Published: June 13, 2017

MSU a key partner in Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research

Contact(s): Val Osowski College of Natural Science office: (517) 432-4561

Michigan State University is poised to play a big role in the newly formed Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research.

A five-year, $20 million dollar grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was recently awarded to support the institute, strengthening current research efforts into the sustainable management of the Great Lakes region.

CIGLR, hosted by the University of Michigan, is a partnership of nine universities and several nongovernmental organizations, nonprofits and private businesses.

Jan Stevenson, professor of integrative biology in the MSU College of Natural Science and co-director of the MSU Center for Water Sciences, took the lead in developing MSU’s contribution to the NOAA proposal.

“MSU provides extraordinary depth and breadth of expertise in water sciences to the cooperative,” Stevenson said. “We have more than 100 researchers in our university alone that work on water-based research—from communications to engineering, to natural sciences, to social sciences.”

MSU’s scientists are in a position to secure several research projects within CIGLR’s four areas of focus: observing systems and advanced technology, invasive species and food-web ecology, hydro meteorological and ecosystem forecasting, and protection and restoration of Great Lakes resources.

“It’s an exciting opportunity to develop inter-institution collaborations beyond the NOAA and continue to be involved in fostering communication among the other partner universities,” said Stevenson.

Stevenson emphasized that MSU’s long history of collaboration between social and natural sciences provides CIGLR with important expertise in the human dimensions side of Great Lakes resource management.

“As a land grant university, our mission is to target environmental problems and develop research programs around how to solve them,” he said. “MSU’s unique strength as part of the CIGLR is how long our natural scientists have worked with social scientists to integrate a systems approach to solving environmental problems.”

For a full description of CIGLR’s programs and the role MSU and other university partners will play, visit the cooperative’s website at

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