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Search below to access a wide array of products that were generated or supported by the Graham Institute. For more U-M publications related to sustainability, search the U-M Deep Blue database.

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Fact Sheet

As you enter the city, Detroit’s reputation as the Motor City is readily apparent. With wide streets and long blocks, Detroit is a city made for cars. In many places, it is difficult to access amenities – fresh food, jobs, healthcare – without a vehicle. Focus: HOPE, a Detroit-based non-profit focused on addressing racism, poverty, and injustice launched the HOPE Village initiative to improve the lives of Detroit residents and break the cycle of poverty. To address transportation challenges in the community. Focus: HOPE partnered with a team of graduate students from the Dow Sustainability Fellows Program at the University of Michigan (U-M).

Keywords: Urban Transportation, Focus: Hope, Community-based Participatory Research, CBPR

September 2017
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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
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Fact Sheet

This project will promote watershed stewardship by developing video modules in American Sign Language, providing professional development for teachers of the deaf and hard of hearing, and field experiences for their students. The project team will develop an American Sign Language video module focusing on the concepts and vocabulary of watersheds and estuaries. Education coordinators from the Wells, Waquoit Bay, and Narragansett Bay reserves, along with content experts, will provide training for teachers and interpreters at a Teachers on the Estuary workshop at the Waquoit Bay Reserve.

After receiving training, participating teachers will infuse the curriculum in their classes and bring their students to the reserve in their state for an estuary field study experience. The American Sign Language STEM module will be embedded in the new ASL Clear, an online STEM educational resource made possible through funding from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and developed by researchers at the Boston University School of Education and The Center for Research and Training at The Learning Center for the Deaf. The modules will be posted online for future use by other teachers of the deaf and hard of hearing, as well as for American Sign Language interpreters. This project has great potential to produce systemic change for deaf and hard of hearing students, their teachers, and interpreters on issues related to watersheds and coastal/marine habitats, furthering the Science Collaborative’s goal to address critical management issues identified by the reserves in order to improve the long-term stewardship of the nation’s resources.

 

The University of Michigan Water Center and partners are working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to implement the NERRS Science Collaborative, by coordinating regular funding opportunities and supporting user-driven collaborative research, assessment and transfer activities that address critical coastal management needs identified by reserves.

See: National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) Science Collaborative

 

August 2017
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Fact Sheet

Salt marshes and tidal creeks maintain healthy water, protect coastal communities from flooding and erosion, provide nursery and essential habitat for commercial and recreational fisheries, and support recreational activities that are a part of the coastal lifestyle. This project seeks to educate K-12 students on the importance of restoring these ecosystems, using approaches that also meet current science curriculum standards. The Guana Tolomato Matanzas, ACE Basin, North Inlet, North Carolina, and Sapelo Island reserves will create a region-wide student-driven program for teachers that will further the understanding of restoring degraded or lost estuary habitats.

This project will build upon the successes of previous efforts to teach the importance of the salt marsh habitat through cultivating and transplanting smooth cordgrass, Spartina alterniflora, the dominant plant in this region’s salt marshes. The project team will transfer information on successful growing techniques for smooth cordgrass among the southeast region reserves. Using existing data on smooth cordgrass cultivation and experiences from past and current efforts, reserve staff, in partnership with the Sea Grant Consortium, will create an online, interactive resource center with a topic-based elementary-targeted curriculum. Teachers will be trained to use these products through four professional development opportunities, one in each of the southeastern states. Ultimately, this will increase the community of practice among participating schools and teachers, increase the use of standards-based curriculum, increase plant growth success, and increase the project’s overall long-term success.

 

The University of Michigan Water Center and partners are working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to implement the NERRS Science Collaborative, by coordinating regular funding opportunities and supporting user-driven collaborative research, assessment and transfer activities that address critical coastal management needs identified by reserves.

See: National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) Science Collaborative

August 2017
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Fact Sheet

Climate change impacts on Alaskan coasts are occurring at a rate that is challenging the ability of resource-dependent businesses to respond and adapt. Climate change-induced threats to Alaskan fishing communities include changing oceanographic conditions of circulation and temperature, ocean acidification, and harmful algal blooms, as well as changing stream temperatures, turbidity, and nutrient conditions. Adequate resilience tools for local fishery-related businesses in Alaska have not yet been designed and implemented, which is a barrier to effective community resilience. These issues were identified in a series of climate resilience workshops the Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve hosted for decision-makers in 2016 and 2017.

The goal of this project is to strengthen local fishery-related businesses, which buoy coastal communities in the face of natural hazards and disasters. This project will transfer a Resilience Index business self-assessment developed by the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium. The project team and partners will collaboratively adapt the self-assessment for Alaska businesses using best available science and local issues. The project will convene a network of partners, including fishery industry leaders, resource managers, business owners, non-profits, and resilience experts, to identify and organize focus groups of target audiences. Multi-sector business resilience workshops will be developed using the updated Fisheries Resilience Index, and curriculum and publications will be distributed for additional training sessions in other Alaskan communities. By generating resources and tools for businesses, the project will increase the effects of the Kachemak Bay Reserve’s resilience efforts and further demonstrate the applicability of business self-assessments on impacted estuarine ecosystems and economies.

 

The University of Michigan Water Center and partners are working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to implement the NERRS Science Collaborative, by coordinating regular funding opportunities and supporting user-driven collaborative research, assessment and transfer activities that address critical coastal management needs identified by reserves.

See: National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) Science Collaborative

August 2017
Annual Report/Guide

In the Fifth Annual Report, Collaborative Leadership for Sustainability, key impacts include supporting sustainability projects that have impacted people in 19 countries, 8 states, and 6 Michigan communities. Made possible by The Dow Chemical Company Foundation, the Dow Sustainability Fellows Program at the University of Michigan (U-M) engaged 17 of U-M's 19 schools and colleges this past year.

August 2017
Fact Sheet

A Dow Sustainability Master's Fellows team investigated the feasibility of installing a biodigester on campus to reduce food waste and capture gas to use for energy. This summary is part of the Dow Global Impact Series highlighting innovative field work projects.

Keywords: Biodigester, food waste, compost, energy conservation, engineering, sustainability, University of Michigan Dow Sustainability Fellows Program

July 2017
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Paper/Project Report

This is a study of the distinctive characteristics, activities, challenges and opportunities of a specific type of sustainability institute, one that spans the many disciplines of the University and, to do so, reports to upper administration (Provost or Vice President.) Among research universities within the Association of American Universities (AAU), 19 are identified and 18 agreed to participate in this study. Directors were sent a 71-question survey in January 2017 that covered issues of Governance, Research, Education, Engagement, Campus Operations and Best Practices.

May 2017
Fact Sheet

Tidal wetlands are recognized for their important role in carbon sequestration, as well as for their potential to become significant sources of greenhouse gas emissions when converted to other land uses. The substantial quantities of carbon captured and stored by tidal wetlands—termed “blue carbon”—is an ecosystem service of great interest to those developing regional, national, and global climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies, including carbon markets. While carbon stocks data have been collected in several parts of the world to quantify the carbon sequestration potential of tidal wetlands, there is a scarcity of such information in the Pacific Northwest. This project helps to fill this gap by conducting the first-ever comprehensive blue carbon assessment in Pacific Northwest tidal wetlands and generating a user-friendly database of regional blue carbon data. Input from end users will guide the design, scope, outputs, and outcomes of the project. This project will contribute to national and international efforts to incorporate blue carbon science into coastal management and climate change mitigation and adaptation.

 

The University of Michigan Water Center and partners are working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to implement the NERRS Science Collaborative, by coordinating regular funding opportunities and supporting user-driven collaborative research, assessment and transfer activities that address critical coastal management needs identified by reserves.

See: National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) Science Collaborative

May 2017
Fact Sheet

The Coos Bay estuary has a diverse set of end users who share a common need: to better understand circulation and sediment transport under current and future conditions. The estuary is one of three Oregon estuaries designated as “deep draft development,” which means that planners must balance industry, restoration, and natural resource goals. The project team’s primary research objectives are to fill data gaps that are critical to addressing their myriad management needs. These needs include characterizing the present-day sediment distribution, monitoring sediment fluxes to the estuary, and modeling how circulation and sediment in the estuary will respond to perturbations due to both natural and human-induced causes—such as dredging or inundation caused by sea level rise.

The project has direct application to management objectives identified by the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve and the broader needs of identified end users, including Coos County, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, and the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology. These end users will remain actively engaged during the project to reach agreed-upon outcomes, such as updating the estuarine management plan, improving the success of oyster restoration projects, informing fisheries habitat maps, and increasing data efficiency among community stakeholders.

 

The University of Michigan Water Center and partners are working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to implement the NERRS Science Collaborative, by coordinating regular funding opportunities and supporting user-driven collaborative research, assessment and transfer activities that address critical coastal management needs identified by reserves.

See: National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) Science Collaborative

May 2017

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