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Research Projects

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KETL researchers are extending what they've learned from PUSH-UP, partnering with researchers from 15 other universities around the world to develop models and tools to guide just and sustainable Arctic economic development. Past development left scars on the delicate landscape, leaving residues of social, economic and environmental inequality. With a major grant from the EU's Horizon2020 Programme, JUSTNORTH assembles collaborators from 15 partner organizations from seven disciplines to evaluate the viability of Arctic economic activities. JUSTNORTH will offer policy, legal and regulatory pathway recommendations, resolved from 18 case studies. Each case study is being co-designed with stakeholders, adhering to coproduction of knowledge throughout. JUSTNORTH will bring insights from indigenous, local, business, State and NGOs as they examine the social, economic and environmental complexities of the Arctic.


Pumped Underground Storage Hydro in the Upper Peninsula (PUSH-UP) was KETL's first research collaboration. Funded by a generous grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (Grant #G-2018-11305), we assembled a broad team to explore the potential of adapting a derelict mine in Michigan's Upper Peninsula into an energy storage facility. An excellent example of a wicked problem for society, Michigan's UP has copper and iron mining ranges filled with abandoned mines, which present ecological and economic challenges. Several of these mines were very large, giving them enormous energy potential as batteries for the electrical grid. The communities that live with these historic mines have complex relationships with them, however, valuing their symbolic role as heritage monuments, sites of memory, and tourism resources. Can PUSH facilities be designed to reinforce heritage values while also transforming the energy system?


Western Upper Peninsula Planning and Development Region Commission (WUPPDR)

WPPI Energy

City of Negaunee, Michigan

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About the image: Lake Superior's shifting sands at Eagle River, Michigan. Photo by Timothy Scarlett.

The icon is "Information" by SELicon from the Noun Project (link).

Image Credits
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