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Great Lakes
  • 2019-06-06
  • Anna Loria & John Follaco

Brockport Hosting International Conference on Great Lakes Research June 10-14

Faculty hosting the 62nd annual scientific meeting of the International Association for Great Lakes Research on campus explain why Lake Ontario water levels are rising.

This year's record-high Great Lakes water levels — which have caused flooding and damage to shoreline property on Lake Ontario — are likely to be seen again, according to faculty experts at SUNY Brockport.

These experts say the cause of water-level fluctuation is climate-driven. Extremely high water levels in the later 19th century changed to lows in the 1930s, 1960s, and late 1990s. In 2017 and 2019, they spiked to ~2 ft. higher than the regulatory target.

"The upper lakes are now back at extreme highs, and the water they send downstream to Lake Ontario, coupled with excessive precipitation in the Lake Ontario/St. Lawrence River basin, resulted in extremely high lake levels in 2017 and 2019. Such patterns are not unexpected and will likely occur again in the future," said Empire Innovation Professor of Wetland Science Douglas Wilcox.

Leading Great Lakes researchers from around the world are convening at the College June 10-14 for the 62nd annual scientific meeting of the International Association for Great Lakes Research (IAGLR).

"Members of the IAGLR continue to play key roles in climate change research, said Professor of Environmental Science and Ecology James Haynes. "The results of some of their work will be presented at the conference."

About the Conference

The IAGLR conference will feature 600 papers and posters presented during 59 sessions across 11 topic areas, including:

  • Chemical Contaminants and Emerging Issues
  • Fisheries and Fishery Management
  • Great Lakes Limnology and Health
  • Harmful Algal Blooms and Nutrients
  • Trophic Food Webs: Dynamics, Function and Technology
  • Watersheds, Groundwater, Tributaries and Coastal Issues
  • Wetlands and Reefs

Of the 10 institutions in the basin-wide Great Lakes Coastal Wetland Monitoring Program, the College's seven-member Department of Environmental Science and Ecology is the only one capable of conducting studies on all components of the monitoring program: vegetation, fish, invertebrates, birds, amphibians, and water chemistry.

The department has a nearly 50-year history of environmental and ecological research on the Great Lakes and their connecting channels as well as many rivers, lakes, and wetlands across New York State and beyond. Research from the department’s faculty and students have included $32 million of external funding from federal, state, and non-governmental agencies; 337 peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals; 272 technical reports; and 142 master’s theses.

Conference events and presentations will take place in Edwards Hall, Lennon Hall, and the Seymour College Union.

View schedule and speakers


The IAGLR is a scientific organization made up of researchers studying the Laurentian Great Lakes, other large lakes of the world, and their watersheds, as well as those with an interest in such research. With its mission to promote all aspects of large lakes research and communicate research findings, IAGLR is uniquely positioned to foster the connection between science and policy, a connection vital for effective management and protection of the world’s large lakes.


Last Updated 7/29/21

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