About Us


The Global Great Lakes: Integrating Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow and Transforming Environmental Data into Anticipatory Ecosystem Management was funded in July 2009 with support from the University of Minnesota’s Institute on Environment. The primary objective of this project is to establish a web-based system of data acquisition, database management, decision support modeling and informative visualization to enable anticipatory management of the world’s great lakes. Lake Superior has been selected as the prototype for this project, and techniques and tools are already in development. Prototype tools and services are currently available using sample data.

The PIs for the project include:

•    R. E. Hecky, Professor of Biology and Large Lakes Observatory, and McKnight Presidential Endowed Professor for Lake Ecology
•    S. Colman, Director of the Large Lakes Observatory at the University of Minnesota Duluth
•    R. Axler, Director of the Central Analytical Laboratory at the Center for Water and the Environment within Natural Resources Research Institute.

Other collaborators on the project include Minnesota Sea Grant and the Center for Water Research at the University of Western Australia.

University of Minnesota Duluth

The University of Minnesota Duluth’s (UMD) Large Lakes Observatory (LLO) is internationally known for its basic research on the physics, chemistry, biology, and geology of large lakes throughout the world. In some areas of limnology, LLO is probably the strongest program in the country and is certainly the leading academic institution with a focus on global great lakes.

UMD’s Center for Water and the Environment (CWE) at the Natural Resource Research Institute specializes in both basic and applied research by focusing on developing ways to live sustainably within our natural environment. CWE has considerable expertise in presentation of real-time environmental and Geographic Information Systems data on the web.

Other Collaborators

The Center for Water Research at the University of Western Australia, under the direction of Prof. Jorg Imberger, is the recognized global leader in the modeling of lakes and their catchments and the development of web-based tools for visualization and real-time output of decision support models.

Minnesota Sea Grant, on the UMD campus, is part of a national university system responsible for funding aquatic/marine research as well as promoting public outreach and education and its presence ensures that the new capacities envisioned from this proposal will quickly reach state, national and international audiences.


This project has been funded by the University of Minnesota’s Institute on Environment.
Additional support has been provided by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission.