Year Established: 2018 Start Date: 2018-03-01 End Date: 2019-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $28,532 Total Non-Federal Funds: $51,950
Principal Investigators: Lois Wolfson, Ruth Kline-Robach
Abstract: Problem Understanding potential impacts that may occur from land use activities, nonpoint source pollution, climate change, invasive species, and other sources and having the knowledge and resources to make good decisions regarding them is essential for long term sustainability of Michigan’s water resources. Michigan State University and the Institute of Water Research are recognized as reputable and reliable sources of science-based information and provide current and documented information to people throughout Michigan. By ensuring that it gets to appropriate groups in an understandable and usable format, better decisions can be generated at the local, state, and regional levels. Effective information dissemination needs to provide multiple mechanisms for transferring timely, accurate, unbiased and current research based information to diverse audiences interested in water related issues. This information will help people understand the complexity of these issues, enable them to make more informed and better decisions concerning water resources and provide alternative solutions to real world problems. Methods As part of the technology transfer program, the Institute has responded to critical water issues facing Michigan citizens and has been proactive in the development of programs, workshops, demonstrations, and online decision support tools. Through its programs, the Institute provides steps that individuals, groups, communities, or the state can take to address these issues. Effective dissemination of any project must be timely, accurate, unbiased and research-based, and meet the needs of diverse audiences. Many modes of information exchange have been used to enhance the overall project, reach new audiences and develop new programs through a co-creative process. From evaluations of previous programs, the Institute continually builds on its offerings, but also creates new programs to address evolving issues and meet user needs. Methods to address these complex and often multiple issues include: (1) developing statewide and regional conferences that address current and emerging water related issues; (2) developing training sessions and workshops to help users understand aquatic ecosystems and water quality issues; (3) developing web-based interactive programs that utilize new technologies to inform users to help with decision making; (4) partnering with MSU Extension field and campus educators to coordinate and support programs at the local level and (5) interacting and coordinating efforts with researchers, agency personnel, and professionals on water related issues. Objectives The objectives of this program are to: 1) develop and present educational programs designed to increase the public's awareness, knowledge and appreciation of the water quality and quantity problems in Michigan and present alternatives in practices or behavior that lead to improvement of the resource; 2) incorporate new developments and issues into existing and new programs; 3) provide hands-on tools and models to address environmental and economic complexities required to solve real world water related problems; 4) address high priority and emerging issues; 5) evaluate the projects disseminated and incorporate lessons learned into new programs; 6) develop programs in a variety of formats; and 7) coordinate and develop multidisciplinary projects in a co-creative process with both clientele and associates.