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Professor of Environment and Sustainability, University of Michigan

Kyle Whyte is George Willis Pack Professor at the School for Environment and Sustainability, teaching in the SEAS environmental justice specialization. He is Affiliate Professor of Native American Studies and Philosophy. His research addresses environmental justice, focusing on moral and political issues concerning climate policy and Indigenous peoples, the ethics of cooperative relationships between Indigenous peoples and science organizations, and problems of Indigenous justice in public and academic discussions of food sovereignty, environmental justice, and the anthropocene. He is an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation.

Kyle currently serves on the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council, the Management Committee of the Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition, the Board of Directors of the Pesticide Action Network North America, and the Resilient America Roundtable of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. He has served as an author for the U.S. Global Change Research Program, including on the National Climate Assessment, and for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Working Group II. He is a former member of the Advisory Committee on Climate Change and Natural Resource Science in the U.S. Department of Interior and of two environmental justice work groups convened by past state governors of Michigan.

The National Science Foundation has been a major supporter of Kyle’s research and educational projects for nearly a decade. Supporters also include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Mellon Foundation, Swedish Research Council for Sustainable Development, Sustainable Michigan Endowed Program, Spencer Foundation, Marsden Fund, and Health Research Council of New Zealand. Kyle’s publications appear in journals such as Climatic Change, Weather, Climate & Society, WIREs Climate Change, Science, Environment & Planning E, Daedalus, Synthese, and Sustainability Science.

Kyle is involved with a number organizations that advance Indigenous research and education methodologies, including the Climate and Traditional Knowledges Workgroup, the Sustainable Development Institute of the College of Menominee Nation, the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, and Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga New Zealand’s Māori Centre of Research Excellence. He is a certificate holder of the Training Programme to Enhance the Conflict Prevention and Peacemaking Capacities of Indigenous Peoples’ Representatives, from the United Nations Institute of Training and Research.

He has received the Superior Teaching Award from the Student Governing Board of the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability, the Community Engagement Scholarship Award and Distinguished Partnership Award for Community Engaged Research from Michigan State University, the Bunyan Bryant Award for Academic Excellence from Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice, and the Forty Under 40 Alumni Award and Don Ihde Distinguished Alumni Award from Stony Brook University. Kyle has been the Austin J. Fagothey Distinguished Visiting Professor at Santa Clara University, the Rudrick Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the University of Waterloo, and the Timnick Chair in the Humanities at Michigan State University.


  • –present
    Associate Professor of Philosophy and Community Sustainability, Michigan State University