Un-conference: Public Lab’s Annual Barnraising

In the spirit of bringing a community together to collectively raise a structure such as a barn, Barnraising participants come together to test environmental monitoring tools in the field, brainstorm new research projects, share about environmental concerns, and develop strategies to address them. The event is hosted in an “unconference style.” This means that people collectively set the agenda, and join to participate and collaborate rather than just present, talk, and listen…

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Grants and Funding: NSF Environmental Sustainability Program

The goal of the Environmental Sustainability program is to promote sustainable engineered systems that support human well-being and that are also compatible with sustaining natural (environmental) systems. These systems provide ecological services vital for human survival. Research efforts supported by the program typically consider long time horizons and may incorporate contributions from the social sciences and ethics. The program supports engineering research that seeks to balance society’s need to provide ecological protection and maintain stable economic conditions. 

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Water as a Human Right: Public Health Research and Advocacy in Detroit

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As a community-based grassroots organization, We The People of Detroit (WPD) aims to inform, educate, and empower Detroit residents on imperative issues surrounding civil rights, land, water, education, and the democratic process. WPD has worked tenaciously with its network of volunteers to provide water to Detroit residents and advocate for a sustainable water future.

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The One Water Vision: a Movement Toward Equitable Water Management

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Presented by the U.S. Water Alliance, the One Water Summit is a conference that seeks to bring people from all over the country, from a variety of professions, to exchange knowledge and develop strategies for achieving “a sustainable water future for all” — that is, a future where everyone has access to sufficient quantities of clean water and where water management practices are tied to healthy and thriving ecosystems, communities, and economies.

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Reduce, Re-use, Recycle… and Innovate

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The average American produces a little over four pounds of trash each day. Even though many of us recycle, the amount of waste we produce is still higher than it was in the sixties. Together, Americans produce 220 million tons of waste annually, 55% of which end up in landfills (unless you live in San Francisco, which has managed to divert 80% of its collective trash to recycling and composting programs, and is well on its way toward the end goal of producing “zero waste” as a city). And while businesses, schools, and hospitals produce a lot of trash as well, 65% of the trash found in today’s landfills is produced by individual households.

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A Community-Driven Cleanup: Restoring the Duwamish River by Hannah Kett

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DRCC/TAG takes the time and energy to build relationships, listen to the communities’ interests and needs, and collaborate with them to develop action plans that focus on empowering their voices and actions. This, in part, has enabled DRCC/TAG to leverage a $60,000 EPA Urban Waters Small Grant into close to $1.5 million invested in Duwamish Valley community priorities.

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It really was a “Watershed Awakening!” by Gail Heffner

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It really was a “Watershed Awakening”…the growing awareness and eventual decision made by Calvin College to turn its attention to Plaster Creek, the impaired creek that drains the watershed in which the college is situated in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Back in 2002, Calvin College began involving students in service-learning activities that evolved into today’s Plaster Creek Stewards, a highly successful collaboration of college faculty and students, urban residents, local churches and schools, and community partners working to restore the health and beauty of our 58 square mile watershed.

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