Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan


Frank Marsik Awarded 2018 GSI Catalyst Grant

Posted: May 17, 2018

Frank Marsik Awarded 2018 GSI Catalyst Grant




CLaSP Lecturer & Associate Research Scientist Frank Marsik
Awarded 2018 Graham Sustainability Institute Catalyst Grant

Over $200,000 has been awarded to three sustainability-focused project teams that submitted engaged research proposals to the Graham Institute’s Emerging Opportunities Program. The projects vary in scale and address a range of sustainability issues, including energy and food system resilience in Puerto Rico, stormwater management on tribal lands in Michigan, and plans for a green energy village in Detroit’s Eastern Market.

“We are excited to support this impressive set of collaborative sustainability research projects,” said Drew Horning, Interim Director of the Graham Institute. “These projects exemplify the best approaches for advancing sustainability – implementing innovative approaches, building community capacity, and developing strong partnerships for future work.”

The program received a strong response to its two calls for proposals—including large-scale transformation grants and small-scale catalyst grants—demonstrating broad interest from across the University in conducting engaged sustainability research. In total, 15 proposals were submitted involving 45 U-M researchers from 10 units (Architecture and Urban Planning, Business, Engineering, Environment and Sustainability, Information, LS&A, Medicine, Public Health, UM-Dearborn, UM Office of Research).

The funded projects bring together multidisciplinary teams of University of Michigan faculty and partners from government, non-profit, community, and other academic institutions to identify or pilot solutions to sustainability challenges.

Lecturer & Associate Research Scientist, Frank Marsik, was awarded $10,000 in funding for his project:

"Collaborative Assessment of Stormwater Runoff on Tribal Lands"

Project Team

Frank Marsik - U-M College of Engineering, Climate and Space Sciences Engineering
Maria Carmen Lemos - U-M School for Environment and Sustainability
Robin Clark - Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan

Additional Partners

Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, and Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan

Project Summary

Since 1900, annual precipitation has increased by 11% in the Great Lakes, while the amount of precipitation falling in the heaviest one percent of storms increased by 37 percent across the Midwest from 1958 to 2012. One extreme event in July 2016 led to extensive flooding in northcentral Wisconsin, resulting in a State of Emergency for the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. In response, Michigan Tribes have pursued climate adaptation planning seeking to assess and address the susceptibility of Tribal communities to increased rainfall and extreme events.

Through funding from the Graham Sustainability Institute, the Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments (GLISA) and Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan (ITCM) worked collaboratively to organize and conduct a Tribal Climate Workshop in October 2017 to address climate adaptation issues, including extreme precipitation. During the 2017 Tribal Climate Workshop, GLISA discussed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Stormwater Calculator (SWC), which provides a quantitative assessment of stormwater runoff in a community, as well as the potential effectiveness and cost of low-impact development options (e.g., rain gardens) to reduce this runoff. These critical assessments are, however, time- and cost-prohibitive for many Tribal natural resources departments.

The proposed project will result in the application of the SWC on the lands of five Tribes in Michigan, which will:

  • allow these Tribal communities to develop management best practices to protect the critical infrastructure and valued aquatic resources in their communities, and
  • provide quantitative information necessary to seek new funding to implement the management practices assessed through this work.

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