Student life at SNRE

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

To be a student at the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment is to be a person who is committed to spending his or her academic life gaining knowledge necessary to help others recognize the importance of today's pressing environmental issues.

Our Building

Students do much of their class work 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.

Dana is now a building where 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 a Gold rating from LEED - Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design- from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Inside the building student life is marked by four annual events that have become traditions for students and alumni alike.

Annual SNRE Events


In August, incoming students participate in an orientation retreat at the University of Michigan's Biological Station, where they spend three days with faculty and current students. The Biostation, a 10,000 acre nature and research and teaching facility founded in 1909, is located on Douglas Lake, near Pellston, Michigan, about 260 miles north of Ann Arbor at the tip of the Lower Peninsula.


In the fall, the school 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 "SNERDS" -- 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. 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 then a mile of frontage on the Huron River.


If you're into college sports, there is no better town in America than Ann Arbor. And that's just not SNRE saying it. Forbes magazine recently named A-squared the No. 1 college sports town in the United States. If you need a regular fix on intercollegiate sports news and scores, then bookmark

City Life

Located in the Great Lakes state, the city of Ann Arbor, with its nearly 114,000 permanent residents, covets its reputation as a national center for the performing arts. Every day you will find cultural and intellectual events - from the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Berlin Philharmonic and the Capitol Steps brought to campus by the University Musical Society to nationally acclaimed annual events like the Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival and the Ann Arbor Art Fair, which draws some 400,000 art and craft patrons every year.

Because city and campus life are elaborately interwoven, there is a bustling and varied nightlife with restaurants, bars, cafes and lecture and musical venues for every taste and temperament. Visit Uniquely Michigan for more information.

Running through the city is the Huron River, an ideal spot for outdoor recreation. Many other rivers, forests and a whopping 147 parks 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!