Abstracts due Thursday for campuswide sustainability conference


The committee organizing the inaugural Michigan Universitywide Sustainability and Environment conference and workshop next February is seeking abstracts by Thursday.

The MUSE conference, scheduled for Feb. 9-10 at Palmer Commons, is designed to foster connections and new collaborations across the broad suite of sustainability and environment-related research at U-M.

The organizing committee, an interdisciplinary group of U-M doctoral students from across campus, welcomes involvement from all U-M scholars whose work advances knowledge in these areas, including those in the humanities and the social, physical, natural, and engineering sciences.

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Abstracts on topics related to sustainability and environment may include, but are not limited to, human and social behavior, built environment and infrastructure, land use, water, energy systems, climate change, public health and ecosystems.

“There are many students, postdoctoral researchers and faculty at the University of Michigan doing innovative work on environmental issues, but their paths do not always cross,” said Sara Meerow, a doctoral candidate at the School of Natural Resources and Environment and MUSE organizing committee member. “My hope is that this conference will bring them together and inspire some of the interdisciplinary collaborations that are essential for solving global sustainability challenges.”

“A meeting that showcases student research on sustainability at U-M has been long overdue,” said Arun Agrawal, the Samuel Trask Dana Professor of Governance and Sustainability at SNRE. “I believe all faculty at U-M owe a debt of gratitude to our innovative students who have launched this pioneering effort to invigorate the community of scholarship on environment and sustainability.”

MUSE will bring graduate students together with university leadership, faculty and research fellows for a mixture of interdisciplinary lectures, panel discussions, poster sessions, and network- and skill-building activities.

The conference will provide opportunities to present early-stage and final findings from research. Participation among researchers at all stages of their careers will allow new opportunities for collaboration, mentorship and learning. A committee will award prizes for outstanding early-career contributions.

“The re-envisioning of environment and sustainability programs on campus presents an opportunity to engage a cross-campus scholarly conversation about the excellent work that’s going on in this area, broadly defined,” said Dan Brown, professor of natural resources and environment, and interim dean of SNRE. “We are grateful that students in multiple units have seized the opportunity and created a venue for that conversation.”

Once abstracts have been reviewed by a selection committee, sessions will be designed that cut across their topics and other themes. Participants may consider presenting either on specific research outcomes or on broader themes that convey their research interests.


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