Emerging Opportunities Director, Graham Sustainability Institute, University of Michigan, University of Michigan

As Emerging Opportunities Program Director at the Graham Institute, John is responsible for designing, implementing, and overseeing a wide range of activities which support translational knowledge efforts involving subject matter experts, decision-makers, and key stakeholders in outlining viable pathways toward sustainability solutions. In addition to his work with the Emerging Opportunities Program, John teaches UC 327: Interdisciplinary Thinking - the junior level course for the Graham Sustainability Scholars program. John is also a co-principal investigator for the Sustainability Cultural Indicators Program – a longitudinal study in collaboration with U-M Institute for Social Research that assesses sustainability knowledge, behaviors, and attitudes across U-M students, faculty, and staff to inform educational programs and campus operations.

John earned a B.S. in Agricultural Engineering Technology from Michigan State University and his Ph.D. from the School of Natural Resources and Environment at UM–Ann Arbor. His teaching and research interests focus on environmental justice, environmental sociology, environmental management and community-based research. From 2000-2007, John was the founding director of the Institute for Community and Environment at Colby-Sawyer College and an Associate Professor of Social Sciences and Education. John came to the Graham Institute in 2009 after serving for two years as the Director of the UM-Flint Office of Research. Between 1984 and 1987 John served as an agricultural volunteer with Peace Corps Nepal working on improving seed supplies in remote hill villages. John serves as an associate editor for the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, as an advisory council member with the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, and as an advisory board member for The Integrated Assessment Society.


  • 2009–2017
    Emerging Opportunities Program Director, Graham Sustainability Institute, University of Michigan