Thursday 2020

Schedule at a Glance

9:00 - 10:00 am Keynote: Dr. Kendra Spence Cheruvelil
10:00 - 10:15 am Break
10:15 - 11:45 am Concurrent Sessions 3
11:45 am - 1:00 pm Lunch Break: Photography and Creative Writing Contest Awards
1:00 - 1:30 pm Concurrent Sessions 4
1:30 - 1:45 pm Break
1:45 -5:00 pm Workshops 2 and Concurrent Sessions 5



Keynote: Dr. Kendra Spence Cheruvelil (Thursday, 9:00 - 10:00 am)

Keynote address: Lessons learned from LAGOS: Creating and using big data to understand lakes at broad scales of space and time. Dr Kendra Spence Cheruvelil, Michigan State University. Presentation description and Dr. Cheruvelil's bio can be found on our 2020 Program page. Moderator: Jo Latimore

Handout: Keynote slides

Video recording: Keynote - Dr. Kendra Spence Cheruvelil


Concurrent Sessions 3 (Thursday, 10:15 - 11:45 am)

Communications (Thursday, 10:15 - 11:45 am)

Moderator: Paul Hausler

This session was not recorded.

(10:15) Leave space, add images: Visualizing the future of science. Holly Wright, Northwestern Michigan College, and Taylor West, Great Lakes Environmental Center

It is time to visualize the future of scientific communications. Effective communication of information and instruction to audiences is a pressing concern for all who produce, present, and consume written and visual content. The nature of our realm of data, jargon, and technical guidelines challenges audiences’ cognition— when it comes to science, consideration of how we present information is of high importance— for students, staff, clients, and communities. Based on the observations of designers, educators, and professionals in the field of environment, we present two design recommendations that apply widely to both digital and printed materials. Through the lens of human perception and practical application, this presentation demonstrates a standard: (1) maintaining adequate negative space and (2) incorporating images improves user reception of materials ranging from websites and story maps to presentations, brochures, reports, and manuals. Scientific information is in need of visual communication principles to engage all citizens in the protection of Michigan's inland lakes.

(10:45) Thinking outside the report: Using ArcGIS web apps and Story Maps to share data. Caroline Keson, Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council

For forty years, Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council has collected data on lakes, streams, wetlands, plants, shorelines, and even dead birds! New technology allows us to share our data online using maps, pictures, charts, and stories. ArcGIS Web Apps and Story Maps move beyond data reports and repositories to provide an enriched experience for those wishing to learn about their local water ways, citizen science, restoration projects, and large surveys. They provide a one-stop shop to learn the purpose of each project, see the results, download data, and most importantly, take action. These online tools provide electronic resources for community partners and serve as a roadmap for outreach based on monitoring results.

(11:15) Facebook use by lake associations: Social media trends and tips. Jo Latimore, Michigan State University

Social media has been widely adopted as a means of communication for groups and organizations. Many Michigan lake associations have created Facebook pages and groups to serve a variety of purposes, including one-way sharing of information from association leadership to their members, and providing a platform for conversation among members. A review of Facebook use by Michigan lake associations revealed a wide range of approaches, and varying success with member engagement. We will explore the different ways lake associations and other organizations can use Facebook as a communication tool, and highlight successes that you can apply to your own organization’s social media accounts.

Handout: Facebook use of lake associations - slides


Invasive Plants (Thursday, 10:15 - 11:45 am)

Moderator: Lois Wolfson

Video recording: Invasive Plants session (includes all 3 presentations below)

(10:15) Integrating genetics and herbicide studies to improve watermilfoil management outcomesRyan A. Thum and Gregory M. Chorak, Montana State University; Jo Latimore, Michigan State University; and Erick Elgin, Michigan State University Extension

Aquatic plant stakeholders in Michigan increasingly recognize that Eurasian watermilfoil (including hybrids with native northern watermilfoil) is genetically diverse, and that strains can differ in their growth, spread, impacts, and herbicide response. A practical challenge for Eurasian watermilfoil management is developing methods that assess genetic variation to predict how a specific watermilfoil population will respond to a proposed control tactic (e.g., a specific herbicide) before implementing management. In this presentation, we illustrate how we are combining genetic survey and monitoring of invasive watermilfoil populations with field and laboratory studies of herbicide response to inform management. One significant finding of our genetic survey of lakes across Michigan is that it is common for a given strain to be found in more than one lake. Identifying lakes that share strains can facilitate communication among stakeholders regarding management experiences on particular strains. Further, by prioritizing strains to target for herbicide studies, quantitative lab and field studies of herbicide response can inform management on multiple lakes containing a given strain. For example, we found one hybrid strain in eight lakes across Michigan, and a laboratory fluridone assay identified this strain as resistant to 6ppb fluridone. Therefore, lakes with a high proportion of this strain of hybrid watermilfoil should not be targeted for control with 6ppb fluridone. In contrast, our fluridone assay identified several strains of watermilfoil that appear susceptible to 6ppb fluridone, and therefore lakes dominated by these strains would likely respond well to fluridone treatment. We will provide updated information on genetic surveys and herbicide studies, and propose next steps for integrating genetic information into management planning and evaluation.

(10:45) European Frog-bit (Hydrocharis morsus-ranae L.): Collaborative efforts towards an adaptive management framework. Blake Cahill, Central Michigan University

European frog-bit (Hydrocharsis morsus-ranae L.; EFB) is an invasive free-floating macrophyte with the potential to reduce the diversity of native plant, fish, and invertebrate communities, alter the physiochemical properties of wetlands, and inhibit the recreational and commercial use of wetlands and water bodies. Since its putative initial escape from cultivation in Ontario in 1939, EFB has been documented in nine U.S. states and two Canadian Provinces. European frog-bit was first documented in Michigan in the Huron-Erie Corridor in 1996 and has since rapidly expanded its distribution in Lake Erie and Lake Huron coastal wetlands. European frog-bit is increasingly being detected in Michigan inland waters and wetlands, including Fletcher Pond in 2013 (Alpena/Montmorency County), Reeds Lake and Fisk lake in 2016 (Kent County), Maybury State Park in 2018 (Oakland County), and Pentwater Lake (Oceana County), Dansville State Game Area (Ingham County), and the Grand River (Ottawa County) in 2019. Monitoring and management efforts have been hampered by information gaps pertaining to biology and ecology, impacts, and effective control strategies, and the lack of a centralized management plan. In spring 2018, a group of stakeholders, including decision makers, regional, state, and local management partners, researchers, and outreach professionals, began meeting to identify critical information and resource needs for EFB management and improve coordination and collaboration among stakeholders. This has resulted in an engaged EFB Collaborative and a collective effort to establish a state-wide species-specific adaptive management framework for EFB management, inclusive of statewide management goals and objectives and short- and long-term strategies for EFB management. We will present on the current state of knowledge on EFB biology and ecology, the achievements of the EFB Collaborative, efforts to address critical information and resource needs, and progress of the first iteration of the EFB adaptive management framework.

(11:15) Monitoring and management of starry stonewort (Nitellopsis obtusa) in Wisconsin lakes. Michelle Nault, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Starry stonewort (Nitellopsis obtusa; SSW) was first reported in the U.S. in the 1970’s and has since been documented in portions of the eastern Great Lakes as well as various inland lakes throughout the Midwest. In September 2014, Wisconsin DNR staff discovered a small established population of SSW in a southeastern Wisconsin lake, marking the first time this non-native macroalgae had been reported in the state. Since then, SSW has been verified in over a dozen inland lakes in Wisconsin, as well as coastal portions of Green Bay and northern Lake Michigan. This presentation will highlight the statewide monitoring and management efforts which have occurred after the initial discovery, including an evaluation of management efficacy following the implementation of a variety of techniques (e.g., chemical control, drawdown, hand-removal, DASH, etc.) to control this new invader.


Natural Shorelines (Thursday, 10:15 - 11:45 am)

Moderator: Ralph Bednarz

Video recording: Natural Shorelines (includes both presentations below)

(10:15) Michigan inland lakes shorelines: The good, the bad and the ugly. Ralph Bednarz, Retired from Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (now EGLE)

Inland lake shorelines have been under increasing developmental pressure since the boom of the cottage industry in Michigan post-World War II. The transition from seasonal cottages to part-time second homes, as well as full-time residential homes, over the last seventy years has accelerated the transformation of natural to developed shorelines on Michigan inland lakes. When lakeshore lots are developed native trees, shrubs and natural ground cover are typically replaced by lawns. Native aquatic plants and coarse woody habitat are also removed from the shoreline and in the lake. The loss of natural shorelines and shore-lands is the biggest threat to the overall health of Michigan inland lakes. This study incorporates lake shoreline survey techniques to assess the status of the shoreline of a representative northern Michigan lake and compares the results to lake shoreline assessment surveys from across the State. The importance of statewide education and outreach programs and local government controls for lake shoreline and shore-land protection are also discussed.

(10:45) Are you a Shoreland Steward? Julia Kirkwood, Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy & Michigan Natural Shoreline Partnership

Protecting a lake is more than picking up pet waste and not using phosphorus based fertilizer. So what else can you do? Come learn about MI's online Shoreland Stewards survey and how you can use it assess your lakefront property management practices. The survey asks questions related to management practices in each of the four sections of a shoreland property: upland, buffer, shoreline and lake. See if your property qualifies for a Gold, Silver or Bronze Level and if not then how you can use the survey results to make some changes.

Fish and Wildlife (Thursday, 10:15 - 11:45 am)

Moderator: Melissa DeSimone

Video recording: Fish and Wildlife (includes all 3 presentations below)

(10:15) Native bivalve mollusks in Duck Lake, Muskegon County. Tom Tisue, Muskegon Community College

If you’ve spent some time on or in your favorite lake, you’re likely aware of its community of bivalve mollusks (aka “clams” or mussels). Besides being beloved of wading youngsters, this community represents an important but under-appreciated part of the many lakes’ fauna, one that is unfortunately under threat from changing conditions. Mussels play an important role in aquatic food webs by filtering large volumes of water; by providing food for fish, muskrats, and raccoons; and by creating habitats for other organisms in the form of shell debris. Duck Lake is a 260-acre drainage lake in Muskegon County, Michigan, which debouches directly into Lake Michigan. To better understand the abundance and diversity of Duck Lake’s mussels, volunteers conducted a preliminary survey of them in Summer 2019. The goals of this work were to determine the number of native species in the lake and to make a preliminary estimate of their abundance. In this presentation, we share our experience as largely self-taught volunteers in conducting the survey. We address the skills needed, the survey design, problems faced along the way, and the principal results. Major findings to date include four species of large native mussels, which occur along with invasive zebra mussels and tiny native fingernail or pea clams. The investigative team did not find any invasive species besides zebra mussels, such as the Asian corbiculids that are common in nearby watersheds. None of the large native species appears to be particularly abundant, although all can be found at many places. Anecdotal evidence suggests continued survey work may reveal the presence of additional species.

(10:45) Discovering dragonflies. Emily Heald, North Lakeland Discovery Center

Evolving over 300 million years ago, dragonflies can fly backwards, intercept prey mid-air, see 360 degrees around them, and they live most of their lives underwater! Join us on an exploration of the life history of these wonderful winged creatures as we dive and swoop into their interesting body parts, habitat requirements, and importance in our environment.

(11:15) Great Lakes fisheries heritage and the Coregonus group of fish. Stewart McFerran, Freshwater Reporter

The cisco (Coregonus artidi) are haloarctic. Each niche has its own kind of Coregonus in different regions of the North. There are thirty species with many names. A staple of the Great Lakes fisheries, this native group includes the whitefish (Coregonus cupliaformies) which has been a staple of the Great Lakes commercial fishery and is becoming an important sports fish. The Coregonus was at one time the most valuable group of fishes in the Great Lakes. Objectives: (1) learn about the Coregonus group of fishes; (2) discover the Great Lakes Fisheries Heritage Trail; (3) understand why promoting native fish species is important; and (4) find out how you can help promote cisco and the Coregonids. Learn about “Darwin’s Finches of the Great Lakes” in this session. They are a fish that was geologically separated and evolved into different species as the glaciers receded. New rules about who may catch what fish are being established this year. But the decline of the coregonine has continued for twenty years. Sports fish available to catch by hook and line have also declined in those years. The resource “pie” has grown smaller. Native fish species are sure to play a role in the future of the Great Lakes Fishery. A Sea Grant initiative, the Great Lakes Fisheries Heritage Trail is a way to interact with the fishing past of the Great Lakes and look to the future.


Lunch Break (Thursday, 11:45 am - 1:00 pm)

Featuring Photography and Creative Writing Contest Awards, 12:15 - 12:45 pm

Moderator: Jo Latimore

Video recording: Photography and Creative Writing Contest Awards


Concurrent Sessions 4 (Thursday, 1:00 - 1:30 pm)

Lake Management (Thursday, 1:00 - 1:30 pm)

(1:00) Enhancing the capacity to manage inland lakes: The importance of human and cultural capital resources. Jennifer Jermalowicz-Jones, Restorative Lake Sciences, and Stephen Gasteyer, Michigan State University. Moderator: Joe Nohner

While inland lakes in Michigan provide multiple community benefits, the aquatic ecosystems in many of these lakes are now significantly degraded, resulting in damages to ecological integrity as well as decreased utility by citizens and a decline in the municipal tax base due to loss in property values. Work with these lakes has revealed that lake communities vary significantly in their capacity to identify problems and implement programs to improve lake water quality over time. This study utilizes analysis of a survey based on the community capitals framework (CCF) to investigate what community capitals (assets) lead to better management capacity and outcomes in terms of improved management of lake resources through implementation of best management practices (BMPs). Statistically significant findings include the positive correlation between cultural capital and BMP’s in riparian communities with active lake management plans (LMPs) which demonstrated that as cultural capital increased, these communities were more likely to implement BMPs. Additionally, there were significant differences between BMPs and financial capital for the riparian communities. Communities with higher financial capital that had LMPs were more likely to also implement BMPs. Lastly, there were significant differences between human capital and BMPs for the LMP communities which means that higher human capital was associated with a greater ability to implement BMPs.

Video recording: Enhancing the capacity to manage inland lakes

Boat Inspections for Invasive Species (Thursday, 1:00 - 1:30 pm)

(1:00) Online boater-led check-in/check-out alternative to in-person inspections: A COVID-19 response pilot. Edgar Rudberg, CD3 General Benefit Corporation. Moderator: Lois Wolfson

Due to the high cost of high pressure, heated water decontamination, reducing the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) often relies upon the adoption of best management practices at the individual level. This is especially needed during a pandemic. This presentation will outline a pilot project in Minnesota in adopting a digital alternative to in-person inspections. In addition, the presentation will go over the biological efficacy for doing so.

Video recording: Boat inspections for invasive species

Natural Shorelines (Thursday, 1:00 - 1:30 pm)

(1:00) Low impact development and natural shorelines are vital components of the "Treatment Train" approach to managing stormwater. Nathan Griswold, Inhabitect, LLC. Moderator: Melissa DeSimone

Inhabitect, LLC was founded on the belief that designing, building and growing resilient Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) is critical to our ability to create a sustainable landscape for future generations. We will explore ways to tie Low Impact Development (LID) and Natural Shorelines into a cohesive and manageable stormwater treatment train approach to managing rainfall on both residential and commercial projects. Regardless if a project is rural or urban managing stormwater that falls upland from a shoreline must be managing responsibly before it reaches the shoreline. Natural shoreline installation techniques enhance LID designs and help to eliminate concerns tied to erosion from the upland habitat. This presentation will make the case for why these techniques are closely related.

Video recording: Low impact development and natural shorelines

Flooding and Lakes (Thursday, 1:00 - 1:30 pm)

(1:00) A comparison of flood inundations in Michigan: Perspectives of historical and current hydrological events affecting two inland lake systems: Crystal Lake watershed and Tittabawassee River watershed. Stacy Daniels, Benzie County River Improvement Co. Moderator: Ralph Bednarz

Michigan’s myriad inland lakes and rivers are blessed/cursed by natural/anthropogenic changes with beneficial/adverse impacts on water levels, watershed planning, and human dimensions of management. Prescient words of a famous agrarian, an eminent ecologist and a renowned geologist: “Do unto those downstream as you would have those upstream do unto you.” -- Wendell Berry. “Mechanized man, having rebuilt the landscape, is now rebuilding the waters. The sober citizen … freely submits his lakes to drainage, fillings, dredgings, pollutions, stabilizations, mosquito control, algae control, swimmer’s itch control, and the planting of any fish able to swim. So also with rivers." – Aldo Leopold. “… (B)y throwing dams across the outlets, the outflow of the lakes may be controlled for a number of purposes, … power, irrigation, logging operations, city water supply, etc. … (L)akes have served a useful purpose in the storing of water for various projects which, … necessitates the building of a dam, thereby interfering with the natural level of the lake …. This may involve a raising or lowering of the level, … (and) serious inconvenience and often damage to property along the shores.” -- Irving Day Scott. Two case histories of similar magnitude: (1) a chain of shallow artificial lakes (4,277 A) created by a series of dams within the very large Tittabawassee River watershed (2,471 mi2) (Midland, Gladwin, Saginaw Cos.); (2) Crystal Lake, a very large natural lake (9,896 A) within a very small watershed (44 mi2) (Benzie Co). One involved catastrophic failures of two dams (19 May 2020) and regional flooding (90 Bgal); the other involved a dam breaching (23 Aug 1873) while building a canal and unintentionally creating a beach (56 Bgal). The author is an eye-witness to the Tittabawassee flood; a participant in the Sturgeon Creek WMP; and a chronicler of the Crystal Lake Watershed.

Video recording: A comparison of flood inundations in Michigan


Workshops 2 (Thursday, 1:45 - 5:00 pm)

Gaining Control of Harmful Algae Blooms (Thursday, 1:45 - 5:00 pm)

Patrick Goodwin, Vertex Water Features; Tom Buckowski, Lake Mission Viejo Association; and Patrick Simmsgeiger, Diversified Waterscapes, Inc. Moderator: Sheyenne Nagy

This workshop will cover several aspects of harmful algae bloom control, including (1) environmental changes affecting algae growth; (2) causes and control of cyanobacteria emergence in freshwater; (3) blue-green, red and golden algae challenges; (4) impact of bird populations on and around water features; (5) pH changes affecting aquatic organisms and the ecosphere; and (6) a 5-step approach to best management practices.

This session was not recorded.

Communicating through Conflict (Thursday, 1:45 - 5:00 pm)

Jordan Burroughs, Lindsey Gardner, and Bindu Bhakta, Michigan State University Extension. Moderator: Bindu Bhakta

The Communicating through Conflict workshop will provide participants with tools and techniques to handle tense situations and interpersonal conflict more effectively. Conflict is common, especially when working at the intersection of people and water. Conflict can arise in many different situations such as when neighbors have differing ideas about what their shorelines ought to look like, disagreements over aquatic plant control techniques, concerns of faulty septic systems on lake water quality, and when addressing the impact of recreational lake users on the spread of aquatic invasive species. During the workshop, participants will achieve a deeper understanding of the causes of conflict and techniques on how to handle those heated situations effectively. This interactive workshop will teach self-management techniques to remain calm, listen empathetically, and work together towards collaborative solutions with others. Workshop participants will have an opportunity to practice skills by working in small groups on real-world, lake-based examples. All participants will receive a downloadable handout with easy-to-follow steps for Communicating through Conflict. Conflict management skills gained during the workshop can be applied broadly across many different situations beyond those dealing with water.

Handout: Workshop References and Resources

This session was not recorded.

Make the Most of Mass Media (Thursday, 1:45 - 5:00 pm)

Eric Eckl, Water Words That Work, LLC. Moderator: Melissa DeSimone

The news industry is changing fast, but it still shapes Americans’ opinions about their water and the professionals who are responsible for it. In this training, you will explore both old-school public relations and high-tech digital techniques for working with journalists to get the stories you want and shape how they turn out. In this hands-on, interactive training, participants will learn the following: Part 1. The State of the News Media. In this session, we will explore how the changing news business means for you, and practice interview skills to stick to winning messages. Part 2: Understanding How Journalists Work. In this session, we will peek behind the curtain to learn some newsroom habits and lingo so you can work successfully with journalists.

Handout: Make the Most of Mass Media

Video recording: Make the Most of Mass Media - Part 1; Make the Most of Mass Media - Part 2


Concurrent Sessions 5 (Thursday, 1:45 - 5:00 pm)

Climate and Lakes (Thursday, 1:45 - 5:00 pm)

Moderator: Ralph Bednarz

Video recording: Climate change (includes all 3 presentations below)

Climate change

This session will review the impacts of climate change in Michigan and will give local examples of how climate change is affecting the state’s resources and citizens. We will discuss some strategies that can be employed to combat water level variability in addition to other consequences of climate change.

(1:45) Changing weather patterns. Jeff Andresen, Michigan State University Climatology

(2:15) Predicted impacts of climate change on lakesJoe Nohner, Michigan Department of Natural Resources

(2:45) Project planning and incorporating climate resiliency into projects. Brian Majka (invited), GEI Consultants


High water levels

This session will cover EGLE’s role and response to high water across the state, information and resources that are available to help with response to flooding. We will also discuss avoiding and minimizing natural resource impacts when planning projects and EGLE permitting considerations and regulations surrounding high water projects.

Video recording: High water levels (includes all 3 presentations below)

(3:30) EGLE’s role and response to high water. Luis Saldivia, Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy

(4:00) Flood response information and resources. Speaker to be announced, Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy

(4:30) Permitting considerations for high water projects. Eric Calabro and Brian Marshall, Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy


Return to Top