Bunyan Bryant Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus

Ph.D. Education, 1970, University of Michigan

M.S.W. Social Work, 1965, University of Michigan

B.S. Social Science, 1958, Eastern Michigan University


Instrumental in establishing the School's Environmental Justice Program that focuses on the differential impact of environmental contaminants on people of color and low-income communities; Founder and Director of the Environmental Justice Initiative for research and retrieval/dissemination conferences and policy briefings. Played a critical role in the development and implementation of the Environmental Justice Certificate Program. Research and conferences include both a domestic and international foci, particularly on climate justice. Teaching portfolio includes: Introduction to Environmental Justice (Environ. 222), Conception, Practical Issues and Dilemmas in Environmental Justice (SNRE 582), and the Masters Project/NRE 701.

Awards and Grants:
Bunyan Bryant received a $250,000 grant to build the Environmental Justice Initiative (EJI). Part of the Initiative's research mission is secondary data analysis and participation in policy briefings. Another part of the research mission is to organize retrieval/dissemination conferences. Bunyan Bryant's other grants include $100,000 interim grant from Ford Foundation in March 2004, $15,000 from the Hewlett Foundation and $34,640 from the Kellogg Foundation for an EJI Development staff person in 2005, $12,900 from the Kellogg Foundation for EJI strategic planning and speakers series, and $2,500 from Lester Monts for the EJ Climate Change Conference. In 2006 Professor Bryant received a $5,000 grant from the Skillman Foundation to work with Detroit Head Start chidren exposed to pollutants. Most recently EJI was gifted $50,000 by Jean Fairfax to help support the program. Professor Bryant was honored by the Sierra Club with an Environmental Justice award to be continued in his name. In addition Bunyan was given the Ann Bona Award by the Gray Panthers for Outstanding Community Service. He was also recommended for the Regents' Public Service Award.

In late 2006 Professor Bryant was honored for his work in the Environmental Justice field though the Damu Smith Power of One Award. In 2007 the SNRE student government honored Professor Bryant for his long-term dedicated to the students and teaching. In the past Professor Bryant was chosen as an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, the Harold Johnson Diversity award, and SNRE's Teacher of the Year. Professor Bryant was given an honorable mention for the Ernest Lyton Professional Service and Outreach Award.

Research Interests:
Bunyan Bryant's research interests include analysis of both primary and secondary databases related to environmental justice. He is also interested in data analysis of research surveys such as the National Survey of American Families and Behavior, which includes socio-economic and health behavior variables. Analysis of secondary databases includes Toxic Release Inventory, Leaky Underground Storage Tanks, Superfund Sites, U.S. Power Plant Emissions, and a variety of public health data including asthma and cancer variables. What are the physical, psychological, emotional, economic, and health impacts of people overexposed to environmental insults? How do people cope with these impacts? In what ways do value neutral policies result in a discriminatory effect where low-income and people of color communities become overburdened with environmental toxins as compared to more affluent and upwardly mobile communities? In what ways do air non-attainment areas contribute to climate change and in what ways is environmental injustice related to these changes?

Research goals include applying collective research efforts through an interdisciplinary team approach to find ways of reducing, controlling, and preventing pollutants.

Current/Recent Research:
Bunyan Bryant is the Director of the Environmental Justice Initiative. The Initiative has merged several data bases for research purposes. More specifically, the Initiative asks research questions related to environmental equity, environmental justice, and climate justice, and ascertains to what extent the siting of undesirable land uses is related to race and income. The Initiative continues to focus on immediate research outcomes: 1) the contribution of combustable fossil fuel emissions to global climate change, 2) the health, economic, and social impacts of power plant emissions in their immediate area, and 3) the demographics of the people living in proximity to these plants. In addition, the Initiative focuses on quality of life issues for communities.

Teaching Interests:
Bunyan Bryant would like to expand the Introduction to Environmental Justice course (Environ. 222) to include distant learning. In the future this will allow students to enroll in the course through the Internet no matter where they live in the world. In turn they will receive an electronic syllabus and lectures. The textbook will be purchased separately in hard copy or on CD. Small group discussions and/or chat rooms will be an integral part of the course. Students who are off campus for a semester or involved in a semester-long internship could still take the course during the time it is offered.

On campus Environ. 222 is a lecture course. However, time is set aside at the end of each lecture and during one class hour per week for small group discussion. In the discussions, students are encouraged to view themselves as resources for teaching and learning. The pedagogy includes role playing, simulations, and student projects. Lectures relegate students to passive dependent roles while the small group discussions encourage them to become active in the teaching and learning process. During group discussions the class becomes student centered; authority-dependent relations are discouraged. Independence of thought, personal autonomy, and critical thinking and quality of interaction among students are encouraged. The focus of the small group discussion is to empower and build confidence showing that each student can make a difference in the world. Implementing the small group pedagogy as described is much easier in a seminar format. Notables such as Miles Horton, Paul Freire, Augusto Boal, Ron Lippitt, and members of the National Training Laboratory played a major role in fashioning Bunyan's pedagogy.

Professor Bryant is interested in using the world as a classroom. There are many learning opportunities in the real world that cannot be duplicated on campus. Professor Bryant would like to see students enroll in an internship program during their junior year where they take a semester to study in Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, or some other place in North America. He would like to see students as a part of the floating classroom-a ship of teachers and classrooms that travels around world for a semester or as a part of a semester-long camping trip in the Southwest. The world has so much to offer, and he feels that as educators we could help our students capitalize on a whole host of educational experiences.

Current/Recent Teaching:
Recent teaching includes Introduction to Environmental Justice (Environ. 222), Conception, Practical Issues, and Dilemmas in Environmental Justice (SNRE 582) and the Masters Project/ SNRE 701.

Selected Publications:

Bryant, B. (Ed.). 2010. Thunder at Michigan and in the Heartland. Book to be published.

Bryant, B.and Hockman, E. 2005. A Brief Comparison of the Civil Rights Movement and the Environmental Justice Movement. In Pellow, D. and Brulle, R. (Eds.) Power, Justice, and the Environment. Cambridge: MIT Press.

Bryant, B. and Callewaert, J. 2003. Why Is Understanding Urban Ecosystems Important to Environmental Justice? In Berkowitz, A.R., Nilon, C.H., and Hollweg, K.S. (Eds.)Understanding Urban Ecosystems. New York: Springer.

Bryant, B. 2003. History and Issues of the Environmental Justice Movement. In Visgilio, G. and Whitelaw, D. (Eds.) Our Backyard: A Quest for Environmental Justice. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Bryant, B. 2001. Environmental Justice and the Quality of Life: A Paper Prepared for the International Symposium for Sharing Productive Welfare Experience. Publication forthcoming.

Bryant, B. 2001. Key Research & Policy Issues Facing Environmental Justice. In Hartman, C. Ed. Challenges to Equality- Poverty & Race In America. New York: M.E. Sharpe. pp. 228-231.

Bryant, B., et al. 2000. Recommended Framework for State/Local/Tribal Air Toxins Risk Reduction Program. Final Workgroup Report. Workgroup on Integrated Air Toxins: State/Local/Tribal Program Structure. Formed Under the Clean Air Act Advisory Committee Subcommittee to Permit/New Source Review/Toxins. Submitted to: Emissions Standards Research Triangle Park, NC 27711. September.

Bryant, B.1999. A Creative Response to Violence and Hate: Ann Arbor, Michigan. An unpublished paper.

Bryant, B. 1998. Energy: A Conceptual Framework for Understanding Environmental Justice. Journal of Public Management and Social Policy. Vol.íï¿ ½4(2) winter.

Mohai, P and Bryant, B. 1998. Is There a "Race" Effect on Concern for Environmental Quality? Public Opinion Quarterly. Vol. 62, pp.475-505.

Bryant, B. 1997. Environmental Justice, Consumption, and Hazardous Waste Within People of Color Communities in the U.S. and Developing Countries. International Journal of Contemporary Sociology. Vol. 34(2) October, pp. 159-184.

Bryant, B. 1996. Organizational Change and Development for Healing the Planet. Ann Arbor, Michigan. James Rowe Publication.

Mohai, P. and Bryant, B. 1996. Is There a "Race" Effect on Concern for Environmental Quality? Public Opinion Quarterly. (Submitted for publication).

Bryant, B. (ed.). 1995. Environmental Justice: Issues, Policies, and Solutions. Island Press: Washington, D.C.

Bryant, B. 1995. Pollution Prevention and Participatory Research as Methodology for Environmental Justice. Virginia Environmental Law Review. Vol. 14 (4): 589-613.

Bryant, B. and Hockman, E. 1995. Hazardous Waste and Spatial Relations According to Race and Income in the State of Michigan. (submitted for publication)

Bryant, B. 1993. Racism: A Toxic Waste. Against the Current. Vol. VII (6): 10-12.

Bryant, B. 1992. Toward a Curriculum for Environmental Programs. The Environmental Professional. Vol. 14 (4): 293-301.

Bryant, B. and Weahkie, L. 1992. Education and Youth. In Lee, C. (Ed.) Proceedings: The First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit. New York: United Church of Christ Commission for Racial Justice. Pp.165-170.

Bryant, B. and Mohai, P. 1992. Race and the Incidence of Environmental Hazards: A Time for Discourse.

Westview Press: Boulder, CO. Pp.1-251.

Bryant, B. and Mohai, P. 1992. The Michigan Conference: A Turning Point. EPA Journal. March/April Vol. 18 (1): 9-10.

Mohai, P. and Bryant, B. 1992. Race, Poverty, and the Environment. EPA Journal. March/April Vol. 18 (1): 6-8.

Mohai, P. and Bryant, B. 1992. Reviewing the Evidence: Race, Poverty and the Distribution of Environmental Hazards. Race, Poverty, and the Environment. Fall 1991/Winter 1992. Vol. 2 (3&4): 3, 24-27.

Mohai, P. and Bryant, B. 1992. Environmental Injustice: Weighing Race and Class as Factors in the Distribution of Environmental Hazards. University of Colorado Law Review. Vol. 63: 921-932.

Mohai, P. and Bryant, B. 1992. Environmental Racism: Reviewing the Evidence. Paper delivered at the University of Michigan Law Symposium on Race, Poverty and the Environment. Ann Arbor, MI. January: Pp.1-20.

Bryant, B. and Mohai, P. 1991. Environmental Racism: Issues and Dilemmas. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Office of Minority Affairs. Pp. 1-70.

Bryant, B. 1990. A Social and Environmental Change: A Manual for Organizing. Caddo Gap Press: San Francisco, CA. Pp. 1-78.