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
Dr. Joe Árvai is the Max McGraw Professor of Sustainable Enterprise at the School for Environment and Sustainability, and the Stephen M. Ross School of Business. He is also the Director of the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise. Joe is an internationally respected expert in the risk and decisions sciences, and he is a frequent advisor to governments, government agencies, NGOs, and the private sector.
The research carried out by Joe and his group has two main areas of emphasis: First, Joe and his research group conduct experiments and surveys aimed at advancing our understanding of how people—working individually and in groups—process information and make choices with a specific focus on how people make (or, often, attempt to avoid) necessary 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.
Research in Joe’s group 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. To support their applied focus, Joe and his group conduct research across a wide range topical and pressing decision contexts; these contexts range from environmental risk management and business strategy, to consumer choice and policy-making.
A hallmark of the work in Joe’s group is making results and recommendations from their research available and—importantly—useful to wide range of audiences, including other scholars, policy-makers, business leaders, and the public.
Professor and Dean Emerita 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. She also holds an appointment in the School of Public Health at Michigan, and in the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland. Her experience extends from climate science into foreign relations and international development. Rosina served for two decades in both the legislative and executive branches of the U.S. Government, and ran the first Environment Division of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. She chairs the Scientific and Advisory Panel of the Global Environment Facility, served on President Obama's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, was an Adaptation Fellow at the World Bank, and a lead author of the U.S. National Climate Assessment. She has lectured on every continent, and in more than 20 countries.
Bierbaum is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, as well as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Ecological Society of America, and Sigma Xi. She received the American Geophysical Union’s Waldo Smith award for ‘extraordinary service to Geoscience’ and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Protection Award. Bierbaum serves on the board of the AAAS, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Federation of American Scientists, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, the Climate Reality Project, the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing, the International Finance Corporation Business and Sustainability Group, and the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement. She earned a BA in English, a BS in biology and a Ph.D. in ecology and evolution.
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 to understand the roles of knowledge, values, attitudes and beliefs as drivers of direct and indirect pro-environmental behaviors. She also works to improve individual and community engagement on environmental and social issues, and to use insights from judgement and decision-making research to support these participatory processes. 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 green infrastructure, 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, and a Faculty Affiliate for the Graham Sustainability Institute. 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 strives 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.
Professor Hughes' research focuses on the political and institutional dimensions of sustainable and equitable water and climate change policies, primarily in the urban context. Current projects examine the politics and production of safe and affordable drinking water in the U.S., the policy failures behind the Flint water crisis, and urban climate change governance, including equitable approaches to building urban climate resilience.
Pam Jagger is a global leader in interdisciplinary population and environment research. She is an applied political economist whose research focuses on the dynamics of poverty and environment interactions in low-income countries. She leads the interdisciplinary Forest Use, Energy, and Livelihoods (FUEL) Lab, and is the Director of the National Science Foundation funded Energy Poverty PIRE in Southern Africa (EPPSA), a 5-year collaborative program to support research and training on the topic of energy access in Southern Africa. FUEL Lab research is currently organized around three themes: environment and livelihoods, environmental governance, and energy poverty. The first theme focuses on quantifying the role of forests and the other environmental resources in household consumption and income generation, and understanding how contributions change in response to land use land cover change, implementation of conservation and development projects, and population dynamics. The second theme examines the livelihood impacts of changes in environmental governance and institutions on access to environmental goods and services. The third theme examines household energy access including understanding the effectiveness of interventions designed to mitigate energy poverty and improve access to electricity and cleaner cooking and novel research questions related to the effects of land cover and land use change on energy access and human health. Dr. Jagger has worked as a policy research scholar with the World Bank, Resources for the Future, the International Food Policy Research Institute, and the Center for International Forestry Research.
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 climate adaptation and the role of knowledge in building adaptive capacity. She is particularly interested in understanding: (a) the co-production of science and decision-making and the creation of actionable knowledge; (b) the intersection between development and climate, especially concerning the relationship between anti-poverty programs and risk management; (c) the use of climate information in building adaptive capacity in different sectors (e.g. drought planning, water management, agriculture, and urban planning); and (d) the impact of technocratic decision-making on issues of democracy and equity.
Lemos was a lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC-AR5) and the Fourth US National Climate Assessment (NCA4), contribute to IPCC-AR4, and has served in a number of the US National Research Council of the National Academies of Sciences committees including Restructuring Federal Climate Research to Meet the Challenges of Climate Change (2007 and 2009), America Climate Choice Science Panel (2010) and the Board on Environmental Change and Society (2008-2014) and the Council Committee to Advise the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP)—(2011-13).
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 Co-Editor-in-Chief of Landscape and Urban Planning. She is a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects (1992), Fellow of the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (2007), Distinguished Practitioner of Landscape Ecology in the US (1998), and was named Distinguished Scholar by the International Association of Landscape Ecology (2007). She develops and tests ecological designs for their cultural sustainability in human-dominated landscapes, with a long-time emphasis on watershed and water infrastructure design and management. Her teaching and research apply this approach to metropolitan and agricultural landscapes – ranging from continental scale implications of agricultural practices to neighborhood scale implications of green stormwater infrastructure.
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 @GreatLakesPeck .
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.
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. 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 as the Director of China Programs in School for Environment and Sustainability. He teaches Environmental Footprinting and Input-Output Analysis (EAS 573) and Systems Thinking for Sustainable Development and Enterprise (EAS 550/Strategy 566). He received the Robert A. Laudise Medal from International Society for Industrial Ecology for “outstanding achievement in industrial ecology by a researcher under the age of 36” in 2015 and the US National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award in 2016. Currently he serves as the President of Chinese Society for Industrial Ecology and Editor-in-Chief of the journal Resources, Conservation & Recycling (2017 Impact Factor: 5.12). He was elected to Chair the 2022 Gordon Research Conference on Industrial Ecology.
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.