Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Sea Grant in the Lab: The Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory

By Robin Garcia, National Sea Grant Office


Sea Grant programs have extension agents throughout the coastal states, Great Lakes states, Puerto Rico, and Guam; broadening the reach of Sea Grant far beyond program home institutions. Yet, did you know that Sea Grant also has extension agents in many of the NOAA Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) laboratories across the country? And did you know that one of those agents is in Michigan?


The NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL), located in Ann Arbor, MI, conducts research with multiple partners on the various environments and ecosystems in the Great Lakes region to support healthy and sustainable ecosystems and coastal communities. Research topics include harmful algal blooms and hypoxia, ice cover, water levels, and surface currents.


Rochelle Sturtevant has been the Great Lakes Regional Sea Grant Extension Specialist at GLERL for the past sixteen years. In that time she has served many roles, such as supporting regional-scale coordination, assisting with the inclusion of broader impact goals in GLERL proposals, facilitating the review of Sea Grant publications by GLERL researchers, and supporting the review of GLERL publications by Sea Grant experts.

One of Sturtevant’s largest projects has been the Great Lakes Aquatic Nonindigenous Species Information System (GLANSIS), where she leads the management of the database. GLANSIS was developed in response to a long history of aquatic invasive species introduction in the Great Lakes and serves as a regional node of the US Geological Survey’s Nonindigenous Aquatic Species database.


The GLANSIS database includes information about species on three lists:

  • a list of non-native species to the Great Lakes basin
  • a list of species that have spread beyond their native portion of the basin
  • a watchlist of species not currently in the Great Lakes but likely to invade via current pathways


Sturtevant is also working on other projects at GLERL including a forum on marine debris at organized by Pennsylvania Sea Grant, a Sea Grant sponsored regional group working on crude oil transport in the Great Lakes, Sea Grant forums on coastal storms and communicating climate change, and assisting with GLERL’s strategic planning process and review.


Looking forward, Sturtevant will begin working with the Great Lakes Water Levels Monitoring Network. The network is a partnership between the US and Canada. NOAA’s Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS) and the Canada Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Canadian Hydrographic Service operate monitoring stations on their respective shorelines. Sturtevant’s role will include coordinating Sea Grant involvement in outreach relating to the new datum.


To learn more about Rochelle Sturtevant, see her Michigan Sea Grant profile and GLERL page.

Related Posts
Four people install substrate for an oyster reef.

Biden-Harris Administration invests $60 million to build a climate-ready workforce through Investing in America agenda

Today, the Department of Commerce and NOAA announced $60 million in funding to help train and place people in jobs that advance a climate-ready workforce for coastal and Great Lakes states, Tribes and Territories as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda under the Inflation Reduction Act. To date, awards like these from President Biden’s Investing in America agenda have created more than 270,000 jobs across the country.

The funding will support nine projects around the nation, with $50 million going directly to the projects and $10 million for technical assistance to support the grantees.

Read More >

Sea Grant Aquaculture Academy in New Hampshire

Sea Grant aquaculture professionals from across the country convened in Portsmouth, NH in early April for a 4-day intensive “Sea Grant Aquaculture Academy” hosted by New Hampshire Sea Grant with support from North Carolina Sea Grant.

Read More >
Images of Sea Grant's work in research, education and extension provided by (from left to right) Wisconsin, Guam and Florida Sea Grant programs. Design by Hallee Meltzer | National Sea Grant Office.

Sea Grant takes center stage in Oceanography special issue

NOAA Sea Grant-funded research and work with coastal and Great Lakes communities across the nation are being highlighted in a special issue of “Oceanography,” the official journal of The Oceanography Society. 

This special issue, published in April 2024, features 36 articles contributed by Sea Grant authors across 29 programs and the NOAA National Sea Grant Office. 

Read More >
Scroll to Top