Research

The global sustainability challenge encompasses many areas of inquiry, such as air, water, food, energy, mobility, climate change, built environment, land use and human behavior. However, efforts focused solely on individual elements will not produce the solutions our society requires. Transformative breakthroughs will only result by focusing at the intersections—applying innovative ideas and approaches that cut across natural, social, and technological boundaries.

At the University of Michigan, we seek to discover and disseminate breakthrough innovations at disciplinary interfaces to solve complex sustainability challenges and improve lives on local-to-global scales. Drawing on more than 850 sustainability-related faculty across our 19 Schools and Colleges, we possess tremendous intellectual assets to support this goal. While U-M researchers are engaged in groundbreaking work on countless aspects of the global sustainability challenge, we are initially clustering efforts around three thematic areas:

  • Fostering Sustainable Freshwater Systems
  • Creating Livable Communities
  • Responding to Climate Variability and Change