ANN ARBOR - Four new partners have successfully competed to join the Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research’s Regional Consortium, further expanding the University of Michigan-based institute’s capacity and expertise to understand, predict, and ultimately solve the critical issues facing the Great Lakes and surrounding communities. With the addition of these new partner organizations, the CIGLR Regional Consortium consists of twelve universities, four NGOs, and three businesses who partner with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in research and development activities that support NOAA’s mission in the Great Lakes.
The four new partners are Cleveland Water Alliance, Lake Superior State University, Michigan Technological University, and Wayne State University. These institutions were selected for membership because each brings a critical new element to the Regional Consortium. “I am excited about the new era of sustainable resource management that is being built right now – an era that is based on partnerships among great organizations who work together for the good of all who call the Great Lakes their home,” said CIGLR Director, Dr. Brad Cardinale.
The Cleveland Water Alliance is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to growing the region’s water innovation system, or “blue economy,” by coordinating a network of corporations, universities, research institutions, public agencies, and utilities. They bring strong connections to industry and innovation, and a demonstrated ability to facilitate the transfer of research-phase technologies to market-based solutions for water quality and economic development. “We are thrilled to collaborate with CIGLR to bolster connections between innovations in the research community with our blue economy industry partners. With the help of CIGLR, fostering and developing these partnerships can provide a key piece of the puzzle to keeping our lakes great while supporting our regional economy,” said Bryan Stubbs, who led the Cleveland Water Alliance proposal.
Located at the nexus of three Great Lakes, Lake Superior State University is expanding its long tradition as leaders in Great Lakes fisheries management and aquatic science with the new Center for Freshwater Research and Education. Their addition fills a critical geographic void in the Regional Consortium, brings needed fisheries management facilities and expertise, and connects the CIGLR university network with research-trained undergraduate students that will be well-prepared for graduate studies on Great Lakes topics. Dr. Ashley Moerke led the Lake Superior State University proposal. "We are excited to have been selected as a partner in the Regional Consortium, a strong Great Lakes network whose mission aligns closely with LSSU's new Richard and Theresa Barch Center for Freshwater Research and Education. We see this partnership as an opportunity for LSSU to enhance its research expertise through collaborations with other consortium partners, while simultaneously providing unparalleled training opportunities for our undergraduates interested in pursuing careers in fisheries and freshwater science," said Moerke.Michigan Technological University’s Great Lakes Research Center supports freshwater and ocean research with state-of-the-art laboratories, a fleet of surface and subsurface vessels, and other advanced technologies on the shore of Lake Superior. In addition to expertise in marine engineering and predictive modeling, Michigan Tech adds valuable high-tech capabilities in remote sensing and autonomous vehicles to the Regional Consortium. “Michigan Tech is excited to join the outstanding group of partners which form CIGLR and to combine our efforts to further support NOAA’s missions in the Great Lakes and coastal ocean. Through our main campus on the waterfront of central Lake Superior and Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI) in Ann Arbor, we wholeheartedly welcome this opportunity to help solve the very tough problems facing the Great Lakes,” said Dr. Guy Meadows, who led Michigan Tech’s proposal.
Located in the City of Detroit, Wayne State University is an urban research university with exemplary programs for supporting underrepresented minority groups in science and engineering. Their expertise in invasive species, environmental health, environmental law and policy, and urban water and wastewater infrastructure bring a unique set of skills to the Regional Consortium. The proposal from Wayne State was led by Drs. Donna Kashian and Carol Miller. "Wayne State looks forward to growing our Great Lakes research program through a partnership with CIGLR and its partners, providing novel collaborative research opportunities for our diverse faculty and student body. We are confident that this partnership will significantly expand the depth and reach of CIGLR and NOAA, while also expanding the WSU Great Lakes profile," said Kashian.
CIGLR’s Regional Consortium members partner with scientists at NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory to tackle important issues facing the Great Lakes. The Regional Consortium adds geographic breadth, technical capabilities, and cutting-edge facilities to amplify the capacity of the Ann Arbor, Michigan-based government lab. “We welcome the new CIGLR partners and look forward to new opportunities for collaboration. As the consortium grows, so does NOAA’s research capacity in the Great Lakes basin,” said Debbie Lee, Director of the NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory.
Hosted by the School for Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan, CIGLR is one of 16 NOAA-funded Cooperative Institutes across the United States. With the Regional Consortium and a Research Institute embedded with the NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, CIGLR partners closely with NOAA to achieve environmental, economic, and social sustainability in the Great Lakes.