Graham Sustainability Institute

Funding Announced for New Sustainability Projects

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Three faculty teams, comprising 14 researchers from 6 U-M colleges, schools and units received support to investigate the vulnerability of people to wildfire smoke exposure, create a protocol for collaboration between universities and Tribal communities, and determine how information about human behavior can inform climate adaptation efforts.

Through Catalyst Grants, the Graham Sustainability Institute’s Emerging Opportunities Program offers 8-month grants for sustainability research activities such as conferences, project planning, white papers, and workshops. Based on reviews of proposals completed by a multidisciplinary team of U-M faculty and Graham staff, the following proposals have been selected for funding, each at the $10,000 level.

Atmospheric Modeling in Human Health & Climate Change Risk Assessment: Wildfire Smoke Exposures

  • PI: Patricia Koman, Environmental Health Sciences
  • U-M Collaborators: Allison Steiner, Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering (CLaSP); Marie O’Neill, Environmental Health Sciences, Tim Dvonch, Environmental Health Sciences
  • Additional Collaborators: Shiliang Wu, Michigan Technological University; Colleen Reid, University of Colorado at Boulder Engaged Partner: Sumi Hoshiko, California Department of Public Health
  • Project website

Heritage Seeds for Sustainable Lifeways

  • PI: David Michener, Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum
  • U-M Collaborators: James Penner-Hahn, Chemistry; Philip Deloria, American Culture & History; Lisa Young, Anthropology; Jessica Litman, Law
  • Additional Collaborators: Christina Walters, US Department of Agriculture; Scott M. Herron, Biology, Ferris State University
  • Engaged Partners: Shannon Martin, Ziibiwing Center of Anishinaabe Culture and Lifeways; Sydney Martin and Kevin Finney, Gun Lake Band of Pottawatomi Indians
  • Project website

Modeling Social-ecological Adaptation to Climate Change in Temperate Forests

  • PI: Alexandra Paige Fischer, School of Natural Resources and Environment (SNRE)
  • U-M Collaborators: Gretchen Keppel-Aleks, CLaSP; Seth Guikema, Industrial & Operations Engineering; Bill Currie, SNRE; Matthew Hamilton, SNRE
  • Engaged Partner: Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science
  • Project website 

Broad Interest Across U-M

Eleven proposals were submitted involving a total of 44 faculty and researchers from academic and research units across the university.

“These grants facilitate networking to build sustainability teams across the campus,” said U-M Vice Provost James Holloway. “The interdisciplinary nature of this work is evidenced by the span of units represented, including LS&A, Engineering, Natural Resources and Environment; Public Health, Law and the Botanical Gardens! By working with a variety of partners, these multidisciplinary teams will establish a foundation for future efforts.”

Developing Partnerships

Projects will support decision-making through the process of engaging external partners in key activities. Faculty teams are encouraged to explore how engaged research may enhance their scholarship and how working with decision makers and stakeholders can better foster sustainability solutions.  

“We’re pleased to announce the support for these teams,” said Emerging Opportunities Program Director John Callewaert. “Each team has proposed a unique approach to their work that will connect science to actions.”

Additional Funding Opportunities

The next call for Catalyst Grants is now open. Letters of Intent due February 13, 2017, are required, but will not be used as a screening tool. Full proposals are due March 20, 2017. Access materials and submit an LOI.

The second full Emerging Opportunities Program funding cycle, including fall and winter Catalyst Grants, as well as annual Transformation Grants (up to $450,000 for projects lasting 1 to 3 years), is scheduled to begin again in September 2017.


Contact John Callewaert