SEAS faculty conduct research around the world. Students often have the opportunity to work with faculty on these initiatives.
Institutes within SEAS — International Forestry Resources and Institutions, Institute for Fisheries Research, Cooperative Institute for Limnology and Ecosystems Research, Michigan Sea Grant — are engaged in work both within our region and worldwide.
Capstone projects of our master's students — for example, "Assessment of the India River Linking Plan," "Promoting Sustainable Forest Management in Eastern Europe and Russia," "Specialty Coffee Farmers' Climate Change Concern [in Costa Rica] and Perceived Ability to Adapt" — take them all over the world.
Sustainability without Borders is a student organization open to all SEAS students. Members plan and coordinate sustainability projects worldwide. Past projects have addressed public health and sanitation in the Paccha Valley of Peru, biosand filtration in China, and solar-powered aquaponics in Liberia.
Students often partner with nongovernmental organizations to increase impact. SEAS students attended the climate talks in Paris and the follow-up talks in Morocco.
Rebecca Hardin, Associate Professor: So I think that the bridges we're building between our school and our peer campuses internationally are very exciting opportunities. It is happening in Brazil. It is happening in India. It is happening in China. It is happening all over the African continent. And it's happening between us and Detroit or us and tribal land up north.
Joe Arvai, Professor: So over the course of their time in the Erb Institute and SEAS and the Ross School of Business, there are dozens of opportunities to travel abroad. Not just to learn, but to work.
Derek Martin, MS ’17: I am a project leader for Sustainability Without Borders, and for our Peru trip, we go each summer and each winter to Peru. And we have built aquaponic systems, a water reservoir, and we've conducted a health survey.
Joe Arvai, Professor: We have a lot of international students, representing pretty much every country in the world, every continent. And we're sending our alumni back out into the world to pretty much every country and to every continent.
Dorceta E. Taylor, Professor: We have students in Japan, in South Korea, India—all over the world. We have students that are placed and doing very, very well.
Bradley J. Cardinale, Professor: So even though we'll train students on how to excel and apply what they learn in their own backyard in the Great Lakes, we intend to spread our students out all over the planet, dealing with water sustainability issue from the Red Sea to the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean to the Great Lakes. That's our goal—to be the leaders in water sustainability.
Joe Arvai, Professor: Sustainability isn't a challenge that respects international borders, so I think that if you really care about sustainability and if you really want to make a difference when it comes to sustainability, you have to start thinking about how the work you do and you the impact you can make is going to influence people close to you and people who aren't so close to you.
Tara Narayanan, MS/MS ’17: These are not things that I could study in India right now. We have far bigger challenges. We have poverty, health issues. If I wanted to say environment and if I wanted to say this is what I want to focus on for multiple different aspects, that's not a conversation that I can explain very clearly to people back home yet. But at some point, it's going to be really important for us to have that conversation. And I want to be prepared and to have the education and background to talk about it reasonably.