Planning for the Future of Great Lakes Coastal Ecosystems

When: Monday, November 4, 2019; 8:30 AM (Registration), 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM (Workshop)

Where: In the Kiva Conference Room at 3600 Green Ct., Ann Arbor, MI 48105 (Driving Directions)

Hosted by: Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI), Michigan Technological University; Michigan State University; and University of Michigan

Join remotely at:

Workshop Details

An interdisciplinary, NASA-funded project is underway to better understand historical and present-day drivers of change in Great Lakes coastal wetlands, and we would like your input. This project combines remote sensing, modeling, and field studies to investigate the effects of land use, agricultural nutrient runoff, climate change, large-watershed hydrology, and water levels on plant communities and ecosystem function in Great Lakes coastal wetlands. In addition, linked models and spatial datasets will be used to project our understanding into the future to anticipate plausible ecosystem changes, including invasive plants, nutrient dynamics, and carbon storage. For future scenarios of socioeconomic change and other drivers in the region, we will build on the results of the Great Lakes Futures Project, published in 2015. We anticipate producing maps and timelines of plausible future outcomes in coastal wetlands with a 50 year time horizon, together with links between plausible future drivers and outcomes, contributing to planning projects such as the Tipping Point Planner.

Please join the researchers on this project and a small group of regional experts and stakeholders for this full-day workshop. The goal is to directly involve experts and stakeholders in planning the future-outcomes aspect of the modeling work so that it produces results that are useful for management and planning related to coastal ecosystems.

Participants may arrive at 8:30. A continental breakfast will be provided. Lunch will be provided at the conference center. For those who are able to remain past 4:30, dinner will be provided at a local restaurant for continued discussion and community building.


8:30–9am Coffee & snacks
9–9:15am Introduction: Workshop goals – Laura Bourgeau-Chavez (MTRI)
9:15–9:40am Presentation: NASA IDS Project overview – Dave Hyndman (MSU)
9:40–10am Presentation: Great Lakes Futures Project – Kathryn Friedman (SUNY)
10–10:20am Presentation: Tipping Point Planner Decision Support Tool - Kara Salazar/Lydia Utley (presenting remotely) (Purdue)
10:20–10:35am Break
10:35–11:15am Panel discussion with stakeholders – Bill Currie moderating (UM)
Panelists: Katherine Grantham (SEMCOG), Greg Norwood (MDNR), Doug Pearsall (TNC Michigan)
11:15am–12pm Extended discussion of stakeholder needs
12–1pm Lunch
1–2pm Breakout session 1: Drivers of change
Agriculture (Bill Currie – UM), Climate (Liza Jenkins – MTRI), Land Use (Sherry Martin – MSU)
2–2:30pm Breakout reports & discussion
2:30–2:45pm Break
2:45–3:45pm Breakout session 2: Translate outcomes into decision support
Facilitators: Bill Currie (UM), Liza Jenkins (MTRI), Sherry Martin (MSU)
3:45–4:15pm Breakout reports & discussion
4:15–4:30 pm Workshop wrap-up – Liza Jenkins (MTRI)
4:30pm Meeting adjourns

Post-workshop happy hour / dinner:
Carson’s American Bistro
2000 Commonwealth Blvd, Ann Arbor, MI 48105

For Additional Information

Dr. Laura Bourgeau-Chavez
Senior Research Scientist, Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)
Michigan Technological University

Dr. Bill Currie
Professor, School for Environment and Sustainability and College of Literature, Science, and the Arts   
University of Michigan

Dr. Sherry Martin
Senior Research Associate, Dept. of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Michigan State University