NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory

The latest news and information about NOAA research in and around the Great Lakes


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A summer intern’s perspective on why diversity and inclusion is the way to go

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By Char’Mane Robinson, NOAA EPP/MSI Scholar

 

My name is Char’Mane Robinson  and I’m working this summer at NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL) as a NOAA Educational Partnership Program (EPP) with Minority Serving Institutes (MSI) Scholar. I will be receiving a BS in environmental science with an emphasis in natural resources at California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB). The NOAA EPP with MSI is a federal STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) educational program, preparing for diversity and inclusion in the workforce for NOAA and the NOAA mission-related enterprise. My program provides for two summer research experiences to undergraduate students from minority serving institutions. These summer research experiences were set up to help students further achieve their career goals through the development of enhanced academic discipline and professionalism needed for success as future NOAA employees.

My research here at GLERL has focused on modeling  the growth potential of Asian carp in Lake Michigan. I am working with guidance from Drs. Ed Rutherford (GLERL), Doran Mason (GLERL), Mark Rowe (Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research (CIGLR)), and Hongyan Zhang (CIGLR), Peter Alsip (CIGLR), and Henry Vanderploeg (GLERL).  This research experience is helping me to better understand how to use advanced software to make models that predict future environmental conditions used to inform management strategies for invasive species like Asian carp. Being new to modeling, it was important for me to have a great group of mentors who could teach me the fundamentals of using advanced programming software R to perform model calculations and then analysis. While it’s been a challenging project, I have learned so much, especially as I work on adjusting my model to get realistic output.

As  a NOAA EPP/MSI Scholar last summer, I worked in Silver Springs, Maryland analyzing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the fish species from Cocos Lagoon, Guam. In addition to my research studies, I am a pivotal leader in my community, mentoring lower division students in applying for STEM research opportunities. I speak to underrepresented middle school students from the local community about the importance of going to college and about careers in the STEM fields. I bring to the EPP/MSI program my education, research, leadership, and a strong commitment to becoming a future NOAA employee.

One important observation I have noticed throughout my time as a college student and as an intern in the environmental sciences is the lack of minority representation in the scientific community. This includes underrepresentation of women, racial/ethnic minorities, native Americans, people with disabilities, among others. I think it’s important to work on cultivating a more diverse workforce which is in everyone’s best interests.  In recognizing the value of diversity and inclusiveness, NOAA has created educational programs to build a more diverse workforce.  NOAA education initiatives are actively seeking accomplished underrepresented students at the undergraduate and graduate levels to develop their workforce with equal representation.

As an EPP/MSI Scholar, I view diversity in the workforce as way to embrace each other’s differences and have an open discussion with each other, no matter who we are, where we come from, and what we do in our life experiences. I am incredibly grateful to NOAA’s EPP/MSI Undergraduate Scholarship Program for giving underrepresented students on the undergrad level, such as myself, the opportunity to work with NOAA scientists.

The world needs—now more than ever —scientists who not only conduct significant research but also can understand cultural differences to explain those results to the every single member of society.  I also strongly believe that we need to educate the public to become more environmentally aware and empower all citizens to support political initiatives that protect and preserve our planet for future generations to come.


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GLERL receives two RTAP awards for transitioning HABs and ice forecast models to an operational level 

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The 3rd generation NOAA GLERL Great Lakes Coastal Forecasting System (GLCFS) uses an unstructured grid (i.e., triangular shapes of adaptable size) to better model physical processes

GLERL’s Dr. Eric Anderson has recently been awarded funding from the Research Transition Acceleration Program (RTAP), placing two of GLERL’s FVCOM modeling projects on the fast track to transition from research to operations (R2O).  R2O is the pathway by which fundamental research is developed into a useful tool or product and implemented into an automated or operational environment accessible for use by the public. RTAP, a highly competitive grants program, prioritizes projects based on their ability to advance NOAA’s mission and benefit society with the ultimate goal of accelerating the transition of promising NOAA research to operations and applications.

Anderson’s research focuses primarily on hydrodynamics, using computer modeling to study how forcing conditions, such as meteorological (weather) events, affect the motion and energy of a body of water. In studying the physical nature of the Great Lakes in response to natural forces, he makes predictions related to currents, temperature, water levels, waves, harmful algal blooms (HABs), and ice characteristics. The RTAP awards will provide Anderson and his collaborative team of researchers the resources needed to advance the following two projects: “Implementation of a 3D HAB forecast model for Lake Erie using FVCOM” and “Implementation of the FVCOM-Ice model for the Great Lakes Operational Forecasting System (GLOFS).”  Project outcomes will support services such as safe drinking water, recreation, and navigation.

GLCFS_FVCOM vs POM grid

Notably, both forecast models are built upon the Finite Volume Community Ocean Model (FVCOM), an open-source community model that uses an unstructured grid (triangular shapes of adaptable size) to represent the Great Lakes and connecting channels (such as the coastline illustrated below) with increased grid resolution and model accuracy.  FVCOM solves the three-dimensional (3-D), integral form of the equations of motion.   This modeling approach also provides for an established framework for coupled modules (interconnection between biophysical components in the ecosystem, such as biological processes, currents, sediment, ice, etc.).  The seminal research paper explaining the structure and function of the FVCOM is provided in the Oceanography journal article, “An Unstructured Grid, Finite Volume Coastal Ocean Model FVCOM System” (Chen, et al., 2006) with further background on the FVCOM and its research application available on GLERL’s webpage, Great Lakes Coastal Forecasting: Next Generation.

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Example of the HAB Tracker forecast showing surface extent and intensity of the bloom from 2015

The first of the RTAP awards listed above will enable Anderson with a group of NOAA partners to accelerate the implementation of a 3-D harmful algal bloom (HAB) forecast model by at least two years— providing decision makers with unprecedented real-time information on HAB extent, vertical distribution, and concentration. The experimental version of the model, known as the “HAB Tracker,” was first developed by GLERL in 2014 and has since been improved in collaboration with the National Ocean Service (NOS) National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) as a tool that combines remote sensing and modeling to produce daily 5-day forecasts of bloom transport and concentration. The HAB Tracker is based on the 3-D FVCOM Lagrangian particle model, a sub-component of the FVCOM hydrodynamic model system currently being transitioned to operations. This transition will occur on NOAA’s high performance computing system for the NOAA production suite by NOS’ Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS) as part of the next-generation Lake Erie Operational Forecasting System (LEOFS).

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Example of the FVCOM-Ice model forecast of ice concentration from winter 2017

The second RTAP grant awarded to GLERL will facilitate incorporation of an ice model (FVCOM-Ice) in the Great Lakes Operational Forecasting System (GLOFS) by directly coupling it with the hydrodynamic FVCOM model.  RTAP funding will provide the personnel and infrastructure needed to support the development, validation, and implementation of the FVCOM coupled hydrodynamic-ice model and accelerate transition as part of the GLOFS upgrade. This transition to operations will provide the first-ever ice forecasts of extent/concentration, thickness, and velocity for the Great Lakes. The process will occur first for the Lake Michigan-Huron Operational Forecast System (LMHOFS) and then add to the existing Lake Erie Operational Forecast System (LEOFS). The coupled hydrodynamics-ice modeling systems for Lakes Michigan, Huron, and Erie will provide users with operational 120-hour forecast guidance of ice conditions, water temperature, currents, and water levels, updated four times per day during the winter as well as spring months.

Anderson recognizes the value of these RTAP awards by providing “the resources and personnel we need across Line Offices to validate and transition these models into operations, and avoid the so-called ‘valley of death’ between fundamental research and operational applications.”


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A message from the Director: Integrating science-based adaptive management into GLERL research

One thing that can be said with certainty about the Great Lakes ecosystem, is that it is in a constant state of change. The primary question for NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL) is, how can we most effectively research and manage the lakes given their changing biological, physical, and chemical conditions? The answer, in part, is to build our capabilities in taking an integrated, science-based adaptive management approach in the conduct of research and ecosystem management.

Adaptive management—a concept that has been evolving in the Great Lakes region since enactment of the 1972 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA)—integrates well-defined feedback loops in the process of doing science-based research and management, thus providing a way to respond to ecosystem changes. The ultimate goal of using an adaptive approach is to continually evolve the research and management of the Great Lakes ecosystem while accounting for uncertainty in the conduct of science. Though it could be said that adaptive management is a common sense, verify as you go approach, in order to render a significant impact in the mitigation of problems/stressors threatening the Great Lakes, an integrated, science-based, adaptive management approach must be purposefully executed and institutionalized on a long-term basis with reliable funding.

So what do we really mean by taking a science-based, adaptive management approach? And how are we doing it?  The International Joint Commission (IJC), established by the United States and Canada to prevent and resolve disputes about the use and quality of the Great Lakes boundary waters, has played an important role in shaping adaptive management as an approach to protect and restore the Great Lakes. Through the lens of the IJC, “Adaptive management is a planning process that provides a structured, iterative approach for improving actions through long-term monitoring, modelling, and assessment. Adaptive management allows decisions to be reviewed, adjusted, and revised as new information and knowledge becomes available, and/or as conditions change.”  (Upper Great Lakes Lakes Study, IJC 2012).  There is growing awareness that we need to be adaptive in our approach given that managed resources will always change as a result of human intervention, that surprises are inevitable, and that new uncertainties will emerge. Adaptive management should not be considered a ‘trial and error’ process but rather one that is built on “learning while doing.” (Williams et al., 2007).

At GLERL, we are striving to integrate adaptive management in a deliberate way in the design, conduct, and overall management of our research projects. On the most basic level, adaptive management provides a framework upon which research is structured, using measurable goals and objectives to assess and evaluate outcomes with each cycle of research. The role that adaptive management is expected to play in GLERL research is delineated in GLERL’s 2016 Strategic Plan (pp. 17-23). This approach is exemplified by research on the causes and impacts of harmful algal blooms (HABs) and hypoxia (a condition when oxygen levels within the water become extremely low) in western Lake Erie as conducted by GLERL, in conjunction with Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research (CIGLR, formerly CILER). Further information on GLERL’s HABs and hypoxia research is available on GLERL’s webpage, Great Lakes HABs and Hypoxia.

We view the process of adaptive management guiding Great Lakes scientific research and ecosystem management as a coupled feedback loop (see below graphic, Adaptive Integrated Research Framework) driven by water quality/quantity problems, stakeholder engagement, and existing policy (e.g., NOAA/GLERL mission and vision, 2012 amended GLWQA). As an example, it has been well established that HABs and hypoxia threaten the Great Lakes ecosystem and ecological services provided by the lakes as well as pose human health risks and socio-economic impacts. Importantly, stakeholder engagement continues to play a key role in articulating these problems and guiding priorities in the conduct of HABs/hypoxia research, such as the following:

  • Reducing nutrient loading of phosphorus and nitrogen.
  • Understanding impacts of HABs on food web structure and potential impacts on fisheries, increased water treatment costs, lost opportunity costs for recreation, and shoreline property values.
  • Understanding toxicity level impacts on human health.

The next step in an adaptive management approach is formulating research goals, objectives and questions—based on identified priorities—that are measurable and can result, in part, from stakeholder engagement. A measurable goal established for HABs research and management is a 40 percent target reduction in spring loads of phosphorus to minimize the size and impact HABs in western Lake Erie. Fundamental to an adaptive management approach is the measurement of progress toward reaching the research and management goals and making adjustments accordingly.

Another important driver in the adaptive management cycle is feedback based on the assessment and evaluation of research and management results and other outcomes. The transfer of results/outcomes to the scientists, managers, as well as stakeholders, provides an opportunity for the adaptive approach to refine and improve the next round of HABs research. For example, recent HABs research has pointed to nitrogen as an important driver of bloom toxicity; these findings have played an important role in shaping GLERL’s future research agenda.

In our ongoing commitment to serve the Great Lakes community through our research, GLERL’s efforts can only be strengthened through adaptive management by ensuring that stakeholders—such as water intake managers, fisheries managers, land use managers, public health agencies, environmental groups, and the general public—are given the products and tools needed to mitigate the sources and impacts related to HABs and hypoxia (see story on hypoxia stakeholder workshop). This approach holds great promise in improving the ecological as well as economic health of the Great Lakes region.

Deborah H. Lee, PE, PH, D.WRE
Director, NOAA GLERL

Adaptive Integrated research framework at GLERL

This diagram was developed to depict the adaptive, integrated approach that characterizes GLERL’s scientific research. The iterative, longterm, systematic process of using an adaptive integrated research framework provides an opportunity to refine research and ecosystem management approaches. The cycle of an adaptive integrated research framework used in conjunction with the best available science, provides iterative feedback loops incorporated as part of GLERL’s research methodology. The coupled feedback loops depicted above show the interrelationship between research management and ecosystem management, both driven by assessment and evaluation as well as stakeholder input.


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Update on Lake Erie hypoxia forecasting stakeholder workshop (May 23, 2017)

Researchers partner with drinking water plant managers to forecast hypoxia in Lake Erie

By Devin Gill, Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research and Kristin Schrader, Great Lakes Observation Systems

Lake Erie’s “dead zone” not only impacts the lake’s ecosystem, but also poses challenges for managers of drinking water treatment facilities. The Lake Erie dead zone is a region of the central basin where oxygen levels within the water become extremely low, creating a condition known as hypoxia. Great Lakes researchers are sharing their scientific expertise to help managers be fully prepared for threats to drinking water resulting from hypoxic conditions.

Scientists from NOAA GLERL, Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research (CIGLR) and the Great Lakes Observing System (GLOS) met on May 23 in Cleveland, Ohio with water plant managers from the southern shore of Lake Erie for a stakeholder engagement workshop to discuss the hypoxia issue. An important focus of the workshop was the development of a new hypoxia forecast model that will act as an early warning system when hypoxic water has the potential to enter intakes of water treatment facilities. The depletion of oxygen in hypoxic water occurs when the water column stratifies (separates into warm and cold layers that don’t mix). Oxygen in the lower, cold layer becomes depleted from the lack of mixing with the upper (warm) layer that is exposed to air, as well as from the decomposition of organic matter (dead plants and animals) in the lower layer. The process of hypoxia is illustrated by GLERL’s infographic, The Story of Hypoxia.

Stakeholders who attended the workshop explained that water treatment operators must be prepared to respond quickly during a hypoxic event to ensure that drinking water quality standards are met. Hypoxic water often is associated with low pH and elevated manganese and iron. Manganese can cause discoloration of treated water, while low pH may require adjustment to avoid corrosion of water distribution pipes, which can introduce lead and copper into the water.

At the workshop, researchers shared information on lake processes that contribute to hypoxia and on development of the Lake Erie Operational Forecasting System that provides nowcasts and forecasting guidance of water levels, currents, and water temperature out to 120 hours, and is updated 4 times a day. Information was also shared on preliminary hypoxia modeling results that simulated an upwelling event (wind-driven motion in the Great Lakes, pushing cooler water towards the lake surface, replacing the warmer surface water) that brought hypoxic water to several water plant intakes in September, 2016. Water plant managers reported that advance notice of a potential upwelling event that could bring hypoxic water to their intakes would be useful to alert staff and potentially increase the frequency of testing for manganese.

Dr. Mark Rowe from University of Michigan, CIGLR, researcher and co-lead on this initiative, comments on the value of this hypoxia stakeholder engagement workshop: “At both NOAA and the University of Michigan, there is an increasing focus on co-design of research, which refers to involving the end-users of research results throughout the entire project, from concept to conclusion. If we succeed, a new forecast model will be developed that will be run by the operational branch of NOAA. This can only happen if there is a group of users who request it. This workshop provided critical information to the researchers regarding the needs of the water plants, while also informing water plant managers on how forecast models could potentially help them plan their operations, and on the latest scientific understanding of hypoxia in Lake Erie. ”

Stakeholder Scott Moegling, Water Quality Manager at City of Cleveland Division of Water, also recognizes the value of  engagement between the stakeholders and the Great Lakes researchers. Moegling points out that “the drinking water plant managers not only benefit from sharing of operational information and research, but also by establishing lines of communication between water utilities and researchers that help identify common areas of interest. The end result—researchers providing products that can be immediately used by water utilities—is of obvious interest to the water treatment industry on Lake Erie.”  Moegling also views the GLERL/CIGLR research on the hypoxia forecast model as holding great potential in predicting hypoxic conditions in Lake Erie and believes that once the model is developed and calibrated, there may be a number of other possibilities for highly useful applications.

In addition to sharing the latest research on hypoxia, the stakeholder engagement workshop provided a forum for water plant managers to share information with each other on how to recognize hypoxic events and efficiently adjust water treatment processes. Researchers at CIGLR and NOAA GLERL are committed to conduct research that serves society, and will continue to work with this stakeholder group over the course of the five-year project to develop a hypoxia forecast model that meets their needs.

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NOAA GLERL staff participate in community education events

Two opportunities to highlight NOAA’s mission of Science, Service and Stewardship

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NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL) remote sensing scientist, Dr. George Leshkevich, and Information Services team member, Katherine Glassner-Shwayder, participated in Washtenaw Community College’s (WCC) Earth Day Month Celebration on April 6 on campus in Ann Arbor Michigan. In celebration of Earth Month, information was presented about a diverse array of solutions to today’s environmental challenges by local non-profit, business, and government organizations, student clubs (nursing and sustainability) and WCC departments. One such featured challenge was on “Our Amazing Earth” to help students understand the science behind the intricate balance of nature, protect the Great Lakes, help green our campus, and find a green career.

In representing GLERL At the event, George and Kathe shared information on our research, focused on NOAA’s Great Lakes CoastWatch animations, illustrating retrospective satellite observations and in-situ Great Lakes data; research on Great Lakes ecosystem dynamics and threats posed by aquatic invasive species; Great Lakes geography; and information on the laboratory’s Summer Fellows Program (coordinated by the University of Michigan’s Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research (CIGLR), in conjunction with GLERL).

The WCC Earth Month Celebration provided a valuable opportunity for GLERL to raise awareness and understanding for the science driving the Great Lakes ecosystem among a diverse group of college students and community members. WCC faculty member and event coordinator, Dale Petty, commented that NOAA GLERL played an important role at WCC’s Earth Month Celebration, presenting the science about what’s happening in our environment.

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Father and son show off their artwork from the GLERL/CIGLR “Create an Invasive Species” activity during Huron Intermediate Schools STEAM Showcase on May 13.

In addition to the event at WCC, NOAA GLERL Information Services team member, Nicole Rice, along with Michele Wensman from CIGLR spent the day in Bad Axe, Michigan, participating in the Huron Intermediate School District’s Thumb Area STEAM Showcase on May 13. During the event, students from Huron County schools showcased their work with the Science Olympiad, the MDOT Bridge Building Challenge, robotics, drones, music, art, and more. Exhibits included a trebuchet, an interactive planetarium, a petting zoo, live music, and a variety of hands-on activities.

The GLERL/CIGLR exhibit featured information about the lab’s science programs and CIGLR’s student opportunities, and interactive activities such as 3D bathymetry maps, a Great Lakes quiz, and a crafting area where kids could create their own invasive species or make a monster from a Great Lake. Check out the photo album on Facebook full of eager participants and their creative creatures!


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Lake Erie Hypoxia Forecasting Project Kicks Off With Stakeholder Workshop

A collaborative research team, led by Drs. Craig Stow of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (NOAA GLERL) and Mark Rowe of the University of Michigan’s Cooperative Institute for Limnology and Ecosystems Research (CILER),  will be holding a workshop with key stakeholders for guidance on how a forecast model could help meet the needs for information on low oxygen conditions—or hypoxia—in Lake Erie. The workshop, coming up later this spring, kicks off a 5-year project that brings together inter-agency and university scientists to produce a forecasting system that will predict the location and movement of hypoxic water in Lake Erie. The project will link a hypoxia model to NOAA’s Lake Erie Operational Forecasting System (LEOFS) hydrodynamic model, which provides daily nowcast and 5-10 day forecasts of temperature and currents in Lake Erie.

HypoxiaDiagram

Hypoxia occurs in the central basin of Lake Erie in July through September of most years. Low-oxygen water is an unfavorable habitat for fish, and may kill benthic organisms that provide food for fish. It is less well known, however, that hypoxic water can also upset drinking water treatment processes. Upwelling or seiche events can bring hypoxic water to water intakes along the shoreline, causing rapid changes in dissolved oxygen and associated water quality variables such as temperature, pH, dissolved organic matter, iron, and manganese. To maintain the quality of treated water, plant managers must adjust treatment in response to these changes. Hypoxia forecasts will provide several days advance notice of changing source water quality so that drinking water plant managers can be prepared to adjust treatment processes as needed.

While the hypoxia forecasting project will help to minimize the negative impacts of hypoxia, a parallel effort is occurring to address the root cause of this problem involving nutrient loading. Universities, state, federal, and Canadian agencies are collaborating to satisfy the goals of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement by reducing nutrient loads to Lake Erie, a primary stressor driving hypoxic conditions.

The upcoming stakeholder workshop on hypoxia will bring the research team together with stakeholders consisting of municipal drinking water plant managers from U.S. and Canadian facilities on Lake Erie, as well as representatives of state and local agencies. The group will learn about hypoxia and its effects, hear about the goals of the LEOFS-Hypoxia project, and provide input to the research team on their information needs. As the first in a series of meetings of the project’s Management Transition Advisory Group, this workshop will help identify the most useful data types and delivery mechanisms, laying the groundwork for the research team to design a forecasting tool that specifically addresses the needs of public water systems on Lake Erie.

The workshop will be held at Cleveland Water in Cleveland, Ohio. Representatives from Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Ohio Sea Grant, townships and other local governments were also invited to attend.  

The LEOFS-Hypoxia project is a collaboration with the City of Cleveland Division of Water, Purdue University, and U. S. Geological Survey, with guidance from a management advisory group including representatives from Ohio public water systems, Ohio EPA, Great Lakes Observing System (GLOS), and NOAA. The work is supported by a $1.4 million award from the NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research by a grant to NOAA GLERL and University of Michigan (award NA16NOS4780209).

Getting to the root cause of the problem
As part of an initiative conducted under the auspices of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, Annex 4, the following forums, led by Dr. Craig Stow at GLERL, will focus on the linkage of nutrient loading to water quality degradation problems, such as hypoxia and harmful algal blooms.

  • 4/5-6: Nutrient Load Workshop
  • 5/9-10: Annex 4 (nutrients) Subcommittee Meeting

Scientists attending these workshops will apply long term research results to estimate nutrient inputs to Great Lakes waters and evaluate how well we are doing in reaching phosphorus load reduction targets established under Annex 4 of the GLWQA.

Additional Resources
NOAA GLERL Hypoxia web page: https://www.glerl.noaa.gov/res/HABs_and_Hypoxia/hypoxiaWarningSystem.html

Download the NOAA GLERL hypoxia infographic, here:


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Arrival of wave GLIDER SV2 platforms to expand GLERL data collection capacity in the Great Lakes

Left and bottom right: OSAT staff learning the ropes on the Wave GLIDER SV2 during a three-day training in Kawaihae, Hawaii. Top right: CILER’s Russ Miller (left) and GLERL’s Kyle Beadle (right) work in GLERL’s laboratory to prepare the newly acquired Wave GLIDERS for deployment.

GLERL’s OSAT (Observing Systems and Advance Technology) team, in collaboration with the Michigan Technological University’s (MTU) Great Lakes Research Center, is preparing to deploy the Wave GLIDER SV2 to expand its monitoring capacity in the Great Lakes. The Wave GLIDER functions as an autonomous surface vehicle that uses wave energy propulsion and communicates via Iridium satellite, providing real-time data back to users. This wave powered vehicle can be fitted with numerous instruments to collect data on a variety of physical characteristics of the lakes, including: waves, CTD (conductivity, temperature, depth), and currents. These data can be used for remote sensing algorithm validation. With the instrumentation on board, the Wave GLIDER  can continuously run transects throughout much of the year in all Great Lakes weather conditions and can be piloted and monitored by researchers at GLERL.

The two Liquid Robotics-designed Wave Glider SV2 platforms, to be deployed in the upcoming field season ,were surplused to GLERL by NOAA’s National Data Buoy Center (NBDC) in FY 2016. To ensure safe and reliable operation of these persistent, autonomous data collection platforms, Steve Constant and Steve Ruberg participated in a three-day training in Kawaihae, Hawaii at the Liquid Robotics Training Center this past January. They were accompanied by colleagues Russ Miller (Cooperative Institute for Limnology and Ecosystems Research (CILER)), Jamey Anderson (MTU), and Chris Pinnow (MTU). The training focused on instrument assembly, care, programming, piloting, and deployment and retrieval of the newly acquired wave glider units.

The vehicles, as currently configured, will be used for real-time observations supporting commercial shipping and validation of operational forecasts and satellite remote sensing products. Future applications include mapping of hypoxic zones impacting drinking water and acoustic fisheries parameters in U.S. coastal and Great Lakes regions.