Most of the funding GLOS receives is passed through to other organizations and spent directly on programmatic activities that support monitoring, data management, analysis and information development, or other data products and decision-support tools.


Making an Operational Lake Erie Harmful Algal Blooms Early Warning System

GLOS is leading a 3-year project to transition Lake Erie Harmful Algal Blooms Early Warning System to a sustainable operational form. Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) in general, and cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (cHABs) in freshwater in particular, are a global public health and environmental concern. This project will deploy Environmental Sample Processors to enhance the collection and distribution of microcystin toxin measurements from Lake Erie to Ohio water plant managers and other regional stakeholders before toxic blooms arrive at drinking water intakes. The project will update the Lake Erie HABs Data Portal to enhance the distribution of HAB data from the operational real-time sensor network and a related research sampling and monitoring network in Lake Erie to water plan managers and decision makers.  More…


Great Lakes Beaches: Expanding GLOS Data Services for Sustainable Decision-Support in Water Quality

Partners: University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute(WISGI), United States Geological Survey Center for Integrated Data Analytics(CIDA)

WISGI aims to improve the accuracy and cost-effectiveness of water quality monitoring and extend the use of “nowcast” models for beaches throughout the region. With GLOS data, related services and tools, WIS GI is developing a suite of enhancements  to its water quality nowcast models, including the Great Lakes Coastal Forecasting System and the Environmental Data Discovery and Transformation (EnDDaT) web data portal that links data services to the Virtual Beach decision-support software. Public health officials, staff, and researchers responsible for monitoring, advisory decisions, and/or risk communications at public beaches along the Great Lakes coasts can use these tools to complement the water quality samples at public beaches.

The goal is the adoption of IOOS-based nowcasts at 50 or more beaches throughout the Great Lakes by 2017.  To achieve this goal, WISGI will: 1) visit coastal communities that are interested in using these tools., 2) conduct a training workshop, 3) support the Virtual Beach users group, 4)develop training videos and learning  modules  on the development and operations of IOOS-based nowcasts 5) partner with CIDA to enhance the EnDDAT web data portal.


Contact: David Hart, Assistant Director of Extension, Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute,


Enabling Ontario’s Conservation Authorities (CAs) to Make Data Discoverable and Accessible

Partners: Conservation Ontario, North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority, Quinte Conservation Authority, Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority, Grand River Conservation Authority Conservation

Authorities collect, store and analyze environmental data employing a variety of observational and remote sensing systems such as ground and surface water monitoring networks, climate stations, and GIS systems. To date, most of these data have been collected and used internally – shared only with project partners in an on-demand fashion and typically not accessed by U.S. entities. This project enables CAs to make these data discoverable, accessible and available by assisting with their inventory, assessment and preparation. Specific outcomes are an assessment of existing and potential data end-users and data products, making data available through GLOS, and development of tools to assist end-users in utilizing newly available data.

Contact: Rick Wilson, Information  Management Coordinator,

Expanding the Great Lakes Acoustic Telemetry Observation System (GLATOS)

Partners: Great Lakes Fisheries Commission (GLFC), Michigan State University, USGS

The current Great Lakes Acoustic Telemetry Observation System web (GLATOSweb) data system, developed by GLOS in partnership with the GLFC, was designed to promote discovery of individual telemetry research projects to extend their effective range, but it does not provide direct access to data or include mechanisms for quality assurance. This project updates the back-end database design to support more efficient data management and access via GLATOSweb. It ensures compliance with IOOS requirements to establish GLATOS as a fully-integrated augmented transition network node of the national Animal Telemetry Network.


Contact: Jessica Ives, Great Lakes Fishery Commission,


Great Lakes Evaporation Network (GLEN)

Partners: LimnoTech, University of Colorado-Boulder, Environment Canada, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab (GLERL), University of Minnesota-Duluth, Northern Michigan University, University of Michigan, Michigan Technological University

Five offshore measurement locations compose the GLEN. This network operates simultaneously year-round, even through bitter winters, helping us understand the evaporation process that takes place over the Great Lakes.

This project enhances the existing GLEN infrastructure and (together with significantly leveraged support from NOAA and Environment Canada) and provide a foundation for new partners to contribute observing assets, modeling tools, and outreach. Specific goals are to : 1) maintain and expand the suite of GLEN observations (e.g,  observation sites, buoys, and glider deployments); 2) establish a coordinated data management and communications system through GLOS; and 3) develop new models and tools to synthesize and communicate GLEN data and improve Great Lakes forecasting.

Contact: John  Lenters, Consultant,



Validating and Expanding the Great Lakes Adaptation Data Suite (GLADS)

Partners: Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments (GLISA)  program is a NOAA-supported University of Michigan’s Graham Sustainability Institute, the University of Michigan Climate Center, GLERL, and the Great Lakes Aquatic Habitat Framework.

GLISA is building on work previously funded by GLOS to develop a consistent Great Lakes Climate Adaptation Data Suite (GLADS) for the region. This project enhances and expands these past efforts by adding future climate data to the GLADS. GLISA will engage and train research institutions across the region in synthesizing the GLADS variables into useful and usable information resources for public use and decision making. The key outcomes and outputs include: 1) improved information resources for climate adaptation decision making; 2) improved communication and resource sharing across regional institutions; 2)and the development of a Great Lakes Ensemble of future climate projections.


Contact: Omar Gates, University of Michigan Climate Center,


Hydrodynamic model for the St. Louis River Estuary and Duluth-Superior Harbor system

Partners: University of Minnesota-Duluth (UMD)

UMD will further develop an existing hydrodynamic model of the St. Louis River Estuary/ Duluth-Superior Harbor. The model simulates the impact of meteorology on the St. Louis River Estuary system, producing physically realistic and ground-truthed estimates of currents and thermal structure in the system. Enhancements to the model will include the addition of ecosystem and water quality, improvement of the nowcasting capability, and an enhanced web presence for model output. A coordinated water quality and ecosystem monitoring program with project partners (e.g., the extensive network of academic, state, federal, tribal, commercial, and non-profit groups who all have a stake in the Harbor-Estuary system) will help to ground truth the model.


Contact: Jay Austin, University of Minnesota, Duluth,



Nearshore Observations Network

Partners: University of Minnesota-Duluth, Michigan Technological University, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, State University of New York, NOAA GLERL, Cooperative Institute for Limnology and Ecosystems Research

The network, in operation since 2008, is comprised of five academic institutional partners along with NOAA-GLERL that work together to operate key observing system and modeling improvements vital to the Great Lakes. This network of observing assets includes an array of integrated nearshore observing buoys that provide continuous, real-time observations on wind, wave, temperature, and currents along with expanded water quality analysis. Mobile observing platforms, including a glider and autonomous underwater vehicles, provide detailed, three-dimensional observations of thermal structure, and ecological processes throughout each of the Great Lakes. Observations include surveys focused on understanding harmful algal blooms, impacts of invasive species, and coastal nutrient inputs. Observational activities are tailored to local user-driven needs and the needs of broader  Great Lakes region.

University of Minnesota-Duluth


Contact: Jay Austin,

Michigan Technological University


Contact: Guy Meadows,

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee


Contact: Val Klump, and Harvey Bootsma,

State University of New York


Contact: Greg Boyer,

NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory


Contact: Steve Ruberg,

Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research


Contact: Tom Johengen,