MSU environmental activities and accomplishments, from sources on and off-campus. For additional information on MSU environmental work, see these sources.


Why Are Electric Vehicle Sales Low? Psychology Provides Clues
Scientific American

Thomas Dietz, another leading environmental psychologist, agreed that providing credible information is key. "People probably lack information from trusted sources not only about the environmental impacts of their car purchases, but also about the impacts on their family budget," Dietz, a professor of sociology and environmental science and policy at Michigan State University, said in an email. More»

ESPP core faculty Dr. Laura Schmitt Olabisi awarded the 2019 Distinguished Partnership Award for Community-Engaged Teaching
University Outreach and Engagement

he partnership between MSU associate professor of community sustainability Laura Schmitt Olabisi and Ms. Renée Wallace of FoodPLUS | Detroit began in 2014 through an established community process for soliciting information on a proposed urban livestock ordinance in Detroit. Their objective was to develop a collaborative vision for and improved understanding of food systems in Detroit. The community partners were key participants in all stages of the project, the collaborative research yielded new insight into the potential to directly affect the design and implementation of the ordinance, and the results demonstrated that rapid growth in livestock keeping could generate negative externalities for the City. This project has led to additional benefits for both partners. A field school is planned in Detroit for 2019, with the dual goals of training community partners in systems modeling and training modelers in community engagement techniques. The partnership also was a catalyst for a $2 million grant for a four-year project that aims to use community-based participatory modeling to analyze the food system in Flint and catalyze collaborative relationships between the two cities for better understanding of urban food systems. More»


Protecting Reproductive and Child Health
MSU AgBioResearch

Courtney Carignan works to ensure food, water and consumer goods are safe. In particular, she helps protect reproductive and child health by investigating mixtures of chemicals that could cause harm. More»

Following a passion, from the bright lights of the stage to the forest
MSU AgBioResearch

Emily Huff has always been driven by passion. Her love of music and a dream of Broadway stardom took her to Brandeis University to study music composition. While there, however, she struggled with the seemingly binary nature of life. More»

Natural Resource Curse Strikes Again: ESPP student research shows uneven benefits to local communities in the Marcellus Shale boom
Journal of Rural and Community Development

In this case study, we compare federal and state employment, compensation, and business data from four Pennsylvania counties experiencing rapid Marcellus Shale development to consider what portion of these benefits stay within their respective counties and what is awarded to out-of-county recipients. We then draw on focus group data for individual community leader accounts of how benefits are distributed and the possible mechanisms that explain the trends identified in the employment, compensation, and business data. Our findings suggest that a substantial portion of employment and compensation benefits associated with natural gas extraction have gone to out-of-county recipients, suggesting much more limited direct benefits for residents than previously described in economic projections. We conclude that this outflow of benefits is a form of uneven development that may partially explain the natural resource curse. More»

A Damming Trend

Hundreds of dams are being proposed for Mekong River basin in Southeast Asia. The negative social and environmental consequences affecting everything from food security to the environment ­greatly outweigh the positive changes of this grand-scale flood control, according to new research by ESPP Director Jiaguo Qi, Dr. Yadu Pohkrel, ESPP affiliated faculty, and others at Michigan State University. The results, published in the current issue of Nature Scientific Reports, are the first to tackle the potential environmental changes that the overall basin could experience from harnessing the region's hydropower. "The Mekong River is one of the few large and complex river systems that remains mostly undammed," said Pokhrel, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering and the study's lead author. "However, the rapid socio-economic growth, increasing energy demands and geopolitical opportunities have led to basin-wide construction of large hydropower dams." More»

Dean Croson announces Dr. Jiaguo Qi as new ESPP Director

Dear ESPP Community: I am delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Jiaguo Qi of the Department of Geography as the Director of ESPP. Dr. Qi's research focuses on coupled human and natural systems. He also serves as the Director of the Center for Global Change and Earth Observation, and has been an appointed or affiliated faculty with ESPP for many years. Dr. Qi was chosen via a competitive search process led by the ESPP Faculty Advisory Council. Please join me in welcoming Dr. Qi to his new role. Sincerely yours, Rachel More»

Meredith Gore: Ending Wildlife Crime

I am a conservation social scientist who has worked on studying human-environment relationships in an international context for almost 15 years. My work is participatory and focused on humans; although I do not have a geographic area in which I specialize, I have had the good fortune to collaborate with many stakeholders across Africa in particular. The problem of illegal trade in wild flora and fauna is not new. Trade in wildlife has been going on since the time of Marco Polo, and illegal trade has gone alongside the legal. What is new is the scope and scale of illegal trade in the last decade. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimated illegal wildlife trade generates upwards of $23 billion for the illicit global economy on an annual basis; the illicit market continues to grow at a faster rate than the legal global economy. More»

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