The Graham Sustainability Institute administers the Dow Sustainability Fellows on behalf of the university. To foster high-impact sustainability collaborations across the University of Michigan, the Distinguished Awards component of the program includes a competition for applied sustainability projects that cut across disciplines and academic levels. Project proposals for the Distinguished Awards competition must describe a compelling effort to solve a specific sustainability challenge. Award criteria included interdisciplinarity, innovation and potential impact. A unique aspect of the competition is that it welcomes collaborations with external entities, such as municipalities and non-profit organizations.
Four teams of University of Michigan graduate students were selected to receive 2013 Dow Distinguished Awards for Sustainability totaling more than $135,000. Three of the winning teams are pursuing projects focused on built environment matters in Southeast Michigan, and the fourth is investigating water demand management issues in India.
Greenhouse Gas Inventory for the City of Detroit: Institutionalization and Spatial Analysis
For this project, students are compiling the first comprehensive inventory of greenhouse gas emissions (sources and amounts) in Detroit, using protocols specified by the Environmental Protection Agency. Spearheaded by the local non-profit organization and project client, Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice, and with support from U-M’s Center for Sustainable Systems, the greenhouse gas inventory will feed into a collaborative effort underway among local stakeholders and the Detroit Climate Action Collaborative to develop a city Climate Action Plan. Under the faculty direction of Rosina Bierbaum and Gregory Keoleian, SNRE, project team members include: Jill Carlson, Jenny Cooper, Dow Sustainability Master’s Fellows; Marie Donahue, Robb De Kleine, Max Neale and Anis Ragland, SNRE; and Melissa Stults, Architecture/Urban Planning and a Dow Doctoral-level Sustainability Fellow.