About MUSE

  • Vision
  • Leadership Team
  • Faculty Ambassadors

Vision: A research community that encourages diverse perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds and collaborates toward a just and sustainable future

Mission: To connect and collaborate on human-environment research at the University of Michigan

The Michigan University-wide Sustainability & Environment (MUSE) Initiative was established in 2015, when a group of students across different schools  and departments at the University of Michigan (UM) wanted to create a space for deeper thinking and collaboration around sustainability and environmental research. What started independently as a Rackham Interdisciplinary Workshop and a conference merged to create what is now a university-wide organization that supports and enables students of any and all disciplines at UM to bring their own unique perspectives to challenge and evolve the way we think about issues for sustainability and the environment.

MUSE functions through democratic and student-led work, comprised of three main elements: the Workshop, the Social, and the Conference.

The Workshop provides an ongoing forum to connect researchers and serves as the main skill-building arm of the organization. Nearly every other week throughout the year, MUSE hosts guest speakers, workshops, discussions, and skill-building sessions. These sessions allow us to continue the conversation between researchers.

The Social is another opportunity to engage with researchers from across the campus. Connect with us to receive our bi-annual newsletters (aka “MUSE-letters”) and join in with the social events at favorite local spots like the Detroit Street Filling Station.

Finally, the Conference is MUSE’s hallmark event of the year. The conference provides constantly evolving fora for sharing ideas, connecting, and developing collaborations. With support from numerous departments/programs across the university, last year’s conference boasted over 150 attendees from more than 20 disciplines. Check out some photos from past events. And stay tuned for upcoming announcements for the 5th MUSE conference in February 2021! 

We like to hear from you!

MUSE is here to serve anyone and everyone interested in sustainability and the environment at UM. If you are one of those people, but don’t see your kind of research and interests represented at our events – please reach out to us at MUSE-inquiries@umich.edu!

Mallika Kothari 


Tim Muhich


Charlotte Sedlock



Chandler Sachs



Committees of past conferences and workshops:


Conference: (Left to right, top to bottom) Nicole Ryan (MechE/SEAS), Sara Goto (SEAS), Committee Chair – Jen Carman (SEAS), Katie Hummel (English), Emily Yang (CLASP), Tom Logan (IOE), Tim Williams (IOE), Committee Chair – Michael Lerner (Political Science),  Brent Heard (SEAS)
Absent: Theo Kulczycki (Economics),  Mohammad Golrokhian (Industry Partner)

WorkshopTom Logan (IOE), Tim Williams (IOE)


Conference: Left to right, top to bottom: Katherine Browne (SEAS), Committee Chair – Lizz Ultee (CLASP), Jen Carman (SEAS), Sara Goto (SEAS), Emily Yang (CLASP), Michael Lerner (Political Science), Tim Williams (IOE),  Brent Heard (SEAS),  Tom Logan (IOE)
Absent: Matt Villeneuve (History)

Workshop: James Arnott (SEAS), Katherine Browne (SEAS), Tom Logan (IOE)


Conference: Maryam Arbabzadeh (SNRE), Samantha Basile (CLASP), Jennifer Carman (SNRE), Sedona Chinn (Communication Studies), Megan Czerwinsky (Nursing), Paul Glaum (EEB), Alison King (SNRE), Joseph Krieger (SNRE), Neil Lewis, Jr. (PSYCH), Sara Meerow (SNRE), Fabian Guy Neuner (POLSCI), Lizz Ultee (CLASP); Chair: James Arnott (SNRE)

Workshop: Sara Meerow (SNRE), James Arnott (SNRE)


Workshop: Sara Meerow (SNRE)


Workshop: Sara Meerow (SNRE)

Sue Ann Bell

Seth Guikema
Industrial and Operations Engineering

Lesli Hoey
Architecture and Urban Planning

Andrew Jones
Nutritional Sciences

Josh Newell
Environment and Sustainability

Scotti Parrish
English Language and Literature

Barry Rabe
Public Policy

Perry Samson
Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering

Adam Simon
Earth and Environmental Sciences

Joe Trumpey
Art and Design

Margaret Wooldridge
Mechanical Engineering