School of Natural Resources and Environment

Environmental Justice News & Highlights

Thanks to the generous donation of Jean Whittemore Sharp (BA, ’44), twenty-one SNRE students from various specializations were selected to participate in the San Francisco Career Trek. From October 17-18, these students had the opportunity to meet with over 45 Bay Area alumni and professionals that offered their time for roundtable discussions, moderated panels, personal meetings, as well as a networking reception.

Bilal Butt is an Assistant Professor at the School of Natural Resources and Environment and a faculty affiliate of the African Studies Center, Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute, Program in the Environment, and the Center for Global and Inter-Cultural Study at the University of Michigan. Bilal's research aims to answer questions of how people and wildlife are adapting to changing climates, politics, livelihoods and ecologies in sub-Saharan Africa. You can learn more about his current work at



We were pleased to welcome 143 master’s students to SNRE this fall. The Class of 2018 hail from 11 countries, more than 40 universities, and virtually every region of the US. They bring a wide range of undergraduate degrees and most significantly, cultural experiences and unique perspectives. Although their interests, goals and career plans are just as diverse, they share an acute sense of their responsibility as stewards of the environment, and an eagerness, as one student put it, to get things done.

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.

DDCSP U-M Team 2015-2016

SNRE has launched two new programs to introduce greater diversity into the environmental conservation workforce: the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program (DDCSP) and the Environmental Fellows Program (EFP). The programs are administered through the school's Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, led by Professor Dorceta Taylor. 

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.  

Rocky Rohwedder, MS ’79, began his journey with a single, central question: “Are there highly successful examples of communities lifting themselves out of poverty, while simultaneously lowering their ecological footprint?” Based on decades of exploration, he has found the answer to be a resounding yes. Illuminating that link for others prompted Rocky to write Ecological Handprints, an interactive eBook focused on proven grass-roots remedies that both ameliorate poverty and restore ecological resilience.

Butt and Xu win CAREER awards

Two SNRE assistant professors recently earned National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) awards — the organization’s most prestigious program for supporting early-career scientists. According to the NSF, CAREER awards support junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education, and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations. 

Housing projects sit in front of a hazardous waste site (stock image)

Minority and low-income neighborhoods and communities in transition are disproportionately targeted by industries that follow the path of least resistance when deciding where to locate hazardous waste sites and other polluting facilities.

That's one of the conclusions from a new environmental justice study by researchers at the University of Michigan and the University of Montana who analyzed 30 years of demographic data about the placement of U.S. hazardous waste facilities.