September 2014 Newsletter

A Closer Look #143

Incoming Graduate Students at AWRI

Graduate students are a vital and critical part of our mission at the Annis Water Resources Institute (AWRI). Hands-on student training and development have been a hallmark of AWRI since its inception, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. However, the depth of training is greater and more intense at the master's level, and expectations for information synthesis and critical thinking from graduate students are higher.

Delilah Clement

Delilah Clement is from Portage, Michigan. She received her B.S. Degree in Biology in 2013 from Hope College. She is working with Dr. Alan Steinman investigating the importance of dissolved phosphorus in the Lake Macatawa Watershed. She hopes to look at agricultural tile drains as a source of phosphorus and use the results to inform restoration strategies being implemented in the watershed. Outside of academics, Delilah leads wilderness canoe trips for the YMCA in the summer, and she enjoys playing sports including lacrosse, ultimate frisbee, and rowing.

Travis Ellens

Travis Ellens is from Grand Rapids, Michigan. He graduated from Calvin College with a B.S. in Biology. Since graduating, Travis has worked for AWRI (Muskegon, MI), the Bureau of Reclamation (Stockton, CA), and CA Fish and Wildlife (Sacramento, CA). Travis is currently working with Dr. Carl Ruetz to examine the role of mottled sculpin in stream food webs. In his spare time, Travis enjoys fishing, hunting, and spending time with his family.

Anthony Weinke

Anthony Weinke is from the Traverse City, Michigan area, and graduated from GVSU in 2013 with a degree in Biology-Aquatic Science.  He will be working with Dr. Bopi Biddanda to analyze Muskegon Lake Buoy Observatory data for the relationship between wind mixing events and bottom water hypoxia.  After completing his Masters, he hopes to pursue his PhD and a career in shark research and marine conservation in a warmer location.  He enjoys water activities, sports, and Mark Wahlberg movies.

Graeme Zaparzynski

Graeme Zaparzynski is from Mansfield, Pennsylvania and earned his undergraduate degree in Environmental Science from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania where he played varsity baseball for four years. His 2013 summer experience with the Sport Fish Division of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game exposed him to the field of Fisheries biology and influenced his decision to pursue a Master's degree in biology with an emphasis in aquatic science here at Grand Valley State University. Graeme will be working with Dr. Mark Luttenton studying the diet of Brown trout in the Au Sable River, located in the northern part of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. In his free time Graeme enjoys hunting, fly fishing, exercise, and any other activities that keep him active and outdoors.

LMC Activities

Bopi Biddanda served as the co-convener of the Grand Challenges for Water Resources in Great Lakes workshop held at Michigan State University on September 5.  Other faculty from AWRI who were in attendance:  Carl Ruetz, Al Steinman, and Kevin Strychar.

Bryan Giordano, graduate student working with Mark Luttenton, successfully defended his master’s thesis on September 29.  His title was: “Movement and Habitat Use of Brown Trout in the Au Sable River System, MI”. 

Mark Luttenton and his graduate student Brian Giordano attended the Wild Trout XI Symposium from September 22 – 25 in West Yellowstone.

Shirley McIntire and Michele Smith represented AWRI with a display in the children’s area of the Salmon Festival in Grand Haven on September 13.

James Smit staffed an information table to represent AWRI at the Healing Our Waters Conference held September 9 – 11, in Grand Rapids.

Al Steinman attended an informational event on invasive species hosted by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) on September 3 in Grand Rapids.

Al Steinman was an invited member of a discussion panel which occurred after the showing of the film “Project: ICE” at Celebration Cinema in Grand Rapids on September 8.

Al Steinman hosted a meeting of the Board of Trustees of the MI chapter of The Nature Conservancy at the LMC on September 19.  This included a tour of the AWRI facilities and a cruise on the research vessel W. G. Jackson.

Janet Vail and some of the AWRI science instructors hosted a session at the Muskegon County Water Festival on September 23 and 24.

Presentations & Publications

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


Bopi Biddanda and his graduate student Anthony Weinke had an article published in the GVSU Regional Math and Science Center publication InterChange:
Biddanda, B. and A. Weinke*.  2014.  Changing carbon balance in the Great Lakes.  InterChange.  September 2014.

Rick Rediske and Jim O’Keefe were co-authors on a publication to JoVE (Journal of Visual Experiments):
Madenjian, C.P., R.R. Rediske, J.P. O'Keefe, and S.R. David.  2014.  Laboratory estimation of net trophic transfer efficiencies of PCB congeners to Lake Trout (Salvelinus namaycush) from its prey.  J. Vis. Exp. (90), e51496, doi:10.3791/51496

Rick Rediske and Jim O’Keefe were co-authors on a publication to Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry:
Stapanian, M.A., C.P. Madenjian, P.A. Cott, R.R. Rediske, and J.P. O'Keefe.  2014.  Polychlorinated biphenyl congener distributions in burbot: evidence for a latitude effect.  Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.  Doi: 10.1002/etc.2703

Al Steinman is a co-author on a manuscript accepted to Ecological Applications:
Smith, S.D.P., P.B. McIntyre, B.S. Halpern, R.M. Cooke, A.L. Marino, G.L. Boyer, A. Buchsbaum, G.A. Burton Jr., L.M. Campbell, W.L. Chadderton, J.J.H. Ciborowski, P.J. Doran, T. Eder, D.M. Infante, L.B. Johnson, J.G. Read, J.B. Rose, E.S. Rutherford, S.P. Sowa, A.D. Steinman, J.D. Allan.  In Press.  Rating impacts in a multi-stressor world: a quantitative assessment of 50 stressors affecting the Great Lakes.  Ecological Applications.

Kevin Strychar is a co-author on a manuscript published online in the journal Diseases of Aquatic Organisms:
Hauff, B.A.*, J.A. Haslun*, J.M. Cervino, N. Krucher, A.M. Wier, A.L. Minnix, K. Hughen, and K.B. Strychar.  In Press.  Genetically divergent Symbiodinium sp. display distinct responses to pathogenic Vibrio and thermal stress.  Diseases of Aquatic Organisms.  DOI 10.3354/dao02802

Anthony Weinke, graduate student working with Bopi Biddanda, had an article published in Journal of Plankton Research:
Weinke, A.D.*, S.T. Kendall, D.J. Kroll, E.A. Strickler**, M.E. Weinert**, T.M. Holcomb**, D.K. Dila*, A.A. Defore*, M.J. Snider*, L.C. Gereaux*, and B.A. Biddanda.  2014.  Systematically variable planktonic carbon metabolism along a land-to-lake gradient in a Great Lakes coastal zone.  Journal of Plankton Research.  Advance Access doi: 10.1093/plankt/fbu066

(Presenter listed first)

Al Steinman gave a presentation on the Blue Economy at the Great Lakes Water Studies Institute at Northwestern Michigan College (NMC) in Traverse City on September 8.

Al Steinman gave a presentation and was part of the panel discussion on Muskegon Lake AOC restoration at the Healing Our Waters (HOW) Conference on September 9.  John Koches also attended this event.

Al Steinman presented at a field trip to look at restoration sites on Muskegon Lake that was part of the HOW Conference on September 10.

Al Steinman gave a presentation on Great Lakes and Climate Change at the Michigan Chapter of the American Water Works Association (AWWA) held in Manistee, Michigan on September 12.

Al Steinman gave a presentation on the Blue Water Economy to Muskegon in Focus on September 23.

Janet Vail, Bopi Biddanda, and graduate student Anthony Weinke gave science presentations and lab tours to the AP Environmental Science class visiting from Grand Haven High School on September 30.

Awards & Recognition

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

Grants & Contracts

Janet Vail informed the group that the proposal titled: Governance approaches to foster Great Lakes literacy, identity and stewardship: an integrated assessment, has been funded.  The principal investigator is Dr. Shari Dann from MSU, with AWRI as a partner in this grant ($10,000).  Other team members include Joan Chadde (MTU), Steve Stewart (Michigan Sea Grant Extension), and Brandon Schroeder (Michigan Sea Grant Extension). 

News & Events

AWRI in the News

“White Lake rising: 5 things delisting means (and doesn’t mean) for Muskegon County lake”
MLive, September 4, 2014
Tours on the research vessel W. G. Jackson were mentioned as one of the events marking the delisting of White Lake.

“Project Clarity monitoring fish populations in Lake Mac”
Holland Sentinel, September 9, 2014
AWRI research on Lake Macatawa is discussed, more specifically, fyke netting to assist in determining fish population.

Carl Ruetz and Maggie Weinert were shown using fyke nets in Lake Macatawa as part of Project Clarity during a news segment on WOOD-TV at 6:00 p.m. on September 9, 2014.

“Salmon Fest runs this weekend”
Grand Haven Tribune, September 11, 2014
AWRI is mentioned for having an environmental/educational booth at the KidZone during the annual Salmon Festival, hosted by Grand Haven Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Al Steinman was interviewed by Shelley Irwin, WGVU on September 12, 2014 regarding the Healing Our Waters Conference held in Grand Rapids from September 9 – 11, 2014.
“Symposium on St Clair River: As health of the waterway improves, a blue economy emerges”

The Voice (, September 25, 2014
AWRI is mentioned as one of the higher education institutions in Michigan offering water-based curriculum.

LMC Events

Sept 12
Seminar Speaker:  Dr. Eric Snyder, Associate Professor of Aquatic Biology at GVSU, presented:   “Ecology and management of neotropical rivers: lessons from Ecuador”.

Sept 15, 16, 18, 22
Students from Fruitport Schools visited the Annis Educational Foundation Classroom for hands-on activities in conjunction with a vessel cruise on the W.G. Jackson.

Sept 16
John Skutnik, graduate student working with Kevin Strychar, successfully passed his qualifying exam.

Sept 17
Students from Ludington High School visited the Annis Educational Foundation Classroom for hands-on activities in conjunction with a vessel cruise on the W.G. Jackson.

Sept 19
The Michigan Chapter of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) held their Board of Trustees meeting at the Lake Michigan Center.

Sept 25 & 26
Students from Cityside Middle School visited the Annis Educational Foundation Classroom for hands-on activities in conjunction with a vessel cruise on the W.G. Jackson.

Sept 27 & 28
Participants in the GVSU Family Weekend enjoyed trips on the research vessel W.G. Jackson.

Sept 29
Students from Okemos High School visited the Annis Educational Foundation Classroom for hands-on activities in conjunction with a vessel cruise on the W.G. Jackson.

Sept 30
Students from Grand Haven High School visited the Annis Educational Foundation Classroom for hands-on activities in conjunction with a vessel cruise on the W.G. Jackson.

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