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Addressing climate change and adapting to its many challenges requires a multifaceted, global, and urgent approach. Society must lead with science and elevate scalable and just solutions to ensure the future of the natural and built environments. At the University of Michigan, researchers across disciplines and academic units are bringing their expertise together toward a more sustainable world.

Research Themes

Learn more about
Climate & Energy

Global CO2 Initiative

Climate change is the issue of our time, and combating the climate crisis is global society’s greatest current challenge. A number of technological, business, and policy hurdles must be overcome to ensure the future vitality of both the natural and built environments.

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Conservation & Restoration

forest restoration

Climate change and the built environment pose threats to ecosystems around the world. Interdisciplinary approaches — examining the interplay between the natural environment and human activity — can enrich conservation, restoration, and habitat management efforts going forward.

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Environmental Justice

2019 environmental justice students

Low-income and underserved communities are poised to bear the greatest burdens of the climate crisis. Yet those same communities are least likely to access innovations in energy and infrastructure that could save lives and livelihoods. Environmental justice — across race, class, and gender — must be central to our efforts to tackle this global crisis.

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Environmental Policy & Business

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Moving society toward a more sustainable future requires contributions from the public, private, and social sectors. Bold, equitable public policies, innovative business practices, and disruptions and adaptations within legacy industries can all help address the climate crisis.

Learn more about
Food Systems

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An accessible, equitable, and ecologically sound food system is vital toward a sustainable world. Food systems extend beyond nutrition, and a number of actions must be taken to adequately address food’s role in climate change as well as persisting global hunger.

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Human Health

Danni Zemmel water sampling

Climate change and other environmental crises threaten to harm overall human health and exacerbate existing gaps in health equity. In charting the path ahead, public health professionals and sustainability researchers alike must address how our changing global climate impacts air quality, food sources and supply chains, the spread of infectious disease, mental and community health, and other dynamic processes.

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Sustainable Infrastructure

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Advances in mobility, materials, and landscape architecture pose new opportunities for the world, and especially for the more than half of the global population that now resides in cities. As we face the climate crisis, new strategies for the built environment will be necessary to ensure the health of distinct communities and the natural environment.

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water quality

Water is essential to our planet. Without it, there is no life. But there are many environmental challenges that need to be addressed to ensure the continued health and safety of water resources worldwide.

Multidisciplinary Leadership from 700+ Experts

U-M faculty are on the forefront of leading research, teaching, and engagement efforts on an array of environmental topics. Researchers contribute their interests and expertise, enabling the university to serve as a nexus for ideas and far-reaching solutions.

Working Toward Carbon Neutrality

Scalable and transferable steps that will enable U-M to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across all three campuses and Michigan Medicine

Learn More about the President's Commission on Carbon Neutrality and U-M's Next Steps right-arrow
President's Commission on Carbon Neutrality Co-Chairs Jennifer Haverkamp and Stephen Forrest

Planet Blue Campus

Empowering students, staff, and faculty to get involved in sustainability work on campus, at home, and in the community

Get Involved with Planet Blue right-arrow
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Office of Campus Sustainability

Collaborating with academic and research units, auxiliary units, and student groups to pursue U-M’s Sustainability Goals

Learn More about the Office of Campus Sustainability right-arrow
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Schools, Colleges, Units, and Initiatives

Learn More about the Office of the President's Initiatives and Focus Areas


The threats posed by the climate crisis extend far beyond the U-M campus and community. By bringing together academics, activists, and community leaders, U-M, as a top public research university, has a distinct opportunity to help chart the path forward.

Learn More about the U-M Office of Research


As the nation's largest public research university, the U-M Office of Research (UMOR) aims to catalyze, support, and safeguard U-M research.

Learn More about SEAS


Climate change. Population growth. Food access. Water quality. The world needs bold leaders willing to take on urgent environmental issues, now more than ever. The School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS) is focusing on the future, transforming research into action to create a healthier planet for all.

Learn More about the Graham Sustainability Institute


The Graham Sustainability Institute catalyzes and facilitates sustainability-focused collaborations involving faculty, students, and external stakeholders. Graham links knowledge to real-world impact by supporting teams spanning multiple topics, disciplines, and sectors.

Learn More about the Erb Institute


The Erb Institute — a partnership between U-M’s Ross School of Business and the School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS) — aspires to create a socially and environmentally sustainable world through the power of business. Erb conducts research, teaching, and business engagement; all focused on preparing and supporting bold business leaders who can adeptly transform companies, industries, and entire economies for systemic sustainability.

Learn More about Michigan Engineering


Michigan Engineering strives to anticipate the changes ahead and provide scientific and technological leadership for the common good. It is home to top-ranked departments that collaborate within the nation’s number one public research institution.

Learn More about LSA


With more than 100 degree programs in over 75 academic units, the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA) is the largest of U-M’s 19 schools and colleges and is still at the heart of the university. The college is built upon the idea that a powerful, pragmatic, broad education can transform hearts and minds, can solve problems in an ever-changing world, and can yield ideas and innovation across every discipline.

Learn More about the School of Public Health


The U-M School of Public Health is pursuing a healthier, more equitable world through education, research, and action. The School of Public Health works with compassion, innovation, and inclusion to create meaningful, lasting impact.

Learn More about the Ford School


The Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan is a community dedicated to the public good. It inspires and prepares diverse leaders grounded in service, conducts transformational research, and collaborates on evidence-based policymaking to take on our communities' and our world's most pressing challenges.

Learn More about Taubman College


Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan aims to create a more beautiful, inclusive, and better environment for generations to come. Through interdisciplinary education and research, Taubman College prepares graduates for positions of responsibility within a wide spectrum of professions, organizations, and institutions that shape the built environment at scales ranging from local to global.

Learn More about Matthaei-Nichols


The University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum promotes environmental enjoyment, stewardship, and sustainability through education, research and interaction with the natural world.

Learn More about ISR


The Institute for Social Research (ISR) is the world’s largest academic social science survey and research organization. It is a leader in developing and applying new social science methods, and is committed to educating the next generation of social scientists.

Learn More about the Biosciences Initiative


The Biosciences Initiative focuses on funding cutting-edge interdisciplinary research, expert faculty hires, collaboration, and postgraduate education across the biological sciences at U-M.



Virtual First Step Sessions!

1:00 PM

Learn more about study programs around the world, scholarships and other financial aid resources, the CGIS application process, courses in your major,...


NERS Fall 2021 Colloquia

4:00 PM

Sept 10: Ken Powell, Aerospace Engineering, U-M Increasing Diversity and Inclusion in Academic Departments Sept 17: Todd Allen, Nuclear...


Earthfest 2021

10:00 AM

Earthfest celebrates sustainability initiatives across U-M and the surrounding communities, while providing an inclusive platform to educate and...

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