News and Events

SEMINAR: What's messing up our streams, rivers, lakes and harbors and how do we make them better - Dr. G. Allen Burton

July 8th, 2015, 7pm-8pm

Dr. G. Allen Burton's extensive work around the world provides new insights into how aquatic ecosystems function. Dr. Burton's  research on ecological risk assessment, sediment quality criteria, and aquatic ecosystem stressors has taken him to all seven continents with Visiting Scientist positions in Denmark, New Zealand, Italy and Portugal. His research has focused on sediment and stormwater contaminants and understanding bioavailability processes, effects and ecological risk at multiple trophic levels, and ranking stressor importance in human dominated watersheds. He is Editor-in-Chief of the international journal, Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry, past president of the Society of Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry, and has served on numerous national and international panels with over 160 peer-reviewed publications. He is also the Director of NOAA's Cooperative Institute for Limnology and Ecosystems (CILER). Join us as Dr. Burton takes a fresh look at how we are connected to our aquatic counterparts and what actions we may be able to take to improve the quality of these economically valuable ecosystems.

FIELD TRIP: Wetlands - Dr. Matt Cooper ($25, lunch provided)

July 11th, 2015, 9am-Noon

Photo of Dr. Matt CooperBeaver Island has a large number and diversity of wetlands!  Join CMU's newest faculty member and wetlands researcher as he visits a wide range of wetland types around the island and along the Great Lakes coastline.  Dr. Cooper has many research projects and interests, including the recent development of a management decision support tool that will help agencies decide which Great Lakes coastal wetlands are most degraded and in need of restoration (see to see which wetlands have been sampled on Garden and Hog Island and to learn more about this project).

Please RSVP for all Field Trips by calling Pinky Harmon at 231-448-2461 

All field trips will start at 9am from the CMU Biological Station's main campus and 33850 East Side Drive.  Participants will return to the field station at approximately 12:00pm.  Cost is $25, lunch is included.  All proceeds are donated to the Beaver Island Historical Society.

SEMINAR: Managing invasive species in the Great Lakes: Lessons from Asian carp response - Lindsay Chadderton

July 15th, 2015, 7pm-8pm

Photo of Lindsay ChaddertonThe Great lakes are likely the most heavily invaded freshwater ecosystem globally, with food webs dominated by non-native species that have altered ecosystem services and functions with huge consequential reductions in native biodiversity and economic impacts on Great Lakes businesses and households that are conservatively estimated to run into $100's of million annually.  Perhaps as a consequence of this, the region has also been a world leader in the research and management of aquatic invasive species (AIS). The long term control of sea lamprey and suppression of Alewife and Rainbow Smelt through the introduction of pacific salmonids (that also resulted in the establishment of an economically important recreational fishery), are arguably some of the best global examples of aquatic pest management. Other notable successes include the development of risk assessment tools to manage the importation and sale of live organisms and development of highly sensitive genomic aquatic surveillance tools. The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and Asian Carp Response efforts have resulted in a major injection of resources into the region that is stimulating an unparalleled investment in AIS management. Using Asian carps as a case study I will explore recent advances in the management of AIS in the Great Lakes and some of the lessons we are learning from this ongoing response effort.​

Lindsay Chadderton is the Aquatic Invasive Species Director for The Nature Conservancy's (TNC) Great Lakes Project.  Chadderton has authored or co-authored over 60 publications.  Most notably, Chadderton was part of the four-person team that developed environmental DNA surveillance methods for tracking Asian carp.  Chadderton's extensive invasive species work began in new Zealand where he worked eradicating invasive rat populations on surrounding islands.  We are excited to have Lindsay Chadderton on campus as he talks about his work with TNC.

All seminars will be held in the James C. Gillingham Academic Center located at the CMU Biological Station's main campus at 33850 East Side Drive.  Seminars begin at 7pm and are free to the public.


July 21st, 2015, 10am-3pm

Photo of the CMU BoathouseCome tour the newly updated boathouse at Whiskey Point at this FREE event! CMU uses this facility to launch research vessels, conduct experiments in the mesocosms, and more. Resident researchers, CMUBS staff, and CMUBS Director Don Uzarski will be onsite to greet visitors and answer questions. Research posters, M.V. Chippewa tours, mesocosm tours, and kids activities will all be part of this educational museum week event. Come learn about our current Great Lakes projects and learn about our newest lake monitoring tools.

Children's Field Trip - Mr. John Gordon and Mr. David Schuberg ($10)

July 23rd, 2015, 9am-Noon

Photo of Dave Schuberg with studentsOur annual field trip for kids continues as part of Museum Week. Kids of all ages are welcome! Parents/guardians of young children may also join CMUBS staff as we tour the wetlands , fields, and forests of CMU's Miller's Marsh.  Kids will capture live snakes, use dip-nets to collect aquatic insects, learn about the impacts of exotic and invasive species, tour the herbivore exclosure project, and much more!

Please RSVP for all Field Trips by calling Pinky Harmon at 231-448-2461

Cost of the Children's Field Trip is just $10 and does NOT include lunch.  All proceeds benefit the Beaver Island Historical Society.

FIELD TRIP: Beaver Island's Inland Lakes - Mr. Dan Benjamin ($25, lunch provided)

July 25th, 2015, 9am-Noon

Photo of Dan Benjamin with studentsBeaver Island's six inland lakes vary widely in their chemical, physical, and biological makeup. Join the island's most knowledgeable field guide, Dan Banjamin, as he guides participants through the history and the mechanisms driving such great diversity in such a small area. Benjamin has taught classes at CMUBS, led numerous field trips, and has a vested interest in the natural and cultural history of the Beaver Archipelago. Though the focus is inland lakes, Dan's extensive aquatic and terrestrial field experience allows for new learning opportunities every year! A great trip for both new and returning participants!

Please RSVP for all Field Trips by calling Pinky Harmon at 231-448-2461 

All field trips will start at 9am from the CMU Biological Station's main campus and 33850 East Side Drive.  Participants will return to the field station at approximately 12:00pm.  Cost is $25, lunch is included.  All proceeds are donated to the Beaver Island Historical Society.

SCIENTIFIC CRUISE: Aboard the M.V. Chippewa

August 1st, 2015, 1pm and 3pm

Photo of the MV Chippewa on the waterAfter an overwhelming response to our first scientific cruise offerings in 2014, we have decided to offer additional cruises this summer.  Join our Director and Captain Dr. Don Uzarski as he takes participants out of Paradise Bay aboard CMU's M.V. Chippewa.  Participants will have the opportunity to get hands-on as we deploy scientific equipment into Lake Michigan and collect live samples using a 10' plankton net, ponar bottom sampler, new CTD sampler, and more.  Information participants collect on these cruises will be added to our long-term monitoring dataset.  Space is limited to nine participtants per cruise, sign up today!

Please RSVP for all Scientific Cruises by calling Pinky Harmon at 231-448-2461

Participants will meet at Whiskey Point at CMU's Boathouse/the old Coast Guard Station.  Cost is $25, lunch is NOT included. All proceeds are donated to the Beaver Island Historical Society.

Sign up for summer courses on Beaver Island

March 4, 2014 - Are you a student looking to get courses in over the summer? If so, consider taking some on Beaver Island - "America's Emerald Isle" - in northern Lake Michigan! Home to the CMU Biological Station, Beaver Island was recently named one of the best island getaways in the continental U.S. by CBS News. Click here to watch the video.

So what are you waiting for? Check out the classes being offered and sign up for your island adventure today! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact John Gordon, CMU Biological Station Manager at (989) 774-4400 or

Using fish ear bones to help protect coastal wetlands

September 30, 2013 - Don Uzarski, CMU professor of biology and director of CMU's Institute for Great Lakes Research and the CMU Biological Station, and his research team are reading information stored in the ear bones (otoliths) of fish to track fish movements. 

The otoliths in fish grow daily in layers, similar to rings in a tree trunk. Biology graduate student Lee Schoen and Jim Student, director of the Center for Elemental and Isotopic Analysis in the CMU College of Science and Technology, are taking thin slices of the otoliths and running them through a laser-equipped mass spectrometer, which picks up trace elements that the ear bones integrate from surrounding water, enabling the researchers to track the fish's pattern of visits to particular coastal wetlands.

Uzarski says, "We're basically trying to find out exactly how important these coastal wetlands are to the overall energy base or food web of the entire Great Lakes ecosystem." 

Their research aims to provide the hard data necessary for better choices to be made about managing, restoring and protecting the Great Lakes basin's coastal wetlands. 

Learn more:

​CMU unveils new Great Lakes research vessel

June 21, 2013 - Central Michigan Photo of the MV Chippewa on the waterUniversity students and faculty are able to increase their scientific research on the Great Lakes thanks to the purchase of a 38-foot vessel by the CMU College of Science and Technology.

Don Uzarski, director of CMU's Institute for Great Lakes Research, said students studying areas of science from ecology to botany will benefit from the utilization of the RV Chippewa.

"With respect to Great Lakes research, this was one of the last pieces of the puzzle to get us out into that open water of the lakes that we couldn't do before with smaller vessels," Uzarski said. "We're very strong in research in wetlands and in the nearshore region; now we're hoping to take it out to the offshore."

The vessel will help further the work of the Institute for Great Lakes Research, which recently received a $10 million federal grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to conduct Great Lakes wetlands preservation research alongside a team from nine other universities and three government agencies.

"I have about 20 faculty who study various aspects of the Great Lakes with a goal of understanding the ecology of these vital ecosystems," said Ian Davison, dean of the CMU College of Science and Technology. "This vessel will enhance their capacity to provide the information that is needed to protect and preserve them."