International Studies & Programs

Environment, Energy, & Water

From preserving biodiversity to developing tomorrow's energy sources, Michigan State University faculty have the expertise and experience to engineer the future.


The below list only represents a portion of MSU's work in this thematic area. Please contact OIRC for potential opportunities to partner with MSU and further information on MSU expertise in environment, energy, and water.

Environmental Science and Policy Program

The Environmental Science and Policy Program (ESPP) aims to promote environmental research and graduate education through an interdisciplinary, campus-wide approach to environmental science and policy. ESPP’s Visiting Scholars to Advance Program brings the foremost global experts in environmental science to campus, allowing MSU faculty and students to develop international connections and a global perspective to environmental science. ESPP also enables and promotes environmental research with regular research symposia and the facilitation of cross-college collaboration.

Center for Global Change & Earth Observations

MSU is home to the Center for Global Change & Earth Observations (CGCEO). The Center’s purpose is to foster interdisciplinary approaches for understanding global change at all scales using the tools of both the social and biophysical sciences. The Center is also committed to applying its research and expertise to inform both public and private decision making on critical global environmental change issues. The research by CGCEO is impressive in both its breadth and depth, as CGCEO researchers explore areas related to coupled human and natural systems, geospatial modeling, land use, and climate change.

Global Observatory for Ecosystems Services

MSU Department of Forestry's Global Observatory for Ecosystem Services (GOES) is a team of faculty that work on both scientific research and technology development. The team includes scientists in the fields of forest science, climate science, carbon cycle science, ecology, social science, rural development, and resource economics. Their technical development includes web-enabled geographic information systems, optical and LIDAR remote sensing, image processing, geo-spatial content management systems, and a major focus on MRV systems for carbon monitoring.

College of Engineering

MSU's College of Engineering has faculty engaged in a wide range of research related to environmental sciences, energy, and water. The Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering (BAE) has a variety of international initiatives centered on energy and sustainable ecosystems. BAE Faculty are currently engaged in research in water and air quality, agricultural waste, bioenergy, and nanotechnology applications in renewable energy. The College of Engineering also has a unit dedicated to Global Programs in Engineering, including Engineers without Borders, a student organization that works to implement sustainable engineering projects in developing countries, including current projects in Tanzania and El Salvador.

MSU Water Science Network

The MSU Water Science Network connects all water-related research programs at MSU. Network faculty research is wide ranging in both technical area and geographic scope, with research areas including water quality, fisheries, resource rights, ecology, water in agriculture, and hydrogeology.

Conservation Criminology

The Conservation Criminology Program is a research framework developed at MSU to advance the study of environmental crimes and risks that occur at the intersection of human and natural systems. The framework integrates the fields of criminology and criminal justice, conservation and natural resource management, and risk and decision science to offer broader theoretical perspectives on environmental problems and to expand the types of interventions used to address them. The ultimate goal is to use Conservation Criminology-related research, teaching, and engagement to help reduce environmental crimes and risks at the local, national, and international levels.