Michael Twiss, chair of the biology department at Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York, was appointed to the Great Lakes Science Advisory Board of the International Joint Commission (IJC). The IJC was established by the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 to help Canada and the United States prevent and resolve disputes over the use of the waters the two countries share. The IJC’s responsibilities include reporting on progress made under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement to restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the Great Lakes and connecting waters. The Science Advisory Board provides advice on scientific matters to the IJC on Great Lakes water quality issues.
Twiss joins other academic, state, provincial and federal agency and tribal representatives from all nations across the Great Lakes basin as a member Great Lakes Science Advisory Board. Twiss’s expertise is great lake and large river limnology (freshwater oceanography). At present, he is researching the influence of changing water levels on the mobilization of mercury from wetlands in the Upper St. Lawrence River supported in part by the Center of Excellence in Healthy Water Solution at Clarkson University. “Being able to serve on this science advisory board has been a pinnacle of my career”, states Twiss. “It’s an honor to serve this long-standing organization that has such an important role in protecting the waters of the Great Lakes.”
Over the past several years, Twiss has worked on several projects for the IJC including leading projects on Emerging Technologies for Measuring Water Quality across the Great Lakes, the Status of the Rivers, and Straits that Connect the Great Lakes, and a Great Lakes Early Warning System. Twiss is now serving his third consecutive three-year term as an IJC advisor.