Great Lakes Science Center


FLC Region

Security Lab



1451 Green Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
United States

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Laboratory Representative


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 of food fishes of the coasts and lakes of the United States and the determination of protective, prohibitory, or precautionary measures to be adopted. Initial investigations began in 1871 in Lake Michigan. The U.S. Fish 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 operation of 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 National Biological Service in 1995) and renamed the Great Lakes Center. In 1994 it was renamed again as the Great Lakes Science Center. In 1996, the National Biological Service was abolished and the Great Lakes Science Center was moved into the USGS as part of its newly created Biological Resources Division.


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 habitats, terrestrial ecology, nearshore and coastal communities and the biological processes that occur in this complex ecosystem of the Great Lakes.

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Cheboygan Vessel Base
Great Lakes Science Center
Hammond Bay Biological Station
Lake Erie Biological Station
Lake Michigan Ecological Research Station
Lake Ontario Biological Stations
Lake Superior Biological Station
Tunison Laboratory of Aquatic Science

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