Published: Nov. 19, 2012

Grants will help Great Lakes region adapt to climate change

Contact(s): Layne Cameron Media Communications office: (517) 353-8819 cell: (765) 748-4827

Michigan State University scientists and their colleagues at the University of Michigan have awarded six grants to help communities in the Great Lakes basin adapt to climate change.

The grants were awarded by the Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments Center, a federally funded collaboration between MSU and U-M. GLISA researchers study issues related to climate change and variability in the Great Lakes basin and how the region can respond to climate-related risks, such as potential damages from changes in long-term temperature and precipitation patterns.

“Climate change is expected to have significant impacts on the Great Lakes region, and it’s important for us to understand and prepare for them,” said GLISA program manager David Bidwell, a research fellow at U-M’s Graham Sustainability Institute. “These projects are laboratories for learning best practices for making decisions informed by climate science.”

The GLISA grants total about $231,000, and each project was awarded a one-year grant between $10,000 and $50,000:

“Adapting to climate change and variability: planning tools for Michigan communities.” Lead investigator: Claire Layman, MSU Extension.

“Assessing and communicating risks from climate variability for the Michigan tart cherry industry.” Lead investigator: Nikki Rothwell, Northwest Michigan Horticulture Research Station.

“Development of an indicator suite and winter adaptation measures for the Chicago Climate Action Plan.” Lead investigator: Martin Jaffe, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College Program.

“Climate information to support vulnerability and risk assessment for the Great Lakes basin municipalities.” Lead investigator: Chandra Sharma, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority.

“Making climate-resilient communities through a watershed approach.” Lead investigator: Rebecca Esselman, Huron River Watershed Council.

“How sensitive are agricultural best management practices and models to climate change?” Framing key issues and uncertainties with expert opinion.” Lead investigator: Kimberly Hall, The Nature Conservancy.

The GLISA project is funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, with additional support from MSU and U-M. GLISA is part of a national network of regional centers focused on adaptation to climate change and variability.

For more information about GLISA, visit


Michigan State University has been working to advance the common good in uncommon ways for more than 150 years. One of the top research universities in the world, MSU focuses its vast resources on creating solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges, while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community through more than 200 programs of study in 17 degree-granting colleges.

MSU and U-M-led center distributes grants to help Great Lakes region adapt to climate change. Photo by Kurt Stepnitz.

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