Established in 2002, the Program in the Environment (PitE) enables students to draw from multiple disciplines to develop creative new approaches to some of our most pressing environmental and natural resource challenges. PitE’s mission is to offer an undergraduate experience that combines rigorous, interdisciplinary environmental studies and practical problem solving within an academic community that supports diversity, fosters intellectual risk-taking, and builds relationships.
To continue PitE’s record of success and enhance its ability to offer experiential learning opportunities, we must expand our offerings that provide real-world experiences for students to develop their knowledge and put into practice what they have learned in the classroom. Field excursions, research opportunities, and service learning experiences all offer our students the chance to develop their knowledge and test their scholarship by allowing them to apply what they have learned to different situations. The video and stories below demonstrate the different ways that PitE students benefit from Giving Blueday.
Twenty-three students from the University of Michigan’s Green Building class spent the month of May building a new, sustainable structure by hand at the University of Michigan Biological Station. The “Green Building” class, taught by Associate Professor Joe Trumpey, spent the entire semester learning about designing and building environmentally friendly and sustainable structures. Then in May, the class went to the Biostation to construct a 400 square foot ‘Straw Bale House.’ The building was made from locally-sourced straw and adobe and is located on a hill that overlooks Douglas Lake. The students also wrote a grant to have solar panels installed at the site which will be used for the building’s electricity. The project, from foundation to roof, was completed in one month.
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Anna Johnson - PitE Major, Class of 2015
During the summer of 2015 I interned as an Assistant Farm Steward at One Island Sustainable Living Center (One Island), a nonprofit organization located in Honaunau, Hawaii. One Island is a farm based education program that utilizes various sustainable features such as solar energy panels, a rainwater catchment system, composting piles, organic gardening, and permaculture techniques. As the Assistant Farm Steward, my primary role was to help maintain the various fruit orchards, greenhouses, and medicinal herb gardens, as well as assist with the implementation of One Island’s latest grant funded project, the Same Canoe Local Food Challenge. I was also given the opportunity to partake in community council meetings, attend farm tours and specialized learning opportunities, and represent One Island at our booth at various Farmer’s Markets.
Kerrel Spivey - PitE Major, Class of 2016
“My trip to Japan was an amazing, eye-opening, and life changing experience. For about four weeks, we were directly exposed to Japanese culture, traditions, city life, food, activities, and much more. I decided to sign up for the course because it was an ideal opportunity for me. During my time at U of M, I majored in Environment and minored in Urban Studies. This course focused on environmental history in Japan and how urbanization and industrialization impacted and changed Japanese interactions with nature. The course analyzed how the Japanese people incorporate sustainability and nature throughout their lifestyle. I am very thankful for my supporters especially Program in the Environment for making this rare opportunity a reality.”
Anna Veltman- PitE Major, Class of 2017
“I got to spend three months of my summer working at International Bird Rescue, a non-profit in California that specializes in the rehabilitation of aquatic birds. This internship was a total immersive experience in animal husbandry. I learned everything from proper power washing technique to evaluating and treating very sick animals. IBR also operates as an oil response center, so I was exposed to the intensive care that goes into rehabilitating wildlife after a spill. The empathy and diligence involved in this kind of rigorous animal care was the most inspirational part of this internship. It was a community that I was honored to be a part of!"
Mail a Donation to the PitE Office
You may mail a check to the PitE Office:
1120 Undergraduate Science Building
204 Washtenaw Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2215
Please make your check paybale to the University of Michigan.
Questions? Contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org