Current Students

Doctorate (Ph.D.)
Sara Meerow
Sara Meerow
Ph.D. Candidate, 2012-Present
Research interests: Urban Resilience, Urban adaptation to climate change, Green infrastructure

Sara is working on theoretical and empirical issues related to urban resilience, particularly in the context of climate change. Her dissertation examines the political and scalar dimensions of using green infrastructure to foster resilience in the vulnerable coastal megacities of Manila, New York City, and Los Angeles. Sara is currently the graduate coordinator for the Interdisciplinary Workshop on Urban Sustainability and Resilience and chair of the Doctoral Student Organizing Committee for SNRE.Before coming to Michigan, Sara worked as a junior researcher on several international research projects related to urban sustainability transitions, innovation, and renewable energy development at the University of Amsterdam. She also received her master’s degree in International Development Studies from the University of Amsterdam, with a thesis that looked at policies for small-scale renewable power generation in Thailand and their impact on the resilience of the energy sector. Sara has a dual bachelor’s degree in political science and history from the University of Florida.
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Masters (M.S.)
Zhenzhen Zhang
Zhenzhen Zhang
M.S. & M.L.A Candidate, Environmental Informatics and Landscape Architecture
2017
Research interests: Green infrastructure, Urban sustainability

Zhenzhen is currently a Master’s student in the school of SNRE. Her current research focuses on the landscape connectivity of the City of Detroit, from a multi-scale perspective, to utilize the existing vacant parcels to build corridor for both humans and animals living in this city. Her work advances better involving ecology and urban sustainability in future planning and design.
Grace Rodriguez
Grace Rodriguez
M.S. & M.S.E Candidate, Sustainable Systems & Environmental Engineering
2017
Research interests: Water Systems and Urban Sustainability

Grace is currently a Master’s student in the School of Natural Resources and Environment and the College of Engineering. Prior to joining the dual degree program at the University of Michigan, Grace obtained a B.S. of Zoology from Michigan State University and worked for two years as a Biodata Curator at Names for Life, a startup interested in increasing the accessibility of microbial data. Her thesis is looking into sustainable drinking water infrastructure in Bangladesh, and she is currently working on the Detroit Urban Garden project with the Urban Sustainability Research Group.
Adam Reichenberger
Adam Reichenberger
Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Food Systems
2017
Research interests: Community Involved Urban Agriculture, Green Space Reclamation, Small Business Owner Financial Protections

Adam is a farmer. For the past 3 years he has worked at various non-profit urban farms and small-scale, sustainable market farms in a number of locations across the US. Adam earned an MA in Econometrics from Kansas State University in 2011, and worked as an Economist for the Bureau of Labor Statistics prior to gaining interest in sustainable community farming systems. He currently is performing research assignments in SNRE under Professor Joshua Newell, and in the Law School under former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, Professor Michael Barr.
Alex Bennett
Alex Bennett
M.S. Candidate, Environmental Justice, 2018
Research interests: Urban sustainability, Political ecology

Alex has a B.S. in Biology from the University of Maryland and extensive laboratory research experience. He is working with the Urban Sustainability Research Group on the Mapping Detroit’s Hidden Social Geographies project, mapping informal footpaths in vacant land throughout Detroit. His research seeks to explore informal yet productive uses of “vacant” land in the City so they can be incorporated into future plans and policies.
Undergraduate (U.G.)
Dominique Witten
Dominique Witten
B.S. Candidate, Biomedical Engineering
Research interests: Urban Sustainability

Dominique is working with the urban Sustainability Research Group on the Mapping Detroit’s Hidden Social Geographies project, mapping informal footpaths in vacant land throughout Detroit. Her research seeks to understand how vacant land in the city is being currently used to inform future planning and policy initiatives.