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Smart Great Lakes

Advancing technology applications that improve our understanding, use, conservation, and management of the Great Lakes.

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Over the past decade, smart technologies have transformed the world.

Sensors have been deployed across our lives and environments, artificial intelligence has become widely accessible, and our ability to analyze and act on that data has grown exponentially.

But many of the tools available to us today have yet to be applied to the Great Lakes with the full weight of the region’s collaborative spirit behind them. These technologies present a unique opportunity for addressing today’s Great Lakes challenges like never before, from safeguarding drinking water and understanding changing shorelines to tracking the long-term effects of climate change.

To make this vision a reality, in 2019 a group of organizations from the United States and Canada formed the Smart Great Lakes Initiative around common goals and priorities for:

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Improving the way a diverse region learns about and responds to lake events

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Informing critical policy

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Directing future science and innovation

Initiative Partners

Common Strategy

The Smart Great Lakes Initiative released the “Common Strategy for Smart Great Lakes” on Oct. 5, 2021. Read the press release.

Science Smart Great Lakes

Science, Innovation, and Technology

Goal 1: Develop novel and interdisciplinary research

Goal 2: Support science, innovation, and technology that improve our ability to identify, assess and respond to stressors and change

Goal 3: Build resilient, adaptable observing systems in support of a swimmable, drinkable, fishable, and equitable future

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Data and Information

Goal 4: Improve discoverability of Great Lakes data by increasing findability and accessibility

Goal 5: Foster data compatibility by developing a framework supporting interoperability and reusability

Goal 6: Empower data providers to share and access new data by facilitating reuse and access

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Policy and Management

Goal 7: Ensure Smart Great Lakes provides opportunities and resources for the Indigenous Tribes, First Nations, and Métis within the Great Lakes basin through respectful engagement

Goal 8: Strengthen Great Lakes-related policies

Goal 9: Invest in Smart Great Lakes

Goal 10: Accelerate SGLi communication, outreach, education, and engagement

Who is the SGLi?

Bryan Stubbs (US Co-chair) – Cleveland Water Alliance

Mary-Claire Buell (Canadian Co-chair) – Trent University

Aaron Fisk – University of Windsor

Aaron Packman – Northwestern University

Dean Alonistiotis – IL State Representative Kim du Buclet – 5th District

Jeanette Schnars – Regional Science Consortium

Jennifer Boehme – Great Lakes Observing System

Krysha Dukacz – City of Hamilton

Mark Fisher – Council of the Great Lakes Region

Tim Kearns – Great Lakes Observing System

Warren Currie – Fisheries and Oceans Canada

With the release of the Common Strategy, the teams below concluded their roles, though some members still participate in ad-hoc working groups.

Steering Committee (Concluded)

A special thanks to all those who served on the Steering Committee and helped launch the SGLi. After publishing the Common Strategy for Smart Great Lakes in 2021, the committee concluded.

Warren Currie (co-chair) – Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Michael Twiss (co-chair) – Clarkson University

Andrew Bramburger – Environment and Climate Change Canada

Dean Alonistiotis – Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, Office of Commissioner Kim du Buclet

Deborah Lee – NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory

JC Nelson – U.S. Geological Survey

Jeff Moon – Portage Network

Joel Brammaier – Alliance for the Great Lakes

Kat Kavanagh – Water Rangers

Krysha Dukacz – McMaster University

Mike McKay – University of Windsor

Tom Hollenhorst – EPA Office of Research and Development, Toxicology and Ecology Division

Tom Miller – SpinDance

Data and Information (Concluded)

JC Nelson (co-chair) – U.S. Geological Survey

Andy Chartier – Linked Technologies

Awoke Dagnew – Environmental Consulting and Technology

Benjamin Miller – WeatherFlow, Inc.

Bhaleka Persaud – University of Waterloo

Carolyn DuBois – The Gordon Foundation

Carolyn Foley – Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant

Clinton Little – Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Craig Hill – University of Minnesota Duluth

Don Arcuri – Great Lakes Fishery Commission US Committee of Advisors

Elliott Quider – Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Guy Meiri – IoSight

Hannah Ramage – Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve

Jeremy Holden – Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

Joe Ortiz – Kent State University

John Lenters – Michigan Technological University

John Robinson – Mazarine Ventures

Katelynn Johnson – Real-time Aquatic Ecosystem Observation Network (RAEON)

Kelly Knee – RPS Group

Linden Brinks – Great Lakes Observing System

Madeline Magee – Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Maggie Xenopoulos – Trent University

Marylee Murphy – University of Wisconsin-Superior, Great Waters Research Collaborative

Max Herzog – Cleveland Water Alliance

Ngan Diep – Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks

Omar Gates – Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments

Peter Colohan – Internet of Water

Rick Wilson – Conservation Ontario

Steven Cai – StormSensor

Terry Brown – EPA Office of Research and Development, Scientific Computing and Data Curation Division

Tom Hollenhorst – EPA Office of Research and Development, Toxicology and Ecology Division

Vidya Balasubramanyam – Illinois Sustainable Technology Center

Policy and Management (Concluded)
Science, Innovation, and Technology (Concluded)

SGL Mini-grants

Early  in 2021, GLOS launched a mini-grant opportunity to help put more lake information in peoples’ hands and to support the Smart Great Lakes Initiative.

The diverse projects involved deploying new buoys, equipping old platforms to share data publicly, connecting platforms from the watershed, and supporting an Indigenous community-led monitoring effort.

See the projects

Want to get involved?

Contact Katie Rousseau, Smart Great Lakes Liaison, to get started.


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