Dean’s Letter

My partner, Julie, and I took our kids on a family vacation to Iceland. As I took in the glaciers and ice caps and saw Earth’s crust being formed, I was reminded yet again about how vast our planet is and how there is still so much to admire and be amazed by in this beautiful world. And, how much is at stake.


Photo highlights of SEAS events from the past year, including Commencement and Orientation.

Cover Stories

Freshwater is ‘the Root’ That Connects This Area

What makes the Obtawaing Biosphere Region unique, according to Jon Allan, academic and research program officer at SEAS, is that it is made up of hundreds of protected places, from conservation lands and conservancies to state and federal forests. And what ties these places together, says Allan, is water and hydrology.

Protecting the Diversity of Fish in the Great Lakes

SEAS Assistant Professor Karen Alofs has been co-teaching Biology & Ecology of Fishes to U-M undergraduate students for years. And the one thing she never tires of seeing is how excited students get when they hold a fish for the first time.

FishPass Project Draws Inspiration From Single-Stream Recycling

Invasive aquatic species such as sea lamprey have been wreaking havoc on the Great Lakes for at least a century. And a challenge that fishery managers continue to struggle with is how to allow desirable fish to pass through waterways to spawn while simultaneously keeping out “bad” fish. In Traverse City, a unique approach to selective fish sorting is being developed—and its inspiration comes from single-stream recycling.

Studying Trees for Clues About Climate Change

Working as a research assistant for SEAS Professor Inés Ibáñez is an experience that SEAS master’s student Ezekiel Herrera-Bevan will remember fondly for years to come—especially since it involved cataloging thousands of trees at the U-M Biological Station.

Pairing Solar Development With Innovative Land Management

With solar energy in Michigan poised to grow exponentially in the next decade, SEAS Assistant Research Scientist Brendan O’Neill says the time is right for solar developers to find innovative uses for their land that will optimize sustainability.

The Forever Business: Conservation Leader Glen Chown

Glen Chown (BS ’83, MS ’86), executive director of the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy (GTRLC), has good reason to be “fired up,” and the countless Michiganders who have benefited from his advocacy throughout the decades are glad to hear that he’ll be sticking around.

Feature Stories

Fostering Human-Tiger Coexistence in Nepal

SEAS PhD student and wildlife researcher Amy Zuckerwise has studied ocelots in Bolivia and bobcats in California. But even she was amazed at how thrilling it was to see Bengal tigers up close in the wild when she visited Nepal last spring.

Nurturing Environmental Justice Activists

We feature an excerpt from “Educator and Activist: My Life and Times in the Quest for Environmental Justice,” by Bunyan Bryant Jr., a professor emeritus at SEAS and a pioneer in the environmental justice movement. His memoir was published in April 2022.


Summer Discussion Series

We asked alumni and students about their favorite books, memorable SEAS experiences and how they promote sustainability.

SEAS Travel Photo Contest

Nearly 50 photos from places near and far were submitted by the SEAS community in the annual travel photo contest on SEASnet.

Dana Sphere

Alumni Updates

Class Notes

A compilation of news and updates from SEAS and PitE alumni, all in one spot.

A Man of Energy

The year after he graduated from SEAS, Oluwafemi (Femi) Sawyerr (MS ’15) found his dream job at Energy and Environmental Economics Inc. in San Francisco, rising from associate to his current role as managing consultant.

Supporting Actionable Energy Solutions

Akshat Kasliwal (MS ’19) has devoted his career in energy and sustainability toward the implementation of triple-bottom-line solutions on larger and more systemic scales.

Environmentally Safe Pest Control

Esther Salata (MS ’15) has always had an issue with mosquitoes. They’ve not only shown up throughout her various educational and career pursuits but, when the pandemic hit, she realized that the issue had become a buzzing nuisance.

A Champion for Justice

Karen DeGannes (MS ’91, PhD ’13) came to U-M with a “fire in her belly for clean energy and climate.” She was encouraged to explore SEAS by her adviser, who knew that her environmental interests could be more fully developed at the school.

Righting Wrongs in Society

At SEAS, Jada Koushik (MS ’08) had the opportunity to work with Professors Bunyan Bryant and Rebecca Hardin, which had a significant impact on the trajectory of her career. Although much of it was spent working in public health, Koushik’s work has always centered on environmental justice.

Mobility and Transportation Design

Oliver Kiley (BS ’03, MLA ’08) began his career at SmithGroup, an international architectural firm with deep roots in Detroit and Ann Arbor, just after earning his degree in the Master of Landscape Architecture program at SEAS.

Leading Sustainability-Focused Education

Jean MacGregor (BS ’67, MS ’71) has championed sustainability-focused education throughout her career. She is passionate about the “importance of ongoing communities tackling the huge adaptive challenges that sustainability presents.”

A Lifelong Passion for Trees

Lauren Marshall’s (MLA ’10) passion for trees runs deep, having grown over the course of a lifetime. Marshall grew up in suburban Washington, D.C., where she first developed her connection to the natural world.