USGS - science for a changing world

U.S. Geological Survey - Great Lakes Science Center

Kurt P. Kowalski

Kurt Kowalski
Research Ecologist
Great Lakes Science Center
(734) 214-9308
(734) 214-7230

B. S. (Natural Resources Policy and Behavior), University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources and Environment, 1994
M. S. (Geography with concentration on Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing), Eastern Michigan University, 2000
Ph.D. (Aquatic Ecology), University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources and Environment, 2010

Science Description: 

What is the role of hydrologic connectivity in the rehabilitation and adaptive management of diked and coastal wetland ecosystems in the Great Lakes? Can we find sustainable control options for Phragmites australis and other invasive plant species? What is the landscape-scale potential for coastal wetland habitat rehabilitation in western Lake Erie? These are a few of the research questions that I have been working on during my 18+ years at the Great Lakes Science Center. My master’s work in GIS and remote sensing at Eastern Michigan University and doctoral studies at the University of Michigan provided a solid foundation for extensive work with USFWS refuges (Detroit River, Ottawa, Seney, Shiawassee), Ohio DNR, Michigan DNR, The Nature Conservancy, Ducks Unlimited, and many other partners. I’ve studied the diked and coastal marshes of western Lake Erie for many years and continue to work with managers to apply site-specific results at regional scales. Leadership experiences at the National Conservation Leadership Institute and within USGS have helped me produce some innovative science and push our research teams in new directions.


Kurt Kowalski's research interests include ecology, rehabilitation, and management of coastal wetlands in the Great Lakes basin, including innovative and sustainable control strategies for Phragmites (common reed) and other invasive plant species.

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