Sustainability Discussion Set for Thursday, October 15, 2009, at the U of M, Crookston; Event begins at 12:15 p.m. in Bede Ballroom

Crookston, Minn.  - "Connecting the Dots of Sustainability - a Game Everyone Can Play" is the theme of a special sustainability discussion at the University of Minnesota, Crookston set for Thursday, October 15, 2009, from 12:15 to 2 p.m. in Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center.  Three guest speakers will address topics including energy conservation and renewable sources, building design, climate changes, and agriculture within the context of sustainability.  The public is invited to attend.

Global food systems expert Myron Just has more than twenty years of experience in public policy and economic development advocacy, leadership, and management in government, business, and not-for-profits.  Just, a North Dakota farmer and former state senator, has served as North Dakota's commissioner of agriculture and as executive director for the Minnesota Agri-Growth Council.  He currently serves as a consultant to the Minnesota Project, a regional not-for-profit whose mission is to advocate on conservation issues in public policy development.  

Virajita Singh is an architect and senior research fellow at the University of Minnesota's Center for Sustainable Building Research. She is currently involved in developing a sustainable design assistance program that engages students from the College of Design to help communities, non-profits, and local governments interested in advancing their sustainable efforts related to buildings.
Richard Strong is also an architect and senior research fellow at the University of Minnesota School of Architecture's College of Design and the Center for Sustainable Building Research.  Strong was one of the initiators of the Minnesota Sustainable Design Guide while a project manager at Hennepin County during the 90s.  He has taught sustainable design at Carleton College, and while there guided the installation of one of the first wind turbines associated with a college campus. He is currently involved in monitoring the Minnesota Sustainable Building Guidelines at the U of M.

Strong and Singh are guiding the development of a plan for the U of M, Crookston to become a more sustainable campus and to move toward climate neutrality by a targeted date. During their visit to campus, the two will also meet with groups of students, faculty and staff to gather information to aide in the development of the plan. To learn more about the sustainability on the Crookston campus, visit

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers more than 25 applied-science undergraduate degree programs and 50 concentrations, including several online degrees, in agriculture; arts, humanities and social sciences; business; math, science and technology; and natural resources. To learn more, visit

Contact: Dan Svedarsky, director, sustainability, 218-281-8129 (; Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director of communications, 218-281-8432 (