SEAS Research

Faculty scholarship

SEAS faculty, comprised of 42 tenured or tenured-track faculty and 8 research-track faculty members, represent a wide range of environmental specialties, teaching comprehensive, interdisciplinary graduate curriculum. In addition to our core faculty, SEAS currently houses affiliate faculty members and honors several emeriti faculty members for their distinguished work throughout the years. Please visit individual faculty profiles for information about courses taught, fields of study, publications, specific research interests, and more.

Our faculty are on the front lines of both the student experience and environmental research breakthroughs. Through the school's laboratories and related research sites, students and professional research collaborators conduct experiments across a broad range of disciplines. Outside of the classroom, SEAS professors pursue ambitious research, publish frequently, and are engaged professionally and creatively.

Recognized as the top public university in the country, U-M and SEAS scholars advance an interdisciplinary, domestic and international research enterprise committed to protecting resources and advancing sustainability. Many of our research faculty also mentor Masters and Ph.D. students throughout their academic careers.

Labs & Properties

In addition to classrooms and offices, SEAS houses a number of terrestrial, aquatic, and analytical laboratories, as well as computer laboratories and an environmental spatial analysis lab. Click here for full list of labs. SEAS’s properties include a diversity of natural forests, forest plantations, and wetlands, including the Saginaw Forest, Stinchfield Woods, and more.

Research at SEAS

Research at SEAS addresses a need for a systems-based understanding of sustainability in ecological, energy, food, forest, land, urban and water systems. From preserving the forests and lakes of Michigan to quantifying greenhouse gas emissions in the Brazilian Amazon. Preventing wildfires in the Eastern Cascades of Oregon to reforestation efforts in southwestern Nicaragua, SEAS faculty and students have carried out research on 5 continents, in more than 100 cities and 31 countries.

Scholars recognize the need to bring behavioral, economic, political, scientific, engineering, and design solutions, processes, and information to bear on sustainability challenges. The school's work additionally provides leadership in addressing social equity and disparities in environmental risks and opportunities from local to global scales.

From 2010-2015, SEAS received more than $97.2 million in research funds from non-federal, federal, and internal resources.

In 2015 alone, SEAS researchers received $12.1 million in federally sponsored research. Sources included the Department of Commerce, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Interior, as well as other federal agencies.

A Sample of Current Research Projects

"Urban forest ecosystems as equitable green infrastructure for the Detroit region," Josh Newell, USDA. $55,000. To provide an unprecedented level of spatial detail on urban forests and how they change over time for effective spatial planning, and to develop an approach to urban forest green infrastructure expansion (2014-2017).

"Examining disparities in food access and enhancing the food security of underserved populations in Michigan," Dorceta Taylor, USDA. $4,000,000. To understand disparities in food access in 18 small and medium-sized cities across Michigan and effective interventions to enhance food security (2014-2019).

"Water scarcity risk for global trade network," Ming Xu, NSF. $319,200. To provide an integrated tool to evaluate water scarcity risks for industries with global supply chains (2014-2017).

Masters Capstone Projects

Capstone projects - interdisciplinary problem-solving research endeavors conducted by a team of student-expose students to group experiences and prepare them for similar situations in the workplace. For clients, these projects provide useful products and solutions to complex environmental issues. Read about specific capstone projects here.