Global Climate and Remote Sensing

This talk will provide an introduction to global climate as well as factors that impact it including the global water, carbon, and energy system. Cutting edge technology will be presented showcasing our abilities to remotely measure current conditions and predict future conditions.

Leland Pierce
Associate Research Scientist
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department, University of Michigan


The video of the meeting appears below:

Organizational Sustainability

Organizational Sustainability from

Over the centuries, humans have endeavored to find the most appropriate system of organization to meet the challenges of the day. These challenges have included finding food, ensuring security, and increasing productivity. Modern organizations range from the light-hearted such as a local bowling league to the formal such as a corporation or university. As civilization has developed, so too have our organizations in terms of their complexity as well as their breadth of focus. Modern organizations may include a sizable bureaucracy and significant levels of red tape. Organizational sustainabilitywill be presented with a focus on mitigating restrictions to getting things done.

During this community discussion, we watched three TED talks and discussed each with an emphasis on applications to each community member. 

Talk 1: Yves Morieux – As work gets more complex, 6 rules to simplify (source)

Talk 2: Leerom Segal & Jay Goldman – How Technology Eats Bureaucracy (source)

Talk 3: Simon Sinek – Start With Why (Edited)

The full talk is available to watch below:


Global Climate and Ice

Our final seminar of the Fall 2016 term will focus on global climate change and the impact on arctic ice. We will show excerpts from the film Chasing Ice as well as Ted talks on the same topic to provide a variety of viewpoints on the changing arctic climate and the impact on the Earth as a whole.


About Chasing Ice:

In the spring of 2005, acclaimed environmental photographer James Balog headed to the Arctic on a tricky assignment for National Geographic: to capture images to help tell the story of the Earth’s changing climate. Even with a scientific upbringing, Balog had been a skeptic about climate change. But that first trip north opened his eyes to the biggest story in human history and sparked a challenge within him that would put his career and his very well-being at risk.

Chasing Ice is the story of one man’s mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of our changing planet. Within months of that first trip to Iceland, the photographer conceived the boldest expedition of his life: The Extreme Ice Survey. With a band of young adventurers in tow, Balog began deploying revolutionary time-lapse cameras across the brutal Arctic to capture a multi-year record of the world’s changing glaciers.

As the debate polarizes America and the intensity of natural disasters ramps up globally, Balog finds himself at the end of his tether. Battling untested technology in subzero conditions, he comes face to face with his own mortality. It takes years for Balog to see the fruits of his labor. His hauntingly beautiful videos compress years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate. Chasing Ice depicts a photographer trying to deliver evidence and hope to our carbon-powered planet.



FARS test for LEP

 Display Selection:

Satellite Remote Sensing of the Environment


This presentation will discuss issues related to satellite remote sensing of the environment. Different applications of remote sensing will be presented, along with the various costs and challenges associated with each. A particular application will be presented focusing on imaging the Canadian Boreal Forest which is a critical component of the global carbon cycle.


Michael Benson
PhD Candidate, Radiation Laboratory
EECS Department, University of Michigan


The Wavie videos shown during this presentation are available here courtesy of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers’ Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society (IEEE-GRSS)

A video of the presentation appears below:

A video of the Greg Asner TED talk shown during this presentation appears below:



Winter 2015 Meetings


Thursday, Jan 8, Noon-1PM: Johnson Rooms, Lurie Bldg, North Campus
Topic: Is that new Technology REALLY Sustainable?
Speaker: Prof. Steven Skerlos, The University of Michigan, Depts of Mechanical Engineering and Civil and Environmental Engineering

Wednesday, Feb 25, Noon-1PM: Johnson Rooms, Lurie Bldg, North Campus
Topic: The Scent of Disappearing Trees
Speaker: Michelle Krell Kydd, ArtsEngine
presentation viewgraphs   relevant article  
Sustainability initiatives that address deforestation and climate change are all too real. Perfumers are particularly aware of this as more than a few natural ingredients in the perfumer’s palette are disappearing. Memory and identity are tied to fragrance design and the experience of smelling a perfume. What does it mean when we can no longer smell something familiar because it has disappeared or no longer exists?

The answer to this question begins with acquainting ourselves with the sense of smell and the “woody” category in fine fragrance. Attendees will smell three endangered ingredients and learn what is being done to prevent many other ingredients in perfumery from disappearing all together.

Michelle Krell Kydd is the Communications Specialist for ArtsEngine and The Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities (a2ru ) at the University of Michigan. She is a trained “nose” in flavors and fragrance and evangelizes olfaction to promote the art-science connection via interdisciplinary collaboration. Ms. Kydd is the editor of the award-winning blog Glass Petal Smoke and conducts Smell and Tell lectures on campus and in the Ann Arbor Community. She will be appearing at TEDxUofM on March 20, 2015.

Topic: Contributing to Conservation: The Great Lakes Gardens at Matthaei Botanical Gardens
Speaker: Michael Kost, Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum
presentation viewgraphs
The Great Lakes Gardens at the University of Michigan’s Matthaei Botanical Gardens were developed to showcase a variety of plant communities native to Michigan and the Great Lakes Region including alvar, open dunes, cobble beach, prairie, oak openings, and dry to wet woodlands. The gardens serve as an important place for the general public to learn about these natural communities and be inspired to care about their protection and stewardship. In addition to the educational and inspirational benefits to conservation, the gardens play an important role in the ex situ conservation of numerous uncommon and rare native plants. This talk will focus on the ecology of several of these natural communities and discuss some of the characteristic and rare plant species we have been able to establish in the Great Lakes Gardens.

Michael Kost is the Native Plant Specialist with University of Michigan’s Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum. He is an author of more than 80 technical publications on biodiversity conservation including three books on the natural community of Michigan. His most recent book, A Field Guide to Natural Communities of Michigan, was released in December and describes, classifies, and colorfully illustrates our state’s native ecosystems.

Wednesday, March 18, Noon-1PM: Johnson Rooms, Lurie Bldg, North Campus
Topic: Student Life Sustainability Initiatives
Speaker: Keith Soster, Director of Student Engagement for Michigan Dining
Keith has responsibility over student engagement within dining and community connections (both on and off campus). He is also the lead for sustainability initiatives within the office of Student Life at the university and advises several student sustainability groups on campus.

Tuesday, April 14, Noon-1PM: Johnson Rooms, Lurie Bldg, North Campus
Topic: The Gerstacker Grove, A Vibrant Campus Destination
Speaker: Sue Gott, University Planner, Architecture, Engineering and Construction
After this, we will have a round table discussion between all the attendees.

Thursday, May 21, Noon-1PM: Johnson Rooms, Lurie Bldg, North Campus
Topic: Rain Gardens
Drew Lathin “How Rain Gardens Work”
General Manager, Creating Sustainable Landscapes, LLC
A rain garden is a shallow depression that captures rain water from impervious surfaces and infiltrates it into the ground before it can reach the storm sewer. As a result, pollutants and sediment are kept from entering natural bodies of water, making them safer for recreational use and for wildlife. When landscaped with native plants, rain gardens also provide for increased urban habitat. Drew will explain what rain gardens are and how they work.

David Dye “Harvesting Rainwater for the DIY Homeowner”
Owner, ArborServe, LLC
In a short time you can make your own rain barrel inexpensively and start harvesting rainwater for your garden. David will explain what to do and what to avoid when making a rain barrel or cistern.
viewgraphs   handout

Sound and the Environment

Please join us for the next North Campus Sustainability Hour…


Monday, March 24th

12:00 noon

Johnson Rooms, Lurie Engineering Center (3rd Floor)

University of Michigan, North Campus


We’ll be exploring “sound and the environment” through the work of two University of Michigan professors … 


– Stephanie Rowden– Associate Professor in the School of Art & Design

  • Sound artist whose work encompasses installation and radio documentary 
  • Co-curator of the Sounds of the State series on Michigan Radio. 

– Rick Neitzel– Assistant Professor Environmental Health Sciences. 

  • Exposure scientist in the UM Exposure Research lab.
  • Director of UM Risk Science and Human Health Certificate 

Refreshments by Sazon Catering…

We’d also like to announce an upcoming event — two one-act “Green Operas” performed by the Opera Studio program of the School of Music, Theatre and Dance:

Thursday April 17, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, April 18, 8:00 p.m

Stamps Auditorium

Walgreen Theatre Center

University of Michigan, North Campus


The North Campus Sustainability Hour connects and links students, faculty, staff and alums around environmental and sustainability initiatives and activities.  


Our community draws from art, architecture, urban planning, music, theater, dance, engineering, as well as from the broader U-M campus and beyond.  The Sustainability Hour format offers a monthly mix of invited faculty, distinguished speakers, student groups, local environmental groups, film, and art presentations.

Walkable cities, North Campus and Sustainable design

It’s the end of the semester — take a break and join us…

The North Campus Sustainability Hour connects and links students, faculty, staff and alums around environmental and sustainability initiatives and activities.  


Wednesday, December 18th

5-6 p.m.

Johnson Rooms, Lurie Engineering Center (3rd Floor)

University of Michigan, North Campus


We’ll be talking about walkable cities, North Campus and sustainable design, followed by time to ask questions, socialize, and enjoy light refreshments.   Our speakers will be:

  • Doug KelbaughProfessor, College of Architecture and Urban Planning 
  • Sue Gott, University Planner, Office of University Planner 

Our community draws from art, architecture, urban planning, music, theater, dance, engineering, as well as from the broader U-M campus and beyond.  The Sustainability Hour format offers a monthly mix of invited faculty, distinguished speakers, student groups, local environmental groups, film and art presentations.


Visit our website for updates, information, current events and past talks:


Should you have any questions about the North Campus Sustainability Hour, please don’t hesitate to email us!