Stacie Auvenshine, MS Student

Michigan’s Inland Lakes: A study of the spatial distribution of local policy strength on water clarity


The Problem

  • There have not been large-scale evaluations of the effectiveness of environmental policies for keeping our waters are swimmable, fishable and drinkable
  • Currently, no spatial policy database exists for the state of Michigan
  • We know little about where in Michigan there are gaps in environmental policies nor where effective environmental ordinances exist, which could promote collaboration among neighboring jurisdictions regarding water quality protection

Research Questions

  • Where in Michigan are there gaps and hotspots of environmental policies?
  • Are these hotspot areas (those with exceptional local environmental policies) positively correlated with lake water clarity?


  • Survey for local government with questions regarding land use planning and zoning and environmental ordinances that are stricter than the state’s laws and regulations
  • Create a spatial policy database and maps that identify environmental policy gaps and hotspots
  • Add policy data to statistical models relating lake water clarity to natural and human landscape features


Center for Water Sciences

Current Employment

Biologist, US Army Corps of Engineers