The 2017 Annual Meeting in Review

Posted by: GLOS_Admin October 30, 2017

The Great Lakes Observing System gathers annually at their general membership meeting. This year the group gathered at NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The agenda was set with acknowledgement of the beginning of a new funding cycle, and a review of what members are doing to facilitate better observations in the Great Lakes.

We were pleased to kick off with a greeting from Michigan Senator Gary Peters‘ office, delivered by staffer Chris Matus.


Senator Peters sits on several committees that are relevant to GLOS, and is the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard.

Executive Director Kelli Paige welcomed the assembly and handed off to Josie Quintrell, director of the Integrated Ocean Observing System Association representing the Integrated Ocean Observing System, of which GLOS is a member. Quintrell shared her perspective coming from the nation’s capital.

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Paige (l) and Quintrell. 

The meeting continued as panels of the GLOS network convened to review projects lake by lake.

Moderator: Tom Johengen, Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research 
Lake Ontario: Greg Boyer, State University of New York -ESF
Lake Erie: Ed Verhamme, LimnoTech
Lake Huron: Steve Ruberg, NOAA GLERL
Lake Michigan: Harvey Bootsma, UW-Milwaukee
Lake Superior: Guy Meadows, Michigan Technological University and Jay Austin, University of Minnesota, Duluth

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See some of the Great Lakes Observing System’s projects here.

The next panel focused on our Canadian partners. The panel was moderated by IOOS staffer Jessica Snowden, who has been working in Canada as they add new observing system structures.

Moderator: Jessica Snowden, IOOS
Warren Currie, Fisheries and Oceans Canada
George Sousa, Grand River Conservation Authority

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Snowden (l) Currie (c) and Sousa (r) 

Sharing data between the two countries has obvious benefits. As a culture of open data develops on both sides of the lakes stakeholders plan on shared information and an easier dialog.

After a dense afternoon with a lot of presentations, the group retired to a reception where some awards were given.

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Kathryn Buckner ended her service with the GLOS board this meeting. Her voice on GLOS’ behalf and her input as the executive director of the Council of Great Lakes Industries was invaluable, and she was wished well by fellow board member, Tracy Mehan of the American Water Works Association. We also thanked Dr. Ronald Baird, in absentia, for his service on the board, and for his valuable advice.


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GLOS also recognized Kathy Koch (right in photo), from LimnoTech, for going above and beyond in support of the observing system. Koch’s careful curation of metadata has given GLOS a solid foundation on which to categorize and identify data. The award was presented by GLOS executive director Kelli Paige.


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If you’re a data aficionado you know that interesting data points can crop up anywhere. Just for fun, GLOS recognized the network’s hottest buoy this year. There to collect his award of a ship full of hot sauce was Ed Verhamme (right in photo). He maintains the Toledo Crib buoy, which measured 83.7 degrees surface temperature prior to out September 1 cutoff. What data point will grab our attention next year? Will a boat full of hot sauce be the best award? You’ll have to attend to find out.


Day two kicked off bright and early, lots of excitement in the air.

We started the day with a users panel.

Moderator/Panelist: Thomas Rayburn, Lake Carriers Association
Carol Miller, Wayne State University
Brenda Snyder, University of Toledo
Matthew Zika, National Weather ServiceMarquette

Really GLOS is only as good as its users find it, and getting feedback on when where and how different stakeholders use our tools.

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Miller, Rayburn, Snyder, Zika

Getting to hear from people who need and use data on a daily basis is important for the GLOS network as it continuously prioritizes new projects.

After our users we heard about how open data gets used in data-powered projects.

Moderator: Tad Slawecki, LimnoTech
David Hart, Wisconsin Sea Grant
George Sousa, Grand River Conservation Authority
Nancy Nate, GLATOS 

Ensuring that GLOS has integrity, validated data and is easy to use makes it an important partner in many data-driven projects. GLOS looks to developers and innovators to use data to address Great Lakes issues, and this panel told  the crowd about how data was relevant to them, and how GLOS’ investment had helped advance their work.

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Hart, Sousa, Nate

These members of the GLOS network have been supported at some point by GLOS in their work.

Winding up the meeting MLive meteorologist Mark Torregrossa addressed the group. Torregrossa bridges the gap between science and the general public, and his presentation got the room thinking about ways to make their end products more adaptable for those translators to use.

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It was an energetic way to end the meeting, and a call for hot pink we’re not used to receiving at the lab.

The Great Lakes Observing System truly is a network, one that depends on the contributions of many to make a mutually beneficial product. GLOS appreciates the contributions of our panelists and everyone who attended. It was a terrific meeting , we’ll see you again next year!