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.
This summary covers the need for oil spill responders require accurate, up-to-date information to ensure a rapid, coordinated, and effective response to a spill. New technologies present an opportunity for responders to use real-time information about a spill and the conditions affecting it. Electronic maps can be used to create dynamic oil spill response plans, allowing responders to react immediately to changing conditions in the field. These plans can be accessed using a tablet, cellphone, or computer, and are expected to improve oil spill response times, potentially preventing a small spill from becoming a larger one.
The project team’s pilot work in the Western Lake Erie Basin demonstrates the potential for electronic plans to be applied throughout the Great Lakes region.
See: Project Website
Keywords: Oil Spill Response Plan, Electronic, Western Lake Erie Basin, Great Lakes region, water quality, David Dean, Colin Brooks, Arthur Endsley, Michigan Tech Research Institute
Compost is organic matter like food, leaves or other material that has been decomposed and reused to fertilize and amend soil. U-M Dining is composting food waste, following the 8 key steps outlined in this infographic. A key ingredient in organic farming, compost is rich in nutrients and used for backyard gardens. Industrial scale composting systems are increasingly being used, as part of water management efforts to reduce the amount of landfill waste. U-M Dining employees go through multiple steps, outlined here to save food scraps for composting and reduce waste to landfills.
Keywords: Compost, food waste, grey water, Michigan Dining
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.
Keywords: Health, water, equity, international, Ghana, Peru
Underlying contributors to serious health and environmental challenges often don’t receive the attention they deserve. Two examples are toilets and cookstoves, which may not readily come to mind when contemplating global health issues. Yet these two household amenities, which many of us take for granted, facilitate the spread of disease, cause countless preventable and premature deaths, endanger the lives of women and children, pollute waterways, contribute to deforestation, and degrade the quality of life for billions of people. This fact sheet provides a summary about the development of better cook stoves and toilets for people in India and elsewhere.
Keywords: Cookstove, composting toilet, co-design, Dow Sustainability Fellows, University of Michigan, Dolatpura, India, BLUELab, Engineering, Setco Foundation
This fact sheet provides an overview of how the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve is leveraging approaches and lessons learned from the first “Bringing Wetlands to Market” project, which was developed by the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and supported by the Science Collaborative from the National Estuarine Research Reserve System. The project will boost support for restoration and conservation in several ways. It will connect Gulf Coast blue carbon end users with established blue carbon networks. It will provide long-term and sustained technical assistance opportunities and connections to carbon finance markets. And it will engage the public’s interest in blue carbon education through tours, videos or other media, and two “Bay Talks” lectures.
Keywords: Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve, restoration, conservation, carbon finance markets
This paper highlights efforts to implement a pilot composting program at the University of Michigan. Evaluation results from the Sustainability Cultural Indicators Program (SCIP) will help determine if and in what ways composting efforts should be extended throughout the campus.
This paper presents findings from three years of data collection through the Sustainability Cultural Indicators Program (SCIP) at the University of Michigan (U-M). Authors highlight how behavioral research is used to address environmental issues at U-M and other organizations. The culture of sustainability reflects a set of attitudes, behaviors, and other factors among members of a community.
The University of Michigan (U-M) Graham Institute Undergraduate Sustainability Scholars Program provides unique opportunities to expand and explore your interests in sustainability while engaging in leadership training. In addition to taking a nine-credit sequence of courses and participating in co-curricular activities, students can receive up to $3,500 to pursue a field-based sustainability experience. This fact sheet provides an overview of the program requirements and application process. Learn more about the U-M Undergraduate Sustainability Scholars Program.
Keywords: Sustainability scholars, interdisciplinary, sustainability leadership, field-based experiences, co-curricular activities
Undergraduate Sustainability Scholars Program Fact Sheet:
Green infrastructure (GI) systems are installed in strategic locations to capture stormwater runoff after a rain event. GI projects are placed in locations to slow stormwater flows to streams, reduce flooding or fast currents that erode stream banks, or filter pollutants from parking lots or roadways. This fact sheet highlights how GI projects such as rain gardens, permeable pavement, and tree filters are part of a stormwater runoff toolkit for local decision-makers.