Developing Policy on Environmental Quality, Schools, and Health (2012)

Client Organization: 
Kresge Foundation
Project Location : 
Summary of Project Idea: 

Currently, there is no state or federal regulation that considers environmental hazards when sitting new schools in Michigan. Effective school sitting policies can reduce childhood pollution exposure levels and improve test scores and overall child development and health, as well as reduce excess, hidden costs for schools constructed on environmentally hazardous sites. A responsibly-crafted statewide policy on school sitting could benefit communities, while ensuring that children in the state are able to receive an education in a healthy environment. The master's project goal is to develop a policy recommendation for school sitting and environmental quality in Michigan. To achieve this goal, the master's project team drew from the experiences of other U.S. states that already have school sitting policies. The team also engaged a diverse range of stakeholders here in the state of Michigan from researchers to school administrators to land use planners and government officials. Utilizing the EPA's new released school sitting guidelines and a growing body of current research, the team drafted a series of recommendations suited to the state of Michigan and its schools.

SEAS Program Areas: 
Conservation Ecology (Aquatic Sciences, Terrestrial Ecosystems, and Conservation Biology)
Environmental Policy and Planning
Environmental Justice
SEAS Faculty Advisor: 
Paul Mohai and Byung-Suk Kweon
Master Students Involved in Project: 
  • Elizabeth Fox, MS, Environmental Justice/ Environmental Policy and Planning
  • Nate Schafrick, MS/MPH, Conservation Biology
  • Mozhgon Rajaee, MS/MPH, Environmental Policy and Planning
  • Rebecca Brown, MS, Environmental Policy and Planning
  • Emily Etue, MS, Environmental Policy and Planning
Project Status: 
Past Project