A Brief synopsis of the
Michigan River Inventory (MRI)

The Michigan Rivers Inventory is a long-term, collaborative research effort established in 1988 by scientists from the Institute of Fisheries Research, Michigan Department of Natural Resources (IFR/MDNR) and the School of Natural Resources, University of Michigan (SNRE/UM).  Initially a Dingell-Johnson funded inventory project directed by Dr. Paul Seelbach (MDNR) and Dr. Mike Wiley (SNRE/UM), the collaboration has grown to include active scientists from multiple research institutions.  The MRI  focuses on the development of :

  •  a regional, spatially explicit, inventory  framework;
  •  collaboratively managed research database, and 
  • scientific models and methods for studying the large-scale ecology of Michigan's rivers. 
The MRI database currently includes site and catchment-level data for 700+ study locations (Figure left) linked by an extensive geographic information system (GIS). This combination of a GIS and extensive field inventory database is designed to provide the ability to both describe and model key features of the biology, hydrology and water quality of the Michigan's major rivers systems.  Collaborating scientists and institutions access centrally and distributively held data, GIS covers, and models based on their participation in the MRI data sharing agreement.

Public benefits: Provides large-scale of modeling and classification of Michigan stream resources for management agencies, primarily Fisheries Division of MDNR. Analytical tools (models, GIS products,calssifications) developed through the MRI collaboration are already in use by MDNR fisheries managers, and by reserachers/managers  from numerous regional  land management organizations including: The Michigan Natural Features Inventory, The national office of The Nature Conservancy, The Ontario Ministry of Environment, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the Illinois Department of Energy and Natural Resources. MRI-based assessment and analyses have also contributed to a number of  Michigan watershed management restoration projects. Michiagn Rivers where MRI tools and/or analyses have been used include:  the Rouge River, the Dowagiac River, the Huron River, Pigeon Creek, theAu Sable River, the Rogue River, and the Muskegon River.

Student Training benefits: The MRI collaboration has supported numerous graduate students in their research at the School of Natural Resources and Environmnet. In this capacity the MRI provides an excellent opportunity for student learning in a real-world setting, providing interactions with and training from professional scientists and managers working to solve the problems.

Student opus support completed to date:
7 M.S. thesis and 1 (5-member team) Master's project;  2 Ph.D. dissertations
underway:
2 M.S.thesis and 2 Ph.D. dissertations

See publications list for more details. 

 

 
MRI Related publications:

Tompkins,T.,W.Whipps, L. Manor, M.J. Wiley, C. Radcliffe and D.Majewski. 1997. Wetland effects on hydrological and water quality characteristics of a mid-Michigan river system. IN: Trettin et al, Eds. Northern forested wetlands: ecology and management, Chapter 19. CRC Press Inc. Boca Raton FL.

Wiley. M.J., S.L. Kohler and P.W. Seelbach. 1997. Reconciling landscape and site based views of aquatic stream communities. Freshwater Biology 37:133-148.

Seelbach, P.W. and M.J. Wiley. 1997. Overview of the Michigan Rivers Inventory (MRI) Project. Fisheries Technical Report No. 97-3. Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Ann Arbor, MI.31.pp.

Seelbach, P.W., M.J. Wiley, J.C. Kotanchik and M.E. Baker.1997. A Landscape-based ecological classification system for river valley segments in Lower Michigan. Fisheries Research Report No. 2036. Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Ann Arbor, MI.51.pp.

Wiley, M.J., and P.W. Seelbach.  1997.  An introduction to rivers.  Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Fisheries Special Report 20, Ann Arbor.

Zorn, T.G., P.W. Seelbach, and M.J. Wiley.  1997.  Patterns in the fish communities of Lower Michigan streams.  Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Fisheries Research Report 2035, Ann Arbor.

Hinz Jr., L.C. and M.J. Wiley. 1997. Growth and production of juvenile trout in Michigan streams: influence of temperature. Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Fisheries Research Report 2041, Ann Arbor.

Hinz Jr., L.C. and M.J. Wiley. 1998. Growth and Production of juvenile trout in
Michigan streams: Influence of potential ration and temperature. Michigan Department of Natural Resources,  Fisheries Research Report 2042, Ann Arbor. 

Wiley, M.J., P.W. Seelbach and S.P. Bowler. 1998. Ecological targets for rehabilitation of the Rouge River. Rouge Project Office, Wayne County, MI., Special Report series: RPO-PI-SR21.00. 95pp.
 
Wehrly, K. E., M. J. Wiley and P. W. Seelbach. 1998. A Thermal Habitat Classification for Lower Michigan Rivers. Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Fisheries Research Report 2037, Ann Arbor. 

Wehrly, K. E., M. J. Wiley and P. W. Seelbach. 1998. Landscape-Based Models that Predict July Thermal Characteristics of Lower Michigan Rivers. Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Fisheries Research Report 2038, Ann Arbor.

Seelbach, P.W., M.J. Wiley, P.A . Soranno, and M.T. Bremigan.  2000.  Aquatic conservation planning: Using landscape maps to predict ecological reference conditions for specific waters.  Chapter 26 In Gutzwiller, K., Editor.  Concepts and applications of landscape ecology in biological conservation.  (In Press) Springer-Verlag, New York, NY.

Baker, M.E., M.J. Wiley and P.W.Seelbach.2001. Spatially-explicit models of groundwater loading in glaciated landscapes: considerations and development in Lower Michigan. Department of Natural Resources, Fisheries Research Report (In Press), Ann Arbor.