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Michigan State

MSU Sustainability Fellows Program

The Sustainability Fellows Program funded research projects in 2015 that investigated topics in environmental sustainability specific to MSU.

A silhouette photograph of the Spartan Statue.
Photo courtesy of Communications and Brand Strategy

2015 Sustainability Fellows and projects

Utilization of solar water heaters on small buildings of MSU's campus

Sina Jahangiri Mamouri is a PhD candidate in MSU's Department of Mechanical Engineering. His research interests include solar energy systems (water heaters and desalination), computational fluid dynamics, fluid-solid interaction and water treatment technologies. 

Mamouri's research project will explore the feasibility and usefulness of solar water heaters on MSU's campus. The proposed system is expected to significantly decrease the amount of fuel required for water heating of the pilot building. The success of the project could reduce energy demand at MSU if the proposed system is applied to buildings across south campus.

Sustainability knowledge assessment and research project

Adam Zwickle is an assistant professor of Criminal Justice/Environmental Science and Policy Program in MSU's College of Social Science. Zwickle conducts interdisciplinary social science research centered on communicating environmental risks and encouraging sustainable behaviors. 

Bruno Takahashi is an assistant professor of environmental journalism and communication in MSU's School of Journalism, whose research interests include media coverage of environmental affairs, environmental journalism practices, risk communication and environmental behavior change.

John Besley, associate professor in MSU's Department of Advertising and Public Relations, explores the relationships between media use, public engagement and health, and environmental risk perceptions. 

Zwickle, Takahashi and Besley's research project consists of a sustainability-themed online survey of MSU undergraduate students. The survey will include questions gauging sustainability and scientific knowledge, norms and behaviors surrounding sustainability related behaviors, and environmental attitudes and behaviors. The research project could uncover interesting correlations between knowledge and behavior, and offer insights into the level of sustainability literacy on campus. The survey could also be used as a recurring mechanism to assess the effectiveness of MSU courses or programs relative to sustainability.