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Your June Update

A letter from Kelli Paige, CEO

I hope this letter finds you all safe and healthy. 2020 has been a challenging year, and we were confronted with even more in the month since our last email update.

In recent weeks, the national conversation has moved from managing the COVID-19 pandemic to grappling in new ways with the reality that the systems that we shape, and that shape us, are infected with racial injustice. We know that the impacts of racism are far-reaching, impacting systems of commerce, government, research, recreation, conservation, and beyond. That’s why it’s important to reflect on ways we can authentically support an inclusive culture and ensure our mission benefits all stakeholders fairly and equitably.

It might not be obvious how an organization like GLOS can be a positive agent of change. It’s my hope and sincere intention that the work we’re doing here at GLOS will be an “equalizer” for easy, open access to data and information in our region. From improving how people understand harmful algal blooms and water quality, to streamlining how we can access data on real-time water conditions, the contours of the lake floor, and more, we’re here, ultimately, to see that the benefits of high-quality water data make it to all 40 million residents of this watershed.

Our core values of empowerment, simplicity, and integrity reinforce our commitment to making stakeholders in the larger Great Lakes region more confident and better informed through improved access to information. We acknowledge that this is best accomplished when we engage a diverse suite of partners, make it easy for people to discover and access the data they need, and enable our stakeholders to transform data and information into knowledge and action.

Finally, on a personal note, I have found that gratitude and grace are always helpful practices during periods of difficulty. I know I am incredibly grateful to be leading this organization, serving as a steward for these information resources, and working with an incredible group of dedicated and intelligent individuals who are committed to working in the best interest of the Great Lakes. Thank you all for your contributions, voices, and perspectives. If you have feedback or thoughts about how we can improve our efforts around diversity and inclusion, we are listening! Please feel welcome to reach out to me directly anytime.

Let’s hope that these collective challenges we face now will yield brighter outcomes in the future.

Wishing you the best this summer, 


Deadline: Contribute to the GLOS request for information (and influence) by June 19

If you haven’t yet contributed and have an idea to inform the next five years of projects at GLOS, we want to hear from you.

GLOS is inviting information (and influence) to:

  • Include in our programmatic buildout of the new strategic plan.
  • Forge new alliances and partnerships to support the Smart Great Lakes Initiative.
  • Shape our proposal for the next 5 year cooperative agreement (2021-2026) with NOAA’s Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS).
Questions? Email
Learn more and contribute

Portable Spotter buoy streams data live to GLOS for the first time

This month, a basketball-sized Spotter buoy began sending data to GLOS, making it the first buoy of its kind to be part of our network.

The buoy, deployed in Lake Superior on April 21 near Gay, Michigan, is operated by Michigan Technological University (MTU). It's being used to support marine weather forecasts for dredging operations at the Keweenaw stamp sands near Buffalo Reef.

Spotter buoys are a creation of Sofar Ocean, a San Francisco-based marine technology company.

John Lenters, a scientist with MTU’s Great Lakes Research Center operates the buoy and said they opted for this type over conventional buoy designs because of its affordability, portability, and satellite data connection.

“So far, we’re pretty pleased with the Spotter buoy,” Lenters said. “We’ve measured a few 3-5 foot wave events so far, including the recent passage of tropical depression Cristobal.”

Lenters noted that they do, occasionally get erroneous data spikes, but that those could be due to the mooring design.

Photo courtesy of Sofar Ocean

See the live data

Join the Lakebed 2030 Virtual Symposium - June 24

Learn more about the ambitious goal of mapping the Great Lakes by the year 2030. Lakebed 2030 is modeled after the Seabed 2030 effort and brings together a broad and diverse set of stakeholders throughout the Great Lakes. 

The symposium is organized by the Marine Technology Society, as a precursor to the Lakebed 2030 TechSurge event in October. Panelists will discuss the current activities supporting this initiative from both U.S. and Canadian perspectives with additional discussion regarding the development of a new platform serving as a comprehensive data repository.

For those who attended February’s Lakebed 2030 webinar, this will be a chance to hear about plans in greater detail and potentially discover new ways to get involved.

Learn more and register

P.S. Now is a great time to thank those who operate your favorite buoys. It's been quite the field season for many of them, and a text or email goes a long way. Shoot us a note, and we'll pass it on.
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