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U of M Students Compete for Honors, Kindle Fire

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SustSymp2013.jpg

Students from across the University of Minnesota will vie for top honors in the 3rd annual Sustainability Symposium this Friday, April 11, 1:30-5:00 p.m. at Institute on the Environment.

Undergraduate, graduate and professional students from such diverse programs as civil and mechanical engineering, psychology, architecture, music, finance, chemistry, animal science and more will present past and current projects, describing how their work supports or advances sustainability goals.

This year's Sustainability Symposium kicks off with a keynote address from Chuck Bennett, former vice president of Earth & community care at Aveda Corporation. Bennett, whose career spans more than two decades of corporate citizenship advocacy, will talk about "leading from every chair," the idea that everyone--no matter their level of expertise or chosen discipline--has important contributions and must be willing to engage in developing sustainability solutions if we are to be successful.

For more information about the event, visit 

www.susteducation.umn.edu/symposium2014

Photo: poster competition, Sustainability Symposium 2013, courtesy of Madeline Geifer

Kaler's Spotlight Shines on IonE Projects

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In University of Minnesota president Eric Kaler's year-at-a-glance video on U of M achievements, several IonE-affiliated projects get the spotlight.

A MODEL OF COLLABORATION - The Resilient Communities Project is an initiative of the U's Sustainable Faculty Networkwith funding and administrative support provided by IonE and the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs. In its second year RCP is partnering with the city of North St. Paul to address community-identified sustainability projects. 

HIGH NOTES -  Daniel Crawford, College of Liberal Arts undergraduate; Scott St. George, IonE resident fellow and professor of geography, College of Liberal Arts; and Todd Reubold, IonE director of communications, put their heads together to develop "A Song of Our Warming Planet," which sets climate change data to music.

ALL THE MORE POWER - The University of Minnesota Morris - West Central Research and Outreach Center project that uses wind energy to produce anhydrous ammonia that can be used as fertilizer was funded through an IonE Initiative for Renewable Energy & the Environment grant. The project is part of a larger goal to reduce fossil fuel consumption in agriculture. 

Connections not featured in the video but ones of which we are equally proud are UMD's Large Lakes Observatory, which is supported by IonE, and Sarah Hobbie, who is an IonE resident fellow. Both are listed on the president's "2013 A Year to Remember" Web page.

U Students Buck the Status Quo in 2012-13 Acara Challenge

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Spirited voices mixed with the scent of Indian spices in The Commons: Meeting and Art Space at Institute on the Environment last Monday night. Dozens of Acara students, mentors and investors were gathered for a showcase of the 2012-13 Acara Challenge contestants.

Attendees supped on fare from Gandhi Mahal and mingled with the young entrepreneurs before settling in for brief presentations on seven start-ups developed by Acara alumni. The goal of each business - in addition to viability and profit - is to address a social or environmental issue at home or abroad.

Acara: The Sequel

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timthumb.php.jpgAfter a student takes a course from IonE's Acara program for budding social entrepreneurs, then what? Do the lessons learned get filed away with old exams and term papers - or do they take on a life of their own?

Of course, each student's story is different. But for many, Acara turns out to be a springboard to new ideas, opportunities and adventures. Below is a short, informal update on some of the teams and ventures that were part of the Acara program during 2012. Whatever the path, it's clear that their experience in the Acara program gives them a solid foundation for future endeavors.


Top Tips for Working With Media

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boreas.jpgBY KATE KNUTH

Looking for some tips on how to contribute to the public conversation regarding your work? Participants in IonE's Boreas Leadership Program got some great ones from the pros at the final media workshop of fall semester. In the first half of the workshop, students heard from reporters at the Star Tribune and Minnesota Public Radio and an editor from the Institute on the Environment's own Momentum magazine. In the second half of the workshop, Mike Burbach, editor and vice president of the Pioneer Press, and Susan Albright, co-managing editor of MinnPost, offered observations on how to write an effective op-ed.

UMN @ AASHE

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What do you get when you mix more than 1,000 students, faculty, campus sustainability eric2.jpgmanagers and others with three days' worth of interaction around sustainability issues? One inspiring conference - and, ultimately, a more sustainable campus and a more sustainable world. That was the goal of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) for its annual meeting in Los Angeles last month. Among the inspired - and inspiring -  were nearly a dozen individuals representing the University of Minnesota.

University of Minnesota presenters included, from the Twin Cities, undergraduate students Christy Newell and Eric Sannerud, sustainability education coordinator Beth Mercer-Taylor, sustainability director Amy Short, sustainability coordinator Shane Stennes, alternative transportation manager Steve Sanders and graduate alumna Elizabeth Turner. From Duluth, presenters included sustainability coordinator Mindy Granley sustainability associate Bryan French and graduate student Brian Bluhm.

Mercer-Taylor had these thoughts to share in the wake of the event:

The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author(s) and not necessarily of the Institute on the Environment/University of Minnesota.

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