Environmental Policy and Planning Faculty
Samuel Trask Dana Professor
Arun Agrawal, PhD, emphasizes the politics of international development, institutional change, and environmental conservation in his research and teaching. He has written critically on indigenous knowledge, community-based conservation, common property, population resources, and environmental identities. Agrawal is the coordinator for the International Forestry Resources and Institutions network and is currently carrying out research in central and east Africa as well as South Asia. Since 2013, Agrawal has served as the editor-in-chief of World Development and his recent work has appeared in Science, PNAS, Conservation Biology, Development and Change, among other journals. Preceding his work at U-M, Agrawal was educated at Duke University, the Indian Institute of Management, and Delhi University and has held teaching and research positions at Yale, Florida, McGill, Berkeley, and Harvard among other universities.
Assistant Professor of Practice
Dr. Alfaro’s work uses engineering and complex systems tools such as Agent-Based Modeling, System Dynamics, and Network Science. In line with his position as a Professor of the Practice, Dr. Alfaro’s scholarship has an applied focus. This has led him to work closely with communities, industry, NGO’s, and government organizations in developing his work. Dr. Alfaro is also the founder and faculty director of Sustainability Without Borders, an interdisciplinary student organization that works with communities to develop ethical partnerships for learning and enhancing sustainability. This organization labors to provide students with a meaningful engaged experience that also increases the capacity of the communities and NGO’s it works with and increases their well-being.
Dr. Alfaro’s scholarship revolves around three main efforts:
- Using Industrial Symbiosis at the small-scale to increase communities’ sustainability and well-being
- Deploying renewable energy for sustainable development of least industrialized countries
- Developing tools for policy and decision-making through computer modeling of socio-technical systems
Max McGraw Professor of Sustainable Enterprise; Director, Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise
Joe Arvai, PhD, is the Max McGraw Professor of Sustainable Enterprise at the School for Environment and Sustainability, and the Ross School of Business. He is also the Director of the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise. Joe is an internationally recognized expert in the risk and decisions sciences; his research has two main areas of emphasis: First, Joe and his research group conduct experiments focused on advancing our understanding of how people process information and make decisions, with a specific emphasis on how people make tradeoffs. Second, Joe and his team conduct research focused on developing and testing decision-aiding tools and approaches that can be used by people to improve decision quality across a wide range of environmental, social, and economic contexts. His research is applied, and accounts for decision-making by a broad spectrum of public and stakeholder groups, as well as by technical experts, business leaders, and policy makers. His work also focuses on choices made by people individually, and when working in groups. Likewise, he conducts his research across a wide range of contexts, ranging from environmental risk management, to consumer choice and policy-making. Joe is a former member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Chartered Science Advisory Board, and he is a current member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences' Board on Environmental Change and Society.
Professor Bierbaum, PhD, focuses her research on the interface of science and policy--principally on issues related to climate change adaptation and mitigation at the national and international levels. From 2001-2011, she served as Dean of SNRE and oversaw the creation of a new undergraduate program in the environment as well as five dual Master’s degrees across campus. She is the Chair of the Science and Technical Advisory Panel of the Global Environment Facility. She served on President Obama's Council of Advisers on Science and Technology (PCAST), as an Adaptation Fellow at the World Bank, led the Adaptation Chapter for the Congressionally-mandated U.S. National Climate assessment, and was a review editor for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. She has served in both the executive and legislative branches of the U.S. Government--as the Senate-confirmed director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy’s Environment Division, and in multiple capacities at the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment.
Assistant Research Scientist
Victoria Campbell-Arvai, PhD, serves as an Assistant Research Scientist at SEAS. Her research uses field and laboratory experiments as well as interviews and focus groups in her research to understand the roles of knowledge, values, attitudes and beliefs as drivers of direct and indirect pro-environmental behaviors. She also works on individual and community engagement with environmental issues more broadly. Because positive environmental attitudes do not always lead to pro-environmental behaviors, she is additionally interested in the role of information provision and behavioral interventions to motivate and support behaviors that lead to positive environmental outcomes.
Campbell-Arvai's other research interests include the factors that influence the acceptability of behavioral interventions in a broad variety of pro-social and pro-environmental contexts; perceptions of the value of reconstructed and restored habitats; student engagement around environmental sustainability; and information provision and other interventions to improve efficacy, motivation and perceptions of control related to engagement with and knowledge of environmental issues.
The particular contexts that she works in include food, water, and energy systems urban biodiversity, and habitat management and conservation.
Raymond De Young, PhD, is a broadly trained psychologist, planner, and engineer. He serves as an Associate Professor of Environmental Psychology and Planning at SEAS, an Associate Professor in the Program in the Environment (PitE), a Faculty Associate at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum, a Faculty Affiliate for the Graham Sustainability Institute, and the Faculty-in-Residence at the UM Sustainable Living Experience. His research focus is on the process of re-localization, a response to emerging biophysical limits and the consequences of having deeply disrupted the Earth's ecosystems. De Young applies conservation and environmental psychology principles to the challenge of helping people to envision and adopt pragmatic behavioral responses that support an urgent transition to a life lived within local resource limits. Despite what for some people is a dismal forecast, his work is decidedly hopeful. He is described as neither an optimist nor pessimist when it comes to human behavior, but rather an idealist without illusions.
His current work includes both theoretical and empirical research on (1) helping people to pre-familiarize themselves with the behavioral apsects of the coming resource downshift, (2) motivating environmental stewardship and voluntary simplicity using intrinsic motivation and innate satisfactions and (3) using nature to restore the mental vitality needed for responding to and coping with the lean and difficult yet exciting times ahead. Two current projects include examining the psychological foundations of behavioral aesthetics and behavioral entrepreneurship, and the promotion of voluntary simplicity.
Paige Fischer, PhD, serves as an Assistant Professor at SEAS. Fischer's research group focuses on human dimensions of environmental change. The primary goal of her research is to increase scientific understanding of human behavior as it relates to the sustainability of socio-ecological systems. She also investigates factors that enable and constrain human adaptation to environmental change including natural hazards and climate-related changes.
Fischer is particularly interested in understanding the capacity of individuals (e.g., private landowners) and organizations (e.g., natural resource agencies and environmental organizations) to adapt to environmental change through individual and collective natural resource management and environmental conservation actions. She draws on theories from the fields of natural resource sociology and human geography in my work. Her methods include qualitative interview analysis, quantitative survey analysis and social network analysis. She collaborates with researchers from diverse disciplines using a broad range of analytical approaches and strive to address problems of concern to local practitioners.
Andy Hoffman is the Holcim (US) Professor of Sustainable Enterprise; a position that holds joint appointments at the School for Environment and Sustainability and the Ross School of Business. He also also serves as education director of the Graham Sustainability Institute. His research focuses on corporate strategies that address environmental and social issues. His disciplinary background lies in the areas of organizational behavior, institutional change, negotiations and change management. He has published more than 100 articles and eleven books, two of which have been translated into five different languages. Prior to academics, he worked for the US Environmental Protection Agency, Metcalf & Eddy, the Amoco Corporation, and T&T Construction and Design, Inc. In 2004, he was a Senior Fellow with the Meridian Institute.
Peter M. Wege Endowed Professor of Sustainable Systems; Director, Center for Sustainable Systems
Dr. Keoleian co-founded and serves as director of the Center for Sustainable Systems. His research focuses on the development and application of life cycle models and metrics to enhance the sustainability of products and technology. He has pioneered new methods in life cycle design, life cycle optimization of product replacement, life cycle cost analysis and life cycle based sustainability assessments ranging from energy analysis and carbon footprints to social indicators. Systems studied include alternative vehicle technology, renewable energy systems such as wind farms, photovoltaics and willow biomass electricity, buildings and infrastructure, information technology, food and agricultural systems, household appliances, and packaging alternatives.
Professor Keoleian currently teaches interdisciplinary graduate courses on Sustainable Energy Systems and Industrial Ecology and co-directs the Engineering Sustainable Systems Dual Degree Program and the Rackham Graduate Certificate Program in Industry Ecology.
Professor; Associate Dean for Research
Maria Carmen Lemos' broad research interests are related to the human dimensions of global change and social studies of science. She is particularly interested in understanding: (a) the intersection between development and climate, especially concerning the relationship between anti-poverty programs and risk management (b) the use of technoscientific information, especially seasonal climate (El Nino forecasting) in building adaptive capacity to climate variability and change (drought planning, water management, and agriculture) in the U.S. (Great Lakes) and Latin America (Brazil, Mexico and Chile); (c) the impact of technocratic decisionmaking on issues of democracy and equity; (d) the co-production of science and policy and the role of technocrats as decisionmakers; (e) the role of popular participation in urban environmental policymaking and policymaker/client interactions; (f) U.S.-Mexico border region environmental policymaking especially regarding transboundary water conflict, environmental health, a common use of shared natural resources.
Dow Professor of Sustainable Science, Technology, and Commerce
Tom Lyon is the Dow Professor of Sustainable Science, Technology and Commerce. His research and teaching interests include environmental information disclosure and greenwash; corporate environmental strategy; environmental NGOs; voluntary environmental agreements; government regulation of business; industrial organization; and energy and the environment.
Professor Mohai’s teaching and research interests are focused on environmental justice, public opinion and the environment, and influences on environmental policy making. He is a founder of the Environmental Justice Program at the University of Michigan and a major contributor to the growing body of quantitative research examining disproportionate environmental burdens and their impacts on low income and people of color communities. In 1990, he co-organized with Dr. Bunyan Bryant the “Michigan Conference on Race and the Incidence of Environmental Hazards”, which was credited by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as one of two events bringing the issue of Environmental Justice to the attention of the Agency. He is author or co-author of numerous articles, books, and reports focused on race and the environment, including “Environmental Racism: Reviewing the Evidence”, “Race and the Incidence of Environmental Hazards”, “Toxic Waste and Race at Twenty”, and “Which Came First, People or Pollution?”. His current research involves national level studies examining the causes of environmental disparities and the role environmental factors play in accounting for racial and socioeconomic disparities in health. Through a grant from the Kresge Foundation, he is also examining pollution burdens around public schools and the links between such burdens and student performance and health.
Professor Mohai is a past member of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2007-2013). He is currently a member of the Governor’s Environmental Justice Work Group charged with developing an Environmental Justice Plan for Michigan. He is also currently a member of the Advisory Board of the Global Environmental Justice Movement Project (ENVJUSTICE) which is documenting and mapping environmental justice conflicts around the world (http://www.envjustice.org/). Professor Mohai has provided testimony on environmental justice to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1993 and 1999, the U.S. Senate in 2007, and the Michigan Civil Rights Commission in 2016.
Professor; U-M Distinguished Faculty Fellow in Sustainability; Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Michael Moore's teaching involves courses in microeconomics, environmental economics, and ecosystem services. His research interests include water resource economics and environmental economics. He has ongoing research to develop models of the environmentally responsible consumer (with applications to consumption of green electricity); to study land-use adaptation to weather risk and climate change; and to value water quality using the hedonic price method.
Joan Iverson Nassauer is Professor of Landscape Architecture at the School for Environment and Sustainability. She was named Fellow by the American Society of Landscape Architects (1992), Fellow of the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (2007), and Distinguished Practitioner of Landscape Ecology in the US (1998) and Distinguished Scholar (2007) by the International Association of Landscape Ecology. She focuses on the cultural sustainability of ecological design in human-dominated landscapes. Her research offers knowledge and strategies for basing ecological design on cultural insight, strong science, and creative engagement with policy. Her teaching and recent projects apply this approach to brownfields, vacant property, exurban sprawl, and agricultural landscapes.
Samuel A. Graham Dean; William B. Stapp Collegiate Professor of Environmental Education; Professor, Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering
Professor Overpeck is an interdisciplinary climate scientist and the Samuel A. Graham Dean of the School for Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan.
Overpeck has written over 210 published works on climate and the environmental sciences, served as a Working Group 1 Coordinating Lead Author for the Nobel Prize winning IPCC 4th Assessment (2007), and also as a Working Group 2 Lead Author for the IPCC 5th Assessment (2014). Other awards include the US Dept. of Commerce Gold and Bronze Medals, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Walter Orr Roberts award of the American Meteorological Society, and the Quivira Coalition’s Radical Center Award for his work with rural ranchers and land managers.
He has active climate research programs on five continents, focused on understanding drought and megadrought dynamics (and risk) the world over, and has also served as the lead investigator of Climate Assessment for the Southwest and the SW Climate Science Center – two major programs focused on regional climate adaptation. Overpeck also works more broadly on climate and paleoclimate dynamics, ice sheets and sea level, climate-vegetation interaction, conservation biology, legal issues related to climate change, environmental communication and environmental education. He has appeared and testified before Congress multiple times, is a Fellow of AGU and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and tweets about climate-related issues @TucsonPeck.
As a multidisciplinary scholar, with degrees in engineering and social science, Assistant Professor Reames' research agenda seeks to connect the areas of technological advancement, the policy process, and social equity. His research extends the environmental justice scholarship to focus on energy justice. He is currently exploring disparities in residential energy generation, consumption, and affordability- focusing on the production and persistence of inequality by race, class, and place.
Sam Stolper is an environmental and energy economist. His research, teaching, and writing are aimed at the design and implementation of environmental policy that is both efficient and equitable. He teaches courses on this subject to graduate students at SEAS as well as undergraduates in the Program in the Environment (PitE). Prior to joining SEAS, Sam was a postdoctoral associate at MIT, jointly through the Department of Economics and the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research (CEEPR). He received a Ph.D. in public policy in 2016 from Harvard University and a B.S. in biomedical engineering in 2006 from Brown University.
James E. Crowfoot Collegiate Professor; Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Professor Taylor's research interests include urban agriculture, food access, and food insecurity; institutional diversity; analysis of the composition of the environmental workforce; social movement analysis; environmental justice; leisure and natural resource use; poverty; and race, gender, and ethnic relations. Her current research includes an assessment of food access in Michigan and other parts of the country. A recently-published article on food justice in Detroit entitled, "Food Availability and the Food Desert Frame in Detroit: An Overview of the City’s Food Systemstates" (Environmental Practice), exemplify this work.
Other recent research activities include the 2014 national report analyzing racial and gender diversity in the environmental field -- see The State of Diversity in Environmental Organizations: Mainstream NGOs, Foundations, and Government Agencies. Her 2009 book, The Environment and the People in American Cities (Duke University Press), is an award-winning urban environmental history book. She published an edited volume in 2010 entitled, Environment and Social Justice: An International Perspective (Emerald Press). She published oxic Communities: Environmental Racism, Industrial Pollution, and Residential Mobility (NYU Press) in 2014. Her newest book, Power, Privilege, and Environmental Protection: Social Inequality and the Rise of the American Conservation Movement (Duke University Press) is currently in press; it is slated for publication in 2015.
Julia Wondolleck’s research and teaching is focused on the collaborative dimension of marine, coastal and terrestrial ecosystem management. She is interested in the structure of policy and administrative processes that promote the sustainability of ecological and human systems in the face of diverse yet legitimate interests, scientific complexity, and often conflicting and ambiguous legal direction. Wondolleck has spent over 30 years examining the emergence and functioning of inter-organizational and community-based collaborative processes in ecosystem-scale resource planning and management. These processes often arise in response to natural and/or social system crises. This research looks at both conflict and collaboration in the management of public natural resources and, in particular, the factors that promote and sustain collaborative resource management processes over time. Current research projects include: assessing lessons for policy and practice from marine and coastal ecosystem-based management initiatives around the world; understanding the factors that enable resilience of local communities; examining effective end user engagement in collaborative science; and, advancing understanding of the connections between the factors that encourage and sustain collaborative ecosystem management initiatives and the institutional arrangements that might better enable community-level adaptation to the effects of climate change.
Director, China Programs; Associate Professor
Ming Xu is an Associate Professor in the School for Environment and Sustainability and in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His research focuses on the broad fields of sustainable engineering and industrial ecology, with specific interests on trade and environment, environmental impacts of emerging technologies including autonomous vehicles, electric vehicles and biofuels, and big data and data science applications in urban sustainability. At the University of Michigan, he is a core faculty member in the Center for Sustainable Systems, co-directs the Graduate Certificate Program in Industrial Ecology, and currently serves on the Advisory Committee of the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute and the Executive Committee of the China Data Center. He teaches Environmental Footprinting and Input-Output Analysis (NRE 573) at the graduate level and Global Enterprises and Sustainable Development (ENVIRON 367) at the undergraduate level. He was an elected Councilor of the International Society for Industrial Ecology (2013-2015) and has been Editor-in-Chief of the journal Resources, Conservation & Recycling (2015 Impact Factor: 3.280) since 2015.
Professor Yaffee's research focuses on collaborative decision making on complex environmental and sustainability choices, including the ways that traditional political processes and organizations function, and how new collaborative structures can be developed to encourage more effective decision making. He is particularly interested in landscape-scale conservation and sustainable natural resource management, and how decision-making institutions can be encouraged to take on an ecosystem-scale perspective. Of particular interest is policy involving biological diversity, public lands, marine and coastal ecosystems and energy. Yaffee's research and teaching draws from substantial on-the-ground work with nonprofit organizations and charitable foundations in facilitating dispute resolution and collaborative problem-solving processes, and in helping them develop monitoring, evaluation and adaptive management strategies. He is committed to professional education at SEAS and teaches skill-building courses in political and institutional analysis, negotiation and mediation.