Research buoys deployed to GT Bays for first full season

TRAVERSE CITY — Three research buoys have been placed in Lake Michigan for their first full season of data collection, plus a video feed of the lake’s surface.

In an NMC-Michigan Technological University collaboration, the buoys were first placed last fall near North Manitou Island in Lake Michigan, near Greilickville in West Bay, and near East Bay Park in East Bay, the first ever on the east arm. Data collected will include water temperature at multiple depths, wind speed and direction and wave height and direction.

“We have never had any measurements in East Grand Traverse Bay previously, and having three strategically placed allows comparative understanding of the three separate but connected water bodies.” said Hans Van Sumeren, director of NMC’s Great Lakes Water Studies Institute.

Purchased in 2021 with a $48,804 grant NMC received from the Great Lakes Observing System, the buoys were outfitted with webcams over the winter. The video feed of the lake surface is updated every 30 minutes.

“These buoys and data will support a broader understanding of Great Lakes processes and will provide users with near real-time information,” Van Sumeren said.

NMC offers students the opportunity to gain skills, knowledge and understanding of the world’s dynamic water resources by earning a bachelor’s degree in Marine Technology. Graduates of the bachelor’s program have 100-percent employment in the marine industry. Associate degrees in Engineering Technology-Marine and Freshwater Studies are also available.


Release date: JUNE 24, 2022

For more information:

Hans Van Sumeren
Director, Great Lakes Water Studies Institute
(231) 995-1793


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