Great Lakes Seminars Offer Opportunities for All

Najee Walker, Reporter

Studies across the five Great Lakes and Western New York’s waterways continue at the Great Lakes Center. Students looking to get their feet wet in this particular field might be happy to know that the center has committed themselves to bringing a unique array of programs and seminars to SUNY Buffalo State.

The Great Lakes Center (GLC) has administered the Great Lakes ecosystem science (GLES) program. These programs, offered in both a thesis-based master of arts and an intership-based master of science, are designed to help those interested in the field get their foot in the door and understand the type of study and work done through places like the center.

Kelly Frothingham, coordinator and chair of the GLES master progams, said that the programs are interdisciplinary, and people from all type of science programs are welcome.

“We look for geology, biology and even math majors,” she said.

Beyond that, the center and GLES have been working together this fall to put together a comprehensive seminar series.

Lyuba Burlakova, a research scientist at Buffalo State and a member of the center for seven years, will oversee the seminars this semester. She spoke highly of both the required GLC 600 Graduate seminars and the Fall 2014 seminar series. Both types of seminar are open to anyone interested. They focus on aquatic biology, and each seminar attempts to accomplish something different.

The graduate seminar brings in different people from government agencies, as well as other environmental organization leaders to help graduate students learn who they can talk to when looking for work in the field. Each graduate seminar focuses on a different topic that students are expected to know about or have some knowledge on.

Research scientist Knut Mehler, for example, will be giving an in-depth presentation on using remote technologies to study benthic ecology and resources. Technologies such as sonar, or even binoculars, Mehler explained, are to be discussed at this particular seminar.

Again, although these seminars are designed for graduate students, faculty, staff and undergraduates are welcome to attend.

On the other side of the seminar series, the Great Lakes Center has begun to bring in researchers from all over the country to speak on environmental science issues. These seminars, held during Bengal Pause, are both designed to bring in students to learn and introduce them to this particular type of science, while also bringing in well-known researchers to share ideas.

Chris Barnhart, a biology professor at Missouri State University, has been invited to speak during one of these seminars. Burlakova spoke highly of Barnhart, calling him “one of the most well-recognized speakers.” Other speakers include Buffalo State’s own Robert J. Warren from the Biology department, and Katharina Dittmar de la Cruz, from the University at Buffalo.

Students interested in the GLES graduate programs should know that applications are being accepted for the Fall of 2015.

The next GLES seminar takes place Monday, October 6th from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Classroom Building A205. The next GLC seminar is Wednesday, October 9th during Bengal Pause in Science Building 272. For more information on the Great Lakes Center or the Great Lakes Ecosystem Science programs, visit

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