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MSU Partners with Bowling Green State University on Algal Bloom Research

Lake Erie

Michigan State University is pleased to be one of nine universities partnering with Bowling Green State University (BGSU) on its recently announced Lake Erie Center for Oceans and Human Health. BGSU received a $5.2 million federal grant to expand research on harmful algal blooms and to help fund the Center.

At MSU, Dr. Heather Triezenberg, program leader for Michigan Sea Grant, MSU Extension, and Dr. Diane Doberneck, from University Outreach and Engagement have received a 5-year $500,000 award to provide community-engagement training to involve community and other stakeholders in Great Lakes, human health, climate change, and to improve awareness of these issues.

“This is an exciting opportunity to extend the success of the Sea Grant community-engaged institute model with Center’s scientists and stakeholders in the Great Lakes Region,” said Triezenberg. “And it will help connect the Center with the Extension network and partners working on water quality, health, agricultural, and community planning throughout Southeast Michigan and the Lake Erie basin.”

The specific aims of Community Engagement Core for the Lake Erie Center for Oceans and Human Health are to conduct:

* Community-engaged scholarship training workshops for scientists, practitioners or community members associated with the Center.

* Evaluation of the short-term impacts of the workshops.

* A stakeholder needs assessment for Great Lakes and environmental health literacy to inform general outreach information needs, a vulnerable population needs assessment to inform targeted health communication campaign and its efficacy evaluation.

Triezenberg and Doberneck will lead training on community-engaged scholarship for scientists associated with the Center, including graduate students, and community leaders whose engagement is valuable for the success of the research. Engagement research will assess Great Lakes and environmental health literacy information needs, as well as a more specific vulnerable population information needs assessment, science communication, and evaluation.

“The health of our freshwater ecosystems is intertwined with the health of communities in the Great Lakes Region,” Doberneck said. “It is so important that everyone understands the science, its impacts, and developing discoveries about water quality. University Outreach and Engagement is prepared to support researchers and community members working together to understand and address these freshwater quality issues.”

The MSU team also will collaborate with Justin Chaffin and Ohio Sea Grant on:

* Citizen science engagement with charter boat captains.

* US Coast Guard agency engagement for winter water quality monitoring.

Other participants in the Center include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, The Ohio State University, SUNY – College of Environmental Science and Forestry, the University of Michigan, the University of North Carolina, the University of Tennessee, and the University of Toledo. 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 33 university-based programs.

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 33 university-based programs.

  • Heather Triezenberg and Rhett Register, Michigan Sea Grant

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