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GLIN==> Great Lakes Environmental and Molecular Sciences (GLEAMS) Center expanded Dynamic Decision Support System and updated portal content released

Michigan Tech Research Institute launches newly expanded GLEAMS web-based Dynamic Decision Support System (DDSS)

Geographic expansion of PCB risk assessment into Wisconsin’s Lower Fox River Basin; Kalamazoo River DDSS receives new interface and functionality: Kalamazoo River DDSS incorporates newly acquired 2006 water quality data; updated portal content

Ann Arbor, MI - December 15, 2006 – The Great Lakes Center for Environmental and Molecular Sciences (GLEAMS) Center, a partnership between Western Michigan University and Michigan Technological University’s Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI), has released an expanded and improved version of its Great Lakes dynamic decision support system (DDSS) tools.    The purpose of these DDSS tools is to make complex environmental decisions more manageable through visual presentation and comparison of sediment contamination and water quality data through user-friendly web-based mapping interfaces.  Improvements are: 1) an expansion of the GLEAMS Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB) risk assessment tool to evaluate the Lower Fox River basin of Wisconsin, 2) an enhanced, more intuitive web mapping interface, 3) new Kalamazoo River water quality data with water quality index (WQI) tool enhancements, and 4) updated watershed portal content. The DDSS tools can be accessed via the GLEAMS Portal (http://www.greatlakesdecisionsupport.org) under both the “GIS Data & Maps” and “Modeling & DDSS” hyperlinks.

MTRI has demonstrated that the GLEAMS DDSS tools can be adapted to other Great Lakes watersheds by extending the geographic scope of GLEAMS technology into the state of Wisconsin.  The GLEAMS PCB risk assessment tool has been extended to focus on the Lower Fox River Basin because of the local history of sediment contamination and the availability of well-documented PCB data from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. PCBs are a concern because they are found in many Great Lakes rivers and lakes, and are listed by the U.S. EPA as having a variety of probable human health effects, including cancer, immune, and reproductive system impacts.  Users with an interested in PCB contamination along the Fox River now have access to an informative location-based system on PCBs and their associated human health consequences from local fish consumption, along with ecological impacts such as bioaccumulation in fish and birds. The expansion serves as a working example that the GLEAMS DDSS technology is applicable to other watersheds throughout the Great Lakes basin and can serve as a vehicle for public outreach and decision making regarding environmental contaminant issues.  MTRI has also made significant improvements to the DDSS interface in order to make the application more accessible for a wider audience.  For example, the map control buttons on the GLEAMS web mapping sites have been made more user-friendly, and MTRI has developed a system-wide help menu covering all aspects of the web mapping site functionality.

A new water quality dataset that interfaces with the GLEAMS Water Quality Index on-line tool has also been added so that users can rapidly understand and visualize Kalamazoo River water quality. MTRI collected new water quality data during the summer of 2006 using version 2 of its Automated Lagrangian Water-Quality Assessment System (ALWAS) data buoy. ALWAS, a free-floating water quality measuring and watershed evaluation system, was employed in the collection of numerous water quality parameters along six segments of the Kalamazoo River.  The new ALWAS data has been incorporated into the GLEAMS DDSS along with data-access enhancements made to the Water Quality Index (WQI) tool. The WQI tool incorporates the newly collected data and allows users to select which dataset (2004 or 2006) they wish to use to quantitatively summarize the quality of water along the Kalamazoo River.

Updated research results and other Great Lakes content have also been added to the GLEAMS Portal.  The Lake Michigan Watershed Fact Sheets published as part of the 2006 Lake Michigan Management Plan (LaMP) are available as individual documents for each watershed.  New abstracts for articles by GLEAMS Director Dr. Charles Ide (WMU) on the gene _expression_ of contaminant impacts are available.  Also available are conference presentations and paper abstract by MTRI Co-Director Dr. Robert Shuchman describing a new Lake Michigan water-quality algorithm that uses remotely-sensed satellite imagery. 

For additional information on GLEAMS and the new additions and expansion of the Dynamic Decision Support System, please contact Colin Brooks or visit http://www.greatlakesdecisionsupport.org.

About Michigan Tech Research Institute: On October 1, 2006, Michigan Technological University (Michigan Tech) acquired the Environmental and Emerging Technologies Division (EETD) from Altarum Institute to form the Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI). MTRI is driven in its focus on education, research, and development of technology to sense and understand natural and manmade environments while providing visibility and outreach for Michigan Tech in Southeastern Michigan and elsewhere in the Great Lakes region.  For more information, please see www.mtri.org.  


Colin Brooks, Research Scientist
Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)
734-302-5633 and colin.brooks@mtu.edu  
www.mtri.org and www.greatlakesdecisionsupport.org

Colin Brooks
Research Scientist
Michigan Tech Research Institute
(formerly part of Altarum / ERIM)
3520 Green Court, Suite 300
Ann Arbor, MI 48105

Phone: 734-302-5633
Fax: 734-302-4992
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