School of Natural Resources and Environment

Systainable Systems News & Highlights

Three University of Michigan student teams representing seven schools and colleges were honored on Saturday, November 15 with the Dow Distinguished Award for Interdisciplinary Sustainability

They were among more than 70 Dow Sustainability Fellows who gathered with faculty advisers, community members and other students to showcase and discuss their research at the first annual Dow Sustainability Symposium.

Rewilding - thoughts from Joan Nassauer

From the release of captive species to their natural habitats, to restoring ecosystems in rural and urban areas, to “rewilding the child”, BBC correspondent Tim Marlow explores ideas about rewilding. Joan Nassauer, SNRE Landscape Architecture Professor, joins environmentalist and writer George Monbiot and Frans Schepers from Rewilding Europe on this episode of the Forum. Listen to the full program here.

Rachel Chalat, a third year joint degree student with SNRE studying Applied Economics and Science in Sustainable Systems, tied for first place in a national clean energy competition.  Hosted by MIT's Energy Initiative, the Clean Energy Education & Empowerment (C3E) Awards recognized Rachel's research in the development of a new method for states to assess compliance options for the EPA's proposed rules to reduce carbon pollution from existing power plants.  Her work has been exemplary and has gained considerable interest with stakeholders across the Midwest.

SNRE students Eric Weinberg, Jeremy Good, Kate Loshakova, Luis Cecco, Yiyao Chen, and Kuan-Ho Lai have teamed up with the Northport Energy Action Taskforce to develop and implement a Renewable Energy Community Plan that will enable the village and township to attain their goal of becoming a 100% clean energy community.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) annual Better Buildings Case Competition engages the next generation of engineers, entrepreneurs and policy makers to develop creative solutions to real-world energy efficiency problems for businesses and other organizations across the marketplace. Through the competition, interdisciplinary teams of university students gain critical skills and experience to start careers in clean energy.

SNRE is happy to welcome Jose Alfaro to our faculty. Jose will make a critical addition to our collective work in sustainable systems and promises to be a wonderful colleague and mentor to so many in our community.  He will also be leading our international engagement efforts, which includes a substantial School commitment to the Sustainability without Borders Program.


Sustainability Without Borders (SWB) is a student organization sponsored by the Center for Sustainable Systems at the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources. Our mission is to create a network of sustainability practitioners who develop and implement environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable projects. Although we are a student organization, our membership is open to fellow sustainability enthusiasts.

SNRE Assistant Research Scientist Jeremiah Johnson has been quoted in a U.S. News Article today regarding President Obama's energy policy in the context of the State of the Union Address.  Johnson, interviewed for his specialization on energy policy, predicted that the President will emphasize the "energy independence theme" due to increased oil production and lower imports as well as the expansion of wind and solar energy in recent years. 

Josh Newell

Back alleys, vacant lots and underutilized urban spaces hold great potential for fostering more sustainable cities, if they can be reimagined and transformed into multidimensional green infrastructure that simultaneously delivers environmental, social and economic benefits, says Joshua Newell, assistant professor at the School of Natural Resources and Environment.

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