MSU's Great Lakes Conference to focus on "Tackling Challenges Today and Beyond"

Teachers are encouraged to apply for stipends to help them attend the 30th annual Great Lakes Conference at Michigan State University.

A view from a sandy beach on Lake Michigan looking out over the high waves and whitecaps during a storm.
Michigan State University is hosting a day-long workshop “The Great Lakes: Tackling Challenges Today and Beyond” on March 3, 2020. Photo credit: Justin Selden

The Great Lakes are one of Michigan’s most valuable resources, providing countless benefits to our residents and our economy, but the lakes also face significant ecological challenges. Michigan State University is hosting a day-long workshop “The Great Lakes: Tackling Challenges Today and Beyond” for those interested in learning more about the research and developments happening around our state on behalf of these amazing lakes.

The 30th annual Great Lakes Conference will be held 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 3, 2020, at the Kellogg Center on the MSU campus. The conference is sponsored by the MSU Institute of Water Research, MSU Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan Sea Grant and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy’s Water Resources Division.

The conference is open to the public and registration is $15 in advance or $20 at the door (students are free). Online registration deadline is Feb. 26, and there is a $5 cancellation fee after Feb. 21.

Special opportunity for Teachers

Teachers, K-12 or informal educators, may be eligible to attend an Educator Luncheon and receive a stipend in support of your participation. Educators can apply by visiting The application deadline is Feb. 14, 2020, and applicants will be notified by Feb. 19 if they have received a stipend. For more information contact Extension educator Justin Selden at The stipends are provided by Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding through a grant from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and represent a Center for Great Lakes Literacy (CGLL) initiative facilitated by Michigan Sea Grant Extension.

Six different presentations

Experts will discuss the health and future of the Great Lakes in a variety of areas, including:

  • Legislative Developments with the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA) and Invasive Species - Sarah LeSage, Aquatic Invasive Species Program Coordinator, Water Resources Division, Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE)
  • Towards Knowing the Unknowns: Great Lakes Fish Health in the 21st Century - Tom Loch, Assistant Professor, Aquatic Animal Health Lab, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and Department of Pathobiology and Diagnostic Investigation, Michigan State University, East Lansing 
  • The Erie Situation: Documentary in Progress - David Ruck, President/Producer, Great Lakes Outreach Media, Muskegon, MI
  • Understanding Harmful Algal Blooms in Lake Erie: Evidence from Genomes to Satellites - Tom Johengen, Director, Michigan Sea Grant, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • Waterfront Porch: Reclaiming Detroit's Industrial Waterfront as a Gathering Place for All -  John Hartig, Visiting Scholar, University of Windsor’s Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research and Great Lakes Science Policy Advisor, International Association for Great Lakes Research, Windsor, Ontario, Canada
  • Life of the Lakes: Fisheries - Dan O’Keefe and Brandon Schroeder, Senior Educators, Michigan Sea Grant, Michigan State University Extension, West Olive and Alpena, MI.

Register online to attend this year’s Great Lakes conference!

Michigan Sea Grant helps to foster economic growth and protect Michigan’s coastal, Great Lakes resources through education, research and outreach. A collaborative effort of the University of Michigan and Michigan State University and its MSU Extension, Michigan Sea Grant is part of the NOAA-National Sea Grant network of 34 university-based programs.

This article was prepared by MSU Extension educator Meaghan Gass under award NA14OAR4170070 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce through the Regents of the University of Michigan. The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Department of Commerce, or the Regents of the University of Michigan.

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