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College of Engineering

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November 2, 2017 | 2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Category: Seminar
Location: Undergraduate Library, David Adamany Bernath Auditorium | Map
5155 Gullen Mall
Detroit, MI 48202
Cost: Free
Audience: Academic Staff, Current Graduate Students, Current Undergraduate Students, Faculty, Staff

The Office of the Vice President for Research is pleased to host the next Water@Wayne seminar on Thursday, November 2, 2017 at 2:30 p.m to 3:30 p.m. in the Bernath Auditorium located in the David Adamany Undergraduate Library. The seminar is free and open to the public.

The Water@Wayne Seminar Series presents “Use of Models in Support of Great Lakes Management." with Joseph Atkinson, Ph.D.. Dr. Joseph Atkinson is a Professor in the Civil, Structural, and Environmental Engineering Department and Director of the Great Lakes Program at the University at Buffalo, where he has been on the faculty since 1984. He currently serves as Department Chair. He has worked for over 20 years on Great Lakes issues, focusing primarily on hydrodynamic and water quality modeling. He is a registered Professional Engineer in New York State. Dr. Atkinson earned his B.S. at Harvey Mudd College (Claremont, CA) in 1973 in an independent program of studies, his M.Eng. in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Cornell University (Ithaca, NY) in 1979, and his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA) in 1985. 


Numerical simulation models based on mass, momentum, and energy balances provide an important tool for testing different strategies for management of natural resources such as the Great Lakes. Historically, such models have focused on hydrodynamics, providing representations of water movement, mixing characteristics, and temperature distributions, or on water quality, with calculations of the fate and transport of sediment, nutrients, and contaminants. Other models have addressed ecological components, and current modeling efforts are aimed at linking or coupling these different components to develop full system models. This talk describes one such effort in Sodus Bay, the largest embayment in Lake Ontario, to analyze the causes of blue-green algal blooms in the bay, and to suggest possible mitigation strategies. The modeling application is described, including model formulation, data considerations, calibration, and conclusions. It is determined that the likely cause of late summer blooms is related to spring and early summer nutrient runoff, followed by a particular set of weather conditions that favor algae growth. This combination of effects appears to be similar to other areas of the Great Lakes that have suffered from blue-green blooms.

A short reception will immediately follow the seminar.

For more information about this event, please contact Kayla Watson at 3135775600 or