Cooperative Science and Monitoring Initiative (CSMI)
Since 2002, environmental organizations from the United States and Canada have teamed up in an intensive effort to assess conditions and the health of the five Great Lakes, rotating to one Great Lake each year. This program is called the Cooperative Science and Monitoring Initiative (CSMI).
Each year, the survey focuses on a series of research areas, such as:
- Phosphorus and nitrogen input and movement through the food web
- Phytoplankton and zooplankton populations
- Fish diet and distribution
The research areas are tailored to the unique challenges and data gaps associated with each lake. In 2015, our team conducted research to help asses the condition of Lake Michigan. The CSMI Lake Michigan 2015 Report is an executive summary of the research results and the associated white paper containing more specific information.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Great Lakes National Program Office and Environment and Climate Change Canada organizes the binational program. Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG) specialists help coordinate researchers and share results through meetings, reports, and outreach products.
Paris Collingsworth, IISG Great Lakes ecosystem specialist, provides leadership in collaboration with EPA scientists, defining critical questions and coordinating research efforts of various agencies for large-scale studies. He works with the Lakewide Action and Management Plans partners for each lake as they define research priorities, and coordinates with scientists as they set up studies and analyze data. Paris is also helping Great Lakes Sea Grant programs to develop CSMI outreach products to share research results.
While Paris is involved with work on all five Laurentian Great Lakes, IISG’s Kristin TePas and Allison Neubauer have been developing Lake Michigan-specific informational products for local stakeholder groups.
Education & Training
- CSMI scientists join resource managers to focus on 2020 Lake Michigan field year
- Anglers and researchers can reel in Lake Michigan fishing data
- The World Series of Buoy Data: An island of activity amidst a lake of statistics
- New buoy offers real-time Lake Michigan data
- Website of the week: Great Lakes Monitoring is rich in data