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Principle 7

Much remains to be learned about the Great Lakes

Fundamental Concepts

  • Exploration and understanding of Great Lakes interactions and links among diverse ecosystems and people are ongoing. Such exploration offers great opportunities for inquiry and investigation.
  • Understanding the Great Lakes is more than a matter of curiosity. Exploration, inquiry and monitoring promote better understanding and protection of Great Lakes ecosystems, resources and processes.
  • Over time, use of Great Lakes resources has changed significantly. The future sustainability of Great Lakes resources depends on our understanding of those resources and their potential and limitations.
  • New technologies and methods of observation are expanding our ability to explore the Great Lakes. Freshwater scientists rely on such tools to monitor conditions in the Great Lakes and provide information to policy makers and leaders in coastal communities.
  • Models help us understand the complexity of the Great Lakes. Models process observations, describe interactions among systems, expose information gaps and forecast change
  • Exploring, understanding and communicating about the Great Lakes ecosystem are interdisciplinary efforts. They require close collaboration among professionals in science, technology, engineering and math, as well as public outreach and education.

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