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Team Members: Katie Proudman, Stephanie Dooper, Adam Osielski, Sarah Swanz, Ansha Zaman

Project Summary: This project focuses on assessing and measuring non-economic loss and damage (NELD) from climate change or other environmental stress as experienced by marginalized communities. The project and methodology were built in partnership with the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa in northern Wisconsin. The project team conducted ethnographic interviews with tribal members to identify potential adverse health impacts, reduction in biodiversity, loss of indigenous knowledge, as well as the loss of identity or sense of place resulting from the destruction of culturally important landscapes or built sites. By analyzing these oral histories, the team plans to create a final report to both inform policy-makers and establish a community archive. The team is also exploring the feasibility of developing a methodology to assess non-economic loss and damage, thereby informing adaptation and mitigation strategies that minimize the consequences of climate change.

Dow Sustainability Fellows Program

Team Members: Sydney Forrester, Yide Gu, Usmaan Jaffer, Tim Yuan, Ziyang Zhong

Advisor: Dr. Kazuhiro Saitou

Project Summary: The long-term goal of this project is to demonstrate that a short range, low speed, network-connected, solar-powered, mini electric vehicle can improve quality of life among disadvantaged communities. Such a vehicle would enable greater access to markets, health care, and other social services in an environmentally sustainable manner while allowing more time for education and economic advancement in impoverished populations. The team designed and manufactured an early prototype of a bicycle attached to a solar panel trailer–and conducted preliminary testing and market feasibility analyses in Accra and Kumasi, Ghana. Goals for 2018 include conducting further testing on the current prototype and development of an improved design and prototype tailored for urban usage in Ghana based on feasibility research and analysis.

Seed Grant and Large Grant Award

Dow Sustainability Fellows Program

Team Members: Colby Kane Hanley, Kabir S. Rastogi, Keny Patel, Natalia Jenuwine, Natasha Desai, Nisha Patel, Rachel A. Ross, Romaer Singh Chopra, Sai Bolla, Sarah Rogers

Project Summary: This project seeks to identify sustainable solutions to design challenges identified in Dolatpura, India, namely a stove design widely used in the local community and a toilet system. The new stove design aims to reduce smoke and increase efficiency. Implemented in collaboration with a partner family, the team is working with them on design applications throughout the community. The toilet project has also been implemented and provides a more comfortable and sanitary waste management system. The team is currently collecting data on its functionality and monitoring for any new design problems.

Team Members: Michael Amidon, Ashish Bhandari, Olaia Chivite Amigo, Laura Devine, Kayla Hunter, Jiayang Li, Erika Linenfelser, Bruna De Souza Oewel, Yao Tang

Advisor: Dr. María Arquero de Alarcón & Dr. Ana Paula Pimentel Walker

Project Summary: The Ocupação Anchieta Avança! project addresses patterns of rapid informal urbanization of areas of environmental protection in cities’ peripheries in response to a lack of affordable housing options for the poor, a phenomenon emerging as one of the Global South’s most pressing issues. Through a site-specific case, and in collaboration with a robust network of local partners, this project proposes new sustainable strategies of land stewardship to address the detrimental impacts informal settlements impose upon areas of environmental value in the urban periphery of São Paulo, Brazil. The team developed plans for a new cultural center and is in the process of developing and implementing sustainable housing prototypes and raising further awareness of the team’s efforts through the creation of a website and blog.

Seed Grant and Large Grant Award

Dow Sustainability Fellows Program

Team Members: Allyson Winter Stewart, Bridget Henley, Kathleen Helen Carroll, Amanda Lownes, Suzanne Genyk

Project Summary: Zana Snacks is a new clean snacking brand that sells plant-based snacks made with organic ingredients and no added sugar and packaged in recyclable and compostable material. The team conducted extensive consumer research and product development supported by The Dow Chemical Company, including, interviews, surveys, and taste tests with over 100 participants. The result is two product lines and five flavors of healthy snacking products to fit consumer needs. Zana Snacks launched online sales in August 2017 and has earned nearly $1,500 in revenue to date. Next steps include increasing investment in marketing and production volume to increase financial efficiency while maintaining a focus on sustainability and minimizing environmental impacts.

Dow Sustainability Fellows Program

Team Members: Shivani Kamodia, Annabel Weiner Advisor: Dr. Zach Landis-Lewis

Project Summary: The goal of this project is to provide recommendations to help dental clinics transform patient care and achieve sustainability through cultural, operational, and infrastructural changes while stewarding our environment. The primary milestone is a website, where dental professionals can access our recommendations and resources for improvement in the sustainability of their clinic. The website is divided into four domains: organizational development, waste reduction, and prevention, environmentally preferred purchasing and the built environment. The largest achievements so far have been the creation of the website and the initiation of a glove recycling program at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry. Future tasks involve continuing to monitor the glove recycling program and increasing dental clinic participation in the website’s recommendations and developing sustainability “scores” for these clinics.

Seed Grant and Large Grant Award


Dow Sustainability Fellows Program

Team Members: Lauren Smith, Laura Donahue, Christopher Schaitkin, Pablo Nuñez, Alan Burg, Richard Neitzel

Project Summary: Responsible recycling and disposal of products at their end-of-life is important to protect valuable and finite resources as well as for the maintenance of the environment. Many non-profit organizations that make money by reselling products receive many items that are unusable. This project established a cross-disciplinary sustainability consulting firm on the U-M campus aimed at helping community non-profits improve their sustainable culture and practices. Much of the team’s recent work has focused on building a relationship with the Kiwanis Club of Ann Arbor to gain a greater understanding of past practices and possible future improvements. Currently, the team is working on outreach to recruit new members to diversify the team and continue researching possibilities for improved recycling streams to augment current practices.

Dow Sustainability Fellows Program

Team Members: Beilu Duan, Nicole Ryan, Tara Narayanan, Niel Patel, Tae Lim, Prathmesh Gupta, Nathan Chesterman, Julia Entwistle, Hsiao-Chin Liu, Ho Hseih

Project Summary: The objective of this project is to build a solar-powered drip irrigation system on a school farm in Liberia, addressing the local scarcity of energy, water, and food. The team first designed and developed a prototype system in Ann Arbor, MI, after a literature review of the subject. The team partnered with the Christian Revival Church Association and spent two weeks in Liberia installing the drip-irrigation portion of the project on one acre of cropland. The drip-irrigation system began operating in October 2017, watering one acre of crops for over 100 days. Implementation of the solar-powered component is still ongoing, with another trip to the site to complete the system planned for 2018.

Dow Sustainability Fellows Program

Team Members: Mike Westcott, Brennan Sieck, Nate Love

Advisor: Dr. Ryan Gourley

Project Summary: Wellwith aims to reduce waste created by single-use coffee cups. The project end goal is to help people and businesses live more sustainably by reducing waste and promoting sustainability-minded charities like through business. The project team started out focusing on creating a platform to reward people for bringing their coffee mugs to participating locations, and in fall 2017 added a disposable cup buying program to their efforts. Helping businesses save money on the cost of disposable cups, enables them to donate to charities as part of a customer rewards program for bringing reusable mugs. The team is currently working on perfecting the point-earning system and on growing their customer base.

Dow Sustainability Fellows Program

Team Members: Mary Mattson, Ben Lawson, Aaron Mininger, Peter Attema

Advisor: Dr. Matthew Despard

Project Summary: Driving Hope seeks to empower vulnerable families and individuals in Washtenaw County by providing low-cost automotive service and advice to those with a demonstrated need for financial aid and transportation. Clients are charged only for the parts needed for the repair; all labor costs are waived. The team has partnered with the local non-profit Grace Ann Arbor to ensure that the project is sustainable for the long-term. Driving Hope currently has a fully operational and insured garage and is prepared and equipped to provide services pending referrals, which will be provided by SOS Community Services and Friend InDeed. The team is also equipped to provide advice on new or used automotive purchases, including phone consultations and personal vehicle inspections.

Dow Sustainability Fellows Program