What We Do

Established in 2010, the Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments (GLISA) is a collaboration between the University of Michigan and Michigan State University supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). GLISA is one of 11 NOAA Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) teams that focus on helping the nation prepare for and adapt to climate variability and change. GLISA is the NOAA RISA for the Great Lakes region, serving Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin in the United States, and the Province of Ontario in Canada.

The impacts of climate change already are, and will continue to be, deep and widespread in the Great Lakes region. Rising temperatures, increasing precipitation and extreme events, and longer frost-free seasons are already affecting agriculture, infrastructure, natural resources, public health, and vulnerable populations in cities and Tribal communities. GLISA works at the boundary between climate science and decision makers, striving to enhance Great Lakes communities' capacity to understand, plan for, and respond to climate impacts now and in the future. Our team of social and physical scientists work together to:

  • Develop usable climate information tailored to stakeholder needs;
  • Develop, implement, and evaluate resources and tools to apply climate information to decision making;
  • Facilitate collaborative activities, education, and training and support stakeholder networks; and,
  • Investigate emerging climate issues and synthesize findings for practitioners. 

We work in a diversity of sectors, but especially in agriculture, cities, and Tribal communities to co-develop information, resources and activities. GLISA has sustained partnerships with scholars and practitioners across the region at other universities, federal agencies, state, local, and tribal govenrments, NGOs, professional associations, and businesses. Working together enables us to leverage expertise and relationships, and we always welcome new partnerships and opportunities. 

Learn more about the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) RISA teams in the RISA 1-pager.

See NOAA's 1-pager on GLISA's role within the RISA program with an example infrastructure project in a city, or natural resources examples in Michigan and Wisconsin.  

Check out our new impacts stories for work with cities, tribes, and infrastructure.

View GLISA's Phase I (2010-2016) Report that highlights all of GLISA's projects and engagements during that period, as well as our annual reports for 2016-2017, 2017-20182018-2019, and 2019-2020.


GLISA Approach

GLISA leverages a number of unique strategies to fulfill its goals of building climate literacy and expanding the climate knowledge network. These strategies include activating the boundary chain model, integrating local and historical climate data into decision making, addressing uncertainty and downscaling, and utilizing network mapping to find key entry points across the region. 

Read more about GLISA's approach to supporting climate adaptation


GLISA plays a technical role in several climate change adaptation projects across the Great Lakes region. GLISA engages with each project to understand the problems or challenges faced in light of climate change. Teams of diverse experts, including GLISA as the regional climate expert, work together to address these problems. Annually, GLISA awards three to six one-year grants of up to $50,000 each to boundary organizations that will work with GLISA to address the risks of climate change and variability in the Great Lakes region. Click here to learn more and see a listing of past recipients.

Learn more about GLISA partnerships and supported projects


Publications produced from GLISA-supported research and projects can be found here.