The MBDH Learning Innovation Fellows Program, housed at the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability, enables teams to form for work toward better understanding of the intersections of the Hub’s “Cyberinfrastructure and Data Sharing” and “Data Science Education and Workforce Development” themes. The program brings together data science and sustainability, delivering open-access, data-enriched learning tools on a science learning platform, along with experiences and mentoring for student fellows from a range of midwestern institutions.

The fellows work with faculty and teaching staff to create innovative interactive data analysis activities that can nest within sustainability science case studies. They design, prototype, and pilot these features in classrooms within the MBDH network. The program leverages talent and resources from two existing, open-source science learning environments: Gala and QUBESHub (or Qu).

The projects below were established by the first and second cohorts of Learning Innovation Fellows in 2020 and 2021 and developed during 2021 and 2022.

What can community science data reveal about the ecology of Serengeti wildlife?

Fellow: Rahul Agrawal Bejarano, School of Environment and Sustainability, University of Michigan
Faculty Advisors: Charles Willis, Teaching Assistant Professor, Biology Teaching and Learning, University of Minnesota; Jeffrey A. Klemens, Assistant Professor of Biology, Thomas Jefferson University

The Rouge River: Redlining, riverbanks, and restoration in Metro Detroit: What actions would be necessary to ensure a just distribution of the Rouge River’s ecosystem services?

Fellow: Julie Arbit, Environmental Policy and Planning, School for Environment and Sustainability, University of Michigan
Faculty Advisor: Perrin Selcer, Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies, Department of History, University of Michigan

Detroit food access: How can the Eastern Market continue to feed detroiters?

Fellow: Ghalia Ezzedine, Health Informatics, University of Michigan
Faculty Advisor: Josh Newell, Associate Professor, School for Environment and Sustainability, University of Michigan

Restoring tropical forests: Is planting clusters of trees a cost-effective and ecologically-sound strategy to restore tropical forest?

Fellow: Kyra Hull, Biostatistics, Grand Valley State University
Faculty Advisor: Karen Holl, Professor, University of California, Santa Cruz

Dioxane plume pollution: Who should deal with the groundwater contamination in a university town?

Fellow: Saba Ibraheem, Health Informatics, University of Michigan
Faculty Advisors: Rita Loch-Caruso, Toxicologist, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Michigan; Alan Burton, Professor, School for Environment and Sustainability, University of Michigan

Profits vs. preservation: How can shepherds balance the social and ecological costs of livestock grazing on Naxos?

Fellow: Daniel Iddrisu, International and Regional Studies, University of Michigan
Faculty Advisor: Johannes Foufopoulos, Associate Professor, School for Environment and Sustainability, University of Michigan

Assembling our transportation future: How could policies in the early 20th century have shaped more sustainable transportation systems?

Fellow: Shanshan (Shirley) Liu, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Faculty Advisor: Shelie Miller, Professor, School for Environment and Sustainability, University of Michigan

Data learning for better drinking water in small utilities

Fellow: Thien Nguyen, Computer Science, University of University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Faculty Advisor: Lutgarde Raskin, Professor, School for Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Michigan

Healing the scars: Tropical rainforest carbon cycling: Does it matter which tree species you plant?

Fellow: Anneke van Oosterom, Biology and Data Science, St. Catherine University
Faculty Advisor: Ann Russell, Terrestrial Ecosystems Ecologist, Iowa State University