June 25-29, 2012
614 Social Sciences
University of MN
30 CEUs

Water quality plays an integral role in our lives. Water can reflect global history, and current land and water use practices influence water quality and aquatic ecology in lakes, rivers, and groundwater. This institute was designed for K-14 educators interested in water quality to assist them in incorporating the topic into their curriculum. Current global water quality issues were explored, including how water quality is changing Minnesota's lakes and streams as well as other parts of the world.

Through interactive discussions, hands-on activities, field trips, and guest lectures, the following learning objectives were met: (1) Develop knowledge and awareness of water quality concepts, (2) Increase awareness of resources and curriculum related to water quality, (3) Identify and examine water quality issues in local and international contexts, (4) Be equipped to apply knowledge, resources, and case studies to their current curriculum. Guest lecturers included experts on both water issues and pedagogy from Minnesota, the US, and around the world.

Cosponsored by The Center for Austrain Studies, U of MN Title VI National Resource Centers, U of MN; Institute for Global Studies, U of MN Horst Rechelbacher Foundation and Advantage Austria

Download the Workshop composite which will lead you to materials containing presentations, lesson plans, and resources (PDF)

RENEWABLE ENERGY: Wind, Solar, and Biofuels in the United States and Central Europe

Friday, January 13, 2012
9:00 am to 4:00 pm with lunch
302 Kaufert Lab, St. Paul campus
University of Minnesota
6 CEU credits, with a focus on STEM related topics

Austria is a world leader in the development of environmental technology, exemplified by receiving the title "The Green Heart of Europe". Austria has addressed many of the concerns and issues the United States is currently facing in the attempt to develop a sustainable economy. The workshop was an opportunity to hear from Austrian experts about Austria's development of new technologies in solar, wind, and biofuels. Hans Kordik from the Austrian Embassy, Washington, D.C. and Marcel Frei, General Manager of Bachmann Electronic Corporation, U.S. division, represented the Austrian views and efforts in renewable energy solutions. Faculty from the U of MN Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering discussed the status of the technology in the United States and provided lesson plans as well as demonstrations that make the introduction of the topic relevant to the classroom.

The workshop was created as a collaboration between physical and social science educators in an effort to broaden the approach in introducing to students the "how" as well as the "why" for investigating the use of renewable energy and examining the long-term effects on the well-being of society. We looked at the question of meeting current needs and how that will affect the needs of future generations.

Marcel Frei, General Manager for Bachmann Manufacturing, Austria and U.S.
Hans Kordik, Counselor for Agriculture and Environment at the Austrian Embassy in Washington, D.C.
Shri Ramaswamy, Professor and Head, Dept. of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, U of MN
Ulrike Tschirner, Professor, Dept. of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, U of MN

Sponsored by the Center for Austrian Studies in the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences and the College of Science & Engineering, and the Institute for Global Studies at the University of Minnesota; Advantage Austria; and Horst Rechelbacher Foundation

Download the Workshop composite which will lead you to materials containing presentations, lesson plans, and resources (PDF)

They Built America

From Central Europe to the U.S., 1870-1940

Friday, February 25, 2010
9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. with lunch
710 Social Sciences Building
University of Minnesota, West Bank

Of the 30 million persons who migrated to the United States between 1870 and 1940, the majority came from the lands of the old three European empires in Central and Eastern Europe: Austria-Hungary, Germany, and Russia. The workshop was designed to help teachers understand some of the international and transnational history of the Central and Eastern European migrants, as well as the history of the era of mass international migration to the United States.

  • James Oberly, Visiting Faculty Center for Austrian Studies, U of MN
  • Donna Gabaccia, Director, Immigration History Research Center, U of MN
  • Ann Regan,Editor-in-Chief, Minnesota Historical Society Press
  • Annemarie Steidl, University of Vienna; Fulbright Visiting Professor in History, U of MN

Sponsored by the Center for Austrian Studies and the Institute for Global Studies, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

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Recommended Readings on Migration (PDF)

February 14, 2009
Macalester College, St. Paul, MN
9:00 am to 3:30 pm followed by a field trip to St. Agnes Church, St. Paul


  • The changing map of Europe: A cultural and political geographic perspective
  • Lost in transformation: Contemporary nationalism in East-Central Europe
  • European Cities: primate cities with focus on Vienna
  • Contemporary life in Central Europe
  • Tour St. Agnes church, typifying the transference of Austrian architecture


David Lanegran, Professor, Dept. of Geography, Macalester
Birgit Mühlenhaus, GIS Lab Instructor & Mgr., Macalester
Ian Mühlenhaus, GIS Lab Mgr & Lecturer, U of WI, River Falls
Rhoda Hubbard-Anderson, Hutcinson Middle School
Sharon Shelerud, Burnsville High School
Discussion with Thomas Koenig, Austria and Benjamin Stoltenburg, Germany

Registration fee: $30
8 ceus

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Lesson Plans

  1. The Changing Face of Europe
  2. Central European Population Patterns
  3. Paths of Transformation
  4. Comparing Vienna to Chicago

Ethics of Medicine: The Power to Heal, The Power to Harm

April 11-12, 2008
Inver Hills Community College
2500 East 80th Street, Inver Grove Heights, MN

Keynote Speaker: John Eyler, Ph.D., University of Minnesota
Guest Lecturer: Eva Kor, CANDLES Museum, Terre Haute, IN: Holocaust survivor
Panel: Marjorie Bingham (moderator), Dr. Robert O. Fisch, Eva Kor, Stephen Feinberg

Registration fee: $50
15 CEUs

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Bingham, Marjorie Wall. An Age of Empires, 1200-1750. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.

In An Age of Empires, middle school and high school students are introduced to a series of empires shaping the modern world, 1350-1650. The chapter on the Habsburg Empire includes important figures like Johannes Kepler, Eugene of Savoy, and Maria Theresa. Her daily schedule, described by one of her officials, suggests how difficult the role of monarch in a complex empire might be. Chapters on the Polish/Lithuanian, Russian, and Ottoman Empires provide a further setting for Austrian/Habsburg history.

Kaiser, Gloria. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, January 27, 1756-December 5, 1791: Perspectives from his Correspondence. Trans. by Lowell A. Bangerter. Riverside: Ariadne Press, 2007.

Kaiser selects letters by Leopold Mozart as well as Wolfgang to give the reader a rounded portrait of the person, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Kaiser, Gloria. Saudade: The Life and Death of Queen Maria Glória of Lusitania. Riverside: Ariadne Press, 2005.

Maria Glória, the daughter of the Emperor and Empress of Brazil, at the age of 12 is forced to follow her father into exile in 1831, arriving eventually in Portugal where in 1834 she is crowned Queen. She received no moral or financial support from her mother's family, the Habsburgs of Austria. In Portugal her life is filled with political intrigue as she lives out an existence of loneliness, revolts and opposition to her rule, the early death of her one love, an arranged marriage, and the early deaths of several of her children. Since leaving her beloved Brazil, the feeling of saudade, a Portuguese term for the melancholic yearning for lost roots and ties, pervaded her short life. Kaiser draws a poetic portrait of the life of the young woman whose final tragedy is death in 1853 while giving birth. An account of intrigues and romance, it is a relatively unknown story of a fascinating young woman.


Grahame, Deborah. Austria. New York: Marshall Cavendish, 2007.


Fisch, Robert O. Dear Dr. Fisch: Children’s Letters to a Holocaust Survivor. Minneapolis: Nodin Press, 2004.

Fisch, Robert O. Light from the Yellow Star: A Lesson of Love from the Holocaust. Minneapolis: Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, 1994. Yellow Star Foundation

Fisch, Robert O. The Metamorphosis to Freedom. Minneapolis: 2000.

Joseph, Yolanda Klein. I Remember: A Holocaust Survivor’s Story. 2001.

I Remember is the story of a teen-aged girl from a small town in Czechoslovakia, a member of one of the two Jewish families in the town. Yolanda tells of her experiences as the Germans advanced, of both families being loaded onto a train and initially taken to the Ungvar ghetto. Yolanda, a very clever young woman, writes of how she was able to obtain food for many of the people there. From Ungvar, she was taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau. She was one of the few who survived various forced marches to Nazi labor camps. In January 1945 she was liberated by the Russian army and was able to make her way back to her home town.

To purchase the book, contact sjsinger@erols.com Cost: $14.95 plus shipping.

Wiesel, Elie. Night First edition of this translation. New York: Hill & Wang, 2006.

Originally published in 1958, Night is Wiesel's personal recollections of his experience as a teenager taken to the concentration camps of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. Night is part of a trilogy, including Dawn and Day.

Exploring Austria: Multiculturalism in the Habsburg Empire

Saturday, April 14, 2007 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
710 Social Sciences Building
University of Minnesota (West Bank)

Russell Christensen, professor, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, Hamline University

Teachers earn 1 CEU in this workshop