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Our Dow Sustainability Fellowship Program team (the Dow team) partnered with the Michigan Environmental Council (MEC) to investigate drinking water quality and affordability issues at the community level to better inform statewide efforts to empower citizens and address water access concerns. The locality of focus, Benton Harbor, Michigan, shares similarities to Flint, Michigan – a city thrust into the spotlight when lead contamination was discovered in its drinking water. Benton Harbor, like Flint, has experienced an economic depression, a strained city governance, and aging infrastructure.

Keywords: water, infrastructure, Michigan Environmental Council, City Planning

Dow Sustainability Fellows Program

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Fellow Mary Jones and Lanfei Liu from the U-M School for Environment and Sustainability share the team’s idea for a communication tool for the government and residents of Washtenaw County, MI to provide affordable housing recommendations for all income brackets.
 
The project team includes other fellows from U-M School of Public Health, School for Environment and Sustainability, U-M School of Information, U-M School of Social Work and U-M Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.

 

Keywords: Dow Sustainability Fellows Program at the University of Michigan, The Dow Chemical Company Foundation, fellowships, housing

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Fellow Kenneth J. Fennell Jr. from the U-M Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy shares the team’s idea to increase accessibility to shared use mobile technologies for high risk, low-income communities in Detroit, MI by enacting Caravan, a social platform tool allowing users to find and access transportation.
 
The project team includes other fellows from Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, U-M School for Environment and Sustainability and U-M School of Social Work.
 

Keywords: Dow Sustainability Fellows Program at the University of Michigan, The Dow Chemical Company Foundation, fellowships, Detroit, transportation

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Fellow Harry Wolberg from the U-M Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy shares the team’s idea for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and organic waste at U-M through a biodigester, a facility that captures the methane gas from decomposing waste to be used to generate renewable energy.
 
The project team includes other fellows from the U-M School for Environment and Sustainability, U-M Law School and U-M Stephen M. Ross School of Business.

 

Keywords: Dow Sustainability Fellows Program at the University of Michigan, The Dow Chemical Company Foundation, fellowships, waste reduction.

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This article about the Crow House project highlights the effort to address both the need for energy efficient housing and access to healthy food. A University of Michigan (U-M) team of graduate students interested in urban socioecology developed the Crow House project. Inspired in part by the settlement house tradition popular at the turn of the 20th century, students began implementing a plan that focused on creating common ground for community and college collaboration among local activists, agencies, and scholars living in neighborhoods. Also, see the project summary.

 

Keywords: Dow Sustainability Fellowship Program, University of Michigan, Detroit

Black soldier flies are an innocuous insect with the ability to consume twice their weight in a day during the larval stage, thus transforming large quantities of most organic material like food waste, into fat and protein. This fact has caught the attention of scientists, farmers, and composters all looking for a better way to both feed an increasing population and recycle the growing amount of organic waste produced by that population. With a $5,000 seed grant from the Dow Distinguished Awards competition, a U-M student team conducted a study to determine the demand for a black soldier fly feed production facility, and how this might contribute to an emerging agriculture and waste management industry. Keywords: Black soldier flies, Kulisha, food waste, waste management, agriculture, animal feed

Southwest Detroit is a community with many needs, including access to affordable housing and healthy food. For Detroiters living in an older home, this means paying high utility bills, unless you can find a house renovated to be energy efficient. To address both the need for energy efficient housing and access to healthy food, a University of Michigan team of graduate students interested in urban socioecology developed the Crow House project. Inspired in part by the settlement house tradition popular at the turn of the 20th century, students began implementing a plan that focused on creating common ground for community and college collaboration among local activists, agencies, and scholars living in neighborhoods. Keywords: Affordable Housing, Detroit, Community Gardening, Energy Efficiency

As you enter the city, Detroit’s reputation as the Motor City is readily apparent. With wide streets and long blocks, Detroit is a city made for cars. In many places, it is difficult to access amenities – fresh food, jobs, healthcare – without a vehicle. Focus: HOPE, a Detroit-based non-profit focused on addressing racism, poverty, and injustice launched the HOPE Village initiative to improve the lives of Detroit residents and break the cycle of poverty. To address transportation challenges in the community. Focus: HOPE partnered with a team of graduate students from the Dow Sustainability Fellows Program at the University of Michigan (U-M). Keywords: Urban Transportation, Focus: Hope, Community-based Participatory Research, CBPR

In the Fifth Annual Report, Collaborative Leadership for Sustainability, key impacts include supporting sustainability projects that have impacted people in 19 countries, 8 states, and 6 Michigan communities. Made possible by The Dow Chemical Company Foundation, the Dow Sustainability Fellows Program at the University of Michigan (U-M) engaged 17 of U-M's 19 schools and colleges this past year.

A Dow Sustainability Master's Fellows team investigated the feasibility of installing a biodigester on campus to reduce food waste and capture gas to use for energy. This summary is part of the Dow Global Impact Series highlighting innovative field work projects.

Keywords: Biodigester, food waste, compost, energy conservation, engineering, sustainability, University of Michigan Dow Sustainability Fellows Program

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