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Global sustainability issues encompass many areas of inquiry, including air, water, food, energy, mobility, climate change, the built environment, land use and human behavior.

However, efforts focused solely on individual elements will not produce the solutions our society requires. Transformative breakthroughs will only result by focusing at the intersections—applying innovative ideas and approaches that cut across natural, social, and technological boundaries.

Two people looking at charts on a very large screen

At the University of Michigan, we seek to discover and disseminate breakthrough innovations at disciplinary interfaces to solve complex sustainability challenges and improve lives on local-to-global scales. Drawing on more than 650 sustainability-related faculty across 19 schools and colleges, we possess tremendous intellectual assets to support this goal.

Faculty Experts

Search our database of more than 650 sustainability-related faculty across schools and colleges.

Find a sustainability expert

Measuring Sustainability Behavior

The Sustainability Culture Indicators Program (SCIP) regularly surveys and analyzes the campus community's knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors related to sustainability—helping the university to monitor progress, and make improvements, toward building an ethic of sustainability at U-M. Materials from SCIP include indicator reports and survey samples about transportation, waste prevention, conservation, and more. The program is a collaborative effort of the Institute for Social Research and the Graham Sustainability Institute.

Research Units

With more than $1 billion in research funding, the University of Michigan conducts a vast array of research supported by a superb infrastructure. The university's many sustainability-related units are critical components of these research endeavors. Please browse the list below to learn about these entities—and their respective roles in leading and supporting important sustainability research.

Academic Units

The** School for Environment and Sustainability** (SEAS) is the primary ​academic home for faculty and students whose work focuses on these topics. As an interdisciplinary school, SEAS spans the university and brings together students and faculty from all of our schools to contribute their ideas and talents to this important work. All of our other Schools and Colleges also do important work related to the environment and sustainability.

Centers, Partnerships & Initiatives
Field Stations & Preserves
  • Biological Station. Founded in 1909, this Northern Michigan facility is dedicated to education and research in field biology and related environmental sciences.
  • Camp Davis Rocky Mountain Field Station.  U-M has maintained this Wyoming field station since 1929, providing unparalleled learning experiences for students.
  • Edwin S. George Reserve. U-M has maintained this preserve since 1930 for natural science research and education opportunities and to preserve the native flora and fauna.
  • Harper Preserve. 375-acre research property that includes Murray Lake and 20+ acres of mature oak-hickory forest located in Argentine Township, Michigan.
  • Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum. Established in 1907, these Ann Arbor treasures encompass 700+ acres of gardens, preserves, and research areas.
  • Newcomb Tract. 247-acre research property that includes shoreline, hardwood forest, old fields, and open areas located in Webster Township, Michigan.
  • Ringwood Forest. 160-acre research area with public access that features wooded and agricultural land, including some of the oldest plantations in Michigan. Located in St. Charles.
  • Saginaw Forest. 80-acre research area with public access that features forested areas and a 10-acre lake. Located in Scio Township, Michigan.
  • Stinchfield Woods. 77-acre research area with public access that features forests, old fields, and open areas, including 281 acres of native hardwoods. Located in Dexter Township, Michigan.
  • St. Pierre Wetland. 130-acre research property with open water and low marsh vegetation, including the only undeveloped shoreline on Bass Lake. Located in Hamburg Township, Michigan.

Research Publications

For a comprehensive, searchable database of U-M publications, please visit Deep Blue.