Great Lakes Future ProjectsWestern Science


A scenario analysis towards a socio-ecologically sustainable future for the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin

INTRODUCTION - The Great Lakes Futures Project is an inaugural project of the Transborder Research University Network (TRUN) for Water Stewardship – an international partnership of Canadian and U.S. research institutions.

The Project will assess past and potential future states of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin, inform strategic policy formulation, frame research priorities, and help train the next generation of Great Lakes leaders.

The Project is supported by 21 Canadian and U.S. research organizations: University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Wayne State University, SUNY at Buffalo, Guelph University, McMaster University, Queens University, Trent University, University of Toronto, University of Windsor, Ryerson University, Waterloo University, Western University, York University, McGill University, Seneca College, Université de Montréal and the Université du Québec à Trois Rivière, Group for Interuniversity Research in Limnology and Aquatic Environment, Michigan Sea Grant, and New York Sea Grant.

TRUN and PROJECT HISTORY - TRUN ( was established in Niagara Falls, Ontario in 2007 to facilitate and support multi-institutional cooperation in research, education, and policy development, with a particular focus on issues of shared concern in the bi-national Great Lakes region. Its Water Stewardship effort, an outgrowth of two meetings organized at the University of Toronto and Wayne State University in late 2010, brought together Canadian and U.S. researchers and educators interested in water stewardship in the Great Lakes Basin.

At its inaugural Water Stewardship meeting, there was consensus to develop a signature project focused on the future of trans-boundary management in the Great Lakes and demonstrate how cooperation, coordination, and collaboration between TRUN and associated universities can help raise the profile of issues that straddle the Canada-US border.  At a subsequent meeting, the Great Lakes Futures Project, proposed by Dr. Irena Creed of Western, University garnered unanimous support.