March 2015 Newsletter

A Closer Look #148

Making Lake Michigan Great

The W.G. Jackson in Chicago

AWRI’s active involvement in public outreach throughout the Lake Michigan basin dates back to the 1990s.  Our activities have included onboard programs through our Making Lake Michigan Great tours, a leadership role in the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Lake Michigan Forum, and three State of Lake Michigan (SOLM) conferences.  Since 1998, EPA has been a major funder of our Making Lake Michigan Great vessel tours that have reached 33 ports of call.  Onboard tour activities include water sampling cruises, open houses, and educator workshops.

Our current EPA grant is through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and we have two partners - the Inland Seas Education Association and Michigan Sea Grant’s Great Lakes Education Program. Dr. Janet Vail serves as co-chair of EPA’s Lake Michigan Forum. The Forum is a stakeholder group for EPA’s Lakewide Action and Management Plan that has members from four states.  In 1999, Dr. Vail asked GVSU to help fund the first State of Lake Michigan Conference, which was held in Muskegon.  The conference was a success and AWRI went on to hold two more conferences in 2001 and 2003. Now hosted by other entities and alternating between the four Lake Michigan states, the State of Lake Michigan Conference continues to be held every other year. AWRI scientists and students will likely be presenting at the upcoming SOLM conference in October, to be held in Traverse City.


LMC Activities

Travis Ellens, graduate student working with Carl Ruetz, and Andrya Whitten, research assistant in the Ruetz lab, attended a workshop on the identification of non-game fish species at Michigan State University on March 11.  The workshop was sponsored by the Michigan Chapter of the American Fisheries Society.

Rick Rediske and Janet Vail coordinated a Science Olympiad “Green Generation” event for middle school and high school students on March 28.  Rick, Janet and Ann Hesselsweet, science instructor on the research vessel W.G. Jackson, were judges for the event.  Bopi Biddanda was there as a volunteer.

Carl Ruetz attended career day at South Elementary in Coopersville on February 27, where he discussed being a professor and ichthyologist.

Al Steinman chaired the meeting of the Environmental Committee of the Community Foundation for Muskegon County on March 17.  Al was reappointed Chair for another 3-yr term. They are reviewing proposals for funding.

Al Steinman attended the National Estuary Research Reserve Systems (NERRS) meeting in Ann Arbor on March 31.  The group is reviewing pre-proposals.

Al Steinman has been invited to serve a second term on the Management Council of the Cooperative Institute of Limnology and Ecosystem Research (CILER), extending until 2017.

Al Steinman has been invited to be an Associate Editor of Freshwater Biology.  With the journal now being published by Wiley, the former Editorial Board has been disbanded. A new Editor and Associate Editors have been assigned.

Janet Vail and Mark Luttenton attended the annual “Grants on the Grand” event sponsored by the GVSU Office of Sponsored Programs on March 19.

Presentations & Publications

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


Bopi Biddanda is a co-author of an article now available online in the journal Environmental Microbiology:
Voorhies, A.A., Eisenlord, S.D., Marcus, D.M., Duhaime, M.B., Biddanda, B.A., Cavalcoli, J.D., and Dick G.J.  2015.  Ecological and genetic interactions between cyanobacteria and viruses in a low-O2 mat community inferred through metagenomics and metatranscriptomics.  Environmental Microbiology.

Jim McNair was lead author of an article published in Fundamentals of Applied Limnology.  Several other AWRI students and faculty are co-authors:
McNair, J.N., M.R. Sesselmann, S.T. Kendall, L.C. Gereaux, A.D. Weinke and B.A. Biddanda.  2015.  Alternative approaches for estimating components of lake metabolism using the free-water dissolved oxygen (FWDO) method.  Fundamentals of Applied Limnology 186/1–2 (2015), 21–44.

James Smit, former graduate student of Al Steinman’s, is lead author of an article accepted for publication in Wetlands.  Al is a co-author:
Smit, J.T.* and A.D. Steinman. In Press. Wetland sediment phosphorus flux in response to proposed hydrologic reconnection and warming. Wetlands.

(Presenter listed first)

Brandon Harris, graduate student working with Carl Ruetz, presented at the Great Lakes Acoustic Telemetry Observation System held in Ann Arbor, Michigan on March 11-12.  Carl and Brandon both attended this event.
Harris, B.S.*, C.R. Ruetz III, K.M. Smith, and A.C. Wieten*.  Oral.  Seasonal movement patterns and habitat use of adult lake sturgeon in the Muskegon River, Michigan, USA. 

Janet Vail gave a presentation about the Making Lake Michigan Great Tour at Torresen Marine’s “Spring Thaw” event on March 14.

Awards & Recognition

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

Grants & Contracts

There were no new Grants and Contracts this month.  Check again next month!

News & Events

AWRI in the News

“Claire Fodell Reports: what ice on the Great Lakes does to the Great Lakes”
WTKG (Grand Rapids), March 4, 2015
Al Steinman and Mark Luttenton were both quoted in this article regarding the ice on the Great Lakes and water levels.
Also carried by WOOD-AM

"Congressman introduces bill to ban ‘microbeads’”
WXMI, Fox 17 evening news, March 10, 2015, and mentioned again on the morning news March 11, 2015
Rick Rediske is quoted regarding microbeads in the water supply.

“Lake Michigan water level up 14” over last year”
WZZM-TV 13, March 31, 2015
Captain Tony Fiore was interviewed regarding the affect higher lake levels have on Lake Michigan and other local lakes.


LMC Events

March 13
Series Seminar: Dr. John Lenters, Senior Scientist at LimnoTech, presented: “Rapid warming of the Great Lakes and beyond: Implications for evaporation and water levels”

March 21
AWRI held its first “Graduate Student Recruitment” event at the LMC, which also included a tour of our main campus in Allendale.

March 24
The United Way of the Lakeshore held its Board of Directors Strategic Direction Setting meeting at the LMC.

March 26
The Muskegon Lake Watershed Partnership held a public meeting at the LMC.

Page last modified February 17, 2020