Joshua Newell

Associate Professor


PhD, University of Washington (geography)

MA, University of Washington (geography)

BA, Brown University (history)

(734)- 763-8652
Dana 1064


Joshua Newell is an associate professor in the School for Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan. He is a broadly trained human-environment geographer, whose research focuses on questions related to urban sustainability, resource consumption, and environmental and social justice. Newell’s current research can be divided into two primary areas of interest. The first, Urban Infrastructure and Form, focuses on structural features of the urban form (e.g. built environment, transport, energy, and water infrastructure). The second research area, Urban Consumption and Commodities, focuses on the interrelationships between the consumption of consumer products, our responsibilities as global 'green' urban citizens, and the role of governance mechanisms and frameworks (including local institutions) in regulating product consumption. His research approach is often multi-scalar and integrative and, in addition to theory and method found in geography and urban planning, he draws upon principles and tools of industrial ecology, and spatial analysis.  Joshua teaches Sustainability and Society, a large undergraduate course, and Urban Sustainability, which is designed for MS and PhD students. He also leads a year-long interdisciplinary PhD student workshop that grapples with theories and concepts of urbanism, sustainability, and resilience.


2016-2019: $499,000 U.S.-China: Integrated Systems Modeling of Food-Energy-Water (FEW) Nexus for Urban Sustainability. National Science Foundation (NSF). PI: Ming Xu (U. Michigan). Co-PIs: J.P. Newell (U. Michigan), S. Miller (U. Michigan), J. Johnson (U. Michigan), N. Love (U. Michigan). 

2016-2018: $50,400 Environmental Governance of Global Wood Commodity Chains: From the Forests of Siberia to the Apartments of Kanto via the Factories of Manchuria. Global Scholar Award, Fulbright Scholar Program. PI: J.P. Newell. 

2015-2016: $69,242 FEW Workshop: “Scaling Up” Urban Agriculture to Mitigate Food-Energy-Water Impacts. National Science Foundation (NSF). PI: J.P. Newell. Co-PIs: A. Ramaswami (U. Minnesota), J. Vandermeer (U. Michigan), G. Daigger (U. Michigan), N. McClintock (Portland State U.)

2015-2017: $15,996 Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement: Perspectives of and Preferences Towards Stormwater Management. National Science Foundation (NSF). PI: J.P. Newell (as advisor), J. Cousins (U. Michigan).

2015-2019: $12,000,000 SRN: Integrated Urban Infrastructure Solutions for Environmentally Sustainable, Healthy and Livable Cities. National Science Foundation (NSF). PIs: A. Ramaswami (U. Minnesota), P.J. Culligan (Columbia University), Y. Fan (U. Minnesota), B.S. Orlove (Columbia University), A.G. Russell (Georgia Institute of Technology) Senior Personnel: J.P. Newell (U. Michigan), R. Felock (Florida State University), B. Bakshi (Ohio State University), K. Kockelman (UT – Austin), D. Zimmerle (Colorado State University), N. Botchwey (Georgia Institute of Technology) [U. Michigan Portion: $750,000]


Global Scholar Award, U.S. Fulbright Scholar Program (2016-2018).

Invited Scholar Fellowship, Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto, Japan (2016).

2013–2014 Golden Apple Award Finalist [Teaching Excellence], University of Michigan

2005–2006 Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship, Russian and International Studies 

Select publications: 
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  • Chair, Human Dimensions of Global Change Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers (AAG) (2012–2014).
  • Technical Committee, International Society for Industrial Ecology (ISIE) Conference (2013).
  • Founding Board Member, Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment Section, ISIE (2011-2015).