Great Lakes Observing & Forecasting Systems

CILER strives to improve the forecasting of physical and ecological processes in the region, and to improve access to historical and real-time Great Lakes climatic, meteorological, chemical, biological and geological data through observing systems research. Projects under this research theme also continue to look at the relationship between water quality and pelagic production/interactions through modeling and forecasting in order to better understand the causes and effects–and to propose solutions for–eutrophication, hypoxia, invasive species, and habitat modification.

Objectives for this research theme are organized into two categories:

Observing Systems

  • To develop the technology and associated observing platforms for measuring a range of physical, chemical, and biological variables in the Great Lakes region.
  • To facilitate the application of observing system technology and data to improve Great Lakes forecasting.
  • To coordinate and facilitate the flow of data and information to and from system components, observing systems, and end users.


  • To develop and improve physical forecasting models, with an emphasis on connecting weather, climate, and lake conditions.
  • To integrate physical and biological models for improving ecosystem forecasts.
  • To develop methods to assess potential environmental risks to human health.
  • To enhance the understanding of climate changes in the region and improve the ability to project regional impacts under different climatic conditions.

Current Research