Cooperative Institute for Limnology and Ecosystems Research (CILER)

The Cooperative Institute for Limnology and Ecosystems Research (CILER) was established in 1989, with the objective of fostering University and NOAA partnerships in the Great Lakes region. As a Center of Excellence at the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan, CILER brings together this expertise in Great Lakes science and outreach. The current CILER Cooperative Agreement with NOAA was awarded in 2007 to the University of Michigan and nine consortium universities (Michigan State University, University of Toledo, Grand Valley State University, University of Minnesota-Duluth, University of Wisconsin, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Ohio State University, State University of New York at Stony Brook, and Pennsylvania State University). In addition, collaborators include non-consortium partners from around the Great Lakes and marine coastal communities. Since this agreement has been in effect, CILER has supported over 100 projects that total about $18 million in research funding.

CILER's Vision

To enhance the quality of the Great Lakes and its related ecosystem services, through a partnership of universities, NOAA scientists, and other stakeholders.

CILER's Mission

  • Advance our understanding of, and ability to predict, complex ecosystem processes, responses, and dynamics in the Great Lakes.
  • Identify and characterize emerging areas of concern for the Great Lakes ecosystem, with applications to all coastal ecosystems.
  • Provide a forum for better linking ecosystem responses, sustainable ecosystem services, and decision-making in the Great Lakes.
  • Translate research into productive outcomes for stakeholders in the region through outreach and education.
  • Improve effectiveness of education and expand research training opportunities for students and postdoctoral fellows.

CILER's Goals

  • Advance the science of Great Lakes ecosystem forecasting by integrating physical, chemical, and biological components to allow for more effective responses and management of invasive species, climate change, habitat alteration, and contaminants.
  • Facilitate the translation of research into more effective decision-making and public education.
  • Support NOAA's mission and strategic goals.
  • Facilitate research in the Great Lakes region.
  • Mentor and train the next generation of scientists through research and educational opportunities.

CILER facilitates research opportunities for students by fostering collaborations between the University of Michigan, Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab (GLERL), NOAA, and other research institutes through formal and informal programs. CILER also sponsors students to work with GLERL researchers on a range of topics. Several students have earned either their Master's or doctorate degrees while employed through this CILER program. The opportunity and ability to conduct top-notch research is a unique and valuable experience for most students. Check out CILER if you are interested in:

  • Aquatic science
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Computer science
  • Marine instrumentation
  • Biology
  • Ecology
  • Atmospheric science

Please visit the CILER website for more information.