Great Lakes Research Center

Great Lakes Institute Faculty and Staff

Andrew Barnard

  • Director, Great Lakes Research Center
  • Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering—Engineering Mechanics
  • Faculty Advisor, SENSE Enterprise

Areas of Expertise

  • Acoustics
  • Noise Control
  • Vibration
  • Real Time Control Systems
  • LabVIEW programming and instruction

Research Interests

  • Advanced Measurements and Signal Processing
  • Acoustic Intensity and Vector Sensors
  • Room Acoustics
  • Acoustic Material Characterization
  • Outdoor Sound Propagation
  • Physical Acoustics
  • NI LabVIEW Data Acquisition and Control
  • Microphones
  • Crowd Noise
  • Underwater Acoustics
  • Structural Acoustics
  • Array Signal Processing
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
  • Research 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

Jill A. Olin

  • Research Scientist, Great Lakes Research Center
  • Assistant Research Professor, Biological Sciences

Areas of Expertise

  • Ecology of aquatic systems
  • Fisheries science
  • Aquatic-terrestrial energy linkages
  • Dietary biomarkers (e.g., stable isotopes, fatty acids, compound-specific isotopes of AA and FA)
  • Trophic ecology of top predators in marine, estuarine and coastal communities
  • Predator-prey interactions

Research Interests

  • Understanding species- and food web-level responses to environmental stressors using combined dietary biomarker, ecological and modeling approaches
  • Evaluating distributional patterns of organisms and the mechanisms that drive these patterns
  • Using abundance and biomass estimates to quantify nekton communities
  • Quantifying the mechanisms and processes that structure food webs and ecosystems
  • Developing ecosystem models to evaluate the effect of environmental change

John D. Lenters

  • Associate Research Scientist, Great Lakes Research Center

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

  • Geosciences Research Scientist, Great Lakes Research Center

Areas of Interest

  • Geoheritage
  • Geoscience education
  • Interpreting geology
  • Geoconservation and the value of public lands
Christopher Pinnow

Christopher Pinnow

  • Electronics/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
Ryan Williams, GISP

Ryan Williams, GISP

  • 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
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.

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
Jackie Gebhardt, PMP, CSM

Jackie Gebhardt, PMP, CSM

  • Coordinator, Great Lakes Research Center
Stephen Roblee

Stephen Roblee

  • Professor Emeritus, Mathematical Sciences
  • Captain, R/V Agassiz, Great Lakes Research Center

Professional Preparation and Education

  • U.S.C.G. Merchant Mariner - Master 100 Ton
  • Bachelor of Science - Applied Physics, Michigan Technological University
  • Master of Science - Business Administration, Operations Research, Computer Modeling, Michigan Technological University


  • Responsible as captain of the R/V Agassiz for navigation and piloting of the vessel in central and western Lake Superior including Isle Royale.  Ensuring safe operations for the crew, passengers and vessel while underway and while conducting science operations.  Certifications in C.P.R. and A.E.D.  
  • Responsible for maintaining the vessel to ensure compliance with all Coast Guard equipment, safety procedures and annual safety inspections.  Assist all scientists and other users in their onboard activities including planning, deployment, operation, maintenance and repair of science equipment when necessary.  Assisting in educational activities when requested. 
  • Experienced in limnological, biological, acoustical, hydrodynamic, geophysical, atmospheric and education activities aboard the Agassiz, including the deployment and operation of remotely operated vehicles. 
  • Experience in wood and metal shop skills, repair and fabrication of hardware in support of Great Lakes Research Center activities. 
  • Expanded Biography