On Air: Small Grant Programs of Both GLRC, NYSG
Great Lakes Boating & Marine Trades - News


Dave White, New York Sea Grant, Recreation and Tourism Specialist, P: 315-312- 3042, E: dgw9@cornell.edu

Oswego, NY, September 20, 2022 - "We fund a Great Lakes small grants program as well as the [Great Lakes] Research Consortium does," says Dave White, New York Sea Grant's Coastal Recreation and Tourism Specialist.

"Sea Grant is much more focused on the application of it and taking some of that research that's been done by our partners within the Consortium and some of those solutions and saying how do we implement them? How do we put them into practice?"

White spoke with News Director Dave Rowley on WDOE 1040 AM / 94.9 FM's "Viewpoint" program, which is broadcast in the greater Syracuse and Oswego regions. 

Viewpoint airs on WDOE Monday through Friday at 8:45am. Dave Rowley has been handling the hosting duties for more than 20 years, interviewing local, county and state elected officials. Community groups are also featured on the 15-minute live interview show. Listeners email their questions to Dave, who includes those inquires in the interviews.

You can also listen to the entire "Viewpoint" program featuring Dave White of New York Sea Grant in the clip below ...


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Full Transcript: 

Speaker1: [00:00:00] It's time for Viewpoint. Here's your host, Dave Rowley.

Speaker2: [00:00:08] And welcome to Viewpoint with us on our live line, we have Dave White with New York Sea Grant, welcome aboard. And we want to talk today about the Great Lakes Research Consortium. And Dave, tell us a little bit about what the consortium [00:00:30] is about.

Speaker3: [00:00:31] Yeah, you know, a lot of us that live, work and play along all of our great waterways, Great Lakes, inland Finger Lakes, rivers, you know, the one thing we often don't think about is a lot of the issues we may be dealing with and talking about. You know, when I'm on with you many different times, there's a whole cadre of researchers and students working on those issues to help us solve a problem, provide a new opportunity and look at new, you know, new emerging trends and technologies that we can use. And many of those folks here [00:01:00] in upstate New York are part of what we call the Great Lakes Research Consortium, which is a Consortium of up to eighteen colleges across upstate New York with Canadian affiliates that work together on the common goal of, again, helping all of us that live, work and play along the Great Lakes. And obviously right here in western New York, you know, our good friends at Fredonia at Buff State, UB Brockport, RIT as we go around the hook up to Lake Ontario, are all active members of the consortium and working together, like I say, on some of those issues [00:01:30] of concern for us.

Speaker2: [00:01:31] Now, what types of Great Lakes Saint Lawrence issues does this Consortium address?

Speaker3: [00:01:42] Yeah, and it's really across the board. And when the Consortium was formed back in the eighties and at its real core is really providing a network for researchers across campuses to work together. So if there's a fisheries issue going on, say, in Lake Erie up into the Niagara of Lake Ontario, you know, the Consortium [00:02:00] is a way to link those researchers at different institutions that can bring, you know, a piece to bear on that. And, you know, over the course of time, the Consortium has funded and worked with, with researchers on, you know, all the topics that we all talk about on a daily basis. You know, the fishery habitat, harmful algal blooms, water quality issues and a lot of socio economic issues. You know, looking at the opportunity for enhancing our fishery, enhancing our boating safety and boating opportunities. So it really runs the gamut across [00:02:30] the board when we talk about issues in the Great Lakes. And one of the one of the real mainstays of the Consortium has always been also a small grants program where we actually, you know, request for proposals from researchers and it's a small grant to get them started in a topic. A lot of times you get a new faculty member and we're very fortunate right now. We have a lot of new faculty member coming into the system and it's an opportunity for them to do some of that baseline awareness of an issue that might be coming that they will want to follow with either a, you know, a New York Sea Grant, [00:03:00] larger proposal or an NSF or an NIH proposal down the road.

Speaker2: [00:03:04] Now, obviously, there are a lot of issues, as you mentioned, water quality, habitat conservation, conservation is one of them as well.

Speaker3: [00:03:18] Well, absolutely. You know, this is an area where, you know, we like working with our camp and member campuses and really helping them link to the local community, because that's another, you know, mainstay of [00:03:30] an issue that we really like to talk about with folks is, you know, here in western New York, you know, for those that are interested in these issues that affect the Great Lakes and affect, you know, how we live, work and play along them, it's a real opportunity to, you know, to connect with the researchers at Fredonia and at BUFF State, UB and other institutions here in western New York that are looking at these areas. I mean, you know, and we can't leave out Chautauqua Lake. I mean, you know, areas that are part of the, you know, the Great Lakes or inland watersheds, you know, the researchers that are looking at those many times, [00:04:00] they're also looking for opportunity to engage with the community either as volunteer stewards or, you know, having them keep diaries of fisheries. So many of these research projects, there's also opportunities for the community to get involved, which which I just love, because if we get a community engagement involved in some of these research topics, we're all buying into it, we're all understanding it, and we're really working with that research community in the students, you know, such a great benefit for them to be working with the publics that are going to be involved in these issues so they're better prepared when they become either, [00:04:30] you know, you know, a DEC or a Department of State or a local community development and planning office, wherever they might be.

Speaker2: [00:04:36] So how do these organizations, through GLRC how do they work? How does this Consortium work?

Speaker3: [00:04:48] It really is a Consortium of interactivity. You know, there's a listserv where we put information out to folks. One of our most exciting, newer programs, and we're actually going to be running the, you know, the fourth Biennial, [00:05:00] if you will, in October is a mentoring conference for new faculty. Because, you know, we, we use a lot of at you just did you know the GLRC there's actually four things that use the initials GLRC across the Great Lakes. So, you know, we talk with them about, you know, understanding Great Lakes, you know, all the acronyms and all the letters and, you know, who the funding agencies are in New York, because a lot of times we'll get a new researcher that comes from another state that they're familiar with that state, but they might not be familiar with our processes, how the things work in the state or at [00:05:30] the SUNY system or their private institution. So the networking conference and the mentoring conference is a real opportunity to engage them and really get them thinking about bigger picture issues in the Great Lakes and what those opportunities are. So we're excited to be doing that again in October and welcoming all, you know, all new faculty and staff that are member campuses. And this year's will actually be at Oswego.

Speaker2: [00:05:51] Now these student participants, where do they go on to?

Speaker3: [00:05:57] You know, that's the exciting part in it. You know, when [00:06:00] folks are out interacting with, you know, people that are in the fisheries department at DEC or the Water Quality Department or, you know, at institutions of higher learning, our research community, you're often going to find it, that's where they've come from. They've come up through our great campuses here in New York and they're now, you know, they've learned that they've been part of the whole process early on, you know, and they're the ones that are now going to be working within our regulatory and our management agencies, state parks. You know, that's an area where a lot of them go to is within our management agencies because they're excited to be [00:06:30] a part of that long term resource management and what they learn, you know, by being a part of a research project that a faculty member has from one of our member institutions really gets them on that, you know, get them excited about the Great Lakes and, you know, get them really thinking about how they can be a part of helping provide solutions to problems, but also looking at what are some of those newer opportunities, new technologies for angling and for fishing and for boating? You know, these are the folks that, you know, when we think about our RIT or UB in their Engineering Departments, you know, they can be looking at, you know, [00:07:00] the next type of engines that we're going to have be they solar, propane powered, you know, on boats. You know, those are the folks that are helping really think through some of these bigger topics and issues that you know, 3 to 5 years from now really are going to begin to help us move forward.

Speaker2: [00:07:12] So what you're telling us, aspiring students are looking for a particular area, particular career. We're seeing more opportunity here.

Speaker3: [00:07:26] Oh, absolutely. You know, and, you know, in New York, Sea Grant is a great example. [00:07:30] The agency and the organization I work for in and of ourselves, we've hired many, you know, master's students that, you know, learned about New York's Great Lakes, whether they went to ESF or Cornell, you know, UB, Buff State. You know, it's really been a great opportunity for them because a lot of students may, you know, be coming up here for, you know, looking at the Great Lakes that are from the Finger Lakes area or from another state and they're really not aware of the resource we have here. And they begin to learn about that with their faculty member, you know, and one [00:08:00] that, you know, we laugh and kid about a long time. But, you know, our meteorology departments at our campuses are really providing, you know, the folks that are really working with, you know, a National Weather Service or, you know, in some cases our local television stations, you know, that they're coming out of our meteorology programs. And, you know, what they're learning about is Lake Effect, you know, all those things that we all talk about, you know, on a daily basis for six months. They're the folks that are doing that research behind us that are really helping, you know, with our understanding of radar, being able to predict it, being able to understand lake effect. [00:08:30] You know, those are, you know, the people we're starting to see come into that, you know, have come through our institutions in upstate New York. And they have that understanding and they've been excited to be at the campus to learn about Lake Effect. I mean, it's fascinating when you talk to kids from like a SUNY Oswego or a Fredonia or any of the others that might be looking at some of these weather based issues. And they look at Lake Effect entirely different than a lot of us that live in Lake Effect, but it provides a great opportunity for them to learn about that and, you know, and become part of providing us with the information [00:09:00] we need.

Speaker2: [00:09:00] And again New York Sea Grant they're obviously there a similar program that's there?

Speaker3: [00:09:10] Ah it is, we've we fund a Great Lakes smaller grant program as well as the Research Consortium does. I happen to serve and work within both agencies organizations and you know ours is the Sea Grant is much more focused on the application of it and taking some of that research that's been done by our partners within the Consortium and, you know, some of those solutions [00:09:30] and saying how do we implement them? How do we put them into practice? You know, if there's, you know, some restoration issues that's been identified or some habitat restoration, there's our small grants program on the Sea Grant side can really then help fund that restoration initiative. So it's really linking it all the way down through between these two funded programs in partnership with DEC to look at that research side, help folks get some real solutions and some real opportunities and then provide those that are, you know, boots on the ground to then take and implement them to help if they solved [00:10:00] that problem or move us forward into, you know, into that next new opportunity that may be coming down the road for us to enjoy.

Speaker2: [00:10:05] Now, how can people get more information about these two programs?

Speaker3: [00:10:11] You know, the best way, obviously your favorite search engine, you can just, you know, type in New York Sea Grant or Great Lakes Research Consortium and go to either one of those two sites. But also, you know, here in western New York, I encourage folks to, you know, if they're, you know, sitting home in an evening and, you know, you know, they want to go online, you know, you know, go to the SUNY Fredonia site, go to [00:10:30] UB, go to Buff State and, you know, type in some, you know, common search words that you might be interested in. And, you know, you're going to find real potential opportunities, right, in your local community. Sherri Mason, who was a faculty member at Fredonia, is now one of the leading experts. She has since gone to a University in Pennsylvania, but she still partners with us. She's one of the leading researchers on microplastics, and she was right here in our backyard at SUNY Fredonia and, you know, was working with a lot of folks on that, working with a lot of volunteers, work from a lot [00:11:00] of students. And, you know, so going on their website and just typing in some concerns or issues you may be hearing about and wondering more about, you know, you may find right here in western New York, there's some researchers that are working on that. They might be doing presentations, you know, the local college or, you know, with one of the local user groups that you can go and really engage with them, learn from them, and maybe even partner with them.

Speaker2: [00:11:21] As we wrap up today's Viewpoint interview, Dave, I know you've been on our program several times during [00:11:30] the boating season. How are things shaping up, you know, as we fall just a short time away?

Speaker3: [00:11:40] Yeah, it's it's been a fabulous year for boating. I mean, boat boat sales have been great. So when we look at the business side, it's been a very good year, the user side. You know, it's just been a wonderful summer for boaters to be out. You know, and you and I have talked before during COVID, we've welcomed a lot of new members to the boating family, and we're seeing a lot of those people realize what a great opportunity [00:12:00] boating provides to the family for connectivity, getting out on the water, being out with, you know, nature this time of year is just so fabulous because we're starting to see the leaves change. You know, the weather is warm enough to continue to go out on your boat, you know, be thinking about any special precaution because the water is colder. You know, obviously, we always talk about having lifejackets on board. You know, this is the time to be thinking about, you know, having them on all the time just in case something happens because, you know, water gets colder. But, you know, we're going to see people boating all the way through October. Real opportunity for great paddleboarding. [00:12:30] And again, you know, be cautious and be conscious that, you know, the water is going to be colder, be a little bit safer, but take advantage of it because it's just a great opportunity.

Speaker2: [00:12:38] Well, Dave, thanks for joining us on Viewpoint today. We really appreciate it.

Speaker3: [00:12:44] Always great to be with you. And you have a great day.

More Info: New York Sea Grant

New York Sea Grant (NYSG), a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York (SUNY), is one of 34 university-based programs under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Sea Grant College Program.

Since 1971, NYSG has represented a statewide network of integrated research, education and extension services promoting coastal community economic vitality, environmental sustainability and citizen awareness and understanding about the State’s marine and Great Lakes resources.

Through NYSG’s efforts, the combined talents of university scientists and extension specialists help develop and transfer science-based information to many coastal user groups—businesses and industries, federal, state and local government decision-makers and agency managers, educators, the media and the interested public.

The program maintains Great Lakes offices at Cornell University, SUNY Buffalo, SUNY Oswego and the Wayne County Cooperative Extension office in Newark. In the State's marine waters, NYSG has offices at Stony Brook University in Long Island, Brooklyn College and Cornell Cooperative Extension in NYC and Kingston in the Hudson Valley.

For updates on Sea Grant activities: www.nyseagrant.org has RSS, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube links. NYSG offers a free e-list sign up via www.nyseagrant.org/nycoastlines for its flagship publication, NY Coastlines/Currents, which is published quarterly.


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