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Fact Sheet

This fact sheet provides a summary about the Michigan Journal of Sustainability (MJS), see: sustainability.umich.edu/mjs. MJS is managed by graduate students, affiliated with the University of Michigan Dow Sustainablity Fellows Program. Contributing authors translate scholarly research, field work and sustainability problems into useful formats for practitioners and policy makers. 

Authors are encouraged to publish in this peer-reviewed journal targeted toward sustainability practitioners interested in applying innovative research to address complex challenges. This is an opportunity to communicate how research results are relevant to real-world applications.

 

Keywords: Sustainability, Michigan Journal of Sustainability, MJS, sustainable ecosystems, livable communities, climate variability and change

 

August 2016
Fact Sheet

The Dow Sustainability Fellows Program supports graduate and postgraduate level scholars focused on interdisciplinary sustainability. The program prepares future sustainability leaders to make a positive difference in organizations worldwide. The program is comprised of master’s/professional degree, doctoral, and postdoctoral fellows, who engage with one another within and across cohorts, thrive on collaboration, learn to employ interdisciplinary thinking, experience diverse stakeholder perspectives, and implement projects with significant potential for impact on local-to-global scales.

 

Keywords: Fellowships, sustainability, interdisciplinary, leadership, scholarship

August 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
Annual Report/Guide

This report, Creating Global Leaders in Sustainability, highlights activities and impacts of Dow Fellows at the University of Michigan. The program was launched in 2012 with a visionary $10 million gift from The Dow Chemical Company. The goal was ambitious: create interdisciplinary leaders capable of generating innovative, concrete, actionable solutions to the big sustainability challenges of our time.

Major program components include cohorts of fellows at the master’s/ professional degree, doctoral, and postdoctoral levels, as well as a Distinguished Awards for Interdisciplinary Sustainability competition that supports high-potential sustainability projects. Projects focus on compelling and actionable efforts to advance sustainability at the local, national, and global level.

Work on sustainability is, by definition, something that will involve many generations. The Dow Sustainability Fellows Program has trained four cohorts of researchers at all levels, and their work will have a critical impact on the students who follow them into the field. — Martha E. Pollack, University of Michigan Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

Program leaders believe that diversity is key to individual empowerment, and the advancement of sustainability knowledge, learning and leadership.

Learn More:

 

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

Learn More

 

 

July 2016
Fact Sheet

Living shorelines show great promise in coastal South Carolina as a tool to control erosion, increase habitat, and protect coastal areas from hazards both short-term (e.g., storms) and long-term (e.g., sea level rise). The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and the Ashepoo, Combahee, and Edisto (ACE) Basin National Estuarine Research Reserve have constructed oyster-reef-based living shorelines adjacent to public land for 15 years, and private property owners are also showing interest in using living shorelines to prevent erosion. Current South Carolina permitting processes, however, do not address this emerging strategy, which serves as a barrier for private property owners wishing to pursue this approach. 

This project responds to the state’s desire to develop a comprehensive, science-based regulatory process to address the design and permitting of living shorelines. The researchers will analyze a suite of living shoreline possibilities specifically suited to South Carolina, noting their performance under varying physical and environmental conditions. Using a stakeholder-driven process, case study assessments, experimental research sites, and monitoring, the project team will generate the information needed to develop a statewide living shoreline policy. Ultimately, this project will help remove a critical barrier to living shoreline implementation.

Keywords: shoreline, erosion, habitat, sea level rise, oyster reef

July 2016
Fact Sheet
To support creative redevelopment efforts in Detroit, the Graham Sustainability Institute partnered with the Detroit-based nonprofit civil and human rights organization Focus: HOPE to conduct the Sustainability and the HOPE Village Initiative (HVI) Integrated Assessment (IA). The HVI is Focus: HOPE’s comprehensive effort to better the education, economic self-sufficiency, and living environment for residents within the 100 blocks surrounding its campus in Detroit by 2031. Through collaboration among U-M researchers, Focus: HOPE staff, and residents around key sustainability issues, the IA project developed analyses and recommendations to help Focus: HOPE advance the HVI and revitalize the neighborhood
 
U-M Faculty Leads: Alicia Alvarez, María Arquero de Alarcón, Priya Baskaran, Craig Borum, John C. Burkhardt, Aline Cotel, Margi Dewar, Eric Dueweke, Robert Grese, Jen Maigret, Lorelle Meadows, Betty Overton-Adkins, Bruce Pietrykowski, Roland Zullo, Paul Draus, and Juliette Roddy.
 
Keywords:  Detroit, economic development, housing, vacant space, abandoned land, neighborhood revitalization, Hope Village
 
July 2016
Fact Sheet

Approximately 30% of land in the City of Detroit is vacant, and infrastructure was built for a population nearly three times its current size. As a result, numerous sustainable redevelopment ideas have been proposed to address these challenges. The University of Michigan Graham Sustainability Institute partnered with Data Driven Detroit on the Detroit Sustainability Indicators Project. This fact sheet provides a summary of the data, tools, and analysis developed to help decision makers in Detroit consider sustainability in their planning efforts.

Investigators: Joan Nassauer, Margeret Dewar, Eric Dueweke, Jen Maigret, Maria Arquero de Alarcon, NicoleScholtz, Stuart Batterman,  Brian Min, Jowei Chen, David Bieri

Keywords: D3, Detroit, Sustianability Indicators 

July 2016

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