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University of Michigan School of Information


Theme year

UMSI Theme Year 2023-24: Water Conservation and Access

UMSI is excited to introduce its first-ever theme year, which will connect students, faculty and staff on a common social issue affecting our local and global communities. 

2023-24 | Water conservation and access

Water is a vital yet complex resource. The current and forthcoming challenges associated with water — ranging from access and sanitation to conservation and agriculture — are massive and span the globe. We are proud to be part of the Great Lakes region, which contains 90% of all U.S. freshwater, and want to highlight the significance of water to lives and livelihoods here on the pleasant peninsula. 

The purpose of a theme year is multifaceted:

  • Provide additional resources and depth for students’ course projects and self-initiated endeavors
  • Connect students, faculty and staff on an issue of worldwide importance and concern (measured in part through the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals)
  • Use an information lens to address a large-scale issue 

Each theme year features special events, course projects, a theme-specific category at the annual Exposition, and funding for students who seek to pursue theme-related projects. UMSI partners with organizations and subject matter experts to promote shared awareness and action.

Check out the full theme year website for additional information and contact the Engaged Learning Office team at [email protected] with specific questions.


Zebra mussels cover a rock in a lake.

UMSI launches theme year on water conservation and access

Learn how students are using information science to tackle invasive species in the Great Lakes, inform storm management policy and ensure access to clean drinking water in Michigan.

A photo of Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II appears on a blue background with the text "UMSI theme year keynote with Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II," the event date and location, and the theme year logo

Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II to deliver keynote talk on water challenges in Michigan

Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II will join the UMSI community to discuss water-related issues facing Michigan communities. His keynote talk comes as part of UMSI’s theme year on water conservation and access.


Select courses will have a “water conservation and access” theme that will manifest through client-based projects, accessible data sets or UX-specific situations. 

  • SI 305 - Introduction to Information Analysis
  • SI 307 - Introduction to User Experience Design
  • SI 501 - Contextual Inquiry and Consulting Foundations