Kyle Whyte

George Willis Pack Professor; University Diversity & Social Transformation Professor; Professor of Philosophy

University of Michigan

Kyle Whyte (Citizen Potawatomi Nation)is a faculty member at the University of Michigan where he is George Willis Pack Professor in the School for Environment and Sustainability, University Diversity and Social Transformation Professor, and Professor of Philosophy in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. Kyle teaches in the SEAS environmental justice specialization. He is founding Faculty Director of the Tishman Center for Social Justice and the Environment, Principal Investigator of the Energy Equity Project, co-Principal Investigator of SEAS' Global Center for Understanding Climate Change Impacts on Transboundary Waters, Faculty Associate of Native American Studies, and Senior Fellow in the Michigan Society of Fellows. 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 is currently a U.S. Science Envoy and serves on the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council, the National Academies' Resilient America Roundtable, and the National Academies’ Committee on Co-Production of Environmental Knowledge, Methods, and Approaches. 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. He is President of the Board of Directors of the Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition and the Pesticide Action Network North America.

The National Science Foundation has been a major supporter of Kyle’s research and educational projects for over a decade. Supporters also include the NorthLight Foundation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Builders Initiative, Mellon Foundation, Joyce Foundation, Swedish Research Council for Sustainable Development, Crown Family Foundation, 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, Science, Daedalus, WIREs Climate Change, Environment & Planning E, Synthese, and Sustainability Science.

Kyle is involved with a number of 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 Native American Fish and Wildlife Society, the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals, the American Indian Higher Education Consortium, 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 Breaking Barriers Award from the Michigan Democratic Party, 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 served as Austin J. Fagothey Distinguished Visiting Professor at Santa Clara University, Rudrick Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the University of Waterloo, Timnick Chair in the Humanities at Michigan State University, and Distinguished Visitor at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science.

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