Analysis Teams

External Analysis

Heat and Power Infrastructure Analysis

After forming a subgroup to shape the scope of work, the PCCN issued a request for quote (RFQ) in July 2019 seeking an external firm to evaluate potential pathways for evolving UM’s heating and power generation infrastructure toward carbon neutrality. See here for the full Heat and Power Infrastructure RFQ. In October, the Commission selected Integral Group to complete the work, which will run through April 2020. Integral Group has completed several similar studies at campus- and city-scale in locations within and outside the United States. The project, which is receiving staff support from a range of UM Facilities and Operations staff, will follow a four-stage process:

  1. Developing in-depth knowledge about historic energy consumption, and campus infrastructure characteristics;
  2. Leveraging information to create a dynamic, iterative process to explore and analyze a range of strategies;
  3. Selecting several options for conceptual design; modeling pinpoint emissions reductions; financial analysis;
  4. Delivering a plan that provides a roadmap for decarbonizing UM’s heat and power infrastructure.

Key Contributors

  • James Adams, UM Utilities
  • Andrew Berki, UM Office of Campus Sustainability
  • Sam Brooks, Integral Group
  • Justin Chin, Integral Group
  • Greg Kats, Integral Group
  • Kenneth Keeler, UM Office of Campus Sustainability
  • Jennie Kim, Integral Group
  • Sara Lappano, Integral Group
  • Vladamir Milkler, Integral Group
  • Kevin Morgan, UM Office of Campus Sustainability
  • Shreshth Nagpal, Integral Group
  • Tom Prince, UM Utilities
  • Dan Stanish, UM Facilities and Operations
  • Mike Swanson, UM Utilities

Internal Analysis Teams

The University of Michigan (UM) President’s Commission on Carbon Neutrality (PCCN) has secured faculty leadership for eight internal analysis teams. Each team is tasked with conducting in-depth research and analysis on a specific topic related to carbon neutrality pathways. All analyses conducted by these internal teams will be submitted to the Commission for consideration and potential inclusion in the PCCN recommendations. For more information on the structure, timeline and deliverables of the internal analysis teams, see here.

Bio sequestration

Faculty Co-Leads: Heather Dawson & Rebecca Tonietto

Team Scope

The Bio sequestration team will evaluate and recommend optimal approaches for potential biological sequestration projects on and off-campus. The team defines its scope as having three overarching goals: 1) assessment of current UM landholdings, 2) categorization of land use on these properties, and 3) evaluation of land-use changes, where possible, that would maximize biosequestration potential. Additionally, the team will evaluate opportunities and challenges of different methods for changing land use, at multiple scales, to increase sequestration.

Student Team Members

  • Nicole Blankertz, undergraduate student
  • Hannah Mosiniak, graduate student
  • Lara O’Brien, graduate student
  • Caleb Short, undergraduate student
  • Chenyang Su, graduate student
  • Cyrus Van Haitsma, graduate student

U-M Staff Collaborators

  • Forthcoming
Building Standards

Faculty Lead: Jen Maigret

Team Scope

The building standards analysis team has been charged with evaluating current and emerging best practices regarding the adoption, implementation, and long-term efficacy of building code policies to improve sustainable building performance outcomes with a particular focus on achieving carbon emission reduction targets. The scope of this analysis will be centered around four areas of building design and construction that have the potential to contribute significantly to carbon emissions reductions. These are energy, water, site, and materials. Additionally, a range of secondary dimensions will be considered including, but not limited to, prescriptive versus performance-based criteria, initial costs compared with payback periods, specification standards and post-construction commissioning, operations and maintenance and code targets for new construction versus renovations.

Student Team Members

  • McHugh Carroll, graduate student
  • Hannah Irish, undergraduate student
  • Mitch Mead, undergraduate student
  • Shuhaib Nawawi, graduate student
  • Nicole Rusk, graduate student
  • Kay Wright, undergraduate student

U-M Staff Collaborators

  • Forthcoming
Campus Culture and Communication

Faculty Co-Leads Samer Ali & Joseph Trumpey

Team Scope

The Campus Culture and Communication team will evaluate existing communicative structures and recommend new strategies to raise awareness, enhance personal investment, and drive behavioral change. This includes: (a) finding key moments in time that capture large cohorts of our broad community; (b) hosting town hall meetings where stakeholders can learn and share perspectives; (c) staging old and new media campaigns; (d) behavioral incentives, along the lines of the M-Healthy Rewards (e) collaborating with existing stakeholders to support cultural change. This could include suggestions for how to best organize existing infrastructure and how to enhance, rebrand or reorganize to become more aligned with a centralized carbon mission.

Student Team Members

  • Meg Czerwinski, graduate student
  • Ben Ingall, undergraduate student
  • Lisa Maillard, graduate student
  • Chris Merchant, graduate student
  • Madeline Peery, undergraduate student

U-M Staff Collaborators

  • Forthcoming
Commuting

Faculty Lead: Jonathan Levine

Team Scope

The commuting team will develop an approach to measuring the carbon impact of the commute to the three University of Michigan campuses; will study approaches used by peer institutions to reducing the carbon impact of the commute and their effectiveness; will adapt promising approaches used elsewhere to the specific conditions of the UM campuses and their surrounding areas; and will develop prioritized recommendations for reducing the commute’s carbon footprint, including metrics and indicators for tracking progress.

Student Team Members

  • Griffin Barron, undergraduate student
  • Samuel Maves, undergraduate student
  • Abas Shkembi, undergraduate student
  • Gwyndolyn Sofka, graduate student
  • James Woolridge, graduate student

U-M Staff Collaborators

  • Forthcoming
Energy Consumption

Faculty Lead: Tom Lyon

Team Scope

The Energy Consumption team has been charged with evaluating potential budgetary/financial mechanisms to decrease energy usage across the university. The analysis will likely consider dimensions such as an internal carbon tax, revolving loan fund, project payback criteria, etc. The project will take place in three main stages: 1) understanding current university policies, incentive structures, and performance, 2) gathering information about best practices at other universities and institutions, and 3) developing a set of specific recommendations for UM.

Student Team Members

  • Jessica Carlin, undergraduate student
  • Lyanda Dudley, graduate student
  • Taylor Lind, undergraduate student
  • Larson Lovdal, graduate student

U-M Staff Collaborators

  • Kevin Morgan, UM Facilities and Operations
External Collaboration

Faculty Co-Leads: Andy Hoffman & Trish Koman

Team Scope

The External Collaboration team has been charged with evaluating opportunities for collaborations focused on scaling and replicating high-impact solutions. Examples may include local and regional partnerships, collaborative education initiatives, mitigation and resilience policy, etc.

Student Team Members

  • Gopichand Alla, graduate student
  • Amelia Brinkerhoff, graduate student
  • Zoie Chang, undergraduate student
  • Wenjie Liu, graduate student
  • Erin O’Shaughnessy, undergraduate student
  • Mara Page, graduate student
  • Anya Shapiro, graduate student

U-M Staff Collaborators

  • Forthcoming
Food

Faculty Co-Leads: Lesli Hoey & Andrew Jones

Team Scope

The Food Analysis team is charged with evaluating and recommending approaches to decrease the GHG footprint associated with food consumption at UM. Considerations may include sourcing, certifications, volume reduction, disposal, offsets, etc. The team’s work will focus attention on the role that dining services play in shaping the UM food system and will include mapping UM’s dining services supply chains, existing data and current practices relevant to greenhouse gas emissions reductions across UM dining services.

Student Team Members

  • Caroline Baloga, undergraduate student
  • Sarah Bellaire, graduate student
  • Rebecca Harley, undergraduate student
  • Marc Jaruzel, graduate student
  • Nathalie Lambrecht, graduate student

U-M Staff Collaborators

  • Alex Bryan, UM Sustainable Food Program
  • Steve Mangan, Michigan Dining
  • Jeremy Moghtader, UM Campus Farm
  • Keith Soster, Michigan Dining
University Travel

Faculty Co-Leads: John Williams & Ming Xu

Team Scope

The University Travel team analysis will include six different goals: 1) to compile all published literature on travel footprints, footprint of academic meetings, university and other travel policies, 2) to determine quantitatively the amount of University travel, 3) to understand why University personnel travel, 4) to propose ways to educate the University community to consider the carbon footprint when deciding whether travel is warranted and how to carry it out to minimize the carbon footprint, 5) to propose a system of offsets for travelers to use, and 6) to propose changes for travel-related data management systems.

Student Team Members

  • Hyo Sub Choi, graduate student
  • William Chown, undergraduate student
  • Jiangzhou Fu, graduate student
  • Nate Hua, graduate student
  • You Lyu, graduate student
  • Monica Yen, graduate student

U-M Staff Collaborators

  • Forthcoming

Commission Sub Groups

In the course of its work thus far, the Commission has constituted various sub-groups to drive progress more efficiently than would be possible meeting only in plenary. Commission sub-group topics include the following:

Carbon Accounting

Sub Group Lead: Greg Keoleian

Group Description

The Carbon Accounting subgroup is verifying appropriate emissions accounting methods based on current scientific knowledge of global warming potentials, 20- vs. 100-year impact analysis, and the impacts of supply chain losses. The group has also been tasked with examining fugitive methane emissions from natural gas supplies from their point of origin to delivery on the campus. At President Schlissel’s request, the group compiled information on this issue, and a memo delivering their analyses can be found here.

Key Contributors

  • Austin Glass, UM graduate student
  • Catie Hausman, UM faculty
  • Kenneth Keeler, UM Office of Campus Sustainability
  • Eric Kort, UM faculty
  • Geoff Lewis, UM staff
  • Daniel Raimi, UM faculty
Fleet Electrification

Sub Group Lead: Anna Stefanopoulou

Group Description

The Vehicle Fleet Electrification subgroup is investigating benefits and challenges in shifting UM’s buses and other vehicles to electric battery technology. The group is working closely with UM Facilities and Operations on possible design and funding options, and the PCCN is supportive of pursuing the concept. See here for the group's scope of work.

Key Contributors

  • Andrew Berki, UM Office of Campus Sustainability
  • Stephen Dolen, UM Logistics, Transportation, and Parking
  • Austin Glass, UM graduate student
  • Brandon Hofmeister, CMS Energy
  • Gregory Keoleian, UM faculty
  • William McAllister, UM Logistics, Transportation, and Parking
  • Camilo Serna, DTE 
  • Missy Stults, City of Ann Arbor
Social Justice

Sub Group Lead: Larissa Larsen

Group Description

The Social Justice subgroup is exploring social equity impacts arising from potential Commission recommendations, and how these may be addressed in efforts to achieve carbon neutrality. The subgroup will interface with analysis teams to help them apply best practices for addressing these considerations in their work. See here for the group's scope of work.

Key Contributors

  • Daphne Onsay, UM graduate student
  • Ifeoluwa Owolabi, UM graduate student
  • Roshan Krishan, UM graduate student
  • Dim Mang, undergraduate student