Emerging Opportunities Products

Use the search feature below to find Emerging Opportunities-supported products, including papers, videos, and fact sheets.

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The Emerging Opportunities program, part of the Graham Sustainability Institute, supports collaborative sustainability research and assessment activities that span multiple disciplines and sectors and connect science to real-world decisions and actions. To support these efforts, which range from one-time meetings and workshops to multi-year projects, we offer a variety of regular funding opportunities and resources. This summary outlines a variety of funding opportunities.

For more information, see Emerging Opportunities

August 2017
Paper/Project Report

Helicobacter pylori infection has been consistently associated with lack of access to clean water and proper sanitation, but no studies have demonstrated that the transmission of viable but nonculturable (VBNC) H. pylori can occur from drinking contaminated water. In this study, we used a laboratory mouse model to test whether waterborne VBNCH. pylori could cause gastric infection.

April 2017
Paper/Project Report

Objectives: Gastric carcinoma is the most common cancer and cause of cancer mortality in Peru. Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium that colonizes the human stomach, is a Group 1 carcinogen due to its causal relationship to gastric carcinoma. While eradication of H. pylori can help prevent gastric cancer, characterizing regional antibiotic resistance patterns is necessary to determine targeted treatment for each region. Thus, we examined primary antibiotic resistance in clinical isolates of H. pylori in Lima, Peru.
Materials and methods: H. pylori strains were isolated from gastric biopsies of patients with histologically proven H. pylori infection. Primary antibiotic resistance among isolates was examined using E-test strips. Isolates were examined for the presence of the cagA pathogenicity island and the vacA m1/m2 alleles via polymerase chain reaction.
Results: Seventy-six isolates were recovered from gastric biopsies. Clinical isolates showed evidence of antibiotic resistance to 1 (27.6%, n=21/76), 2 (28.9%, n=22/76), or ≥3 antibiotics (40.8%). Of 76 isolates, eight (10.5%) were resistant to amoxicillin and clarithromycin, which are part of the standard triple therapy for H. pylori infection. No trends were seen between the presence of cagAvacA m1, or vacA m2 and antibiotic resistance.
Conclusion: The rate of antibiotic resistance among H. pylori isolates in Lima, Peru, is higher than expected and presents cause for concern. To develop more targeted eradication therapies for H. pylori in Peru, more research is needed to better characterize antibiotic resistance among a larger number of clinical isolates prospectively.

March 2017
Fact Sheet

There has recently been an increase in natural gas extraction efforts across the U.S., including in Michigan. Much of this increase is due to the expanded use of the process called hydraulic fracturing–popularly known as “fracking,” a method of natural gas extraction used since the 1940s. Fracking has been at the center of both wide support and concern by community members, industry, and state governments. This 2-page fact sheet provides a summary of a research project, read the report: http://graham.umich.edu/emopps/hydraulic-fracturing

Key Terms: It’s important to understand the terms “fracking,” “hydraulic fracturing,” and “high volume hydraulic fracturing.” Many people use the term fracking to describe the entire natural gas extraction process–including leasing, drilling, and well completion. Hydraulic fracturing is the injection of fluids (e.g., water, chemicals) into rock to create fissures or cracks that allow natural gas or oil to be pumped to the surface of the ground and used. The State of Michigan defines high volume hydraulic fracturing as hydraulic fracturing that uses a large volume–more than 100,000 gallons–of fluid injected into rock to extract oil or gas.

February 2017
Fact Sheet

Ensuring access to safe water supplies and creating good management strategies are fundamental to improving global health and sustainability. Yet the barriers to doing so are multifaceted and complex. To address these barriers and improve global health equity, the U-M Graham Sustainability Institute partnered with the U-M Center for Global Health to co-sponsor two Integrated Assessment research projects in Ghana and Peru. Research teams investigated the health and social impacts of water-related challenges in each country through interdisciplinary, collaborative research aimed at 1) filling knowledge gaps and raising awareness, 2) identifying sustainable solutions, and 3) building lasting relationships with partners in these two countries.

See: International Water And Health

Keywords: Health, water, equity, international, Ghana, Peru

January 2017
Michigan Journal of Sustainability Volume 4.1
Paper/Project Report

Identifying mutually beneficial objectives for researchers and practitioners engaged in climate adaptation efforts can often be a challenge. Differences can occur in terms of motivations, objectives, scale, and decision-making authority.

Drawing on the experience of researchers and practitioners involved in a climate adaptation project focused on cities in the Great Lakes region, this paper provides an overview of the relationship between the University of Michigan’s Graham Sustainability Institute and the City of Ann Arbor, Michigan (publishied in the 2016 Issue of the Michigan Journal of Sustainability).

September 2016
Climate Fact Sheet - St. Paul, MN
Fact Sheet

The two greatest climate risks Saint Paul (St. Paul) faces are 1) flooding associated with increased mean rainfall and extreme rainfall events, and 2) the impacts of temperature increases. For example, a warmer climate will exacerbate the urban heat island effect, with temperatures in the city significantly hotter than surrounding areas. In 2015, St. Paul secured a grant from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to develop a strategic climate change Resilience Framework. Part of the Framework includes increasing green infrastructure to improve storm water management. Other aspects of the Framework focus on improving communication about how to reduce the effects of climate change on city residents, especially more vulnerable populations.

This fact sheet is part of an urban climate series created to provides an overview of a climate risks. Each fact sheet includes a climate history, key considerations and activities specific to each city.

  • Keywords: St. Paul, MN, flooding, heat, climate change, adaptation, extreme weather.
August 2016
Fact Sheet

Minnesota is the fastest-warming state in the continental U.S. during the winter, with temperatures and overnight low temperatures contributing the most to the rapid warming (1970-2012, NOAA). City leaders are adjusting infrastructure to accommodate a growing population, and more severe temperatures and precipitation events. The climate is not moderated by the Great Lakes as much as lakeside cities, such as Duluth. As a result, area residents experience extreme cold in winter and heat waves in summer. In addition to the city’s reputation for being extremely cold in the winter months, increasing heat waves in the summer are a key risk to residents. Minneapolis is the urban heat island epicenter for the Twin Cities metropolitan region, demonstrating significant differences in surface temperature between the City’s core and surrounding rural areas.

This fact sheet is part of an urban climate series created to provides an overview of a climate risks. Each fact sheet includes a climate history, key considerations and activities specific to each city.

  • Keywords: Minneapolis, MN, flooding, heat, climate change, adaptation, extreme weather, renewable energy.
August 2016
Fact Sheet

Columbus is facing climate-related issues that include increasing heavy precipitation events, possibly leading to greater flood risk and reduced water quality, and drier and hotter summers. Columbus also faces increasingly frequent water issues, including flooding events and drinking water contamination from algae and nitrates. City leaders are actively addressing climate adaptation measures and have charged the Columbus Green Team, Climate and Energy Working Group to develop adaptation and mitigation measures.

This fact sheet is part of an urban climate series created to provides an overview of a climate risks. Each fact sheet includes a climate history, key considerations and activities specific to each city.

  • Keywords: Columbus, OH, flooding, heat, climate change, adaptation, extreme weather, renewable energy.
August 2016
Fact Sheet

Hundreds of U.S. cities, with a combined population of about 40 million people, have water infrastructure where stormwater and human sewage mingle in the same network of underground pipes. In a combined sewer system, rainwater typically enters storm drains, mixes with sewage, and is directed to a water treatment plant. The treated water is then discharged into a nearby stream, river, or lake. Occasionally, an influx of snowmelt or heavy rainfall can overwhelm treatment plants. As a result, untreated rainwater and sewage is released, along with a host of industrial pollutants, pathogens, and flushed debris, into the nearest water body. These events are known as combined sewer overflows (CSOs).

Cleveland, OH has long struggled with a number of urban stormwater issues, which directly impact the Lake Erie ecosystem. In 2011, the EPA, the State of Ohio, and the City of Cleveland signed an agreement outlining a plan to bring the City of Cleveland into compliance with federal Clean Water Act standards. Although sustainable energy systems are being installed in the region, there is a severe lack of technical expertise regarding the maintenance and repair of energy systems, resulting in inefficiencies and shortened system lifecycles. Without ensuring the productivity of new sustainable energy systems, the region will likely continue to rely on diesel fuel generators.

This fact sheet is part of the Dow Global Impact Series, which provides a glimpse into the interesting, and often rewarding work of graduate students engaged in the Dow Sustainability Fellows Program. Each summary in the series is based on a report produced by student teams, and highlights key issues, their approach and project outcomes. Videos provide student perspectives about the Fellows Program.

Keywords: Cleveland, OH, stormwater, combined sewer overflows

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July 2016