MSU Center for Water Sciences




Splash is the Center for Water Sciences's newsletter- check it out to learn about CWS and our members!


In the current issue:

MI WaterWeb

CWS Water Wednesdays

CWS to Host Water Fellows Reunion

For a printable pdf of current and past issues, please click here or scroll to the bottom of the page.


MI WaterWeb

By Rachel McNinch

The Center for Water Sciences (Michigan State University), Annis Water Resources Institute (Grand Valley State University) and Center for Water and Society (Michigan Technological University) have collaborated to create  MI WaterWeb, a network that highlights innovation, exchanges knowledge, creates partnerships and promotes Michigan and the Great Lakes region as a leader in water science, technology, policy and education. The networks challenge is to address the question "How can Michigan, in collaboration with others, use the abundant assets in the State and region to be a leader in sustainable water resource management and economic development?"


The importance of water to Michigan, to the Great Lakes region, and to the world cannot be overstressed. Water is needed for maintaining a high quality of life, but there are pressures on and threats to all aspects of the water environment.  Protecting water resources is not only critical for ecological and human health, it is essential for maintaining growing sectors of Michigan’s economy, including our tourism, agricultural, food processing, and shipping industries. The Great Lakes provide Michigan with 823,000 jobs, which is approximately 25% of the state of Michigan’s payroll.* Michigan’s abundant water resources can enable the reinvention of Michigan and advance a new economy by providing a pathway forward.

Effective collaboration among Michigan’s academic institutions, government, foundations, and industries is essential if we are to the Great Lakes region and the State of Michigan as a leader in water science, technology, policy, and education. MI WaterWeb will connect people and leaders in government, industry, non-governmental organizations, and academia who have expertise and interest in building programs and partnerships in the water arena. MI WaterWeb will strive to connect these various entities so that we, as a state, will be able to better collaborate and move forward as a leader in addressing the world’s water issues. The MI WaterWeb will promote networking through the following components:

MI WaterWeb Website

Users will be able to register online to create their own MI WaterWeb by: Building a personal profile of interests; Identifying and connecting with other MI WaterWeb members; Exchanging information; Accessing the latest resources in water science, technology, policy, and education.


MI WaterWeb Conferences

MI WaterWeb will host and run a series of high tech conferences featuring global leaders and innovative thinkers in addition to interactive sessions to engage MI WaterWeb members to address policy issues, clarify challenges, explore water solutions, and produce the best water resource educational materials.


K-12 Educational Programs

Existing water curricula across the state will be supported through training workshops for teachers, classroom supply kits, virtual learning tools on, and hold art and writing contests.


Post-secondary Learning

Seminars at Michigan Universities will be webcast, allowing for interactive learning across the State. In addition University students will be challenged to work in multi-disciplinary teams to imagine a sustainable urban redevelopment where water is the core theme for business and the community, competing for the MI WaterWeb D4 prize.

MI Water Innovation Prize

The MI Water Innovation Prize will recognize professionals in government, industry or corporate entities and/or communities demonstrating innovative excellence in water science, technology, education, or policy.

For more information please visit the MI WaterWeb website at


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CWS Water Wednesdays

By Erin Dreelin

CWS is always exploring ways to stimulate conversation and collaboration on campus and this semester we decided to try a discussion group on water that we named Water Wednesday.  The idea behind Water Wednesday is to provide a place for MSU faculty and students interested in water to get together and talk about ideas, opportunities, recent developments and whatever else may come up. So far, session leaders have used Water Wednesday to discuss project ideas, get feedback on a vision for water research at MSU, and to share information about ongoing projects.

We’ve had great success so far, so much so that we have added more Water Wednesdays to the calendar.  The feedback CWS has received has been very positive, with many participants commenting on the ongoing need for water researchers to connect across campus.  Future Water Wednesdays will feature discussions about the oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico and Kalamazoo River, toxins,  pharmaceuticals, and transport processes in rivers and streams. So come out and connect with your fellow CWS colleagues at the next Water Wednesday!

Spring 2011 Presentations:



Session Leader

January 19


MI WaterWeb: Creating space for ideas and collaboration

Erin Dreelin, CWS

February 2


A Vision for Water Research at MSU

Fred Dyer, Zoology

February 16


Coupled Landscape, Atmosphere, and Socioeconomic Systems (CLASS) in the High Plains Aquifer Region

Jinhua Zhao, Economics, AFRE & ESPP; David Hyndman, Geological Sciences; and Anthony Kendall,  Geological Sciences

March 2


Kalamazoo River Oil Spill: Overview and Update

Steve Hamilton, Zoology & Kellogg Biological Station

March 16


Harmful Algal Blooms and Global Change

Elena Litchman, Zoology & Kellogg Biological Station

March 23

Hypoxia in the northern Gulf of Mexico in 2010: was the Deepwater Horizon oil spill a factor?

Nathaniel Ostrom, Zoology

March 30


Contaminants in Great Lakes Fish

Cheryl Murphy, Fisheries & Wildlife

April 6 Water futures and the role of the built environment microbial scaffold Nicholas Ashbolt, USEPA

April 13


CANCELLED (Pharmaceuticals in the Environment)


April 27


Solute Transport, Hyporheic Exchange and Biogeochemical Processes in River and Stream Ecosystems

Phani Mantha, Civil & Environmental Engineering



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CWS to Host Water Fellows Reunion

By Erin Dreelin


Through the Water Fellows Program, CWS brings together a diverse group of Michigan citizens, called Water Fellows, and nationally-renowned water scientists to discuss critical water issues. CWS will be gathering all of our past Fellows for a reunion on March 25th at the Kellogg Center. We are delighted to have Director Patricia Birkholz from the Office of the Great Lakes as our keynote speaker for the Reunion. Our goal for the Reunion is to assess current and future opportunities and challenges regarding the State’s rich water resources.

Since our first series on water and policy in 2005, we have held two more workshop series covering waterborne pathogens and stormwater impacts. Our group of Water Fellows now numbers over 90 individuals from across Michigan who represent diverse backgrounds including government, industry, agriculture, academia, and environmental organizations.  The Water Fellows workshops have been extremely successful, drawing record high online audiences and generating discussion in the State on critical water issues (please see for information on the past workshop series).


Public seminar with Patricia Birkholz

Director, Michigan Office of the Great Lakes  

Friday, March 25, 2011

10:00-11:00 a.m.

Kellogg Center Big Ten Room B

Director Birkholz recently completed five terms in the Michigan Legislature including three in the House and two in the Senate where she was the first woman in state history elected President Pro-Tempore.  Director Birkholz is a long standing advocate for the Great Lakes and Michigan’s natural resources, having championed the adoption of the historic Great Lakes Water Compact and spearheaded passage of the nation’s first scientifically-based water withdrawal legislation and her legislative work focusing on protecting the Great Lakes and Michigan’s groundwater.  She also formulated the recently approved Parks Passport program to ensure state parks remain safe and available for future generations to enjoy.  She now serves as the Director of the Office of the Great Lakes, appointed under Governor Snyder in January.


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Printable Versions of Past Issues

Please note, clicking on the below links will open pdf files.

Issue 4 August 2010

Issue 3 February 2010

(Online Version)

Issue 2 August 2009

Issue 1 February 2009


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