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Three Taubman College Faculty Join Larsen on Carbon Neutrality Commission

Monday, October 21, 2019

Three Taubman College faculty members have been named to internal analysis teams within the University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel’s Commission on Carbon Neutrality. They join Larissa Larsen, associate professor of urban and regional planning, who was named to the commission when it was launched in February.

The U-M President’s Commission on Carbon Neutrality, and its advisory panels, brings together the U-M community and regional partners to develop recommendations for how to reduce U-M’s carbon emissions to levels that are environmentally sustainable, in a fiscally responsible manner and in the context of its mission of education, research, service, and patient care. The scope of the charge to the advisory committee spans all three U-M campuses — Ann Arbor, Flint, and Dearborn — and includes, but is not limited to, carbon emissions and sequestration; energy sourcing; technology development and policy change; facilities, operations, and mobility; and behavioral change. Membership includes faculty, students, administrators, and local partners.

The commission’s eight internal analysis teams will devise strategies for sustainability in relation to building standards, energy consumption, commuting, university travel, food, biosequestration, campus culture and communication, and external collaboration. 

Jen Maigret, associate professor of architecture, is leading the internal analysis team focused on building standards. Her team will evaluate current and emerging best practices regarding the adoption, implementation, and long-term efficacy of building code policies to improve sustainable building performance outcomes. Their work will be centered around four areas of building design and construction that have the potential to contribute significantly to carbon emissions reductions: energy, water, site, and materials. Maigret, who is a principal at Ann Arbor-based PLY+ Architecture, teaches design studios and courses in sustainability and representation. She previously was a partner in the transdisciplinary, collaborative practice, MAde Studio, where her projects included regional green infrastructure analyses and the design and fabrication of architectural elements within public spaces.

Lesli Hoey, an associate professor of urban and regional planning whose work centers around food systems policy and planning, is co-leading the internal analysis team for food with School of Public Health Associate Professor Andy Jones. The team will evaluate and recommend approaches to decrease the GHG footprint associated with food consumption at U-M. Considerations may include sourcing, certifications, volume reduction, disposal, and offsets. The team’s work will focus attention on the role that dining services play in shaping the U-M food system and will include mapping U-M’s dining services supply chains, existing data, and current practices relevant to greenhouse gas emissions reductions. 

Jonathan Levine, professor of urban and regional planning, is leading the internal analysis team on commuting. His team will develop an approach to measuring the carbon impact of the commute to the three University of Michigan campuses; will study approaches used by peer institutions to reducing the carbon impact of the commute and their effectiveness; will adapt promising approaches used elsewhere to the specific conditions of the U-M campuses and their surrounding areas; and will develop prioritized recommendations for reducing the commute’s carbon footprint. Levine, whose work focuses on policy reform in transportation and land use, currently is studying accessibility in transportation and the design of institutions for emerging transportation systems such as self-driving vehicles. 

Larsen, who is one of 16 members of the commission, focuses her research on identifying environmental inequities in the built environment and advancing issues of urban sustainability and social justice. Her current work tackling climate adaptation planning and urban heat island studies.

More information about the commission can be found here. Details about the internal analysis teams can be found here