The Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, an environmental research organization, dedicated a new facility in Ann Arbor yesterday, offering new job opportunities and modern technologies to the area’s rapidly expanding research corridor.

The new 40,225-square-foot facility, which includes three laboratories, multiple conference rooms and offices for GLERL employees, will provide more than 120 jobs for the surrounding community, including many job opportunities for University students.

“GLERL provides hands-on work experience that students will need to get a job when they graduate,” said Michael Quigley, an ecologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Formed in 1974, GLERL is a subdivision of the federally funded NOAA. It focuses on environmental and ecosystem research in the Great Lakes by studying issues like water quality and invasive species.

The company’s mission is to “conduct high-quality research and provide scientific leadership on important issues in both Great Lakes and marine coastal environments leading to new knowledge, tools, approaches, awareness and services,” according to GLERL’s website.

Quigley said the partnership between the University and GLERL is a great opportunity for the two organizations to pool knowledge, resources and expertise, bringing students and faculty together to form a mutually beneficial relationship.

“U of M is a great partner. This partnership allows us to bring students, grad students, and working faculty at U of M to do cooperative research,” Quigley said.

With the addition of the new facility in Ann Arbor, GLERL will offer a 3-month summer fellowship program to University students. The program could provide up to 20 students with support from the organization to work in the research labs and collect data.

LSA sophomore Jenna Cooperrider, who first became involved with GLERL last semester through the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program, said she has benefited greatly from the partnership between the University and GLERL, receiving college credit for her work with the organization.

Cooperrider works on public outreach for GLERL through the company’s website, and is making a webpage that reports new invasive species in the Great Lakes.

In addition to their other joint projects, the University has informed GLERL that it plans on getting more involved with the organization through a shared focus on sustainability in research, GLERL Director Stephen Brandt said.

The new facility is located at 4840 South State St. in Ann Arbor.

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