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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

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 »

Contact us »

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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

Animated GIF of video from west bay monitoring buoy

West Bay Monitoring buoy "Live"

The Great Lakes Water Studies Institute has placed a solar-powered monitoring buoy in West Bay that provides seasonal, real-time data on wind speed and direction, air and water temperature, wave height and other information. The buoy was removed for winter in November 2016 and will be dropped again in April 2017.

Other Great Lakes Buoys »

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.

Marine Technology Camp »

May 21–27, 2017

Please join us for a week-long, hands-on experience using several marine technologies. Participants will log time on research vessels, collect data using ROVs, sonar, sensors and buoys and learn about the multiple applications of these technologies.

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 »

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