2017 Summer Fellows Position Descriptions

Applications due 26 February 2017, 11:59 pm EST

Position Descriptions

1. Project Title:  Great Lakes Aquatic Nonindigenous Species Information System (GLANSIS) (2 positions)
Mentor(s): Ed Rutherford (NOAA GLERL; ed.rutherford@noaa.gov), Felix Martinez (NOAA NOS), Rochelle Sturtevant (NOAA Sea Grant) 

Project 1 Information:

Project Description: The Great Lakes Aquatic Nonindigenous Species Information System (GLANSIS – https://www.glerl.noaa.gov/res/Programs/glansis/glansis.html) is a both a regional node of the national  USGS NAS database and a NOAA project to synthesize available science-based information on aquatic invasive species both established within as well as posing a threat to the Great Lakes region.  The system currently tracks 184 established species, 19 range expansion species and 67 watchlist species.  In 2017 we will be initiating efforts towards a major expansion. The fellow will choose a specific subproject furthering this expansion, as well as contribute to maintenance and quality control of the database.  Possible subprojects include: (1) Develop or update a set of ~20 factsheets (priority needs include both established and watchlist species; crustaceans, fishes, plants, algae, Platyhelminthes, protozoans, and viruses), (2) inventory and compile risk assessment data from Federal/State, tribal, and University sources and incorporate into the database, (3) develop a list of additional ‘cryptogenic’ and ‘range expansion’ species for inclusion in the database, (4) review post-2010 literature to identify additional species that should be added to the watchlist, (5) identify and compile species-specific evaluation techniques, best management practices, and control case studies for aquatic invasive plants, as well as an overview of tribal management of aquatic invasive species to be used in updating the management sections of the database, and (6) conduct a thorough review of the status of crayfish species in the Great Lakes basin – including native and non-native ranges for development of maps.

Skill set: Excellent writing skills and capacity for conducting independent literature review.  Capacity to work in both a team environment and independently.  Experience with data entry, database programs, invasion biology, aquatic biology, and/or natural resources management/policy is a plus.

Location: This position is located at the Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab (NOAA-GLERL) at 4840 South State Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48108.

    2. Project Title: Biotic and Abiotic Drivers of Diel Vertical Migration in Post-dreissenid Lakes Michigan and Huron
    Mentor(s): Hank Vanderploeg (NOAA GLERL; henry.vanderploeg@noaa.gov), Ed Rutherford (NOAA GLERL), and Doran Mason (NOAA GLERL)

    Project 2 Information:

    Project Description: The fellow will participate in data analysis and research cruises to examine the abiotic and biotic factors driving diel vertical migration of zooplankton and larval fishes in post-dreissenid Lakes Huron and Michigan, which have seen a significant increase in water clarity, a decrease in phytoplankton abundance, and altered food web structure and function.  Multiple technologies are being used to map the fine-scale vertical and nearshore and offshore distributions of physical variables (temperature, light, UV radiation) and biotic variables (chlorophyll, native zooplankton species, non-indigenous predatory Bythotrephes, and fish). 

    Skill Set: The fellow is expected to have a strong background in statistical analysis using the R analysis package (e.g., formal model-selection and multiple linear regression; partial least squares regression; ordinary least squares regression; generalized additive models) to analyze the fine-scale data.  In addition, the fellow will participate on at least one major spatial cruise and ideally be experienced working on ships in variable weather conditions.  

    Location: This position is located at the Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab (NOAA-GLERL) at 4840 South State Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48108.

      3. Project Title: Ecosystem Modeling
      Mentor(s): Hongyan Zhang (UM CILER; zhanghy@umich.edu), Doran Mason (NOAA GLERL), and Ed Rutherford (NOAA GLERL)

      Project 3 Information:

      Project Description: Ecosystem models recognize the full array of interactions within and between an ecosystem and its surrounding human communities, and provide scientific and comprehensive support for ecosystem-based resource management.  Our research team is using ecosystem-based models to study how the Great Lakes ecosystem responds to natural and anthropogenic stressors (invasive species, nutrient loading, climate change).  The fellow will work closely with the team to calibrate and apply an ecosystem-based model (the Atlantis ecosystem model) to study the temporal and spatial impacts of remediation actions (e.g., invasive species control, habitat restoration, or nutrient reduction) on food web dynamics in Lake Erie. Activities may include, but are not limited to: 1) calibrating the model with observation data; 2) scenario-based simulations, result analyses, and discussion.

      Skill Set: Candidates should have a strong interest or background in one or more of the following areas: programming, Great Lakes ecosystems, ecosystem modeling, and fish ecology and fisheries. Experiences with ecosystem modeling and programming are preferred. 

      Location: This position is located at the Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab (NOAA-GLERL) at 4840 South State Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48108.

        4. Project Title: Invasive Species, Fisheries, and Foodweb Dynamics
        Mentor(s): Ed Rutherford (NOAA GLERL; ed.rutherford@noaa.gov)

        Project 4 Information:

        Project Description: This fellow will participate in an ongoing study of invasive species impacts on Great Lakes fisheries and food webs. In particular, the fellow will assist with intensive diel surveys in Lake Michigan and use new sampling technology (MOCNESS – Multiple Opening Closing Net Environmental Sampling System) to describe the physical structure of the water column in nearshore and offshore waters, and its effect on fine spatial distributions and densities of chlorophyll, native zooplankton species, the predatory cladoceran Bythotrephes, and fish larvae densities, growth, and survival. The fellow will be expected to conduct a gear efficiency study comparing traditional plankton sampling gears with the more modern MOCNESS sampling system.

        Skill Set: Candidates should have a strong background in Great Lakes or marine science and be experienced working on boats in variable weather conditions.

        Location: This position is located at the Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab (NOAA-GLERL) at 4840 South State Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48108.

          5. Project Title: Data Analysis / Hydrodynamic Modeling
          Mentor(s): Dima Beletsky (UM CILER; beletsky@umich.edu) and Eric Anderson (NOAA GLERL)

          Project 5 Information:

          Project Description: The fellow will work closely with hydrodynamic modelers to process and analyze observational data from Lake Erie for model calibration and improved understanding of lake hydrodynamics. Measurements of physical variables in Lake Erie have been carried out in recent years with a variety of instruments (CTD probes, drifter buoys, and moored observational platforms). Activities will include processing and analyzing the available observations as well as extracting hydrodynamic model output (velocity, temperature, water level, etc.) for model calibration/validation. This work will advance nearshore capability of hydrodynamic models, particularly in harmful algal bloom-prone western Lake Erie, as well as aid in the development of the NOAA Great Lakes Coastal Forecasting System (GLCFS), a set of real-time hydrodynamic models that simulate nowcast and forecast predictions of the physical environment of the Great Lakes.

          Skill Set: Candidates should have knowledge of basic physical oceanography and limnology, strong scientific and computing skills, and experience with data analysis (e.g., using Matlab or IDL). Previous experience working on lakes would be a plus.

          Location: This position is located at the Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab (NOAA-GLERL) at 4840 South State Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48108.

            6. Project Title: Climate Decision Support Services (DSS) Workshop Coordinator, NOAA Great Lakes Regional Collaboration
            Mentor(s): Beth Hall (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; bethhall@illinois.edu) and Jennifer Day (NOAA GLERL)

            Project 6 Information:

            Project Description: The fellow will assist with coordination of regional communication and engagement in the Great Lakes region with regard to climate information, tools, and resources that advance decision support services (DSS).  This work will build upon existing efforts addressing resources for near-, mid-, and long-term management and planning decisions across the Lake Michigan region.  By engaging climate services experts (e.g., NWS forecasters, state climatologists, regional climatologists), the fellow will learn more about and help coordinate DSS efforts that help stakeholders put current conditions into historical perspective, monitor the state of the climate for their region and sector, and better communicate climate information to their constituents.  Tasks will include, but not be limited to 1) identifying climate DSS resources currently available for this region, 2) coordinating the engagement of relevant climate DSS partners for a workshop in 2017, and 3) organizing and facilitating focus group discussions that will identify need gaps among the community, which will contribute to a 3-to-5-year strategic plan for NOAA and the MRCC to consider. 

            Skill Set: Desired skills include interest/knowledge in climate education/outreach, climate DSS needs and resources, or related field of study/experience.  Basic facilitation skills are necessary to design and deliver focus group forums.  Excellent communication and interpersonal skills are required as well as familiarity with Great Lakes climate impacts and related issues.

            Location: University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign (UIUC), IL, at the Midwest Regional Climate Center (MRCC), 2204 Griffith Drive, Champaign, IL 61820.

              7. Project Title: Great Lakes Ice Climate Study
              Mentor(s): Jia Wang (NOAA GLERL; jia.wang@noaa.gov), Haoguo Hu (UM CILER), James Kessler (UM CILER)

              Project 7 Information:

              Project Description:

              The fellow will conduct in-depth research linking climate teleconnection patterns (such as North Atlantic Oscillation, ENSO, Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation, and Pacific Decadal Oscillation) to the Great Lakes climate and ice cover, in particular, downscaling to ice conditions at a regional/local scale, including combining tribal traditional knowledge with regional climate change. The research also includes comparing the hydrodynamics+ice model output and satellite-measured ice datasets at regional/local scales. Tools for data analysis include time series analysis, correlation, and/or empirical orthogonal function analysis and regression analysis. The project is part of a research effort to predict ice cover in response to a changing climate on seasonal, interannual, and decadal time scales, which  enables us to provide information to broader users in search and rescue operations, navigation (commercial shipping), and recreational/subsistence ice fishing. These forecasts also provide decision makers with tools to aid in protecting the Great Lakes and the public.

              Skill Set: Qualifications include programming in Fortran and/or other programming skills, such as R and Matlab. Background in data analysis and statistics is desired.

              Location: This position is located at the Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab (NOAA-GLERL) at 4840 South State Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48108.

                8. Project Title: Water Quality Statistical Modeling
                Mentor(s): Mark Rowe (UM CILER; mdrowe@umich.edu), Hongyan Zhang (UM CILER), Craig Stow (NOAA GLERL), Tim Davis (NOAA GLERL)

                Project 8 Information:

                Project Description: Lake Erie provides valuable ecosystem services to regional communities, including provision of drinking water and a productive fishery. In recent years, water quality issues including harmful algal blooms (HABs) and hypoxia have detracted from these ecosystem services, resulting in costs to the regional economy. CILER and NOAA GLERL are developing forecast models that predict when and where HABs and hypoxia events will occur, enabling people to avoid or prepare for these events, thereby mitigating their impacts. The summer fellow will develop statistical models to predict light attenuation as a function of water quality variables, using a database from weekly sampling of western Lake Erie from 2012-2016. Light exposure is an important variable that drives phytoplankton growth, and for this reason light attenuation is an important parameter in water quality models. The fellow will also explore the hypothesis that light attenuation is a predictor of toxicity during HAB events.

                Skill Set: Ideal candidates would have experience and interest in data analysis in a scripting environment, using software such as R, Python, or Matlab, knowledge of statistical modeling, and knowledge of freshwater ecology or environmental engineering.

                Location: This position is located at the Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab (NOAA-GLERL) at 4840 South State Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48108.

                  9. Project Title: Safety and Environmental Management System
                  Mentor(s): Kim Kulpanowski (NOAA GLERL; kim.a.kulpanowski@noaa.gov)

                  Project 9 Information:

                  Project Description: This fellow will bring a fresh set of eyes to the safety and environmental compliance program and work to develop and implement any number of program management enhancements based on their interests and abilities.  This fellow will be oriented to the current program management approach and then hone in on opportunities for improvement and develop them to advance the overall successful management of the program.  Project ideas include but are not limited to:

                  1. incorporation of latest technology tools and concepts in training program
                  2. chemical inventory management system improvement/redesign
                  3. safety inspection reporting system redesign
                  4. safety and environmental program planning/management system design

                  Skill Set: Candidates should have a strong interest or background in one or more of the following areas: information technology, industrial hygiene, safety, environmental compliance, sustainability, continual improvement quality concepts, project planning.  Regulatory familiarity with OSHA safety and health standards and EPA and MDEQ environmental regulations would be helpful for some of the projects.

                  Location: This position is located at the Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab (NOAA-GLERL) at 4840 South State Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48108.

                    10. Project Title: Intercomparison of Precipitation Datasets in the Great Lakes Region
                    Mentor(s): Chuliang Xiao (UM CILER; cxiao@umich.edu), Brent Lofgren (NOAA GLERL), and Drew Gronewold (NOAA-GLERL)

                    Project 10 Information:

                    Project Description: A variety of historical precipitation datasets is available and has been widely used in the hydroclimate community, including observation-based (CPC Unified Analysis, University of Delaware Precipitation, GCPC, CRU, CMAP, DayMet, etc.) and model reanalysis-based (NLDAS, NARR Reanalysis, NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis, NCEP/DOE Reanalysis II, etc.) products with different spatiotemporal resolutions. Because of the heterogeneity of the observations and discrepancies between U.S. and Canadian locations, the precipitation record in the Great Lakes region exhibits significant inconsistency in this water-dominated binational region where observations over the lakes are sparse. The goal of this project is to: (1) collect some typical precipitation datasets; (2) conduct spatial analysis; (3) evaluate their applicability in the Great Lakes region; (4) and possibly generate a synthesized precipitation product.

                    Skill Set: It is preferred that candidates have knowledge of basic meteorology and experience with data analysis languages (e.g., NCL, R, Matlab).

                    Location: This position is located at the Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab (NOAA-GLERL) at 4840 South State Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48108.