What is the Smart Great Lakes Initiative?


What is the Smart Great Lakes Initiative?

The Great Lakes region has an opportunity to be more connected than ever. By leveraging technology innovations and advancing data management and analysis, we can improve our understanding, use, and management of the lakes.

This is the vision of Smart Great Lakes.

In 2019, the Smart Great Lakes Initiative (SGLi) began to encourage participation and foster collaboration between organizations interested in making this vision a reality. Partners are a binational, cross-sector group of volunteers representing resource management, government, academia, the private sector, and more.

The SGLi is a collaborative consortium that is organizing the region’s technology ecosystem and network of partners around common policy goals to improve monitoring, advance research, data management and analysis, and spur technology innovation.



SGLi partners work toward three goals:

  1. Developing a Smart Great Lakes Common Strategy.
  2. Serving as a regional forum for addressing information needs.
  3. Fundraising to propel innovative projects.


SGLi partners participate on various committees including:

Leadership Team

  • Develops strategic goals for the initiative.
  • Approves policy positions.
  • Represents stakeholders.
  • Fundraises.

Steering Committee

  • Oversees writing of the Common Strategy.
  • Advises the Leadership Team.
  • Encourages the participation of regional partners.
  • Distills policy questions.

Issue Area Strategy Teams

  • Advises on 3 priority areas:
    • Science and innovation
    • Data and information
    • Policy and management
  • Contributes to the Common Strategy.


Current Partners

Leadership Team

Aaron Fisk – University of Windsor

Aaron Packman – Northwestern University

Bhaleka Persand – University of Waterloo

Bryan Stubbs – Cleveland Water Alliance

Christopher Hilkene – Pollution Probe

Dean Alonistiotis – Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, Office of Commissioner Kim du Buclet

Jeanette Schnars – Regional Science Consortium

Jennifer Boehme – International Joint Commission

John Robinson – Mazarine Ventures

Kelli Paige – Great Lakes Observing System

Leon Carl – U.S. Geological Survey

Mark Fisher – Council of the Great Lakes Region



Interested in learning more?

Email Smart Great Lakes Liaison Katie Rousseau, at katie@glos.org.