Spring 2017 eNewsletter

Director’s Corner: A Letter from CIGLR’S Director, Dr. Bradley Cardinale


The big news since our last newsletter is … We won the award for NOAA’s next Cooperative Institute in the Great Lakes! Indeed, on May 16th we learned from NOAA that our 5-year proposal had competed successfully and was selected for the next cooperative agreement.

After an initial sense of relief that I hadn’t squandered everyone’s jobs ( ), my feelings turned toward enthusiasm. I am thrilled that we will not only continue our strong 28-year history of collaborative research with NOAA, but that we now have the opportunity to build even broader, more impactful research, education, and outreach programs through stronger partnerships across the Great Lakes. The next 5 years is full of promise and opportunity.

I have many to thank for the success of this proposal and the new opportunities it brings:

  • To the University of Michigan – the Office of Research, the School of Natural Resources and Environment, the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, the College of Engineering, and the UM Biological Station – thank you for your combined pledges of $2.6 million in cost sharing and in-kind support for the new institute. You made this proposal financially possible.


  • To our Regional Consortium –
    • University Partners – Central Michigan University, Cornell University, Ohio State University, Grand Valley State University, University of Minnesota-Duluth, Michigan State University, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and the University of Windsor – thank you for your combined pledge of $2.8 million in in-kind support. Your vast intellectual expertise, research infrastructure, and research programs greatly expand our ability to address nearly any sustainability challenge in the Great Lakes.
    • University Affiliates – a collection of 25 top universities that span the Great Lakes and whose faculty and students routinely collaborate with NOAA PIs – thank you for committing to continued interaction and support.
    • Private Partners and Supporting Initiatives – The Nature Conservancy, National Wildlife Federation, LimnoTech, Fondriest Environmental, Great Lakes Environmental Center, National Estuarine Research Reserves, NOAA Marine Sanctuaries, Council of Great Lakes Industries, Great Lakes Commission, Great Lakes Observing System, USGS Great Lakes Science Center, International Joint Commission – thank you for your letters of support and pledges to work together on issues of common interest throughout the Great Lakes.


  • To CIGLR research scientists and staff – the 28 principal investigators, technicians, and postdocs who drive the research engine – thank you for your great work and tireless dedication to keep the Great Lakes great.


  • To our partners at the Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab (GLERL) – thank you for many years of a productive, impactful, and fun partnership. We look forward to continuing our research, education, and outreach collaboration for another 5 years.


  • To our co-Director Tom Johengen, Program Manager Mary Ogdahl, and Outreach Coordinator Aubrey Lashaway – thank you for your hard work, late nights, and tolerance of me as we worked together to put together a successful proposal.

Over the next few weeks, the Cooperative Institute for Limnology and Ecosystems Research (CILER) will be sunset, and the new Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research (CIGLR) will take its place. The name change is more than just semantic. While CILER’s approach to problem solving was steeped in the natural sciences (limnology and ecology), CIGLR will take a more interdisciplinary approach to problem solving that augments the natural sciences with human social and behavioral sciences, as well as engineering and design.

CIGLR will also forge more impactful partnerships that bring together a broader group of stakeholders from universities, government agencies, NGOs, and private businesses. These stakeholders will represent two nations, eight states, and two provinces who will work together to help NOAA accomplish its mission in the Great Lakes.

CIGLR will focus more heavily on the co-design of research programs, forging partnerships between research scientists and data users who will work side-by-side to define the original questions and prioritize the products needed to solve problems. And CIGLR will focus more heavily on transitioning research into mission-driven applications, operational services, and commercialization so that we can produce more “Great Lakes Science for Society.”

It’s an exciting time in the evolution of the NOAA Cooperative Institute, and I feel fortunate to be part of it. I look forward to working with you in the coming years of our new cooperative agreement with NOAA.


Brad Cardinale
Director, Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research
Professor, School of Natural Resources and Environment
University of Michigan