Student life at SNRE

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.
- Author Annie Dillard

It's not all classes and research at SNRE. Working hard to become part of the next generation of environmental leaders is only part of your University of Michigan experience. You'll also network and bond with colleagues in the Dana Building, join in SNRE's annual traditions, maybe catch some Big 10 Wolverine Football action, and explore all the culture and fun Ann Arbor has to offer.

Our building

Students do much of their classwork inside the century-old Samuel T. Dana Building. Despite its historic registry, the Dana Building is a state-of-the-art example of a green renovation, featuring materials that were recycled or manufactured from renewable resources.

Inside the Dana Building, environmental principles are not only taught but also upheld and demonstrated to the community. Its sun and shade gardens are landscaped exclusively with native plants. It has earned LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Common areas include cozy spaces for individual or group study, impromptu debriefings after class, or even naps.

Annual SNRE events


Just before the fall semester begins, incoming students participate in an orientation retreat at the University of Michigan Biological Station, where they spend three days with faculty and current students. With activities like swimming and kayaking—and even howling at the moon—the retreat truly bonds the incoming class.


In the fall, SNRE hosts a campfire for students, faculty, and alumni at Saginaw Forest, a university research property in Ann Arbor. While Saginaw Forest is often used for field classes, on this night it is the place where the "SNREds"—as students and alumni call themselves—gather for fun, food, and some interesting contests. Can you say pumpkin-seed spitting?

Winter Solstice

Each December brings a celebratory winter solstice celebration. Hosted before the holiday break, the solstice, which is held at the Student Commons in the Dana Building, brings students, faculty, and staff together for music by the Eco-Tones, a faculty band, conversation, and festive organic fare.

Spring Picnic

Students and faculty together with their families mark the end of the academic year with an April picnic at the University of Michigan's Nichols Arboretum. Called a "living museum," this 123-acre arboretum features ten acres of restored prairie, has hundreds of wood plant species and more than a mile of frontage on the Huron River.


From classic rivalries to football games at the Big House with more than 100,000 screaming fans, Michigan Athletics are undoubtedly the most spirited in the country. And don't just take our word for it. Forbes magazine has repeatedly named A2 the No. 1 college sports town in the United States.

Michigan teams have claimed more than 50 national championships in 12 sports over the years, beginning with football's 1901 national title. Since then, Wolverine dynasties have developed in football, men's swimming and diving and ice hockey. In fact, no other NCAA Division I program boasts more national titles in hockey or men's swimming and diving than the Wolverines. In 2005, Michigan softball captured the nation's attention, winning its first Women's College World Series and becoming the first school east of the Mississippi to do so.

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City life

Because city and campus life are elaborately interwoven, Ann Arbor has a bustling and varied nightlife with restaurants, bars, cafes, and entertainment venues for every taste and temperament. With nearly 114,000 permanent residents, there are things to do year-round. Visit Uniquely Michigan to find out more.

Ann Arbor covets its reputation as a national center for the arts, and the University of Michigan is a large part of that. Almost every day you will find cultural and intellectual events—such as the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Berlin Philharmonic, and the Capitol Steps—brought to campus by the University Musical Society. Nationally acclaimed events like the Ann Arbor Art Fair draw nearly a half-million visitors every year.

Running through the city is the Huron River, an ideal spot for outdoor recreation. Many other rivers, forests, and a whopping 147 parks of all shapes and sizes can be found in the area. And, while Ann Arbor celebrates four distinct seasons, those unfamiliar with colder climes should not fear. Our temperate winter weather is as inviting to skiers and outdoor lovers as our summers and colorful falls.

Ann Arbor and the university community are safe, friendly, and accessible. Here, students enjoy an environment that is rich and diverse, both culturally and intellectually.

Be Green! Go Blue!