March 2014 Archives

The award winning rock musical "Little Shop of Horrors" will be performed by students in the 
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Music and Theater Department at the University of Minnesota Crookston under the direction of Associate Professor George French. Performances will take place Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, April 5, 6, 7, and 8 at 7:30 p.m. in Kiehle Auditorium. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students and children. 

Little Shop of Horrors, a comedy horror rock musical, was composed by Alan Menken and writer Howard Ashman and tells the story of an unfortunate florist shop worker who raises a plant that feeds on human blood and flesh.

Starring in the performance are Alex Conwell, a post-secondary enrollment option student from Red Lake Falls, Minn.; Alissa Hernandez, a senior majoring in equine science from Savage, Minn.; Jessi Kappes, a post-secondary enrollment option student from Ada, Minn.; Tyler Lowthian, a junior majoring in management from Richfield, Minn.; Joanie Melichar, a junior majoring in early childhood education from Richfield, Minn.; Liz Massie, a senior majoring in communication from Eagan, Minn.; Johnnie Pauly, a senior majoring in equine science from Wrenshall, Minn.; Ryan Rynda, a sophomore majoring in software engineering from Argyle, Minn.; Mitch Sledge, a senior majoring in horticulture from St. Louis Park, Minn.; Jessie Stone, a sophomore majoring in equine science from Cloquet, Minn.; Brock Wood, a sophomore majoring in aviation from Alexandria, Minn. Crew members include Riley Mollerud, a freshman from Fergus Falls, Minn., and Joe Wodarek, a freshman majoring in agronomy from Six Lakes, Mich.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 20 minors, and 36 concentrations on campus--as well as 13 degrees online--in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from more than 20 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

In the photo: Cast and crew members include (front row, left to right): Brock Wood, Liz Massie, Alex Conwell, Jessi Kappes, Johnnie Pauly, and Tyler Lowithan.  Back row: Riley Mollerud, Joe Wodarek, Ryan Wynda, Mitch Sledge (in plant), Alissa Hernandez, and Joanie Melichar. 

Contact: George French, associate professor, Music and Theater, 218-218-8266 (gfrench@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

Bird conservation will be the focus of a presentation by Charlie Muise Georgia's Important Bird 
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coordinator on Thursday, April 3, 2014, at the University of Minnesota Crookston. The program will take place at 7 p.m. in Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center. There is no admission charge and all are welcome. The Important Bird Areas program of the National Audubon Society is designed to save birds and their habitats.
 
Muise has been involved in a number of bird conservation projects in Georgia and will explain the Important Bird Area program. For the past seven years, Muise has conducted research on a variety of bird-related subjects. Some of his projects include native prairie restoration on songbird populations; assisting with research on whimbrel and American oystercatcher migratory pathways; sharp-tailed sparrow (Nelson's, Henslow's, Seaside, and Saltmarsh) wintering habitat and distribution; Georgia's first ever northern saw-whet owl banding station; loggerhead shrike radio telemetry to determine home range sizes; and prescribed fire in longleaf, prairie, and loblolly pine habitats. 

Vanessa Lane, lecturer in the area of natural resources, is pleased to have someone with Muise's expertise on campus. "Mr. Muise is a great public speaker, extremely knowledgeable, with amazing stories, information and photographs," Lane says. "He will be engaging and the audience will take away great information on bird conservation." 

The event is sponsored by Natural Resources Club, the UMC Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society, and the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources. To learn more about the work of Georgia's Important Bird Areas program, visit http://www.atlantaaudubon.org/iba-georgia. 

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 20 minors, and 36 concentrations on campus--as well as 13 degrees online--in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from more than 20 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

Contact: Vanessa Lane, lecturer, Ag and Natural Resources Dept., 218-281-8111 (vlane@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

Area children are invited to a fun-filled late afternoon children's carnival with the theme "Under the Sea" on Friday, March 28, 2014,from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center, at the University of Minnesota Crookston.

 The event, which is free and open to the public, will feature more than a dozen activities and prizes for children (suggested age range of 2 to 12 years old).  

The carnival is sponsored by Student Programming and Activities for Campus Entertainment (S.P.A.C.E).

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 20 minors, and 36 concentrations on campus--as well as 13 degrees online--in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from more than 20 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

Contact: Lisa Samuelson, director of Student Activities, 218-281-8507 (samue026@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

Writer and environmentalist Taylor Brorby (at right) will speak on the impact of the North Dakota oil 
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boom at 6:30 p.m. in Bede Ballroom on the University of Minnesota campus on Tuesday, April 1, 2014. The lecture is free and open to the public. 

Much has been reported in the media and coffee shop conversations about the Oil Boom in the Bakken Formation of western North Dakota. America needs the oil to support an energy consumptive lifestyle, but there are downsides to an "oil rush."  The social, economic, and environmental impacts on the people and land are the focus of Taylor Brorby's writing and in presenting his version of the story. 

Brorby is currently a writer in residence at Holden Village, a retreat center in central Washington State. He grew up in North Dakota and has gone back to his home state to witness and write about what he sees as the environmental and social tragedy that is the Bakken Oil Fields.  He has interviewed dozens of residents, and has taken over a thousand photos and video of the environmental and social impacts to the area.  Brorby has a B.A. in English from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., and an M.A. in liberal studies from Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn.

Taylor reports, "Throughout my travels I have smelled sulfur and gas in wheat fields, seen the night  sky glow orange from flaring, watched thousands of semis hauling water to and oil from well sites, and have had dozens of conversations with native North Dakotans and residents who work in the oil fields."

Most of the Bakken Project uses "fracking" (slang for hydraulic fracturing) of the deep underlying deposits to release a mix of crude oil and natural gas.  Developed in 1947,  fracking is a method used to increase the production of a well by using a mixture of proppant (usually frac sand), water, and chemicals. The mixture is injected into a well under very high pressures. Small cracks form in the bedrock, frac sand "props" open the fissures, and conduits form to allow the flow of fluids and gas within a well. The average depth of a hydraulically fractured oil/gas well is between 6000-9000 feet below the surface with some drilling conducting horizontally. More than 40 percent of the natural gas and 30 percent of the oil being produced in the U.S. today is produced via fracking, with numbers expected to climb past 60 percent by 2020.

The event is co-sponsored by the Crookston Students for Sustainable Development, the Center for Sustainability, Concordia College-Moorhead, and the Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership. For more information contact: Dan Svedarsky at 218-281-8129 or dsvedars@crk.umn.edu. 

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 20 minors, and 36 concentrations on campus--as well as 13 degrees online--in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from more than 20 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

Contact: Dan Svedarsky, director, Center for Sustainability, 218-281-8129 (dsvedars@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

The fifth gardening and local foods seminar is scheduled for Thursday, March 27, 2014, at 6 p.m. in Bede Ballroom on the UMC campus following a free supper at 5:30 p.m. Horticulture Extension Specialist, Terry Nennich, will report on the use of "high tunnels," a type of hoop house covered with transparent plastic that can extend the season both in the spring and in the fall. For reservations, call or email Tashi Gurung or Megan Luxford at 218-281-8128 or gurun011@umn.edu or luxfo003@crk.umn.edu. For more information contact Dan Svedarsky at 218-281-8129 or dsvedars@crk.umn.edu.


The suppers in dining services are free but reservations are required. Attendees are requested to go through the Brown Dining Hall at 5:30 p.m. and bring their meal down the hall to the Bede Ballroom. The program will commence at 6 p.m. and conclude around 7 p.m.


Here's how the high tunnels work: Conventional soil is planted with fruits and vegetables inside the protected space. The sides of the structure can be rolled up to allow for better ventilation once the weather warms up during the day and then down at night. Sometimes the growing season can be extended a month or more during the spring and the fall allowing for more production of fresh fruits and vegetables. Nennich has experience with high tunnel across the state and is "The" expert. He will cover the basics of installing and operating a high tunnel in conjunction with other gardening activities that may occur on adjacent land.


The kick-off of the seminar series occurred January 23 and featured Noelle Hardin, a U of MN Extension Educator whose focus is Community Food Systems in northwest Minnesota.  Hardin explored the many values of local foods and over 35 participants from the community and campus shared their experiences. The second speaker was Dr. Randel Hanson, environmental scientist and manager of the Campus Garden at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. The third program was presented by Kirsten Fagerlund and Shannon Stassen who outlined values and possibilities in the town of Crookston, itself. The fourth speakers included a panel organized by Jennifer Dillard from UMC.  Panelists included, Ronny J. Reitmeier, Owner of "Ronny's Farm To Table" in Fisher; Jessica Luckow, Owner of Whitetail Gardens, a local CSA provider; Brigette Burzette-DeLeon, a teacher at Washington Elementary School and School Garden Coordinator; and  Anna Ogaard, Crookston Public School's Director of Food Service. 


This is a continuing supper seminar series at UMC to explore and inform aspects of gardening and local food production in the Crookston community and the Crookston campus. The programs are supported by a Mini-Grant from the U of MN's Institute on the Environment to UMC's Center for Sustainability and are free and open to all interested in the topic. 


Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 20 minors, and 36 concentrations on campus--as well as 13 degrees online--in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from more than 20 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

Contact: Dan Svedarsky, director, Center for Sustainability, 218-281-8129 (dsvedars@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

Dan Svedarsky, professor in the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department at the 
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University of Minnesota Crookston, was recently honored with the 2014 Education Award.  Presented by the Minnesota Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society, Svedarsky received the recognition at the annual meeting of the Chapter at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., on March 3, 2014. The award is given to an individual, group, or agency for their contribution to the conservation education of adults and/or youth.

In announcing the award, awards chair, Evan Ingebrigtson, noted, "You have been nominated and selected to receive this award for the countless contributions you've made to the field of conservation education in Minnesota." 

While attending the meeting, Svedarsky also had the pleasure of accepting the Student Conservationist Award for two U of M Crookston natural resources majors: Senior Andy Albertsen, a senior from Nelson Minn.; and Vayla Van Dyke, a senior from Edgerton, Minn.  "They are industrious, great students in the classroom, active in leadership activities, and will be fine ambassadors of this award," Svedarsky said. 

The Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS) is a nonprofit scientific and educational organization founded in 1943 that serves as an advocate for conservation professionals and for science-based conservation practice, programs, and policy. SWCS has over 5,000 members around the world, including researchers, administrators, planners, policymakers, technical advisors, teachers, students, farmers, and ranchers. Members come from nearly every academic discipline and many different public, private, and nonprofit institutions.  The Society publishes a journal six times a year which focuses on integrated land management.

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The mission of the Society is to foster the science and art of natural resource conservation. Members strive to conserve soil, water, and related natural resources on working land--the land used to produce food, fiber, fuel, and other services that improve the quality of life people experience in rural and urban communities. They work to discover, develop, implement, and constantly improve ways to use land that sustains its productive capacity and enhances the environment at the same time.

Svedarsky is a long-time member of the Soil and Water Conservation Society as well as a past national President of The Wildlife Society. "The SWCS is a key organization which focuses on conservation at the private land scale and is very hands-on oriented to land management," according to Svedarsky. "This is the go-to professional organization for numerous UMC natural resources grads who now work for the Natural Resources Conservation Service, soil and water conservation districts, watershed districts, consulting agencies, and land restoration organizations. Often, when I go to these meetings, it's like a UMC alumni gathering." 

More information about the Minnesota Chapter of the SWCS as well as the national organization can be found at; http://www.minnesotaswcs.org/

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 20 minors, and 36 concentrations on campus--as well as 13 degrees online--in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from more than 20 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

In the photo at top: Dan Svedarsky (center) with MN Chapter President-Elect, Julie Reberg (on left), and David Rose, Chapter President at the annual meeting at St. Olaf. Photo by Julie MacSwain, Public Affairs Specialist, Natural Resources Conservation Service.

In photo at bottom, left to right, are Vayla Van Dyke and Andy Albertsen

Contact: Dan Svedarsky, professor, Agriculture and Natural Resources Department, 218-281-8129 (dsvedars@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

She has been a part of River Watch since she was a freshman in high school, first as a 
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student in their pilot program. Today, Laura Bell (photo, right) is lab services coordinator in the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department at the University of Minnesota Crookston and the "go-to" River Watch person on the Crookston campus. At the spring River Watch Forum, Bell was recognized with the Voyageur Award.

The award recognizes efforts that go above and beyond the normal monthly monitoring duties of the River Watch program and demonstrating the greater potential and contribution that River Watch can provide to a school, a community, and a watershed. Bell is the current River Watch liaison with Fisher, Climax, and East Grand Forks River Watch teams. She paddles with the River Explorers program and helps with both the River Watch Forum and the annual Water Quality and Water Monitoring Training and Certification Day. 

More than 25 River Watch teams provide valuable water quality data at more than 150 river sites throughout northwest Minnesota. Teams presented posters of their monitoring and research results at the 19th Annual River Watch Forum held on Tuesday, March 18, 2014. Students visited with resource professionals at concurrent sessions on a wide range of topics, including stream ecology, groundwater issues, Red River fishing, invasive species, and river recreation options. To learn more, visit http://iwinst.org/riverwatchforum.htm. 

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 20 minors, and 36 concentrations on campus--as well as 13 degrees online--in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from more than 20 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

Contact: Laura Bell, lab services coordinator, 218-281-8131 (lbell@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director of communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

Heidi Whiting Hired as Program Coordinator for RSVP of the Red River Valley

Heidi Whiting has been hired as program coordinator for the Retired Senior and Volunteer 
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Program (RSVP) of the Red River Valley, and began her placement on Feb. 19.  Heidi has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Pastoral Ministry from the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, Minn.  

Whiting previously served as national sales director for Southern Living at Home/Willow House and currently is librarian at Cathedral Elementary School in Crookston.  

The Retired Senior and Volunteer Program (RSVP) of the Red River Valley has been sponsored by the University for more than 35 years. Covering a seven-county region, RSVP partners with local service providers, to support civic engagement through service and volunteering, in turn, strengthening lives and communities. More than 650 volunteers, aged 55 and older, give of their time and energy to Northwest Minnesota residents.

RSVP promotes several signature programs which make critical impact in our area:  Handyman and Groceries to Go provides volunteers to help seniors independently at home; Bone Builders is an exercise program which combats osteoporosis and helps improve balance/prevent falls.  The thirty-second Bone Builder class in the NW MN region is currently being established at Skylight Apartments in TRF!  Reading Buddies promotes intergenerational connections, as volunteers spend time in Kindergarten through second-grade classrooms, listening to children read aloud, building their literacy skills.  

Conceived during John F. Kennedy's presidency, Senior Corps currently links more than 360,000 Americans to service opportunities. Their contributions of skills, knowledge, and experience make a real difference to individuals, nonprofits, and faith-based and other community organizations throughout the United States.

If you are interested in volunteering or learning more about RSVP please contact the RSVP office at 218-281-8288. 

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 20 minors, and 36 concentrations on campus--as well as 13 degrees online--in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from more than 20 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

Contact: Heidi Whiting, program coordinator, RSVP, 218-2818288 (hwhiting@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, University Relations, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

The 100th Anniversary of the Red River Valley Development Association will be held on Saturday, March 29, 2014, beginning at 12 noon in Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center, University of Minnesota, Crookston.  Tickets for the noon banquet are available for $16.00 from the Extension Regional Office, Crookston, and can be reserved by calling 1-888-241-0781 by March 21.  Payment can be made at the door.

Couples from northwest Minnesota will be honored as Red River Valley Farmers and Homemakers for the good example they have set with their family life, community service, farming or agribusiness operations and their efforts to conserve natural resources.  Funding for the Red River Valley Development Association is provided by the 14 counties in northwest Minnesota.

The Northwest Minnesota Youth Leadership Awards will be presented to several outstanding young adults from the area.

The Red River Valley Development Association includes directors from 14 northwest Minnesota counties.  The 2014 Directors and Honored Couples are:

2014 Red River Valley Farmer and Homemaker Honored Couples

County

Director

Honored Couple

Town

Becker

Bruce Hein

William and Karolyn Zurn

Callaway

Clay

Clarice Schmidt

George and Marlys Peters

Hawley

Clearwater

Allen Paulson

Alroy and Debbie Lewis

Bagley

Kittson

Gary Johnson

Greg and Sandy Wilson

Lancaster

Mahnomen

Jean Nelson

Steve and Gina Worms

Mahnomen

Marshall

Gary Satre

Mark and Sue Knutson

Newfolden

Norman

Burton Rockstad

Charles and Helen Bernhardson

Norman

E Otter Tail

Roger Fremming

Robert and Ramona Wippler

Parker Prairie

W Otter Tail

Daniel Roehl

John and Jill Walkup

Campbell

Pennington

Gladys Hallstrom

Robert and Rita Wald

Thief River Falls

E Polk

Jerry Erickson

Bennett and Gloria Osmonson

Gully

W Polk

Curt Knutson

Paul and Wanda Rutherford

Euclid

Red Lake

Larry Johnson

Gary and Patty Purath

Red Lake Falls

Roseau

Buddy Erickson

Dale and Elaine Billberg

Wannaska


For more information, contact Deborah Zak, Regional Director, Northwest, Extension Regional Office, Crookston.  Phone:  218-281-8684 or 1-888-241-0781.  E-mail:  dzak@umn.edu


Contact: Deborah Zak, Regional Director, Northwest, Extension Regional Office, Crookston. Phone: 218-281-8684 or 1-888-241-0781. E-mail: dzak@umn.edu

Northwest Minnesota Celebrates Farmers Markets

Things went off without a hitch at this year's second Farmers Market celebration. The event was held in Bede Ballroom at the U of M Crookston campus on February 27, 2014. Celebrating the success of local farmers markets and the continued support from various communities brought special "bright spots" from participants. 
The phrase comes from Dan and Chip Heath's book, Switch: How to make change when change is hard.  Heath asks, "When is my organization being its best self?"  

A common reply from participants was that they were at their best when customers are happy with the products they receive. They are also at their best when they bring in new attractions like bringing in classic cars from the 50s and 60s. Another "bright spot" shared by participants was combining food and art in a winter market, which allows them to reach out to customers during the winter. Lastly, members shared that they are more productive when using resources provided to them from Minnesota Grown. 

Minnesota Grown is a statewide partnership between the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and Minnesota producers of specialty crops and livestock. The Minnesota Grown Program has over 1,100 diverse members including farmers' markets, CSA farms, garden centers, wineries, fruit & vegetable growers, pick-your-own farms, livestock producers, meat processors, Christmas tree growers, and producers of honey, wild rice, maple syrup, cheese, and other gourmet products.

Paul Hugunin, Executive Director of Minnesota Grown, spoke about the importance of using social media and other venues to reach out to more diverse customers.  Lynda Annoreno, Market Manager for Fresh Start Market in Baudette, gave tips on how to strategically lay-out a farmers market location in order to enhance the flow of customers. Terry Nennich, Commercial Food and Vegetable Specialist with U of M Extension, presented on the Minnesota Famers Market Association (MFMA) and provided information on new legislation for providing proper food sampling. He also talked about the educational development offered by MFMA and the services it offers to members as far as being properly insured. 

The Minnesota Farmers' Market Association (MFMA) is a non-profit, membership-based organization dedicated to supporting the growth and development of farmers' markets across the state of Minnesota.

To learn more about the work of the Northwest Regional Partnership go to http://blog.lib.umn.edu/rsdp/northwest.  

The Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDPs) give communities in Greater Minnesota access to the University of Minnesota in order to help solve problems and take advantage of new opportunities. As a part of University of Minnesota Extension, NW RSDP brings together local talent and resources with University of Minnesota knowledge and seed funding to drive sustainability in four areas: agriculture and food systems, tourism and resilient communities, natural resources, and clean energy.

Contact: Linda Kingery, executive director, U of M Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, 218-281-8697 (kinge002@umn.edu)

The University of Minnesota Crookston is ranked among the nation's best online colleges by TheBestSchools.org.  That organization's recent listing of colleges and universities that provide "a high-quality online education," places the U of M Crookston at #19.  Inclusion on the list is based on such factors as academic excellence, scholarly quality of faculty, online teaching methods, cost, reputation, awards, financial aid, and the number of degree programs.

To view the full list, go to www.thebestschools.org/rankings/30-best-online-colleges-2014.

TheBestSchools.org is an online resource for prospective students seeking a college degree. The organization notes that it includes traditional campus-based schools like the U of M Crookston only if they provide an extensive and well-rounded offering of online degree programs.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 20 minors, and 36 concentrations on campus--as well as 13 degrees online--in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from more than 20 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

Contact: Andrew Svec, director of communications, marketing, and public relations, 218-281-8432 (asvec@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

Citizen science takes center stage at the University of Minnesota Crookston campus on Tuesday, March 18th as high school River Watch teams share perspectives on the health of rivers in northwest Minnesota. River Watch (RW) engages students in assessing whether their local streams meet state water quality standards.

Over 25 River Watch teams continue to provide valuable water quality data at over 150 river sites throughout northwest Minnesota. Teams will present posters of their monitoring and research results at this 19th Annual River Watch Forum. Students will also visit with resource professionals at concurrent sessions on a wide range of topics, including stream ecology, groundwater issues, Red River fishing, invasive species, and river recreation options.

Dr. Dan Svedarsky, Director of the Center for Sustainability at the UMC campus will share insights and observations about the changing landscape of the Red River Basin due to evolving agricultural practices, weather extremes, and ag policy impacts. Emerging research in renewable energy and nutrient management offers hope for a more sustainable working landscape.   

River Watch teams and partners are recognized in the afternoon at an awards ceremony for exemplary work in watershed science research and communications. School posters will be available for viewing in Bede Ballroom on the UMC campus from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm, and will be posted on the International Water Institute River Watch Website after the Forum.  The Forum is hosted by the International Water Institute and the Red River Watershed Management Board with support from the Minnesota Clean Water Legacy Fund.  

More information on the 2014 River Watch Forum and the River Watch program can be found at http://iwinst.org/riverwatchforum.htm or contact Wayne Goeken at 218-280-0516. 

Contact: Wayne Goeken, special projects coordinator, International Water Institute, 218-280-0516 (wayne@iwinst.org)

The American Kestrel, sometimes known as a sparrow hawk, has a declining population and 
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student research at the University of Minnesota Crookston is taking a closer look. The study of the American Kestrel, the smallest falcon in North America, has become a community bird conservation and citizen-science research project.  

Andy Albertsen, a senior from Nelson Minn., majoring in natural resources, has been working with Associate Professor John Loegering, who teaches natural resources and conducts bird research, on a long-term project that would involve assistance from the Crookston community. The plan is to place ten nesting boxes in the city of Crookston, some on private property and some on public land. 

Retired telephone poles from PKM Electric and installed by Otter Tail Power Company will be used to place the nesting boxes built by students in the U of M Crookston Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society. A meeting held on Tuesday, March11 at the Lake Agassiz Regional Library in Crookston, introduced the project to the community and enlisted the help of community members to observe and gather information about the nesting boxes. 

The research project began last fall under Loegering's guidance. Spring semester, when Albertsen enrolled in Dani Johannesen's Writing in Your Profession class, the project took on additional depth and a team of peers. Skylar Reed, a sophomore majoring in agronomy from Lafayette, Minn.; Michael McMahon, a senior double majoring in natural resources and aviation from St. Paul. Minn.; Mitchell Lundeen, a senior majoring in natural resources from Little Falls, Minn.; and Jake Otto, a senior majoring in natural resources from Lester Prairie, Minn.; under the leadership of Albertsen, have expanded the outreach. Creating a team charter, a proposal, mission statement and a Crookston Kestrel Watch Facebook page were all a part of Johannesen's class project. The goal is to increase awareness about the kestrel, monitor the population and engage the community.  

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Johannesen has collaborated with Heidi Hughes of the Middle-Snake-Tamarac Rivers Watershed District in Warren, Minn., on class projects to increase tourism and bring the natural resources of the region to light. Albertsen's research project involved meeting with Hughes to determine appropriate sites for the nesting boxes. 

Albertsen is pleased with the way the project has crossed from natural resources to the liberal arts and he is excited about its potential. "My undergraduate research project has allowed me to take a broad approach and involve classmates, community members, local businesses, and club members," Albertsen says. "As I prepare to graduate in May, I look back on my experience on this campus as a great one. I have been involved in some powerful hands-on learning experiences and opportunities for leadership."

As Albertsen moves on to graduate school or a career, he will be watching the project he started as it takes shape, and no matter what he does, he plans to use what he has learned to make a difference in the field of natural resources. 

This long term monitoring effort is conducted in cooperation with the American Kestrel Partnership. To find out more, visit the Crookston Kestrel Watch on Facebook at (www.facebook.com/crookstonkestrels).

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 20 minors, and 36 concentrations on campus--as well as 13 degrees online--in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from more than 20 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

In the photo, at top: Andy Albertsen holds one of the kestrel nesting boxes. 
At bottom, left: Albertsen presents at the Lake Agassiz Regional Library. 

Contact: Dani Johannesen, lecturer, Liberal Arts and Education Dept, 218-281-8250 ( johan259@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, University Relations, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

Collaboration is an important aspect of the classroom and a powerful learning tool. Unique opportunities for this kind of work take place between faculty and students on campus, and last fall, two U of M instructors took collaboration beyond their own classrooms and connected two classes on two campuses in the University of Minnesota system. Assistant Professor Eric Castle, who teaches in the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department at UM Crookston and Associate Professor Akosua Addo, who teaches in the U of M School of Music worked together to offer a distinctive learning opportunity to their students.  

The two met at a meeting on internationalizing the curriculum and discovered they had a mutual interest in the factors that shape play. After that initial meeting, the two began to explore opportunities for collaboration around this mutual interest. They found a great mix for their students focused around play in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood near the U of M's West Bank. 

The goal was to tell a digital story about play that was taking place in the diverse, immigrant neighborhood. Addo's Mapping Arts Play class created a digital story and Castle's GIS Applications students added a spatial mapping component designed to enhance the video story. 

Castle says it proved to be challenging to work across campuses, but it was well worth the effort. "My students were challenged to think creatively about mapping," he says. "While my class is heavily technical and could become formulaic, this project had the students take what they learned and use it in a way that was creative and augmented the story."
Some of the stories used data such as walking and driving distances while others used crime rates to tell their story. Castle's class of eight students divided up to work with small groups on the Twin Cities campus to develop the collaborative spatial mapping projects.

The result combine maps with data points, still photographs, and video stories about several playgrounds as well as a local dog park in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood. 

The project is distinctive in its collaboration between two very different kinds of classes working together. Addo and Castle will present in April at an internationalizing curriculum conference and are looking at other potential places to present the information they have gleaned from the successful collaboration.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 20 minors, and 36 concentrations on campus--as well as 13 degrees online--in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from more than 20 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

Contact: Eric Castle, assistant professor, Agriculture and Natural Resources Dept., 218-281-8119 (castl047@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

They Call Me Q!"will be featured on What's on Wednesday? at the University of Minnesota, 
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Crookston on Wednesday, March 12, 2014, at 7 p.m. in Kiehle Auditorium. The event is free and all are welcome. The event is sponsored by the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Programs at the U of M Crookston.

Qurrat Ann Kadwani (at right) is an actress, producer, emcee, TV host and philanthropist. She is the founding artistic director of eyeBLINK (www.eyeblink.org) and the head of its theater department. She is a graduate of the Bronx High School of Science and a theater graduate of SUNY Geneseo with a double scholarship award for her directing and acting contributions. Ms. Kadwani has most recently taught a Monologue Writing and Performance Workshop.  She will also soon appear as the female lead in Blind Angels at Theatre for the New City. 

"They Call Me Q!" - Who is Q? Why do they call her Q? Travel with Q as she goes on a journey to find herself amidst 13 characters in 60 minutes based on her traditional Indian parents, Caucasian teachers, Puerto Rican classmates, African-American friends, and an Indian girl she meets in India. Life wasn't easy growing up in the Bronx, but will Q be able to reconcile being Indian and American?

Background
Qurrat Ann Kadwani won the Best Actress Award for her one woman show "They Call Me Q!" during the Variations Theatre Group: Harvest Theatre Festival, November 2012 in Long Island City. She also won the Best Play Award for "They Call Me Q!" during the Maui Fringe Festival 2013 in Hawaii.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 20 minors, and 36 concentrations on campus--as well as 13 degrees online--in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from more than 20 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

Contact: Lorna Hollowell, director, Diversity and Multicultural Services, 218-281-8580 (lhollowe@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

Moshe Weiss, a St.Paul, Minn., rabbi and inventor of the Sound Bender, a sound amplification 
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accessory for iPad, will present on Tuesday, March 25, 2014, at the University of Minnesota Crookston. Weiss, who appeared on ABC Television's business-themed reality show "Shark Tank" presents "Bait and Pitch--How a rabbi hooked a shark and how you can too" at noon in Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center. The event is free and everyone is invited. The first 100 attendees will receive a Sound Bender. 

The book Shark Tank Jump Start Your Business: How to Launch and Grow a Business from Concept to Cash will be available for purchase at the event. Weiss will be available to sign copies of the book following his presentation.
Weiss received backing for the magnetic, power-free iPad amplifier from Shark Tank panelist Daymond John in March 2013 and since sales of the Sound Bender have grown steadily. The rabbi, teacher, and father of three, came up with the idea for the Sound Bender when he found it difficult to hear when using his iPad. After cutting out a band-aid box to help amplify the sound, Weiss developed the Sound Bender, a functional design that fits the iPad 2, 3, and 4. To learn more about the device and Moshe, visit www.thesoundbender.com. 

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Weiss, who has been described as a "fun-loving" rabbi and entrepreneur will bring his humor and experience as an entrepreneur to the Crookston campus as part of the Center for Rural Entrepreneurial Studies Speaker Series. The Speaker Series is focused on bringing high profile entrepreneurs from Minnesota and the region to the address area entrepreneurs, small business owners, and students. 

About CRES
CRES serves northwest Minnesota entrepreneurs and small businesses with insightful technical  assistance and research. For more information, contact Rachel Lundbohm, director, at 218-281-8190 or visit the CRES website at www.umccres.org.   

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 20 minors, and 36 concentrations on campus--as well as 13 degrees online--in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from more than 20 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

In the photo, at top right, left to right, are Shark Tank panelist Daymond John with Rabbi Moshe Weiss, creator of the Sound Bender. 

In the photo, at center left is the Sound Bender on an iPad. 

Contact: Rachel Lundbohm, director, CRES, 218-281-8190 (rlundboh@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

The fourth gardening and local foods seminar is scheduled for Thursday, March 13, at 6 p.m. in Bede Ballroom at the University of Minnesota Crookston following a free supper at 5:30 p.m. Jennifer Dillard, lab services coordinator at the U of M Crookston is the organizer.  Speakers include:  Ronny J Reitmeier, owner of "Ronny's Farm To Table" in Crookston; Jessica Luckow, owner of Whitetail Gardens, a local CSA provider; Brigette Burzette-DeLeon, a teacher at Washington Elementary School and school garden coordinator; and  Anna Ogaard, Crookston Public School's director of food service. 

Suppers in dining services are free but reservations are required. Attendees are requested to go through the Brown Dining Hall at 5:30 and then bring their meal down the hall to the Bede Ballroom. The program will commence at 6 p.m. and conclude around 7:10.

For reservations, call or email Tashi Gurung or Megan Luxford at 218-281-8128 or gurun011@umn.edu or luxfo003@crk.umn.edu . For more information contact Dan Svedarsky at 218-281-8129 or dsvedars@crk.umn.edu.

Background
This presentation is a continuing supper seminar series scheduled for the spring semester at UMC to explore and inform aspects of gardening and local food production in the Crookston community and the Crookston campus. The programs are supported by a Mini-Grant from the U of MN's Institute on the Environment to UMC's Center for Sustainability and are free and open to all interested in the topic. 

The kick-off of the seminar series occurred January 23 and featured Noelle Hardin, a U of M Extension Educator whose focus is Community Food Systems in northwest Minnesota.  Hardin explored the many values of local foods and over 35 participants from the community and campus shared their experiences. The second speaker was Dr. Randel Hanson, environmental scientist and manager of the Campus Garden at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. The third program was presented by Kirsten Fagerlund and Stannon Stassen who outlined values and possibilities in the city of Crookston.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 20 minors, and 36 concentrations on campus--as well as 13 degrees online--in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from more than 20 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

Contact: Dan Svedarsky, director, Center for Sustainability, 218-281-8129 (dsvedars@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

The University of Minnesota Crookston's online bachelor's degree program in accounting has
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been deemed a "wise choice" and listed among 25 Notable Online Accounting Degree Programs by TheBestSchools.org.  The listing includes 25 programs at 15 colleges and universities across the U.S.  

The selection was based on several weighted factors, including academic excellence, course offerings, accomplishment of faculty, return on investment, and reputation. TheBestSchools.org is an online resource for prospective students seeking a college or university degree.  


Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 20 minors, and 36 concentrations on campus--as well as 13 degrees online--in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from more than 20 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

Contact: Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

The University of Minnesota Crookston is launching a project in Mahnomen, Minn., to design a natural play space. Eric Castle, assistant professor in the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department, teaches landscape design and construction courses on the Crookston campus.  Castle and Ethan Kojetin, a senior majoring in horticulture from Atwater, Minn., will be assisting Mahnomen in this project.  A design workshop to engage the community is scheduled for March 24 in Mahnomen starting at 7 p.m. at the Mahnomen Area Senior Center.  All are welcome.  Contact Tammy Carlsrud at 218-935-2527 for details. 

Funding for the design project comes from  Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota's Center for Prevention grant to  U of M's Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership (RSDP).   

Mahnomen County Public Health is focusing on active living through its Statewide Health Improvement Plan work, and natural play spaces are an excellent way for families to be active together.  

The natural play space is a playground that uses things found in nature - the kind of things that children used to find on their own.  Getting help with the design of the space will ensure that it is not only fun, but also safe, and aesthetically pleasing.   

Castle hopes to accomplish two goals at the meeting.  First, introduce the purpose/benefits of natural play spaces and give examples of natural play spaces in other communities.  Second, to gain an understanding of what community members would like in their natural play space which will then be summarized and used to create the preliminary designs.  

The first goal will be achieved through a presentation by Castle and Kojetin.  To achieve the second goal community members will divide into groups of 4-7 people at tables.  Each table will have a large printout of the site that people can write on, place sticky notes on, draw on, and arrange game pieces that represent natural play space features.  Each table will then report to the larger group what they would like to see in the natural play space. 

To learn more about the work of the Northwest Regional Partnership go to http://blog.lib.umn.edu/rsdp/northwest.  

The Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDPs) give communities in Greater Minnesota access to the University of Minnesota in order to help solve problems and take advantage of new opportunities. As a part of University of Minnesota Extension, NW RSDP brings together local talent and resources with University of Minnesota knowledge and seed funding to drive sustainability in four areas: agriculture and food systems, tourism and resilient communities, natural resources, and clean energy.

Contact: Linda Kingery, executive director, U of M Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, 218-281-8697 (kinge002@umn.edu)

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