School of Natural Resources and Environment

News and Research Digest

NSF CNH grant

The Dynamics of Coupled Natural and Human Systems (CNH) program of the National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a grant of $1.6 million to study the impacts of land transactions and investments on agricultural production, ecosystem services, and food-energy security in Ethiopia.

Professor Arun Agrawal and Interim Dean and Professor Daniel Brown are leading the project from the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan in collaboration with Professor Jane Southworth, chair of the Department of Geography at the University of Florida.

The Center for Sustainable Systems is turning 25! What began in 1991 as the National Pollution Prevention Center for Higher Education (NPPC) has grown over 25 years into the authority on sustainable systems. In the process, CSS has produced 200 projects, 500 publications, and 2,000 alumni who have made a difference globally.

When a US EPA competitive grant launched the NPPC in 1991, its mission was to collect, develop, and distribute educational materials on pollution prevention. In 1997, the mission expanded to encompass sustainability and systems analysis.  

Shortly before his ninth birthday, Jose Gonzalez (M.S. ’09) moved with his family to California, where Gonzalez noted that many Americans travel to nature in order to have a “nature experience” - a concept he had not previously encountered.  As a child in rural Mexico, nature was always just outside his door.  

SNRE’s Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program is now underway!  Each summer, the program brings 20 undergraduates from environmental studies or a related field to SNRE for an eight-week summer internship program.

This is the program’s first year at SNRE. They have welcomed participants from 17 colleges and universities around the country to work in labs alongside SNRE faculty, research scientists, and doctoral students.

Six innovative student groups from SNRE were featured in a new publication, Made at Michigan, created by Innovate Blue. Made at Michigan is U-M’s first annual report of student innovation and entrepreneurship campus-wide. The magazine-style publication highlights more than 80 student ventures over a broad variety of disciplines, including for-profits, nonprofits, and innovative products and services with market potential.  

Professors Steve Yaffee and Julia Wondolleck have just launched a new web-based teaching tool to help people understand facilitation strategies and collaborative decision making.  The new website follows in SNRE's strong tradition of work in conflict management and collaborative problem solving, while using new technology that enables engaged learning.  According to Yaffee, "We built this site to provide users with a stepwise guide for facilitating a complicated public