Aerial photo of Grand Traverse bay

Great Lakes Water Studies Institute

Located at the Great Lakes Campus on Lake Michigan, 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.

NMC Marine Technology students aboard the Northwestern research vesselMarine Technology

  • ADCI Certified ROV Pilot Training
  • Extensive field operations
  • Excellent employment opportunities in the industry

An NMC Freshwater Studies student collecting water samplesFreshwater Studies

  • Interdisciplinary approach to water management
  • Multiple internship opportunities
  • Bachelor’s degree completion pathways


What We Offer

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Higher Education Today interview of Great Lakes Water Studies Institute Director Hans Van Sumeren and students and graduates of the program

West Bay Monitoring buoy

Animated GIF of video from the west bay monitoring buoy

The 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 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.

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