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About

The University of Michigan is the nation’s largest public research university, with $1.62 billion in annual research expenditures. With three campuses, a health system and more than 200 centers and institutes, U-M researchers are working with partners on campus and beyond to address emerging problems, spur new technologies and drive the economy.

Interdisciplinary Cooperation

U-M researchers collaborate across a wide variety of disciplines in order to advance knowledge and solve challenging problems. The interdisciplinary environment at U-M has sparked a broad spectrum of cross-cutting projects and initiatives that address sustainability challenges related to population growth, climate change, land and water use, energy choices and poverty. Find U-M experts in sustainability and environmental science, across fields and academic units.

Putting Research to Practice

U-M has research strengths that build on advances in the basic sciences and engineering to pave the way for practical application. Translational sustainability research led by U-M spans from public health to business, policy, law and urban planning.

Students

U-M students play a critical role in sustainability efforts at U-M, collaborating with faculty experts as part of their degree requirements. Through these undergraduate research experiences, students at all levels are advancing knowledge and developing the skills and passion to become future sustainability leaders. They are putting their knowledge and passion to work across campus through climate, environmental, and sustainability activities housed at Planet Blue Campus.

Partnerships and Initiatives

U-M engages in a broad spectrum of research partnerships with communities and government agencies to spur progress on critical issues in sustainability and environmental science around the world. Some of our key partnerships in environmental policy, economics, and business include:

Erb Institute

The Erb Institute is a partnership between the Ross School of Business and the School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS) at the University of Michigan. The institute’s mission is to create a socially and environmentally sustainable world through the power of business. The institute does that through 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.

group selfie with people wearing ERB Institute shirts

Center for Local, State and Urban Policy

The Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP) conducts, supports and fosters applied academic research to inform local, state, and urban policy issues. One of the Center's key programs is the Michigan Public Policy Survey (MPPS), the nation's only ongoing census-style survey of every unit of general purpose local government across an entire state. Across all of its activities, the Center functions as an information resource for policymakers and practitioners, academics, students, the media, and the public.

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Center for Smart Infrastructure Finance

The Center for Smart Infrastructure Finance (CSIF) aims to change the way infrastructure is designed and financed, by harnessing the hidden value of data. By bridging infrastructure data and efficient financing models, the center aims to enable climate resilience and equity.

graphic of city buildings

Center for Sustainable Systems

CSS develops and applies life cycle and systems analysis methods, models, and metrics for advancing sustainability and transforming systems to better meet human needs. It has pioneered new methods in life cycle analysis, design and optimization and has led over 200 research projects focused on a wide range of topics including alternative vehicle technology, renewable energy systems, buildings and infrastructure, appliances, information technology, food and agricultural systems, and packaging alternatives.

solar panels with wind turbines in the background

Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments Program

GLISA is a collaboration of U-M and Michigan State University, funded by the NOAA. GLISA is part of a national network of NOAA Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISAs) that focus on adaptation to climate change and variability. GLISA is the NOAA RISA for the Great Lakes region.

map of michigan and the great lakes

Urban Collaboratory

The Urban Collaboratory draws together a community of scholars from across the University of Michigan campus to collaborate directly with city stakeholders to address targeted challenges that impact the health and livability of urban centers.

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Urban Energy Justice Lab (UEJ)

UEJ examines energy-related topics through a justice lens, primarily in an urban context. Its research focuses on the production and persistence of spatial, racial, and socioeconomic disparities in accessibility and affordability of energy services, technology, and programs.

tony reames standing in front of the school for environment and sustainability building