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


In Memory of Dr. F. William Cambray, the first Associate Director of ESPP
Dr. Tom Dietz

Founding Director Dr. Tom Dietz shared these words in memory of Dr. Cambray today. Please keep the Cambray family in your thoughts: ESPP is sorry to announce the passing of our first Associate Director, Dr. F. William Cambray on 2 June 2019. Bill served for many years as Chair of MSU's then Department of Geology, now Earth and Environmental Sciences. He briefly retired in 2002 but returned to service in January 2003 as the first Associate Director of the Environmental Science and Policy Program. The early days of ESPP were marked by great enthusiasm on the part of faculty and deans across many colleges and departments. But, as is usually the case in forming a highly interdisciplinary program, there were divergent taken-for-granted assumptions and strong views about what was proper for the "umbrella" program for environmental research and graduate education. Bill's deep understanding of how MSU worked, and of the traditions and perspectives of diverse colleges, schools and departments was essential to create a campus wide program. Equally important was his diplomacy and sense of humor. Without the trust and respect he commanded across campus, ESPP would never have emerged. At the start of one meeting that had the potential to be rather contentious, he reminded us of Lepidus' speech in Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra. "Noble friends, That which combined us was most great, and let not A leaner action rend us. What's amiss, May it be gently heard: when we debate Our trivial difference loud, we do commit Murder in healing wounds: then, noble partners, The rather, for I earnestly beseech, Touch you the sourest points with sweetest terms, Nor curstness grow to the matter." He played a vital role in setting the tone for ESPP. And behind the scenes he provided wise counsel and deep understanding of the diverse interests and concerns ESPP had to reconcile. He will be missed. But his contribution to our collective endeavor lives on. More»

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»

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