2016 Dow Distinguished Awards for Sustainability Seed Grants Awarded

Nicole Berg
Release Date: 

New and Outstanding Interdisciplinary Projects

2015 Dow Distinguished Award Winner

To foster high-impact sustainability collaborations across the University of Michigan, the Dow Sustainability Fellows Program includes a "beyond the campus" competition for applied sustainability projects that cut across disciplines, and involve U-M students at all academic levels. Projects are student-led, faculty advised, and action oriented, outlining a new product, service, or project to protect the environment and enhance quality of life for present and future generations. 

Colleges and schools represented include: Architecture and Urban Planning, Art and Design, Business, Engineering, Information, Kinesiology, Law, Literature Science and the Arts, Medicine, Natural Resources and Environment, Public Health, Public Policy, Rackham, and Social Work.
Project topics span water access and distribution, sustainable food systems, carbon education and behavior change, environmental education, energy systems, urban community, environment and health, and food waste. Students are working at local to global scales – with projects located from Ann Arbor, to New Mexico, to Nicaragua, Haiti, and Kenya.

By the Numbers

  • Total Funds Awarded: $75,000
  • Seed Grant Amount: $5000
  • Students Supported: 83
  • Projects Supported: 15
  • U-M School and Colleges Represented: 14
  • Locations: 6 countries

2016 Seed Grant Projects:

  • Adapting Outdoor Aquaponics Systems to Seasonal Locations
  • BLUElab NicarAGUA Project Team
  • Kulisha (sustainable aquafeed development)
  • The Carbon Connection Program
  • Sustainable Park Trail and Interpretive Systems in a High Tech World
  • Prototype for a small-scale concentrated solar power desalination plant for freshwater supply in coastal communities
  • Environmental, economic, and social impacts of Expanding a Micro-grid from the University of Liberia to Surrounding Communities
  • Conservation and Economic Vitalization through Silvopasture in Nicaragua
  • Condon Crow House – Urban Permaculture Settlement House
  • The Dreamscape Program
  • Haiti-DR Community Assessment and Border Initiative
  • The Fresh Fridge Mobile App for Conscious Consumers: Tracking Food Purchases to Reduce Consumer Food Waste
  • Strengthening Sustainable Food Systems through Environmental Education Workshops
  • See for Yourself: What’s in Your Water; Visualizing the Drinking Water Delivery Systems for Flint, Michigan

Made possible by The Dow Chemical Company, the Dow Sustainability Fellows Program at the University of Michigan supports full-time graduate students and postdoctoral scholars at the university who are committed to finding interdisciplinary, actionable, and meaningful sustainability solutions on local-to-global scales. The program prepares future sustainability leaders to make a positive difference in organizations worldwide, see: www.sustainability.umich.edu.