New partners to join Great Lakes research consortium

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 12 universities, four nongovernmental organizations and three businesses who partner with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in research and development activities that support NOAA’s mission in the Great Lakes.

The four new partners are the 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.

The Cleveland Water Alliance is a nonprofit 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.

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 CIGLR 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. Ashley Moerke led the Lake Superior State University proposal.

Michigan Technological University’s Great Lakes Research Center supports freshwater and ocean research with 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.

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 Donna Kashian and Carol Miller.

CIGLR’s regional consortium members partner with scientists at NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor 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 government lab.

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.

More about CIGLR at this link.

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