Great Lakes Science Center
1451 Green Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
Agency/Department: Dept. of Interior
Background/History of the Laboratory:
The Great Lakes Science Center traces its
beginnings to 1871 when Congress established the United States
Fish Commission and charged it with responsibility for investigations and inquiries concerning the supply
food fishes of the coasts and lakes of the United States and the determination of protective, prohibitory,
precautionary measures to be adopted. Initial investigations began in 1871 in Lake Michigan. The U.S.
and Wildlife Service and its two Bureaus evolved from these early investigations.
Activities of the Bureau in the Great Lakes and Central Region
prior to 1920 were limited to infrequent surveys,
mostly statistical, of the fisheries of the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River system and to the
fish-cultural stations. The earliest continuing work on the Great Lakes began in 1920.
The current Great Lakes Science Center was established in
1927 as the Great Lakes Biological Laboratory. In
1993, the Center was transferred to the newly created National Biological Survey (which was renamed
Biological Service in 1995) and renamed the Great Lakes Center. In 1994 it was renamed again as the
Lakes Science Center. In 1996, the National Biological Service was abolished and the Great Lakes
Center was moved into the USGS as part of its newly created Biological Resources Division.
Mission of the Laboratory:
The Great Lakes Science Center exists to
meet the Nation's need for scientific information for restoring,
enhancing, managing, and protecting living resources and their habitats in the Great Lakes basin ecosystem.
The Center is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and has
biological stations and research vessels located
throughout the Great Lakes Basin. The precursor to the current Center's programs began in 1927 when
investigations of the collapse of the Lake Erie cisco population were initiated by the Center's first
director, Dr. John
Van Oosten. Our research spans a range of studies including fish populations and communities, aquatic
terrestrial ecology, nearshore and coastal communities and the biological processes that occur in this
ecosystem of the Great Lakes.