W. G. Jackson about Great Lakes Issues for the Biannual Conference on Chemistry Education (BCCE) on August 4 and on August 6.

Rick Rediske was a co-author on a presentation with Dalila Kovacs about Toxicology in Undergraduate Green Chemistry Programs on August 5, also part of the BCCE.

Rick Rediske was a member of a group presentation on trans-disciplinary collaboration for GVSU’s Annual Conference on Teaching and Learning on August 20.

Awards & Recognition

There were no new Awards and Recognition this month.  Check again next month!

Grants & Contracts

The Analytical Lab (Rick Rediske) was awarded $6,959.00 by Public Health – Muskegon County to monitor inland beaches.

Al Steinman was awarded $6,700 by the Muskegon County Drain Commissioner’s Office to monitor water quality in Pierson Drain (White Lake).

News & Events

AWRI in the News

“Expert explains algae blooms in West Michigan waters after dangerous Toledo incidents”
FOX 17 News, August 4, 2014
Al Steinman is interviewed about the harmful algae blooms in Lake Erie, and whether this could happen in Lake Michigan.

“Meet the invasive pest fueling Lake Erie’s toxic algae bloom”
National Journal, August 6, 2014
Al Steinman was interviewed regarding zebra and quagga mussels and their role in the formation of the algal bloom in Lake Erie that affect drinking water.

“Muskegon-area nursing advocates solicit nominations for annual breastfeeding friendly business award”, August 7, 2014
AWRI is mentioned as a past award winner of the Breastfeeding Friendly Business.  A room here is designated for nursing mothers.

“Water, Michigan, and the growing “Blue Economy””
Get Off The Couch News, August 8, 2014
AWRI is mentioned as the recipient of a grant from the C. S. Mott Foundation to study the Blue Economy.

“Climate change negatively impacting Great Lakes, GVSU researcher says”
GVNext (a publication of Grand Valley State University), August 11, 2014
Kevin Strychar is interviewed about the impacts of climate change in the Great Lakes region.
This news article was also carried by Economist’s View; Securities Technology Monitor; Science Daily; Holland Sentinel; PR Web; Marine Technology News;;; University; FARS News Agency;;;; BYM Marine Environment News;;; ideas, inventions and innovations;

“GVSU researcher: climate change negatively impacting Great Lakes”
FOX 17, August 11, 2014
Kevin Strychar is interviewed about the impacts of climate change in the Great Lakes region.
This article was also carried by Newschannel 3 WWMT-TV.

“Researcher: Climate change already affecting Great Lakes”
WMUK (Western Michigan University), August 27, 2014
Kevin Strychar is interviewed about the impacts of climate change in the Great Lakes region.
This article was also carried by WGVU Broadcasting.

“Climate change negatively impacting Great Lakes”
AJJ News, August 12, 2014
Kevin Strychar is a co-author of a report titled “Science, Education, and Outreach Roadmap for Natural Resources”.
This article was also carried by U.S. Fed News Service; HighBeam Research;; BusByway; and Midland Daily News.

“Immersion in watershed helps teachers create student projects”
School News Network, August 13, 2014
This article is about the week-long Groundswell teacher workshop held in mid-August.  Teachers were on the research vessel W.G. Jackson as part of this experience.

“Our View: Toledo’s water crisis has lessons for W. Michigan”
Holland Sentinel, August 17, 2014
Al Steinman is quoted regarding the harmful algal blooms appearing in the Great Lakes.
This article was also covered by

“U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, candidate Gary Peters stop in Muskegon to talk about jobs, Great Lakes”
MLive, August 21, 2014
Senator Stabenow and candidate Peters stopped at the Annis Water Resources Institute for a tour of the facilities and a discussion about research being done there.

“’Never say never’” on toxic algae”
Grand Haven Tribune, August 23, 2014
Al Steinman is quoted regarding the harmful algal blooms appearing in the Great Lakes.

“Incoming graduate student’s biology research published”
Office of Graduate Studies (GVSU), News and Information, August 25, 2014
Anthony Weinke, graduate student working with Bopi Biddanda, is the first author on a manuscript published by Journal of Plankton Research on changing coastal carbon cycling.

LMC Events

August 1
GVSU’s College of Education brought a group of students from the West Michigan Hispanic Center Summer Camp for a program at the Lake Michigan Center and a vessel cruise on the W.G. Jackson.

August 5
The West Michigan Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative (GLSI) teachers were on the W.G. Jackson for a GLRI supported cruise.  The focus of the cruise was Muskegon Lake Restoration.

Students from the Bright Futures Early Learning Center visited the Annis Educational Foundation Classroom for hands-on activities.

August 6
Sailing students from the Muskegon Yacht Club had a program in the Annis Educational Foundation Classroom and a tour of the Lake Michigan Center.

August 8
The ADAC Automotive group held a luncheon meeting at the Lake Michigan Center.

August 14
The Muskegon Lake Watershed Partnership held a public meeting at the Lake Michigan Center.

August 15
The Mona Lake Watershed Council held a technical advisory meeting at the Lake Michigan Center.

Adults from Pioneer Resources visited the Lake Michigan Center for a tour and a classroom program. Pioneer Resources is “dedicated to helping people with disabilities and senior citizens attain independence and dignity by creating opportunities for participation in the community.”

August 21
Senator Debbie Stabenow and U.S. Representative Gary Peters held a press conference at the Lake Michigan Center and spoke on the topic of “How the Great Lakes influence Michigan”.

August 26
AWRI hosted a “Ballast Water Roundtable” meeting in the Field Station Conference Room; the meeting was led by Congressman Huizenga.  Attendees included Tim Eder (Executive Director, Great Lakes Commission; Joel Brammeier (President, Alliance of the Great Lakes; Jon Allan (Director, MDEQ Office of the Great Lakes; Robert Lewis-Manning  (President, Canadian Ship Owners Association), and Al Steinman among others

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