BGSU Reddin Symposium examines Great Lakes threats

BOWLING GREEN, O.—“The Great Lakes: Resource at Risk” is the topic of the 24th annual Reddin Symposium at Bowling Green State University. Featuring a panel of experts from the United States and Canada, the event will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 22 in 101 Olscamp Hall.

Sharing their perspectives on the Great Lakes will be:

  • Dr. Michael McKay, the Patrick L. and Debra Scheetz Ryan Professor of Biology at BGSU. McKay, who holds two degrees from Canadian universities, will speak on “Life under Ice: Lake Erie’s Winter Biodiversity and Implications of Climate Change.”
  • Dr. John Gannon, a limnologist and fisheries research biologist at the International Joint Commission’s Great Lakes Regional Office in the capacity of Senior Scientist. Gannon’s presentation is titled “Nagging and Emerging Environmental Issues in the Great Lakes Basin: Bi-national Research, Resource Management and Policy.”
  • Dr. John Smol is a professor in the Department of Biology at Queen's University, with a joint appointment in the School of Environmental Studies, where he also holds the Canada Research Chair in Environmental Change. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1996. His presentation is titled “Lessons from the Past: Using Sediments to Assess the Effects of Multiple Stressors on Lakes.”

The Great Lakes represent the single most valuable natural resource on the North American continent, containing 20 percent of the world's liquid surface freshwater and 90 percent of the surface freshwater of the U.S. They serve as the focus for a multi-billion dollar tourist and recreation industry, supply 40 million people with drinking water, and provide habitat for wildlife and hundreds of species of fish with an annual commercial and recreational value of about $4 billion.

Unfortunately, these resources are at risk. Many of the Great Lakes have been strongly influenced by human activities resulting in habitat loss and excessive loading of nutrients and contaminants. Key to realizing their potential, both as an economic driver and for enhanced quality of life, is a healthy lake ecosystem involving redress of past abuses, awareness of present and future risks and adoption of sustainable use practices.

The Reddin Symposium is a forum for increasing communication and fostering relationships between the United States and Canada, and raising awareness about mutual economic, political and cultural concerns. It is supported by the Reddin family of Bowling Green and other friends of Canadian studies, the BGSU College of Arts and Sciences and vice president for student affairs, and the Consulate General of Canada.

Preregistration is required to attend the conference, which is free for BGSU students and $10 for others. For more information, visit


(Posted January 11, 2011 )

Michael McKay

John Smol

John Gannon