Great Lakes Institute Faculty and Staff

Timothy C. Havens

  • Director, Great Lakes Research Center
  • Director, Institute of Computing and Cybersystems
  • William and Gloria Jackson Professor

Links of Interest

Areas of Interest

  • Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning
  • Signal and Image Processing
  • Sensor and Data Fusion
  • Heterogeneous Data Mining
  • Explosive Hazard Detection
Elizabeth Hoy

Elizabeth Hoy

  • Director, Business & Program Development
  • Great Lakes Research Center


  • Facilitates partnerships that support Institute growth
  • Directs the development and distribution of outreach material to external partners
  • Oversees administrative operations

Guy Meadows

  • Director, Marine Engineering Laboratory
  • Robbins Professor of Sustainable Marine Engineering
  • Research Professor, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Research Interests

  • Large scale field experimentation in the Inland Seas of the Great Lakes and coastal oceans
  • Nearshore hydrodynamics and prediction
  • Autonomous and semi-autonomous environmental monitoring platforms (surface and sub-surface)
  • Underwater acoustic remote sensing
  • Marine engineering

Valoree Gagnon

  • Director, University-Indigenous Community Partnerships, Great Lakes Research Center
  • Assistant Professor, College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science

Research Interests

  • University-Community Partnerships, research engagement, and equitable practice and design
  • Environmental Justice and Policy, toxic substances, risk management, and promoting holistic health
  • Indigenous / Native American Studies, treaties and the government-to-government relationship, food sovereignty, and Indigenous wisdom in the Great Lakes region
  • Environmental Stewardship and the Seven Generations Philosophy

John D. Lenters

  • Associate Research Scientist, Great Lakes Research Center
  • Adjunct Professor, Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering
  • Instructor, Mechanical Engineering - Engineering Mechanics

Areas of Expertise

    • Lake evaporation
    • Physical limnology
    • Great Lakes weather and climate
    • Surface waves and coastal storms
    • Air-sea interaction
    • Autonomous buoys
    • Watershed hydrology
    • Global and regional climate change 

Research Interests

  • Impacts of climate on lake temperature and ice cover
  • Lake surface energy balance studies
  • Marine weather observations and forecasting
  • Great Lakes evaporation and water levels
  • Climate impacts on lake and land surface hydrology
  • Mesoscale and boundary layer meteorology
  • Great Lakes observation networks
  • Societal impacts of climate change
  • Autonomous sensors at the lake-air interface 
Amanda Gonczi

Amanda Gonczi

  • Assistant Research Scientist, Great Lakes Research Center
  • Instructor, Cognitive and Learning Sciences
  • Director of Research and Evaluation, Michigan Science Teaching and Assessment Reform

Areas of Expertise 

  • Design and implementation of professional development for K-12 and undergraduate STEM teachers
  • K-12 STEM education research 
  • Program evaluation 

Amanda's CV

Research Interests

  • Instructional practices that support environmental literacy and stewardship
  • Integration of computing into STEM education
  • Teachers beliefs about reforms-based science instruction including nature of science, inquiry, engineering, Next Generation Science Standards, and technology integration
  • Professional development elements (remote and face-to-face) that support instructional change, teacher leadership and reforms-based science instruction
  • Using levels of inquiry to support teachers' understanding and integration of mathematical and scientific inquiry in k-12 education
  • Teachers' understandings regarding key concepts in science including respiration and photosynthesis
Erika Vye

Erika Vye

  • Geosciences Research Scientist, Great Lakes Research Center

Areas of Interest

  • Geosciences Education
  • Geoconservation
  • Geoheritage
  • National Marine Sanctuary
  • Great Lakes Indigenous Knowledge
  • University-Indigenous Community Partnerships
Erik Kocher

Erik Kocher

  • Research Engineer - Electrical Engineer, Great Lakes Research Center

Research Interests

  • Marine & Naval Engineering
  • Electro-Mechanical Systems
  • Self-driving/Autonomous Systems
  • Robotics
  • Controls
  • Acoustics/Vibration


  • Support GLRC Research Projects & Programs
  • Coordinate GLRC Engineering Lab & Shop Space
  • Mechanical & Mechatronics Engineering
  • Maritime and Naval Systems Design, Assembly, and Operation
  • Certified Fanuc Robotics Technician
  • State certified Firefighter & First Responder with additional training in Search & Rescue, First Aid, Ice Rescue, and Hazmat Emergency Response
Christopher Pinnow

Christopher Pinnow

  • Electrical & Computer Engineer, Great Lakes Research Center


  • Support GLRC research programs
  • Focus on measurements of the over water and in-water environments
  • Support design, fabrication, testing & utilization of prototype field deployable instruments, including programming and decision support algorithms
  • Statistical analysis of remote sensing and in situ data sets
  • Expanded Biography
Jamey Anderson

Jamey Anderson

  • Assistant Director, Marine Operations
  • Manager, Marine Research Assets Shared Facility


  • Oversee research buoys
  • Maintain and repair Remote Operated Vehicles
  • Maintain R/V Agassiz to USCG standards
  • Maintain and operate survey vessels
  • Provide electrical and mechanical support of specialized research equipment
  • Expanded Biography
Jason Swain

Jason Swain

  • Captain and Marine Logistics Coordinator, Great Lakes Research Center


  • USCG Licensed Captain - 100 Ton Master
  • R/V AGASSIZ Captain responsible for the safety of all crew, safe operation and navigation of the boat, assisting with the operation of scientific equipment, following all applicable local and federal rules/regulations
  • Coordinate use of Marine Research Assets Shared Facility (MRAF) to support the needs of faculty,staff, and the public. Liaison for Smart Ships Coalition and Marine Autonomous Research Site (MARS)
  • Support for proposal and budget development and assists with project management. Assist with research buoy assembly and maintenance
  • USCG Retired with 20 years of experience in Search & Rescue, Law Enforcement, Vessel operation, Navigation, Risk Management, training, and workforce development
Travis White

Travis White

  • Research Engineer, Great Lakes Research Center
  • Relief Captain, Great Lakes Research Center


  • Responsible for administration of the Marine Autonomy Research Site and Smart Ships Coalition and coordination with the Marine Research Assets Shared Use Facility (MRAF) in support of client needs.
  • Provide scientific and engineering support to faculty, staff, partners, and sponsors with expertise in design, manufacturing, and integration of marine systems. Support budget and proposal development, project management, and strategic planning.
  • Over 10 years' experience as a licensed captain on the Great Lakes with expertise in navigation systems, marine electronics, mechanical systems, and maintenance, repair, and operations.
  • Expanded Biography.
Steven Senczyszyn

Steven Senczyszyn

  • Research Engineer, Great Lakes Research Center
Christopher Wojick

Christopher Wojick

  • Senior Researcher, Program Evaluation
  • Great Lakes Research Center
Ryan Williams, GISP, MGIS

Ryan Williams, GISP, MGIS

  • Assistant Director, Geospatial Research Facility

Areas of Expertise

  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Database Development
  • GIS Tool and Process Development
  • Integrating Web, GIS, Database and Analytics Tools
Dan Trepal

Dan Trepal

  • Senior Geospatial Research Scientist
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Social Sciences


  • PhD, Industrial Heritage and Archaeology, Michigan Technological University
  • MS, Industrial Archaeology, Michigan Technological University
  • BS, Anthropology and History, Cleveland State University

Research Interests

  • Industrial and Urban Archaeology
  • Historical GIS
  • Deindustrialization
  • Industrial Landscapes
  • The Archaeology of Brownfields
  • Spatial Analysis of Historical Industrial Pollutants
  • Big Data Approaches to Archaeology
  • Publicly-engaged Scholarship
Daniel Lizzadro-McPherson

Daniel J. Lizzadro-McPherson

  • Geospatial Research Scientist

Areas of Expertise

  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Geostatistical Analysis
  • Lake Superior Geology, Coastal Geomorphology, and Geoheritage
  • GPS, GIS Data Collector Applications, and Mapping Technologies
  • Web-based GIS Data Dissemination and Applications
  • Interdisciplinary GIS Project Management
Bob Cowling

Bob Cowling

  • GIS Data Librarian

Areas of Expertise

  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • Geospatial Metadata
  • Cartography
  • Web-based GIS application development
  • Geospatial data management, discovery, and dissemination
Jackie Gebhardt, PMP
"Start from a place of "we"; practice proactive sharing; foster personal awareness; be the educator, be the learner; live the agreements"
—Five Agreements of Organizational Sensitivity

Jackie Gebhardt, PMP

  • Senior Coordinator, Great Lakes Research Center
Rachel Rulison

Rachel Rulison

  • Coordinator, Great Lakes Research Center
Longhuan Zhu

Longhuan Zhu

  • Postdoctoral Researcher, Great Lakes Research Center


  • Ph.D., Civil and Environmental Engineering (Coastal Engineering Focus), University of Maine, 2020
  • M.Eng.,Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering, Tianjin University, 2015
  • B.Eng., Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering, Tianjin University, 2012
  • B.Mgt., Project Management, Tianjin University, 2012

Research Interests

  • Hydrodynamic modeling with focus on wave-current-sediment processes
  • Modeling nearshore coastal processes with engineering applications
  • Nature-based solutions for coastal protection with focus on flow-vegetation-sediment interaction and wave attenuation
  • Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) with focus on multiphase flow and fluid-structure interaction (FSI) modeling
  • Hydrodynamic performance of offshore engineering structures and aquaculture structure systems
Jim Junker

Jim Junker

  • Postdoctoral Researcher, Great Lakes Research Center


  • PhD, Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Montana State University, 2019
  • MS, Biological Sciences, Montana State University, 2011
  • BS, Natural Resources - Fish and Wildlife Ecology, Northland College, 2007

Research Interests

  • The energetics and dynamics of food webs and ecological networks
  • Biodiversity patterns in space and time
  • The coupling of energy and elements in ecological processes
  • Ecological theory
  • Philosophy of Science
Chenfu Huang

Chenfu Huang

  • Postdoctoral Scholar, Great Lakes Research Center


  • PhD, Environmental Engineering, Michigan Technological University, 2021
  • MS, Environmental Engineering, Michigan Technological University, 2014
  • BS, Environmental Engineering, Michigan Technological Univeristy, 2012

Research Interests

  • Hydrodynamic Modeling
  • Cross-Scale Hydrodynamics in the Great Lakes
  • Model Coupling of the Wind-Wave-Current Interactions