Lake Erie Center


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6200 Bayshore Road
Oregon, OH 43616
Phone: 419.530.8360
Fax: 419.530.8399

The Lake Erie Center is open to the public
Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Tours offered Wednesday at 10 a.m.

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REU Program Description

The LEC is proud to announce our newly funded National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program

Program Summary:

The University of Toledo Lake Erie Center Title: NSF REU Site: Undergraduate Research and Mentoring - Using the Lake Erie Sensor Network to Study Land-Lake Ecological Linkages Principal Investigator: Dr. Carol Stepien, Co-Principal Investigator: Dr. Kevin Czajkowski Submitting Organization: The University of Toledo, Lake Erie Center Other Organizations Involved: NASA Glenn Research Center, NOAA GLERL, USFWS, USGS, Ohio Sea Grant, Ohio Lake Erie Commission, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Toledo Early College High School, Owens Community College, Central State University, Monroe County Community College Main Fields of the Research: Environmental Biology, Geospatial Technologies, Civil Engineering Number of Undergraduates per Year: 10, emphasis on minorities, first-generation college students, women & veterans (60-90% target) Type: Summer REU Site Number of Weeks per year that Students will Participate: 10 weeks in summer, plus opportunity to present their project results at International Association for Great Lakes Research Annual conference.

Intellectual Merit: Our REU site will build undergraduate student science research skills through multi-disciplinary independent projects that investigate key environmental challenges of land-water ecosystems facing society today- including harmful algal blooms, invasive species, and climate change - which require large, interdisciplinary data and analyses, as well as collaborative partnerships among academia, government agencies, public sectors, and industry. The research will be linked in growing a Land-Lake Sensor Network for real-time in situ data collection and communications technology. Tiered mentoring teams will partner each REU student with a professor, a Ph.D. graduate student, and an agency scientist or environmental manager, networked within a larger Environmental Science Learning Community. REU fellows will gain formative skills to: (1) ask scientific questions and develop testable hypotheses, (2) master environmental science terminology, tools, and techniques, (3) design and conduct original experiments, (4) develop working partnerships with scientists and agencies, (5) analyze and synthesize data, and (6) present, publish, and communicate their research results. They thus will be well-prepared for success in graduate school and/or the environmental science and engineering careers of tomorrow. 

Broader Impacts: REU teams of undergraduate fellows, graduate students, and faculty members will work as part of a larger established Land-Lake Sensor Network and an Environmental Science Learning Community at the Lake Erie Center to build synergistic and long-lasting professional collaborations with federal,state, and local agencies, NGOs, industry, educators, and other stakeholders. These teams will address the complex ecosystem problems facing our nation. REU fellows will broadly communicate their project results via a creative website (, conference presentations, public lectures, peer-reviewed journal publications, and synergetic workshops. Project results will aid our nation in meeting the multidisciplinary challenges to restore degraded urban and agricultural lands and waterways. This REU site will focus on underrepresented students, first-generation college students, women, and veterans through connections and partnerships with community colleges, historically black universities, and Great Lakes institutions to prepare them for graduate school, environmental science or engineering careers, and public responsibility. This Lake Erie Center REU experience will develop students who have the background, skills, and insights to work collaboratively with cutting edge research, instrumentation, analyses, and applications to improve our water quality, habitats, and ecosystem services.

Last Updated: 8/18/17