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
Located in Mississippi, one of the least food-secure states in America, the west side of Tallahatchie County is a rural county located in the fertile Delta region and is about a 45-minute drive away from the closest full-service grocery store. Building on the stories and insights shared by community members during interviews and workshops, the Dow Master’s project team designed a regional plan that provides potential strategies for a more food-secure future.
Keywords: University of Michigan, Dow Sustainability Fellows Program, food insecurity, poverty
The Condon Crow House, located in the heart of Detroit, leverages sustainability programming and implementation for both community and personal development. It is a uniquely tangible effort, supported by the Dow Distinguished Award Program. Through this effort, U-M students are leveraging a house and side lots to demonstrate how community-driven development can reclaim place and steer the effects of social policy. Crow House embodies a wide breadth of sustainability categories, including energy, water, food sovereignty, public health, sanitation, site ecology, the built environment and community engagement.
Crow House is a non-profit organization, with a mission founded in the urban settlement house tradition. Located in Chadsey-Condon neighborhood on the west side of Detroit, the focus is on place-based community education in sustainability. Including a permaculture demonstration/teaching site, Condon Crow House also provides a community space for a range of programming, as well as for an urban scholar in residence.
Keywords: University of Michigan, Dow Distinguished Awards for Interdisciplinary Sustainability
Current transportation options in Detroit's HOPE Village are limited. According to the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, HOPE Village residents face a 10-30-minute trip via walking or public transit to local supermarkets, hospitals, or health clinics. By analyzing existing information and facilitating focus groups with HOPE Village residents, a Dow Fellows project team identified community needs and barriers to accessing transportation services such as Uber and Zipcar.
The HOPE Village Initiative is a long-term, comprehensive, place-based initiative designed to radically change the odds of success for children, their families, and the neighborhoods immediately surrounding Focus: HOPE's campus. The initiative aims to create a pipeline of opportunity, from cradle to post-secondary education.
Keywords: University of Michigan, Dow Sustainability Fellows Program, Focus HOPE
This report describes the actions taken and lessons learned by the Thrive Bar Dow Sustainability Fellows Team. Interested in food, entrepreneurship, and sustainability, the team leveraged a unique opportunity to learn what it means to be a “sustainable company” through firsthand experience. They recognized the need to strive for an overarching goal with a clear mission: start a food company that has sustainability as its primary objective.
Keywords: University of Michigan, Dow Sustainability Fellows Program
Despite the increasing recognition and implementation of sustainable practices across the corporate sector and the visibility of environmental issues in the news over the past decade, sustainability has yet to become a priority in the fields of healthcare and dentistry within the United States. Furthermore, the overwhelming majority of U.S. health-related research pertains to hospital systems and operating rooms, while the awareness surrounding sustainability in dentistry is almost nonexistent. A Dow Fellows team conducted research efforts and produced a report to inform the growing discussion on sustainability in healthcare. Their efforts provide a useful starting point for dental students, educational institutions, and clinics interested in integrating sustainability into dental care.
Keywords: University of Michigan, Dow Sustainability Fellows Program, Green Dentistry
The University of Michigan has dedicated numerous resources to make the campus more sustainable. An on-campus waste-to-energy anaerobic digester system could help advance that cause and assist U-M in working towards three Sustainability Goals. Furthermore, based on a preliminary analysis, it could be a revenue-positive investment within ten years. This report produced by a Dow Fellows student team outlines an initial feasibility study to place a biodigester on the U-M campus. Students recommended further analysis.
Keywords: University of Michigan, Dow Sustainability Fellows Program, methane, energy, biogas