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Coregonine restoration in the Great Lakes

The principals of conservation biology are waiting to be applied to restore native coregonines in the Great Lakes.  Native fishes have suffered extinctions and extirpations owing to loss of habitat, interactions with invasive species, and overfishing, and now fishery managers are committed to their restoration. 

Link to PDF Version.

Project Hypothesis or Objectives:

Fishery managers in the Great Lakes have committed to restoration of native prey fishes to improve the resiliency of the prey fish community that sustains a billion dollar recreational fishery.  Managers in the basin have adopted an Adaptive Management framework that seeks to develop a prioritized and integrated restoration plan for native coregonines on each lake, based on management priorities and scientific underpinnings that include resolving taxonomy, conducting gap analyses for habitats, population viability analyses, and threats assessments.  The goal of the framework is to implement a restoration strategy that may include establishment of refuges, restoration of habitats, regulatory changes, or re-introductions, and to monitor the strategy's effectiveness and adapt the actions based on the results. 

This intern will work with scientists at the Great Lakes Science Center to develop a project that contributes to the scientific underpinnings of the framework.  Based on the skills and interest of the intern, the project could involve genetics, ecology, habitat mapping, population modeling, or a threats assessment. 

Duration: Up to 12 months

Internship Location: Ann Arbor, MI

Keywords: Biology, Climate Change, Conservation, Ecology, Ecosystems, Environmental Health, Geography, Hydrology, Phenology, Population Dynamics, Social Sciences

Applicable NSF Division: BIO (Environmental Biology, Molecular & Cellular Biosciences, Biological Infrastructure, Integrative Organismal Systems), SBE (Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences)

Intern Type Preference: Any Type of Intern


This opportunity will provide professional development by enabling interaction with fishery biologists, geneticists, and GIS experts at the USGS Great Lakes Science Center that includes its headquarters in Ann Arbor and six field stations across the basin.  Based on the expertise and interest of the intern, a project that supports the Adaptive Management framework will be developed that can be completed in 9-12 months.  Given the time limitation, the project will likely including assembling existing data so that the project can focus on data analysis and writing a peer-reviewed manuscript.

Expected Outcome:

This project will result in a peer-reviewed publication, but just as importantly it will improve the scientific underpinnings of the Adaptive Management framework on one of the Great Lakes.  The intern will have the satisfaction of seeing their work advance coregonine restoration , a priority among fishery managers and for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (a federal multi-agency initiative:

Special skills/training Required:

We are seeking an intern with a strong background in Conservation or Restoration Biology.  Other desired traits include the ability to work well with others, a strong work ethic, and excellent writing skills.