Funded PBSIF Projects

Displaying 21 - 40 of 61. Refine search.

2016

Team Members

Eric Katz, Katie Matton, Jonathan Luthy, and Mohammad Azimi Non-UM members include Viraj Sikand, Maya Faulstich-Hon, Lunalo Cletus Lunalo, Arjun Paunrana, and Catherine Hebson

Advisor

James Diana

Project Summary

Aquaculture (fish farming) is booming worldwide and has the potential to be the future of protein for humans. However, conventional feed for aquaculture farms is made from wild caught forage fish. These fish are caught using unsustainable practices that destroy marine habitat and harm many fishing communities. Aquaculture production in Kenya is currently at 48,000 metric tons and is expected to increase to 450,000 metric tons by 2030. Thus, the need to propose sustainable solutions to protect Kenya’s rural fishing villages. Also, most aquaculture farmers cannot afford to buy commercial fish food.

Kulisha produces a low-cost, commercial-grade fish feed made from insects. The organization supports economic development by revolutionizing fish feed in Kenya. This effort serves primarily small scale rural farmers. Kulisha is founded on the three targets of addressing a significantly underserved market segment in the aquaculture industry: supporting economic development, supporting growth in emerging markets, and creating environmentally sustainable solutions to food insecurity. With the Dow Distinguished Award Seed grant and additional funding, the students were able to complete a functional prototype facility and build relationships in Kenya for further growth. With additional Distinguished Awards funding, Kulisha will build a full size facility and start the sale of their project in summer 2016. Their first customer is anticipated to be a school for orphans in Meru, Kenya. This project was a co-winner of the larger 2016 Dow Distinguished Award.

Project Overview

 

Team Members

Pablo Daniel Taddei Arriola, Iuliana Bleanda-Mogosanu, David Carruthers, Desmond Cole

Affiliated Organizations

Sustainability without Borders (SWB), University of Sonora

Advisor

Jose Alfaro

Project Summary

With seed grant funds, the project team traveled to Tastiota, Mexico, during summer 2016 to look at the feasibility of implementing a small-scale Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) desalination plant to provide communities with potable water. The team also developed and tested a prototype at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The CSP desalination plant technology explored in this project is based on the Central Tower Technology, which is being developed by the University of Sonora. The northwestern region of Mexico in the state of Sonora, Hermosillo County is an ideal location to implement the small-scale CSP desalination plant. Hermosillo County lacks of fresh water availability, but has abundant solar radiation. Implementation of a CSP desalination plant here will alleviate water scarcity pressures in the region and serve as a renewable alternative to current water delivery methods.

After completing the educational prototype, achieving local political and community support, and finalizing a favorable economic analysis, the team is now seeking to build a CSP desalination plant in the community of Tastiota.

Project Overview

 

Team Members

Katrina Burns, Matt Halso, Keith Heidecorn, Alkananda Jakkaraju, Patricia Koman, Jake Norton

Advisor

Terese Olson

Project Summary

This project’s goal is to support efforts to increase environmental literacy among Flint residents. Students took a multi-disciplinary approach to build two and three dimensional models to help Flint residents to visualize the complex and dynamic municipal drinking water delivery system. The animation and physical model were used as teaching tools connected to larger efforts focused on educating and engaging residents.

Improved environmental literacy will help ensure active citizen participation in civic discussions, foster healing, and promote actions to develop sustainable water resources. In addition, residents were engaged with active questioning, and given a voice in these tools to share their stories and start the journey towards healing. Local community leaders have a strong desire to create a narrative of the community acting on its own behalf to reduce disparities in human health and protect the environment.

Project Overview

 

Team Members

Jared Aslakson, Emily Canosa, Jacob Grochowski, Isabella Herold, Lauren Hoff, Hayley Kerner, Christine Rickard, Kate Samra, Alexandra Weber

Advisor

Raymond De Young

Project Summary

The project team facilitated an environmental education workshop series to increase the flow of information about sustainable food systems between Washtenaw County community groups and faculty, staff and students at the University of Michigan (U-M). The U-M community has considerable experience about local food systems and is interested in a wider distribution of knowledge about this issue.

The series of workshops focused on action strategies to support long-term behavior change, as well as increasing knowledge of local food systems, and actionable steps towards increasing the sustainability of these systems. U-M Sustainable Food Program faculty, students and staff facilitated the development of workshops, and conduced participant surveys. The project team expects that by strengthening the local food systems, more positive economic, environmental, and equity changes will occur at U-M and throughout Washtenaw County.

Project Overview

 

Team Members

Jamie McArdle, Jianing Wang, Yue Chen, Yun Liu

Advisor

Mark Lindquist

Project Summary

The project team developed a model trail and interpretive system for the newest preserve in the National Park System. This system enhances visitor experience and increases public awareness. The team showcased sustainable development concepts and increased awareness of individual behavior and environmental impact. The project integrates technology, while expanding interpretive programming and user interface throughout Valles Caldera National Preserve, in northern New Mexico. Valles Caldera comprises an area of nearly 90,000 acres, and is an ideal location for the implementation of a sustainable trail and interpretive system.

Members of the team used innovative technology to incorporate a mobile app, a user touch interface and other features designed to enhance engagement in environmental education. In collaboration with Valles Caldera National Preserve leaders, the framework for this preserve will serve as a model for implementation throughout the National Park System.

Project Overview

 

Team Members

Christina Reynolds, Michael Lipowicz, Anna Harrison, Brad Smith

Advisor

Christian Lastoskie

Project Summary

The Carbon Connection Program is a carbon education program designated to enhance public understanding of how daily activities influence carbon emissions. The average person has little exposure to sustainable living practices in their daily lives. To address this issue, this team developed a targeted carbon dioxide (CO2) education program in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Two interactive educational boards were prototyped at the Ann Arbor Hands On-Museum.

The program focused on teaching people about their personal role in climate change and carbon emissions by collocating emissions data directly beside the services and infrastructures (e.g., buildings, transportation, food) with which people live and work. The visualization of carbon emissions from food production, electricity/gas usage, and transportation allowed individuals to better understand how changes in habits can reduce their carbon footprint. Specific targets for project were reducing building, transportation, and food emissions while increasing climate change understanding. Participants were encouraged to reach a goal of reducing personal carbon emissions by 2%. The project team anticipates that this project and the Carbon Connection Program will have a direct impact on the culture of sustainability by through innovative teaching methods.

Project Overview

 

Team Members

Salam Rida, Olivia Howard, Ryan Goold, Naheim Rida, Michael Medina, Josefina Banales
Community Collaborator: Grace Lee Boggs School

Advisor

Mick Kennedy

Project Summary

The Dreamscape Project is a collaborative initiative between the James and Grace Lee Boggs School, its neighborhood, and students from the University of Michigan. These students work with the Boggs School and its community to foster engagement in the built environment for elementary students in Detroit through design and fabrication.

Through the Dow Distinguished seed grant, the team held a competition to have U-M students design a fence, traditional a community divider, into an interactive, community engagement and education piece. Winning designs included a “pixel board” as a colorful visual community communication piece, a “xylo fence” musical engagement piece, “hide and seek” pop-up shelter, and a “lenticular mural”. The winning U-M designers will work with the Boggs School students and implementation teams to install in fall 2016.

Project Overview

 

2015

Team Members

Elana Rosenthal, Matthew Chapman, Asher Feigenbaum

Adviser

Professor Andrew Jones

Project Summary

Our long-term goal is to develop and build first level community-based healthcare facilities modeled after our successes to date with our clinic model in Duchity. This prototype Public Healthcare Facility (PHC) facility will be scalable, economically beneficial, reduce morbidity, and provide critically needed healthcare needs to the most vulnerable population of Haiti. Our proposal includes novel solutions utilizing solar power, and telemedicine with information technology.

The strategy is early effective medical intervention by screening, diagnosing and treating diseases utilizing medically accepted standardized techniques. The roles of the PHC includes: comprehensive early detection screening, diagnosis, laboratory tests, vaccinations, distribution of medications, basic emergency care, create a data collection base for continual monitoring of follow up care and for epidemiological analysis to predict epidemics in their early stages, continuing education/ training to empower and motivate healthcare workers and patients.

This prototype facility can be replicated with an interconnected data base with other PHC’s in remote communities hundreds of miles apart or many hours away due to bad road conditions.

Project Overview

 

Team Members

Sneha Rao, Michelle Hindman, Olivia Lu-Hill, Sean Murphy, Yash Shah, Zeqi Zhu

Adviser

Vikramaditya Khanna

Project Summary

Indian megacities face several unique challenges in providing even basic needs and services, notably housing, water, and waste management, for one of the largest and most dense populations in the world. Government campaigns launched in the past year, “Swachh Bharat Abhiyan” (Clean India Mission) and “Housing For All by 2022” represent a nationwide call to action for a cleaner, healthier, and safer India.

Achieving these ambitions are complicated in an urban environment where core problems are magnified in scale and particularly daunting in Mumbai, where half of the city’s population is estimated to live in slums. Future slum redevelopment projects present an opportunity to learn from past policies, especially now as cities prepare citywide plans for executing the clarion call of “housing for all”.

Our aim for this project is to create a resource of knowledge for policy makers, developers, and architects involved in upgrading low-income informal housing and to develop a streamlined process that would benefit all involved parties, including slum dwellers and government agencies. Our research analyses of the Mumbai Model for slum redevelopment and of the existing implementation tools and practices, have given us insight into how the current approach can be improved upon.

Project Overview

 

Team members

Pavel Azgaldov, Shamitha Keerthi, Brian Wang, Adithya Dahagama, Hassan Bukhari, Rachel Jaffe, Samhita Shiledar, Stacy Pancratz

Adviser

Peter Adriens

Project Summary

Rural households in semi-arid Telangana, India have been farming the same lands for generations. It is imperative for farmers to focus on risk management under resource constrained conditions and uncertain times. Our project proposes to harness the power of data to inform both risk management and local best management practices for small landholding farmers in India. The scope of this project includes data collection from individual farmers in the State of Telangana, India, to determine nutrient management practices. Using data science, we seek to tease out relationships between productivity, nutrient management and exogenous factors for rural villages in this region. The overarching objective of the project is to design and establish a framework to collect and analyse spatial and temporal high resolution farming data on a regional or national scale to subsequently leverage big data science to inform nutrient management practices among small farmers.

Project Overview

 

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Jose Alfaro (Assistant Professor, School of Natural Resources)

Faculty Co-advisor

Dr. Steven Wright (Professor, School of Engineering)

Team Members

Whitney Johnson (MS, School of Natural Resources, team point of contact); Sibu Kuruvilla (Ph.D., School of Engineering, 2nd point of contact); Rashmi Krishnan (MS, School of Natural Resources); Zu Dienle Tan (MS, School of Natural Resources); Nicholas Jansen (BA, College of Literature, Science and the Arts, Program in the Environment)

Partner organizations

Sustainability Without Borders, Rural Intercultural Student Exchange (RISE, Beijing)

Project Summary

High levels of arsenic in the groundwater in China are a major public health concern. In addition to a fairly widespread volume of naturally occurring arsenic-contaminated well-water across China, a significant amount of arsenic is contributed by anthropogenic actions like rapid industrialization, weak environmental policies and poor planning. Cases of chronic arsenicosis have been found in eight provinces in mainland China, including Shanxi. Biosand Filters (BSF) are low-cost, low maintenance, point-of-use filters that are built out of locally available materials. The Arsenic Biosand Filter (ABSF) is a version of the BSF that is designed to remove arsenic and pathogens present in the groundwater. At the University of Michigan, we built a prototype of an ABSF design with the intent of replicating the contamination and filtration scenario in Shanxi, testing our filter and further optimizing our design. At Pingyao - Shanxi, we worked with our student partner organization, the Rural Inter-cultural Student Exchange (RISE) group from Tsinghua University and a student group from the Taiyuan University of Technology to implement another design variant of the ABSF in a village. We successfully built 43 ABSFs in individual households, and initial performance tests showed that the ABSFs were able to remove up to 87% of arsenic, relative to the arsenic content of the inflowing water, while minimizing the turbidity of the water. Ongoing and future work entails the periodic testing of the filters’ performance to ensure arsenic removal is stable and continuously available. Further, we are interested in creating a dynamic flow setup to reduce labor intensity of using the ABSF and further automate the system. Additionally, we are currently researching the extent of arsenic contamination in other communities to explore regions we can expand our work to.

Project Overview

 

Team members

Joshua Shake, Stephanie Gerretsen, Alexandra Markiewicz, Kelly Richardson, Mabel Kessler, Julia Mantey, Samantha Farr, Ali Aayat

Adviser

Ana Paula Pimentel-Walker, Michaela Zint

Project Summary

Santa Marta is located in São Leopoldo, a city approximately 30 kilometers north of Porto Alegre, Brazil. São Leopoldo has a conglomeration of informal and formal settlements, which include regularized neighborhoods and public housing projects. Santa Marta faces a host of environmental challenges that result from trash dumping in public spaces, trash burning, animals opening trash bags, and inadequate sewage, water systems, and road infrastructure. These issues stem from systemic inequalities within the governmental structure that provides waste management and infrastructure resources, as well as the lack of public participation in the participatory budget process.

This progress report highlights a number of different recommendations and initiatives we hope to implement in the local community.

  1. Deterring dumping
  2. Increasing communication and dialogue between the São Leopoldo Municipality and Santa Marta residents
  3. Building community pride and visibility
  4. Improving security
  5. Controlling flooding
  6. Developing strategies for requesting service upgrades and regularization of Santa Marta’s streets, sewage, and infrastructure

These initiatives will encompass and improve environmental stewardship and communication between the local government and the community at large, activate public spaces, upgrade infrastructure, and create a greater sense of community pride and community ownership. The success of our project depends directly on meeting the needs of our community partners and better understanding the interactions between the municipality and the community.

Project Overview

 

Team Members

Spencer Harbo, Adam Nault

Partner

Victoria Bellotti

Adviser

Raymond De Young

Project Summary

Overconsumption of the Earth’s natural resources is causing widespread environmental degradation and anthropogenic climate change. Future environmental sustainability may be fundamentally dependent on our ability to reduce current levels of consumption. One way to implement this much-needed societal change is by motivating individual and community participation in place-based resource sharing.

The success of place-based resource sharing may be dependent on our understanding of the needs of communities, including what motivates individuals to share resources, as well as the barriers to engaging in sharing. Currently, our team is coordinating a project through the Dow Master’s Fellowship to answer these questions within the context of Southeastern Michigan. Through interviews with leaders of sharing organizations and a survey of community members in four comparison communities, this ongoing project aims to capture motivations for sharing in order to help improve local sharing economies through a well-informed social marketing and urban design strategy.

The proposed project will build off of our ongoing work in two distinct ways: 1) in collaboration with the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), we will develop a cross-sectional qualitative assessment to better understand motivations for participating in local sharing economies among communities in the United States and abroad; and 2) we will provide consultation and support to computer-human interaction designers at PARC, Penn State University, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and leaders in the hOurworld timebanking network to improve the predictive functionality of a ‘smart’ mobile TimeBanking application currently under development, which will draw on our motivational interview findings to match community members with one another and encourage the sharing of resources and services.

Project Overview

 

Project Summary

Hagley Gap is a student organized, faculty advised project team that is under the larger umbrella organization of BLUElab. This village is located in Jamaica’s Blue Mountains and has about 5,000 community members, a large majority of whom are farmers. Due to its size, location, and the income level of its inhabitants, Hagley Gap gets little support from the government. A nonprofit organization, the Blue Mountain Project (BMP), was founded eleven years ago and has been dedicated to remedying these issues, among others.

The majority of community members in Hagley Gap are subsistence farmers. Each week, farmers rise in the early hours of the morning and make the over two hour trip down the mountain to Kingston to sell their crops at the market. The community often experiences a surplus in fruits (particularly mangoes), which results in piles of fruit being left to rot on the ground, Our vision for a large scale solar dehydrator originated from observations during trips and conversations with community members. We are working on scaling the initial dehydrator prototype for communitywide use. This technology would be incorporated as a business and be maintained by the community. Additionally, students at the local school will hopefully be able to use the solar dehydrator as a hands on learning experience about solar energy. One long term goal of this project is to incorporate a Maryland brewery into the business model as a source of income. BMP has made connections with this brewery, which could be a major purchaser of the dried fruit for use in their mango beer.

Project Overview

 

Project Leaders

Erin Moser and Kelsey Thome

Faculty Advisor

Peter Bodary

Project Summary

With a lack of preventative health knowledge, inaccessibility to means of a healthy lifestyle, and often limited role models for healthy living, children often lack a positive, permanent influence on their health, especially in such a critical time for habitual learning and growth. The goal of the Health Enrichment Program for Kids (HEPK) is to offer a holistic and interactive after school program that encourages a sustainable and healthy lifestyle for children at a young and malleable age. Our target group is kindergarten and first grade students, particularly of a minority and socioeconomically disadvantaged background.

Our goal is to improve the quantity and quality of nutritional education children receive, as well as to increase the amount of physical education instruction they attain in their developmental years. Healthy behaviors we hope to instill include finding fun ways to remain active throughout one’s lifetime (such as walking, dancing, and yoga), choosing healthier food options, and living a sustainable lifestyle (such as planting one’s own garden, buying more local produce, and buying fewer processed snacks).

HEPK works alongside The Peace Neighborhood Center, a local nonprofit whose mission is to provide programs for children, families, and individuals who are affected by social and economic disparities, and to help people discover options, enhance skills, and make choices that lead to self-sufficiency and positive community involvement. HEPK utilizes the organization’s facilities, general ideologies, and program goals when instructing and interacting with the kids. HEPK runs on a weekly basis, facilitating activities for kindergarten and first graders once a week at Peace Neighborhood. Each month focuses on one of four topics:

  • A Lifestyle in Motion (Exercise)
  • Healthy Relationships
  • Diet & Nutrition
  • Environmental Education
Project Overview

 

Team members

Melissa Stults, Sara Meerow, Matthew Bishop, Noah Allington Partners: Beth Gibbons, Jessica Hitt, Sascha Petersen, Sierra Cameron Woodruff

Adviser

Rosina Bierbaum

Project Summary

Climate change is the single greatest threat to society and our quest to create more sustainable communities. As the impacts of a changing climate grow more acute, eroding existing sustainability gains and hampering our ability to meet future sustainability goals, the need to prepare or adapt to these impacts is becoming essential. With the initial seed funding, we convened 16 individuals, comprising a diverse group of stakeholders for an all-day workshop. Three pre-workshop surveys were created to help structure the face-to-face convening.

The workshop dove more deeply into identifying tools currently used by local government stakeholders to select adaptation strategies, assessing how well these tools meet local government needs, and exploring opportunities to combine and augment existing tools. The discussion established that existing tools do not fulfill local governments’ need for strategy identification and selection in a number of significant ways: the existing tool landscape is overwhelming and extremely challenging to navigate; existing resources are not well curated, easily accessible, or peer-reviewed; and existing resources often do not have the specific types of information that local governments are looking for.

The service providers in attendance discussed how their individual tools could be refined to meet existing user needs as well as how their tools could complement one another through a shared platform. the technical experts were very encouraging about the feasibility of merging existing tools and creating programming methods to coordinate the integration of information from the multiple adaptation strategy databases/tools that currently exist.

Project Overview

 

Team members

Patricia Koman, Frank Romo, Susan Landfried, Meredith Burke, Kyu Lee

Partners

Chris Coombe, Nancy French, Beth Gibbons, Kimberly Knott Hill, Donele Wilkins

Adviser

Marie O'Neill , Carina Gronlund, Robert Goodspeed

Project Summary

Northern states such as Michigan have a need to characterize climate change related exposures and vulnerabilities, especially regarding heat stress. Academic and community partners can provide the necessary methods development, data, and impetus for a state to enhance its exposure assessment and thereby facilitate healthier, sustainable communities.

We completed a first heat stress Geographic Information System (GIS) layer of a larger We assembled readily available underlying data and created heat stress vulnerability indices and maps, including for the first time temperature projections from climate modeling ensembles, that will allow the public to understand the location and relative magnitude climate vulnerability on selected metrics across the state of Michigan. This phase focused on vulnerabilities to heat stress at the census tract level as one example of a climate change-related human health impact.

Project Overview

 

Team Members

Rianna Penn, Bridget Vial, Francine Penikis, Willow Davis, Abijah Simon, Lian Wardrop, Minna Wybrecht

Adviser

Steven Wright

Project Summary

The Pantanal region of South America is the largest wetland in the world and holds great ecological importance. Currently, its communities live in harmony with their environment. However, as younger residents leave in search of better access to resources such as education and healthcare, the Pantanal is left without its traditional environmental stewards. Meanwhile, those that leave often find resources in the cities equally out of reach. By improving access to fuel and clean water, Pantanal Partnership can help the Pantanal and its communities continue to live in harmony and reduce rural exodus.

The Pantanal Partnership seeks to use sustainable technology as a medium to accomplish two goals: 1) improve quality of life for residents of the Pantanal by improving access to clean water and renewable fuel, and 2) share our understanding of sustainability and sustainable technology, thereby encouraging environmental stewardship and strengthening the ability of communities to confront current and future challenges. In order to accomplish these goals we are focusing on four technologies: water filter, biodigester, water turbine, and solar lighting.

Project Overview

 

Team Members

Fangzhou Zhang, Yue Wang, Tong Guo

Adviser

Prof. Paul Edwards

Project Summary

One of the most widespread policies to foster environmental sustainability is the government’s supports for the purchases of hybrid vehicles. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 provides tax credits amounting to $3000 at most for consumers who purchase energy efficient vehicles. The tax credit provided for purchasers of hybrid vehicles is considered as a powerful tool to promote the hybrid vehicles, which typically achieve more efficient fuel economy and lower emissions.

Despite a booming market for autos as a result of economic recovery, the sales for hybrid vehicles are decreasing due to recent drop in gas prices. The question that we aim to answer is to what extent is the potential consumers’ decisions to purchase hybrid vehicles are determined by the tax credits and fluctuating gas prices. This will not only help us understand the rationale behind the individual choices, but will also guide the policy toward environmental sustainability.

Project Overview

 

Team Members

Kristin Steiner, Brittany Szczepanik, Michael Barg, Billie Lee

Advisers

Damian Beil, Sarika Gupta, Dana A. Thompson

Project Summary

fulFILL is a sustainable enterprise that aims to combat the waste epidemic by revolutionizing the way we consume common household products. Customers order products (shampoo, lotion, soap, etc.) on our website (www.fulfillgoods.co), place their empty reusable containers on their doorsteps, and fulFILL refills them. fulFILL empowers residents to reuse containers by providing an affordable and convenient option for using and purchasing common household items.

fulFILL will assist in community sustainability efforts in three key ways:

  1. Waste: containers are reused, decreasing raw materials used and subsequent waste sent to landfills.
  2. Emissions: less packaging results in reduction of energy use and subsequently GHG emissions associated with the manufacturing and recycling processes.
  3. Access: by purchasing products in bulk, fulFILL can sell many items at lower cost, thereby engaging persons of all economic statuses in sustainability efforts.
Project Overview

 

Pages

Find Funded Projects