Michigan Sea Grant, Wayne State Host Freshwater Research Conference

ANN ARBOR — Freshwater researchers from the Great Lakes region and around the world are gathering at Cobo Center this week for the 60th annual conference of the International Association for Great Lakes Research.

More than 1,000 participants will spend the week in Detroit networking with colleagues and delivering more than 820 oral and poster presentations highlighting scientific findings in the areas of freshwater health and management.

Said Jim Diana, conference co-chair and Michigan Sea Grant director: “With ongoing discussions about science and its relation to policy and management, meetings like this are more important than ever.”

Michigan Sea Grant is a federally funded collaboration between the University of Michigan and Michigan State University. Wayne State University is the other local event host.

Session topics include aquatic invasive and nuisance species, areas of concern, and fisheries and fishery management. Additionally, a session discussing Diana’s influence on Great Lakes research and management over his 35-plus-year career is scheduled for Wednesday. Diana is retiring from his role as professor at U-M’s School of Natural Resources and Environment but will continue as director of Michigan Sea Grant. U-M alumni, students and friends will join in a celebration and tribute to Diana at the Hockeytown Cafe later that evening.

Other session themes include benthic biology and ecology; genomics, microbiology and emerging technologies; governance, education and outreach; monitoring, modeling and analysis; nutrients, harmful algal blooms, and emerging contaminant stressors; physical processes and limnology; remote sensing and detection techniques; rural and urban planning and ecology; and more.

The meeting’s two plenary talks will focus on change in the Great Lakes. On Tuesday, Joan Rose, the Homer Nowlin Endowed Chair in Water Research at Michigan State University and winner of the 2016 Stockholm Water Prize, will discuss areas of study and investment needed to protect or restore high water quality in the Great Lakes. On Thursday, Cameron Davis, vice president of GEI Consultants and former senior adviser to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator, will discuss the ways political, economic, social and other systems impact the Great Lakes ecosystem.

The 2017 Michigan Seafood Summit — an annual event hosted by Michigan Sea Grant that brings together fisheries professionals, businesses, chefs and the public for a day to talk about Michigan seafood — will be held in conjunction with this year’s IAGLR conference. On Tuesday, Summit sessions will provide information on a wide range of topics, including aquaculture systems, commercial fishery management, and local seafood as an emerging product. A Michigan seafood banquet will be held at The Atheneum in Greektown in the evening and is open to the public. To learn more, visit http://www.miseagrant.umich.edu/seafoodsummit.

“Detroit’s Cobo Center is a great location for IAGLR,” said Donna Kashian, associate professor at Wayne State University and conference co-chair. “Cobo sits on the banks of the Detroit River, an international boundary and the link between the upper and lower Great Lakes. Both the city and our lakes have overcome great obstacles and have experienced renewed health and vitality. They are a symbol of what can be when science, policy and the people come together for a desired outcome. Wayne State University is proud to co-host such an event.”

The IAGLR awards banquet will be held 6-9 p.m. Thursday, May 18, aboard the Detroit Princess. IAGLR’s Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented at this time, as well as various awards and scholarships honoring young scientists and outstanding research contributions.

Walk-in participants and media are welcome and must register onsite. A welcome reception to kick off the conference will be held 6-9 p.m. Monday, May 15, in the Cobo River Atrium.

View the complete conference program at iaglr.org/iaglr2017/program.

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