sustainu: December 2010 Archives

Fall 2010 summary

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Is it really December already!? It's been a busy semester in the sustainability studies minor, and unfortunately I haven't been blogging much. Here's a brief summary of what's been happening...

At the end of summer, I was able to visit the Morris campus and got an awesome tour from their sustainability coordinator, Troy Goodnough.

Wind turbine at the Morris campus.
wind.jpgBiomass plant at the Morris campus.
biomass.jpgDuring Welcome Week, we had a huge sustainability open house at the Institute on the Environment, where thousands of first-year students got to learn about the endless opportunities to get involved with campus sustainability efforts. At this event, I met the Twin Cities campus' new sustainability coordinator, Shane Stennes.

Welcome Week Open House event.
Thumbnail image for welcomeweek.jpgWithin the first few weeks of classes starting, leaders from numerous student environmental groups got together  to discuss what everyone is doing this semester and how groups can collaborate. It was a successful and productive meeting, and it's always great to see so much student interest!

Student group leaders, Fall 2010. photo by Amy Short.
student leaders.jpg
Beth, Amy, and several other sustainability staff from the U attended the Association for the Advancement for Sustainability in Higher Education conference in Denver in October. Two students joined them and discussed their experience with the Energy Efficiency Student Alliance. Sustainability leaders from campuses across the country were amazed at our students' work and were eager to learn how they could start similar projects at their universities.

U of M students, Andy and Rob, present about EESA in Denver.
photo by Amy Short.

EESA.jpg For the second year in a row, the University of Minnesota was proud to receive an "A" ranking from the College Sustainability Report Card. This is a great accomplishment, and could not have been done without student, faculty, staff and administrative collaboration. While the University has much more work to do, our current efforts should not go unnoticed. To see all of our results from the ranking, click here.

The Climate Action Plan committee launched it's new website this fall, and hosted two student input sessions to get students' ideas on how to make the campus climate neutral. The sessions attracted dozens of students and many of the ideas are now going into the draft plan. Another new website was launched this semester: the U of M Environmental Portal. It is the U's one-stop shop for all things sustainability.
One new class offered by the sustainability studies minor this fall was the Climate Policy course, taught by energy policy champions state Senator Ellen Anderson and state Representative Kate Knuth. Anderson and Knuth led a group of students to the UN Climate Talks in Mexico, which was a life-changing experience for those who attended. Read more on their blog here. You can also watch a presentation about their trip.
The U of M delegation at the UN Climate Negotiations.
photo by Jayme Dittmar.
COP group.jpgSustainability Studies student Andy Pearson dicsusses his experience
at the UN Climate Negotiations. photo by Amy Short.
Andy presentation.jpg
The Minor is also working on developing a May term off-campus program that would allow students to learn (and possibly) intern at the Morris campus.  The program is still in the early planning phase and may or may not actually happen. If it does happen, though, Twin Cities students would be able to learn about issues like energy production, local foods and sustainable agriculture, water resource issues, and more.

After this week, I will be done with my job here. I'm sad to leave the position, as it has been the best job I've ever had, but I look forward to post-graduation career opportunities. I also look forward to hearing about sustainability progress at the U, so hopefully someone will update this blog more frequently!  

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This page is an archive of recent entries written by sustainu in December 2010.

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