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Did you know that the University of Minnesota is one of the most sustainable campus systems in the entire country? 

Committed to sustainable and energy efficiency, the University of Minnesota is a leader in sustainable developments throughout all of its campuses around the state. For instance, in 2009, the University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium on the Twin Cities campus was awarded the LEED (Leader in Energy and Environmental Design) silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, the standard for sustainable design. The stadium actually incorporates innovative stormwater features that reuses that water from storms to hydrate the greenery surrounding the stadium then returns it to the Mississippi River.



In addition to sustainable facilities, the University of Minnesota's It All Adds Up campaign promotes sustainable initiatives throughout our community. According the campaign website, in 2010 the University reduced its energy consumption by five percent through pledges from students and faculty, saving the University $2.25 millions dollars and the atmosphere 25,000 tons of CO2 emissions!  

As a former biology student, environmental sustainability is something I try to practice in my daily life. Are you trying to live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle as well? Check out these tips for individuals. Or, make an energy conservation pledge and help us better the environment!

Bowling 001.jpg

On Friday, I thought it would be fun to go bowling, so I called a group of friends to get together at Goldy's Gameroom in the basement of Coffman Memorial Union (our student union). Goldy's Gameroom features:

  • 11 pool tables
  • 14-lane bowling alley
  • Video game arcade
  • Pinball
  • Snack bar

Plus, Goldy's Gameroom is very wallet-friendly. On Friday, they provided free bowling shoes and the cost to bowl was just $3 per lane. Other deals include $2 Tuesdays, Bowl for a Buck Thursdays, and 25% off Sunday Fundays.

In addition, there are various events happening at Goldy's Gameroom throughout the year. There are game day events, galactic bowling nights, and free pizza nights. There is an event coming up soon in which students will have the opportunity to win merchandise and tickets to the premiere of "TRON: Legacy", a movie coming out in January.

Learn more about Goldy's Gameroom at http://www.coffman.umn.edu/goldys/.

Bowling 002.jpgOur group at Goldy's Gameroom 

Seventeen students from the University of Minnesota recently returned from "COP16," otherwise known as the United Nations Climate Change Conference. Among them were several students from the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences. This year, the conference was held this year in Cancun, Mexico. The U of M was one of just a handful of universities world-wide that sent undergraduate students to this important event. I was able to attend a public forum lead by the student participants this past Wednesday. It was great to see these U of M students talk so passionately about the life-changing experiences that they were able to take part in at the conference.

Our students wittnessed and even participated in a number of incredibly important conversations on climate change and the Kyoto Protocol. Many of the students used this opportunity to network with some very important people from around the world, including delegates from Germany and Congo. One of our undergraduate U of M students, Andy Pearson, was actually interviewed about his visit by Minnesota Public Radio. Click here to listen to Andy chat with Tom Crann from MPR.

If you are an avid Golden Gopher football fan, you already know that the University has hired a new head football coach. Jerry Kill was hired to the position this past Sunday, and addressed media and fans on Monday, December 6, at a press conference at McNamara Alumni Center. Coach Kill brings a renewed excitement to the Gopher football program, which rebounded slightly under the direction of interim head coach Jeff Horton with two wins capping off the 2010 season. If you're like me, you're hoping to see the Gophers carry that momentum into next season!

When I was a student, Gopher football games were one of my favorite weekend activities. As a student at the University of Minnesota, not only will you have an excellent opportunity to experience the beginning of a new football regime, but you'll watch games in our beautiful TCF Bank Stadium. Student season ticket packages are affordably priced, and incoming freshmen will have the opportunity to purchase their seats as early as this summer. (Admitted students who confirm their enrollment to the University for next fall will receive information about tickets in the mail.)

Go Gophers!

Nikola Tesla was an inventor, a mechanical engineer, and an electrical engineer. His work and patents formed the foundation of alternating current (AC) electric power that we use today. He was a genius who created over 700 patents.

The Nikola Tesla Patent Producers (NTP^2) is a College of Science and Engineering student group dedicated to researching and building Nikola Tesla's patents and experiments. On Friday, December 10, this student group invited all CSE students and physics enthusiasts to help them build a Tesla Coil.

A Tesla coil is a type of resonant transformer circuit invented by Nikola Tesla. It produces high voltage and high frequency alternating current electricity. Tesla used these coils in many of his experiments in electrical lighting, phosphorescence, electrotherapy, and the transmission of electrical energy without wires.

They can also be used to play music!


Joining a student group is a great way to get to know other students, build your resume, and have fun! See a list of all U of M student groups here.

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