Apply Now Clicking "Apply Now" opens the link in a new window.

How to Apply

Prospective GSIs are encouraged to attend a GSI forum that is held each term as the first step in the process. This mechanism will ensure that SEAS students are familiar with the application and selection processes and expectations. SEAS students are encouraged to contact faculty with whom they are interested in teaching.



To apply for SEAS GSI positions, visit the following link-

The following application materials combined as one .PDF document will be required-

  1. A cover letter addressing your interest and qualifications for the position

  2. A resume or curriculum vita

  3. Copy of your undergraduate and graduate transcripts (unofficial is fine)

  4. Teaching history (list course and department)

  5. Teaching evaluations (if available)

Name the .PDF file as follows: lastname.firstname.course number. For example:  Doe.John.EAS517.pdf.


Verify your own course schedule against the schedule for the course to which you are applying as a GSI. All GSIs are required to attend the lecture and discussion times as posted.


* An active SEAS student who is also in good standing:

  • is currently enrolled in a SEAS degree program

  • has a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher

  • has not completed all of the required credits towards their SEAS MLA, MS, or PhD degree

  • is making satisfactory progress toward completing all of their SEAS degree requirements in a timely manner (i.e., SEAS MS students' time limit is 2 years, SEAS MLA and dual degree students' time limit is 3 years, SEAS PhD students' time limit is 5 years); including approved extensions.

Course Description

However vast were the resources used to create industrial society, they were never limitless. During this century, out of necessity, these societies will have to face biophysical limits as a defining characteristic of life on a finite planet. Yet such acceptance will be hard because it demands profoundly different ways of living and organizing. This course explores a response to this situation from an organizational and psychological perspective.

The course premise is that there will be a drop in resource availability (and thus use) this century, perhaps as great as 90%, a shift without precedent. Modern, growth-dependent societies soon will:

  • Operate on drastically less energy and material
  • Need to make an unprecedented transition
  • Be much less affluent, possibly more agrarian
  • Adopt appropriate/intermediate technologies
  • And yet, function at a higher level of psychological well-being

Through the course materials, discussions and projects, students will come to understand the need for and the process of envisioning adaptations and pre-familiarizing society with alternatives to endless material growth and consumption.

  • What localization is (course presumes it is already happening)
  • What it can be (a welcome challenge or a dire struggle)
  • What it should be (peaceful, just, democratic, resilient)
  • What it might contain (deep satisfaction, meaningfulness)


The GSI will update and maintain the course Canvas website; acquire readings and post on Canvas; prepare instructional materials; prepared, administer and grade course project tasks (e.g., weekly principle writing); prepare, administer and grade term research projects; attend course sessions; attend a weekly instructors’ meeting; hold weekly office hours; hold special discussion sessions as needed; and course wrap-up (e.g., debrief instructor and provide feedback to future GSIs).

Required Qualifications*

  • Successful prior completion of SEAS (EAS) 564 or equivalent. 
  • Experience with PowerPoint, Canvas and ExamScan. 
  • Knowledge of or experience with such efforts as Ecovillages, Transition Town initiatives, community re-skilling events, civic agriculture, urban homesteading, etc. where significant, rapid and durable behavior change is being sought. 
  • Knowledge of psychology and policy research and literature covering the topics of limits-to-growth, energy and resource descent, ecovillages, transition towns, local food systems, and related issues.
  • Active SEAS graduate student in good standing*.

Desired Qualifications*

  • Successful prior completion of SEAS (EAS) 560 and/or 561 or equivalent. 
  • Previous Teaching Experience. 
  • Experience helping students conduct field-based research projects.
  • Knowledge of behavior-environment research methods (e.g., course work in SEAS (EAS) 641, work related experience). 
  • Knowledge of psychological literature on the notion of prospection as a core organizing principle in human cognition and behavior. 

Additional Information

For additional information, you may contact the instructors at: and 

Contact Information


Decision Making Process

The Associate Dean or his/her designate reviews GSI assignments based on instructor and student preferences. Faculty preferences are heavily weighted in the GSI selection process in order to satisfy course needs. If the matching process changes the rank of the students being selected (especially for courses with multiple GSIs), then the instructor for the course is consulted about these changes. After this, a final review of allocations is made by the Associate Dean.

The Financial Aid Coordinator will notify successful applicants within four to six weeks of the application deadline. Applicants may contact to request feedback on their unsuccessful application.

Selection Process

Instructors have access to their position description and selection criteria along with the applications for their course(s). Instructors review their applications and rank the candidates for each position. In addition to ranking the qualified applicants, instructors may identify applicants as unqualified for the position.

GEO Contract Information

The University will not discriminate against any applicant for employment because of race, creed, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, genetic information, marital status, familial status, parental status or pregnancy status, sex, gender identity or expression (whether actual or perceived), sexual orientation, age, height, weight, disability, citizenship status, veteran status, HIV antibody status, political belief, membership in any social or political organization, participation in a grievance or complaint whether formal or informal, medical conditions including those related to pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding, arrest record, or any other factor where the item in question will not interfere with job performance and where the employee is otherwise qualified. The University of Michigan agrees to abide by the protections afforded employees with disabilities as outlined in the rules and regulations which implement Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Information for the Office for Institutional Equity may be found at and for the University Ombuds at

Unsuccessful applications will be retained for consideration in the event that there are last minute openings for available positions. In the event that an employee does not receive their preferred assignment, they can request a written explanation or an in-person interview with the hiring agents(s) to be scheduled at a mutually agreed upon time.

This position, as posted, is subject to a collective bargaining agreement between the Regents of the University of Michigan and the Graduate Employees' Organization, American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO 3550.

Standard Practice Guide 601.38, Required Disclosure of Felony Charges and/or Felony Convictions applies to all Graduate Student Assistants (GSAs). SPG 601.38 may be accessed online at , and its relation to your employment can be found in MOU 10 of your employment contract.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.