Oh, the places Scholars go!
View Graham Scholars Field Experiences in a larger map
Sustainability Scholars are eligible for a scholarship (administered as a financial credit in the student's account) of up to $3,000 for their field-based experience course or independent study. This scholarship can be applied to course fees or related direct expenses (e.g. travel, food, and lodging) for one or more of the approved courses (more options pending). Or, Scholars may follow the appropriate process (outlined here) to petition the Education Director to apply this scholarship and fulfill this requirement through an alternative off-site, field-based experience.
Click on the pins on the map to see where Sustainability Scholars have traveled for their field-based experience. Some have been through U-M programs, others are through approved organizations, and some scholars have come up with unique independent study projects. All of the Sustainability Scholars have the opportunity to explore their own personal interests in sustainability throughout the world.
Sustainable Neighborhoods: Experiential Learning & Active Engagement in Detroit – U-M/Graham Sponsored
Learn hands-on about sustainability issues facing Southeast Michigan through this four-credit, undergraduate course. Through this unique experiential course, participants will learn about: The confluence of food systems, the built environment, transportation, and social justice in urban settings; the concept and realities of sustainability in urban environments; ways communities and neighborhoods can respond to changing environments; Detroit’s history and culture.
Jackson Hole, WY
Alternative & Fossil Energy: Options & Consequences – U-M/Graham Sponsored
Students learn about the concepts and environmental consequences of sustainable and fossil energy sources, gaining understanding of these topics through site visits to many types of energy production and extraction plants.
Happiness Initiative – Independent study
This project is an interdisciplinary project that combines elements of positive psychology, environmental stewardship and public policy. In 2010, a nonprofit called Sustainable Seattle based in Seattle, WA launched the Happiness Initiative. Through this field experience, a Scholar learned about how the Happiness Initiative has impacted the city of Seattle. He attended the Bioneers conference in California and then took a 10-day trip to Seattle. During this trip, he explored the impact that the Happiness Initiative has already had on the community, attended townhall meetings and interacted with locals to gain a better understanding of what the community desires.
Hawai'i Island, HI
World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms – Independent Study
Four Scholars traveled to Hawaii to study the issue of food security. They explored Hawaiian WWOOF farms and critically analyzed the sustainability of the practices the farms employed to determine what sustainable agriculture could look like. They identified five different Hawaiian farms at varying scales, which practice diverse growing techniques and specialize in a variety of crops.
Analysis of Environmental Sustainability in Mexican Microenterprises – Independent Study
Comunidades de Emprendedores Sociales, A.C. (CREA) is an organization that trains and advises low-income women to strengthen and grow their businesses, generate employment, and open new distribution channels for their products. Under the advising of a Ross School of Business professor, a Scholar conducted a study to help them improve their sustainability curriculum and practices.
Sustainable Development in Latin America – U-M/Graham Sponsored
Based at INCAE Business School near San Jose, Costa Rica, this three-credit undergraduate field course will focus on sustainable development, entrepreneurship, economic developments, culture, ecotourism, and how to do business in Latin America.
Pantanal Partnership - Independent Study
Three Scholars traveled to Brazil to complete a project focused on improving the sustainability of the rural community surrounding the Jaguar Ecological Reserve in Mato Grasso, Brazil. They did a complete analysis of the feasibility of using an anaerobic digester and trash incinerator to provide energy for the community and reduce its waste stream. This project allowed them to gain a better understanding of the economic, social, political, and environmental impacts of the implementation of sustainable systems in a foreign setting and rural community.
Partnership with the Washtenaw Food Hub to study Sustainable Regional Markets in France. Suggestions from observation, research, interviews, etc will be made to Washtenaw Food Hub through a formal report highlighting successes and challenges of the French Food system. Specifically focusing on artisan markets, food security, and community outreach.
Environmental Studies of Europe is a four week hands-on learning experience about environmental issues in Europe and what the European Union has done to address them. The program is based in Freiburg, Germany, which is one of the “greenest” cities in Europe. Freiburg's sustainability initiatives include widespread, reliable, and inexpensive public transportation, prevalent use of solar panels, numerous wind turbines, a comprehensive recycling program, and extensive access to green and open space. Program highlights included field trips to the European parliament in France, an organic winery, a carbon-neutral hotel, the city's recycling facility, two "ecological" neighborhoods within Freiburg, and a day hike in the nearby Black Forest.
Science & Environment or Sustainability in Europe – Alternative Institution
The Danish Institute for Study Abroad (DIS) Science & the Environment program allows you to explore climate change and other environmental issues by learning from climate history. You will develop deeper knowledge of climate history in order to understand climate change theory, and you will also examine how civilization has played a critical role in creating the earth we live on today.
Cultural Ecology, Natural History, and Sustainability: Lessons from Iceland – Alternative Institution
This course offers students the opportunity to study sustainability in an exceptionally environmentally friendly country. The course examines Iceland’s environmental challenges and solutions. In addition, students learn about sustainable communities while living at an eco-village.
Conservation & Development in Cultural Landscapes: Fieldwork in Kenya – U-M/Graham Sponsored
Conservation and development initiatives are increasingly taking into consideration the different histories, geographies, livelihood systems and ecologies of people and their cultural landscapes. These socio-political and ecological dimensions strongly influence the development process and conservation outcomes. This three-credit course involves both classroom and field study in order to better understand the processes associated with conservation and development initiatives.
Global Intercultural Experience for Undergraduates – U-M/Graham Sponsored
This field experience was a part of the Global Intercultural Experience for Undergraduates (GIEU.) The students were part of the staff of USAID's Excellence in Higher Education for Liberia Development (EHELD) program. They worked with a group of college students from Liberia to 1) research alternative energy options in Liberia and draft a funding proposal and 2) determine a way to irrigate a 200-acre farm using a nearby swamp and begin the construction process.
Toward a Sustainable Environment in light of the Changing Face of Rural (& Urban) China – U-M/Graham Sponsored
In collaboration with the Beijing University of Technology's College of Architecture and Urban Planning, program participants research, document, and react to the changing face of rural China in one specific locale: the Shang Shui Guo Village in the Pearl River Valley Township near Beijing. Research will lead to the development of a new rural prototype house as well as a series of specific recommendations on how to convert the historic structures and environment to meet modern standards.
EcoQuest – U-M/Graham Sponsored
EcoQuest incorporates both ecology and environmental policy in its program. Students enroll in two courses, Ecology and Biogeography of New Zealand and Environmental Policy, Planning and Sustainability in New Zealand, and visit three islands throughout the class. Students live at a field station when not traveling.
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