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About GLOS

About GLOS

Creating a better informed and more confident Great Lakes community where everyone knows what’s happening in the water.

Katie laughing at a staff retreat
Mother and Father play with son at the beach

We put lake information into peoples’ hands in support of the Smart Great Lakes vision

A bi-national nonprofit, GLOS provides end-to-end data services that support science, policy, management, and industry in the U.S. and Canada. Whether deciding to venture out on a boat or confronting the effects of climate change, we want to equip observers with high-quality, up-to-date lake information from the region’s observing network.

From around the observing system


Established as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, GLOS serves as a certified regional association of NOAA’s Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS)

IOOS is a NOAA-funded program that serves as “our eyes on the oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes.”

Core Compentencies

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Managing Data and Delivering Information

Our IT platform features:

  • Easy access to simple, contextual, visual information
  • Secure, scalable, cloud-based, IoT technology
  • Organized and updated metadata
  • Free, open access for better data-driven decision making
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Engaging Stakeholders

GLOS works to discover and address changing regional needs by:

  • Cultivating relationships with diverse observers
  • Collecting input via surveys, web analytics, and user testing
  • Serving as an organizer for events and initiatives
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Facilitating the Observing Network 

We’re expanding the technology portfolio and geographic reach of the network by: 

  • Funding in-water platforms like buoys and uncrewed systems 
  • Helping to organize the bi-national, multi-sector network of observers
  • Developing long-term strategies to address emerging challenges

We’re working toward a future for Great Lakes information that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive of the more than 40 million people who call this region home. We are guided by our three core values: 

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Giving observers the tools and support they need to innovate and better understand the lakes.  

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Whether designing an app or a meeting, keeping things easy, intuitive, and to the point

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Developing impactful solutions to regional problems with transparency and authenticity.


Little girl drinking clean water

Public Health and Safety

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Ecosystem Health

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A captain operating his ship

Maritime Operations

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Smart Great Lakes

Lakebed view of an old shipwreck

Lakebed 2030

Satellite view of the Great Lakes

Climate Resiliency

GLOS partners with dozens of organizations throughout the region to maintain the observing network, serve data, advance technology, and more.

GLOS partners with dozens of organizations throughout the region to maintain the observing network, serve data, advance technology, and more.

Past Strategic Plan 2016-2020 | Past Annual Reports: 2020201920182017 | 2016 | 2015

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