As a student in Professor Burt Barnesâ€™s Forest Ecology class, Rob Steiner â€™97 remembers trekking into the woods in the middle of winter during five-hour Friday labs.
â€œI will never forget the hands-on experience and understanding the complexity of the ecosystems surrounding Ann Arbor,â€ the SNRE Environmental Policy and Planning graduate said.
Trained in the hard sciences, Tao Zhang â€™08 never imagined that his love for design could play a role in his career. But in SNREâ€™s Landscape Architecture program, one of the nationâ€™s few design programs housed within a science school, he found a way to live out his passion for environmental science in a creative way. Here, art and aesthetics are fully integrated with responsible ecology and a deep understanding of human patterns of interaction with the environment.
Growing up in Holland, Mich., Kris (Lukas) Spaulding â€™97 always felt close to nature. She was drawn to the lake, her family often took trips to the beach, and she spent hours playing in the forest that was her backyard. Her affinity for nature only grew stronger as she grew older. When Kris came to the University of Michigan as an undergraduate, she began a degree in engineering but soon switched to SNRE, realizing her lifelong affinity for nature.
Landscape Architecture Professor Joan Nassauer sees opportunity in the ruins of Detroit’s abandoned homes. She is currently spearheading a pilot program to effectively improve the health of the Detroit River—and ultimately Lake Erie—by boosting the city’s green infrastructure.