Aerial photo of Grand Traverse bay
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Programs & Partners

With an associate's degree in Freshwater Studies, graduates can continue in a bachelor's degree program or enter directly into industry jobs.  More »

Freshwater students aboard the Northwestern
Careers & Internships

Freshwater Studies combines unique courses and field experiences leading toward multiple career pathways in water resources.  More »

Water data
Research & Outreach

Freshwater Studies has many research projects already in place as well as ties to many local and regional events and organizations.  More »

Great Lakes Water Studies Institute

Located at the Great Lakes Campus on Grand Traverse Bay, the Great Lakes Water Studies Institute (GLWSI) at Northwestern Michigan College is strategically positioned to engage individuals and organizations, both locally and globally, in advancing skills, knowledge and understanding of the world’s dynamic water resources.

What We Offer

Freshwater Studies Program - Create Your Career In Water »

NMC offers multiple pathways to complete an ASA or AAS in Freshwater Studies. Inquire about our 1 + 1 hybrid Freshwater Studies Program. Complete your first year online and join us on campus for a second year of coursework by the Grand Traverse Bay.

View a model schedule here »

For more information, contact one of our advisors:

  • Cathy Jarvi , Freshwater Studies Program Advisor,, (231) 995-3333
  • Constanza Hazelwood PhD, Freshwater Studies Program Coordinator,, (231) 995-1722

Transition seamlessly from ASA to BS

Western Michigan University logoNMC has collaborated with Western Michigan University to offer a BS in Freshwater Science and Sustainability degree in Traverse City. Program highlights:

  • Interdisciplinary degree with numerous career paths
  • Integrated curriculum, scheduling and advising
  • Financial aid agreement allowing for combined courses counting toward aid
  • All coursework offered in Traverse City

Find out more: Freshwater Science & Sustainability Bachelor's Degree »

West Bay Monitoring buoy

Animated GIF of video from the west bay monitoring buoyThe Great Lakes Water Studies Institute has a solar-powered monitoring buoy in West Bay during the summer that provides seasonal, real-time data on wind speed and direction, air and water temperature, wave height and other information, including video of the bay.

View a map of all Great Lakes buoys here »

The buoy is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Data Buoy Center, which designs, develops, operates and maintains a global network of data collecting buoys and coastal stations.

Contact us »

Facebook link

Bachelor Of Science - Marine Technology Major »

Areas Of Emphasis

  • Marine vehicles and instrumentation
  • Marine data processing and management
  • Marine acoustics and sonar platforms
  • Project planning and management


  • Marine mapping and hydrography
  • Marine construction
  • Marine exploration
  • Marine science and research
  • Environmental monitoring

Program Curriculum Map »

Student Course List »


Contact Heather Robinson at or (231) 995-1300.

View / Download The Flier »

In the news

Great Lakes Water Studies Institute offers ROV Pilot Technician program

March-April 2017

NMC Funds New Buoy Cam in Grand Traverse Bay

9 & 10 NEWS
July 20, 2016

Editorial: NMC can help create a future water agenda

jUNE 19, 2014

Great Lakes Institute

May 10, 2011

NMC students map bottom of Grand Traverse Bay

July 27, 2010

At the Helm of the First U.S. Freshwater Studies Program

Jan. 21, 2010

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