State of the Lake Conference for Lake Superior
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Superior: State-of-the-Lake Conference

On Wednesday, May 22nd 2002, Dr. Mohiuddin Munawar, President of AEHMS and Dr. Martin T. Auer, MTU Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering, convened a three-day conference entitled, Superior: State-of-the-Lake on the campus of Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Michigan. The conference organizing committee included Dr. Thomas C. Johnson, Professor & Director of the University of Minnesota Large Lakes Observatory, Mr. Thomas A. Edsall, Chief Scientist at the USGS Great Lakes Science Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Dr. Joseph H. Leach, Research Scientist Emeritus at the Lake Erie Management Unit of Ontario MNR in Wheatley, Ontario.

A total of 80 participants contributed 55 oral papers and 18 posters to a diverse scientific program with sessions focusing on:

  • Geology, Hydrology and Physical Limnology
  • Sedimentation and Sediment Transport
  • Carbon and Nutrient Cycling
  • The Lower Food Web: Bacteria, Phytoplankton, Zooplankton and Benthos
  • The Upper Food Web: Fish and Exotic Species
  • Toxicants: Metals and Organics in the Ecosystem
  • Sustainability Issues in Lake Superior and Its Watershed

The meeting began Tuesday night with a reception and poster session in the lobby of MTUís new Dow Environmental Science and Engineering Building. Tours of the A.E. Seaman Mineral Museum were offered as part of the reception.

Wednesday was devoted to technical sessions, with an evening cruise along the Keweenaw Waterway to Lake Superior aboard the Keweenaw Star. A dinner of Cornish pasties was served. Dr. Larry Lankton, Professor of History at Michigan Tech, provided a narration on the mining history of the Copper Country on the outbound leg of the cruise. During the return trip, Joan Chadde, of MTUís Center for Science and Environmental Outreach, described her programís efforts in promoting environmental education and stewardship among students and teachers in the region.

Technical sessions continued on Thursday morning with field trips in the afternoon:

Thursday evening was kicked of with a retrospective on Louis and Alexander Agassiz delivered by Dr. Robert E. Keen of MTUís Department of Biological Sciences. Louis was a naturalist of international renown who led the first formal scientific expedition to Lake Superior in the 1800s. His son Alexander was an engineer who played a key role in the management of the local copper mines. Conferees then enjoyed a Lake Superior whitefish dinner in MTUís new Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts. Following dinner, Dr. James F. Kitchell of the University of Wisconsin gave an outstanding talk on the Lake Superior food web.

The conference continued with a full day of technical sessions on Friday. Dr. James Cantrill of Northern Michigan University, who described the Lake Superior Binational Program and Dr. John Crittenden of Michigan Tech, who spoke on environmental sustainability in the Great Lakes, presented the closing papers of the conference. Dr. Munawar and Dr. Auer delivered concluding remarks.

Several opportunities for contributing scholarly works are expected as a result of this conference. The AEHMS Publication Committee plans to publish a peer-reviewed book on the State of Lake Superior in its Ecovision World Monograph Series (Backhuys Publishers, Amsterdam, The Netherlands) and a special issue in their journal: Aquatic Ecosystem Health & Management (Taylor & Francis, Philadelphia). A special issue of the Journal of Great Lakes Research devoted to Lake Superior is planned for publication in 2003. The issue will contain a series of papers from the recently-completed NSF-KITES project and is open to contributions from others working on Lake Superior. Dr. Martin T. Auer is serving as Guest Editor for the issue.

More Conference Photos
The Technical Sessions, Posters, Waterway Cruise, Keynote Presentations---

State of the Lake Forum for Lake Superior
Co-conveners: Dr. Marty Auer (MTU, Local Host) and Dr. Mohi Munawar (AEHMS)

State of the Lake Forum for Lake Superior
Dr. Judy Budd (MTU) describes satellite-based chlorophyll and turbidity detection in Lake Superior.

State of the Lake Forum for Lake Superior
There were five, half-day technical sessions.

State of the Lake Forum for Lake Superior
Dinner cruise aboard the Keweenaw Star.

State of the Lake Forum for Lake Superior
Professor Travis Wyman (aka MTUís Dr. Bob Keen) asks Marty Auer to take a seat so that conferees can hear the real story about Louis and Alexander Agassiz.

State of the Lake Forum for Lake Superior
Banquet - Whitefish dinner served in the lobby of MTUís Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.

State of the Lake Forum for Lake Superior
Dr. James F. Kitchell (University of Wisconsin) speaks on the Lake Superior Food Web.

With Support form the Following Organizations
Large Lakes Observatory International Association fro Great Lakes Research USGS

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Michigan Tech Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering