U.S. Geological Survey Great Lakes Science Forum—Summary of Remaining Data and Science Needs and Next Steps

Open-File Report 2021-1096
By: , and 



A U.S. Geological Survey-led assessment of data gaps and science needs across the Great Lakes ecosystem indicated the following:

• Expanded data collection or monitoring would provide basic ecosystem, social, and public health data to manage the Great Lakes system and to develop and test models and decision support tools.

• New science and advanced technologies (for example, sensors and high-performance computing capability) would improve the understanding of critical threats, such as harmful algae blooms and high-water levels.

Although there is significant scientific knowledge in specific areas or for specific topics, managers could use improved models and decision support tools, strengthened by extensive data collection and developed at multiple scales, to better inform decision making in the future. Enhanced coordination of agency efforts and associated data collection across data types (for example, prey fish populations and water levels) is needed to effectively manage the Great Lakes.

This report highlights the data gaps; benefits of better, more structured coordination; and areas of concern specifically related to data collection/measurement and science efforts. It summarizes and analyzes stakeholder feedback and information from review of scientific literature. Finally, the report outlines steps necessary to create an integrated Great Lakes science plan.

Suggested Citation

Carl, L.M., Hortness, J.E., and Strach, R.M., 2021, U.S. Geological Survey Great Lakes Science Forum—Summary of remaining data and science needs and next steps: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2021–1096, 4 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20211096.

ISSN: 2331-1258 (online)

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Collaboration with Stakeholders
  • Background
  • Opportunities to Improve Data Gaps and Address Areas of Concern
  • Next Steps
  • References Cited
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title U.S. Geological Survey Great Lakes Science Forum—Summary of remaining data and science needs and next steps
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2021-1096
DOI 10.3133/ofr20211096
Year Published 2021
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Great Lakes Science Center, Midwest Regional Director's Office
Description iii, 4 p.
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details