July & August 2015 Newsletter

A Closer Look #152

Charlyn Partridge joins AWRI Faculty

Pictured above, left to right:  Tina Scott; Drew McWilliams; Brittany Jacobs; Gabrielle Thelen; Emily Luke; and Nick Weber.

Charlyn received her B.S. in Biology from Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, LA and her M.Sc. from the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL. She completed her Ph.D. at Texas A&M University in 2009, where her dissertation examined the effect of environmental contaminants on mating systems in aquatic species. After completing her Ph.D. she held a two-year postdoc at Washington University in St. Louis, School of Medicine. During this time, she gained experience in genetic and genomic techniques by examining the way high-fat diet alters gene expression in mice. Just prior to joining the faculty at AWRI-GVSU, she held a postdoc position at the University of Western Ontario, Canada, where she explored gene expression differences in fish with alternative reproductive tactics. Charlyn’s current research combines her experience in genomics and ecology to address how environmental and genetic factors influence selection processes and adaptive potential in natural populations. Her research employs a variety of behavioral, molecular, and genetic techniques to address questions related to: (1) sexual selection, (2) invasive species colonization, and (3) adaptation to global climate change.

LMC Activities

The W.G. Jackson was in Waukegan, Illinois for trips on July 7-11, 2015.  The Waukegan Citizen’s Advisory Committee coordinated the visit.

The research vessel W. G. Jackson hosted two Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) trips, which were held in Muskegon on July15, followed by five trips in Holland held on July 17 and 18.  Macatawa Area Coordinating Council representatives were onboard to talk about watershed projects in Holland.

Paula Capizzi, Ann Hesselsweet, and Michele Smith (all AWRI vessel instructors) provided hands-on activities at AWRI’s booth at the Macatawa Water Festival.  Close to 1,500 people attended, with over 700 children engaged in learning activities associated with the restoration of the watershed.

Rod Denning and Janet Vail provided a tour of AWRI’s grounds for the participants on a green infrastructure field trip on August 4.  This was part of the West Michigan Green Infrastructure Conference, held at GVSU. 

Nicole Horne, former graduate student who worked with Bopi Biddanda, and Janet Vail presented a program in the Annis Education Foundation classroom on July 21 for students in the Mount Zion Summer Academy/Club 188 program.

Scott Kendall gave a tour of AWRI for the local Philanthropic Educational Organization (PEO) group on August 3.

Carl Ruetz and Al Steinman participated by phone on a technical review panel to evaluate 24 proposals submitted to Minnesota Sea Grant.  The committee met on August 20.

Al Steinman was interviewed on Michigan’s Blue Economy as part of WGVU-TV’s West Michigan Week: https://video.wgvu.org/video/2365528349/

Al Steinman was interviewed by WOOD-TV on August 6 about possible algal blooms in Lake Michigan.

Janet Vail attended the Project WET USA Advisory Council meeting on August 2 in Oklahoma.

Anthony Weinke, graduate student working with Bopi Biddanda, successfully passed his qualifying exam on August 6.

Presentations & Publications

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


Yakuta Bhagat, who worked with the Ruetz lab as a post-doc, had a publication accepted in the Journal of Great Lakes Research, based on her post-doc research at AWRI.  Carl Ruetz and Andrea Koster are co-authors.  Andrea was an undergraduate summer intern at AWRI assisting with this research.
Bhagat, Y.***, A. Koster**, and C.R. Ruetz III.  In press.  Differential habitat use by the round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) and Dreissena spp. in coastal habitats of eastern Lake Michigan.  Journal of Great Lakes Research.

Al Steinman is lead author on a manuscript about the Spring Lake Stormwater project, funded by Michigan Sea Grant.  Kurt Thompson and Elaine Sterrett Isely are co-authors:
Steinman, A.D., E.S. Isely, and K. Thompson.  2015.  Stormwater runoff to an impaired lake: impacts and solutions.  Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 187: xxx-xxx.  Doi:10.1007/s10661-015-4776-z

Al Steinman is a co-author on an article with Liqiang Xie, who was a post-doc in the Rediske lab, published in the journal Toxins:
Su, X., Q. Xue, L. Xie, A.D. Steinman, and Y. Zhao.  2015.  Spatiotemporal dynamics of microcystin variants and relationships with environmental parameters in Lake Taihu, China.  Toxins 7: 3224-3244.

(Presenter listed first)

(Presenter listed first)

Rod Denning gave a presentation using ArcGIS Online/Story Maps tools at the Groundswell Summer Institute for local educators on July 28.

Brandon Harris, recent graduate student working with Carl Ruetz, gave an oral presentation on adult lake sturgeon movement to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ Lake Sturgeon Committee on July 21 at the Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery.

John Koches gave a presentation about remote sensing and monitoring tools at the Groundswell Summer Institute for local educators on July 28.

Syndell Parks gave a presentation at the Aquatic Plant Management Society conference held in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on July 15.  The title of her presentation was “Impacts of herbicide management on watermilfoil species dynamics in a field setting.”

Carl Ruetz attended the Symposium for European Freshwater Science held July 5 – 10 in Geneva, Switzerland.  He presented a poster at the conference:
Ruetz, C.R., III, S.M.P. Morsches**, and D.J. Janetski***.  Environmental drivers of fish community structure in river mouths of Lake Michigan, USA.

Al Steinman gave a presentation on Michigan’s Blue Economy at the Detroit Grand Lecture Series on June 30.

Al Steinman was a guest lecturer for Mark Luttenton’s Intro to Environmental Studies class on July 27.

Al Steinman gave a presentation on the topic of Great Lakes Challenges to the Sierra Club in the Stony Lake area on August 22.

Kevin Strychar attended the Botany 2015 conference held in Edmonton, Alberta Canada from July 25 – 29.
Strychar, K.  Oral.  Developing new techniques to better understand Microcystis sp. blooms in freshwater lakes.

Janet Vail helped to facilitate the Groundswell/LGREI workshop held July 27-30. 

Janet Vail presented a program on NOAA’s vessel for the West Michigan Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative teacher workshop on August 6.

Janet Vail gave a Project WET workshop for the North Park Montessori teachers on August 31.

Brian Zuber, graduate student working with Rick Rediske, presented on the results of his MS research at the MDEQ Green Infrastructure Conference in Grand Rapids on August 5.  The title of his presentation was “Multi model approaches to prioritize the restoration of historic wetlands in the Lower Grand River Watershed”.  Rick Rediske also attended the conference.

Awards & Recognition

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

Grants & Contracts

Carl Ruetz is negotiating a contract with Consumers Energy to support the ongoing telemetry project involving lake sturgeon movements in the Muskegon River system in the amount of $17,697.

News & Events

AWRI in the News

“West Michigan Green Infrastructure Conference, pre-conference tours”
A flyer for distribution, early July 2015.
One of the tours includes a stop at AWRI to learn about the “green roof” on the Boat House building.

“The W. G. Jackson returns to Lake Macatawa this summer!”
A flyer for distribution, early July, 2015.
Flyer distributed by the Macatawa Area Coordinating Council (MACC) to invite the public to join the free tours being offered July 17 – 18 when the W. G. Jackson goes to Holland.

“Tagged brook trout released in Cedar Creek”
Cedar Springs Post Newsletter, July 2, 2015
Mark Luttenton and his graduate students Graeme Zaparzynski and Justin Wegner are mentioned in the article about releasing 10 brook trout that had been implanted with monitors, so they can be tracked.

“Michigan expands high-tech beach testing”
The Detroit News, July 3, 2015
This article is about the new method for E. coli testing that is being used at AWRI and other labs throughout the state.

“Preserving our fresh water resources”
WOOD-TV 8, July 6, 2015
Al Steinman was featured in a 30 second segment for “Grand Valley is connecting with community”.  There will be a Macatawa Water Festival, held July 25 on Windmill Island.  The purpose is to educate the public about Project Clarity and the Macatawa watershed.  AWRI is a Project Clarity partner.

“New E-coli testing to help monitor MI beaches quicker”
WOOD-TV 8, July 8, 2015
This article is about the new method for E. coli testing that is being used at AWRI and other labs throughout the state.

“Annis Water Resources Institute to offer educational boat cruises”
GVNext, July 9, 2015
The article is about public cruises being offered on the W. G. Jackson on July 15 at its home port in Muskegon.

“Public invited to cruise with GVSU researchers on Lake Macatawa”
Holland Sentinel, July 10, 2015
The article is about public cruises being offered on the W. G. Jackson during its visit to Holland on July 17 and 18.

“GVSU wrapping up summer educational trips”
WZZM-13.com, July 15, 2015
The article is about public cruises being offered on the W. G. Jackson during its visit to Holland on July 17 and 18.

“Annis Water Resources Institute to host international group”
GVNext, July 17, 2015
The article is about the delegation with representatives from six countries meeting to discuss sustainability.  One of the excursions offered this group is a scientific demonstration cruise on the D. J. Angus.

“Water quality tours offer hands-on learning on Lake Macatawa”
Holland Sentinel, July 20, 2015
Janet Vail was interviewed regarding the public cruises being offered on the W. G. Jackson during its visit to Holland on July 17 and 18.

“Faster E. coli testing method to be used at Michigan Beaches”
Environmental Monitor, July 21, 2015
This article is about the new method for E. coli testing that is being used at AWRI and other labs throughout the state.

“Macatawa Water Festival educates community”
Holland Sentinel, July 25, 2015
The article is about the Macatawa Water Festival held on July 25.  AWRI science instructor Ann Hesselsweet had a tent there to help teach water quality.

“Great Lakes fungi: cancer killer?”
Grand Valley Magazine, Summer 2015
Mark Luttenton was interviewed about a project he is working on that involves isolating fungi from the bottom of Lake Michigan and testing extracts made from the fungi as cancer killers.

“Housing summer interns is a lot easier with help from Baker College of Muskegon”
MLive, August 1, 2015
Baker College has allowed AWRI to house summer NSF-REU students in their residence hall.

“West Michigan Green Infrastructure Conference”
(Flyer), early August 2015
Three different tours took place on August 4 related to Green Infrastructure.  One of the tours included a stop at AWRI to tour our rain gardens and our green roof on the boat house.

“Harmful algal blooms not likely on Lake Michigan”
WOOD-TV 8, August 6, 2015
Al Steinman was interviewed about the likelihood of algal blooms occurring on Lake Michigan, like what is occurring in Lake Erie.

“Going deep: floors of Great Lakes might hold biomedical treasure”
The Daily Mining Gazette, August 8, 2015
Mark Luttenton’s research for the National Institute for Health was discussed. 

“Summer housing program is a home run: Baker College partners with local employers to attract talented interns to the community”
Grand Rapids Business Journal, August 21, 2015
AWRI was one of the organizations that used the empty residence hall at Baker College this summer.


LMC Events

July 8
Sarah Stamann, graduate student working with Rick Rediske, successfully defended her master’s thesis at the LMC with a presentation titled: “Toxin Production and Population Dynamics of Gloeotrichia echinulata with Considerations of Global Climate Change”

July 21
Syndell Parks, graduate student working with Jim McNair, successfully defended her master’s thesis at the LMC with a presentation titled: “Divergent responses of cryptic invasive taxa to treatment with auxinic herbicides in a large Michigan Lake”

July 30
A Groundswell workshop for area teachers was held at the LMC.

Page last modified March 5, 2020