AWRI director appointed to EPA board

GVL / Courtesy - GVNow


GVL / Courtesy – GVNow

Meghan McBrady

Alan Steinman, director of Grand Valley State University’s Annis Water Resources Institute (AWRI), has been appointed to serve on a subcommittee of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes Advisory Board.

Steinman, whose research focuses on water ecology, restoration and feasibility testing within water resources, will serve on the board through January 2018.

The AWRI director said he is honored by the appointment. The group will be focusing on the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) and the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.

“This is a chance to integrate in other community and professional services that I do,” Steinman said. “It’s part of the job, and being on this committee brings visibility to GVSU and AWRI and that is also a win-win situation.”

With a bachelor’s degree in botany and a doctorate in botany and aquatic ecology from Oregon State University, Steinman has over 23 years of experience working in water ecology.

Steinman has been the director of AWRI since 2001. Prior to that, he was the director of the Lake Okeechobee Department at the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD).

Besides his leadership roles in ecosystem research and water quality, Steinman has spoken in front of congressional representatives to discuss the harmful impact of invasive species in the Great Lakes and also teaches a graduate level course on new and critical issues in water resources at GVSU.

Steinman said he intends to use his experience in preserving and enhancing freshwater resources as he starts working with the Great Lakes Advisory Board.

“In some ways, this committee will show that there is still a need to go on and provide new ideas and new blood and new possibilities when it comes to water issues in the world,” he said. “This committee will have serious influence being how it will be developed and charged with the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and this is a pretty big deal in how it will affect the community and its charges.”

Mark Luttenton, an associate research scientist at AWRI and biology professor at GVSU, said he is happy for Steinman’s appointment and that he will be a benefit to the board.

“Steinman’s appointment is a tremendous honor and brings with it the opportunity to advise the Great Lakes Interagency Task Force on ways to communicate research that has been completed, and identify the major gaps in our scientific knowledge,” Luttenton said.

While Steinman has worked with water all his life, he said he cannot wait for the intellectual appeal that his new position will offer to him and to his work at AWRI.

“I joke that my lab is focused on one part water quality issues and then the other part on policy issues, because they are blended in getting published and making the most informed issues known,” he said. “I want to make sure that research and work is getting utilized and that is why the most rigorous science is being done in putting in the policy makers hands and used effectively.”

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