Recently in sustainability Category

A conversation between Thoreau and Emerson in Thoreau's cabin before leaving Walden Pond 
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is the focus of Walden: The Ballad of Thoreau. A performance of the of the two-act, four-character play will take place on Tuesday, April 22, 2014, in Kiehle Auditorium at the University of Minnesota Crookston. The two performances at 12:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. 
have no admission charge and everyone is welcome. Free will donations will go to a designated sustainability project. 

Under the direction of Linnea Barton, Writing Center coordinator, the cast consists of Ian McCrae, associate professor at the Northwest Research and Outreach Center, as Emerson; Chris Sthultz, assistant professor in the Math, Science, and Technology Department, as Thoreau; Michael Laurich, a junior majoring in biology from Lansing, Ill., as J.B.; and Megan Luxford, a senior applied studies major from Columbus, Neb., as Rachel.

The play, written by Michael Johnathon, takes place during the final two days Henry David Thoreau spent at his cabin before leaving Walden Pond. It is an exploration of the roles each person plays protecting the earth, while challenging the audience to live a simpler life and preserve the environment. To learn more about the play, visit www.waldenplay.com. 

Sponsors of the performance are Liberal Arts and Education Department; Business Department; Math, Science, and Technology Department; Agriculture and Natural Resources Department; Concerts and Lectures; Crookston Students for Sustainable Development; and the UMC Music and Theater Department. 

An Earth Day celebration, Having Fun Caring for the Earth, will take place from 9 to noon in the Sargeant Student Center. The celebration includes a poster contest for college and high school students with $500 scholarships awarded to the winning posters; a sustainability fair; a Native American tribute and hot topic Earth Day mini lectures. All are welcome. For more information, contact Dana Trickey, College in the High School coordinator, at 218-281-8677. 

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: Members of the cast of "Walden: The Ballad of Thoreau" are looking forward to their performance in Kiehle Auditorium in honor of Earth Day. Cast members are (left to right): Linnea Barton, director; Kenneth Mendez, who has been instrumental in the arrangements for the performance; Megan Luxford; Chris Sthultz, Michael Laurich, and Ian McCrae.

Contact: Kenneth Mendez, office support assistant, Post Office, 218-281-8329 (mende089@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)

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)

The third gardening and local foods seminar is scheduled for Thursday, February 20, at 5 p.m. in Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center, at the University of Minnesota Crookston. Speakers include Kirsten Fagerlund, lead coordinator with the State-wide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) with Polk County Public Health and Shannon Stassen, Crookston City Administrator. The programs are free and open to all interested in the topic but reservations are required. To make a reservation, contact Tashi Gurung in the Center for Sustainability at 218-281-8129 (gurun011@crk.umn.edu).

Attendees are requested to pick up their meal at 5 p.m. and then bring their meal down the hall to the Bede Ballroom. The program will commence at 5:30 p.m. and conclude around 6:30. This is a continuing supper seminar series scheduled during the spring semester on the Crookston campus to explore and inform aspects of gardening and local food production in the Crookston community and the campus.

In the program, Visions of gardening in the community, the speakers will lead participants in brainstorming sessions on "What could be scenarios?" What gardening options might exist in vacant lots, city property that is presently mowed or left idle, other lands that might be rented or the use donated?

Fagerlund has a passion for the many benefits of gardening and exercise from the public health and wellness standpoint. Stassen also has a passion for gardening from growing up on a farm and also working with Allen Pedersen, a long-term Crookston resident and "legendary" backyard gardener. The programs are supported by a mini-grant from the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment to the Center for Sustainability.

Background
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. Some 40 or so participants attended Hanson's program so the interest continues to grow.

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 second gardening and local foods seminar is scheduled for Thursday, February 6, 2014, at 5:30 in Bede Ballroom. Randel Hanson, Ph.D., will present the seminar "Anchoring Food Systems Change: The Sustainable Agriculture Project at the University of Minnesota, Duluth." Hanson is the founder and "farmer-in-chief" of the Sustainable Agriculture Project at University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD), where he leads a faculty collaborative for systems change that includes a 10-acre campus garden and a 5-acre orchard on the former Northeast Experimental Station. The garden produces a substantial portion of the food for UMD's food service. 

Seminar suppers 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 begin at 6 p.m. and conclude around 7 p.m. For reservations, call or email Megan Luxford or Laura Gabrielson at 218-281-8128 (luxfo003@crk.umn.edu). For more information, contact Dan Svedarsky, director of the Center for Sustainability at 218-281-8129 (dsvedars@crk.umn.edu).

Earlier in the day, Hanson will be speaking to Svedarsky's capstone class in integrated resource management where his topic will be, "Managing Resources in Time and Space: The Case of our Agro-food system." The public is invited to attend that presentation from 2 to 3:15 p.m. in the Peterson Classroom in Heritage Hall on the U of M Crookston campus. 

Background
Hanson holds a faculty appointment in environment and sustainability at UMD, where he teaches courses in food systems, organic agriculture, urban ecology and ecological history. Before joining UMD, he held faculty positions at Arizona State University and Rice University. In addition to his work on regional food systems development, Hanson has published on challenges associated with locating and managing high-level radioactive waste, particularly with reference to American Indian communities.

His current focus engages organizational and institutional development and change in building small and mid-sized food and agricultural systems for creating better outcomes in human health, economic development and ecological resilience. He is interested in ways of networking stakeholders within institutions, communities and regions to create ideas, policies, and actions to expand production of and access to "good food." 

In particular, he is focused on integrating "anchor institutions" such as education, medical and other place-based organizations that have become increasingly important in local and regional sustainable development for many urban and regional economies. Colleges and universities have a special responsibility in preparing future leaders for a world of rising challenges around, but not limited to, sustainably-produced food and health.

This event is part of a continuing supper seminar series scheduled the spring semester at the U of M Crookston 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 M'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 MN Extension Educator whose focus is Community Food Systems in northwest Minnesota.  Hardin and U of M Crookston student sustainability assistant, Laura Gabrielson lead a workshop to explore the many values of local foods and over 35 participants from the community and campus shared their experiences. "It was a cold night but people turned out with great ideas and warm enthusiasm," according Svedarsky, "Folks even had an opportunity to draw out their vision of gardening on paper with colored markers." 

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 saw a need for additional on-campus housing and 
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started design work on Heritage Hall in 2011. At that point Ken Johnson, Energy Management Representative for Otter Tail Power Company, offered the company's Commercial Design Assistance (CDA) program, which encourages increased efficiency in new commercial buildings. The CDA program provides incentives to eligible building owners and their design teams to exceed Minnesota's energy code requirements in the building design and construction process.

Otter Tail Power Company has issued a $21,599.97 CDA incentive payment to UMC. "This building exceeds Minnesota State Building Code by 13.9 percent in terms of annual energy consumption," said Johnson. "The building envelope, lighting, heating, and cooling systems changes we recommended for this project will pay for themselves in energy cost savings in less than three years. Electricity consumption savings are projected to exceed 327,000 kwh with demand savings of 76 kw."

"Otter Tail Power Company has been an excellent partner with the University of Minnesota Crookston, especially in the areas of energy conservation and sustainability," said Fred Wood, UMC Chancellor. "We greatly appreciate the assistance and incentives they provided through the Commercial Design Assistance Program while we were building our newest residence hall, Heritage Hall. Through that program we can look forward to projected energy savings of more than $11,000 per year. Because of programs like this it's clear Otter Tail Power Company is committed to a sustainable energy future."

Among the energy-efficiency strategies employed in Heritage Hall are increased insulation in walls and ceilings, energy-efficient lighting and controls, high-efficiency heat pumps for heating and cooling in each room, and high-efficiency heating and cooling for the common areas and classroom.

First occupied in January and completed in August, this 47,774-square-foot building has two wings of dorm rooms with a lounge area in the center on both floors, a housing manager apartment, and a classroom on the north end. Heritage Hall is capable of housing 144 students in 35 two-bedroom four-student rooms and 4 one-student staff rooms.
Ruann Deschene was the project manager for Community Contractors Inc. of Grand Forks, North Dakota; the general contractor for the Heritage Hall project. JB Electrical Design of Coon Rapids. Minnesota; was the electrical engineering firm; Obermiller Nelson Engineering (ONE) of Fargo was the mechanical engineering firm, along with Michael J. Burns Architects, Bemidji. Jay Denny and Scott McCord from the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota also provided input.

How Otter Tail Power Company's Commercial Design Assistance Program works

Otter Tail Power Company's free Commercial Design Assistance Program allows qualifying building owners, architectural and engineering firms, and developers to participate in an integrated design process to increase energy efficiency in new commercial buildings.

"We bring in a third-party consultant who reviews the building's design and offers computer modeling of how it will use energy. The consultant then presents various packages of efficiency options, the customer selects one, and we provide an incentive to the customer based on how much the building's efficiency exceeds state code," explained Johnson. "When construction is completed we verify that the building matches construction documents and reflects original design intentions."

CDA incentives help offset the cost of more efficient materials and equipment, and incorporating energy efficiency into building plans may help reduce equipment maintenance and replacement costs for additional long-term savings. The CDA Program also compensates design-team members for their time to explore energy-saving alternatives.

In the photo: The University of Minnesota Crookston received an Otter Tail Power Company's Commercial Design Assistance Program incentive for its new residence hall. Pictured, left to right, at the presentation of the $21,599.97 check representing Otter Tail Power Company are Crookston Area Manager Leon Kremeier and Energy Management Representative Ken Johnson; representing the University are Chancellor Fred Wood and Chief Development Officer Corby Kemmer. 

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)

Join us for the 2014 Local Foods College. The series of 8 sessions is designed for gardeners and farmers that are part of the growing community-based food system.  Sessions focus on production, food safety and marketing skills. 

The first session of the series will be held on the evening of Tuesday, January 21, 2013, and will continue on Tuesday evenings through mid-March. The series will be available via webinar at several locations throughout northern and central Minnesota, and may also be viewed at a home computer. Registration is FREE with print-your-own materials.  If you prefer to purchase printed materials, they are available, $30 for printed materials for the entire series mailed to you, and $25 for the Beginner Growers Manual. 

Session topics include: Soil Quality and Fertility; Specialty Products: Asparagus, Garlic, Wild Foods, Harvester Handbook;  Tree Fruit and Berries in High Tunnel; Post Harvest Handling and Storage, Peddling you Pickles Safely, Food safety for Famers Markets; Marketing Local Foods: and Commercial Kitchens for Processing Local Food.   

Participants will learn from practitioners, educators, and those involved in the growing movement to build resilient local foods systems. Participants will choose their level of participation and viewing location. 

The Local Foods College is part of a movement to strengthen local and regional food systems. The 2014 Local Foods College is supported by University of Minnesota Extension, the Statewide Health Improvement Program and North Country Community Transformation Grant.

For more detailed information and registration, visit: http://localfoods.umn.edu/college or call 888-241-0781. 

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

Summer means going through a lot of hoops for Jenny DuBay, a senior from Apple Valley, Minn., majoring in natural 

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resources at the University of Minnesota Crookston. DuBay designed a series of floating vegetated mats out of hula-hoops and water noodles as part of an undergraduate research project that will assess phosphorus removal utilizing different plant species. 

Earlier in the spring, DuBay, under the guidance of Katy Smith, assistant professor in environmental sciences at the U of M Crookston, conducted a preliminary study assessing the ability of different plant species to remove phosphorus from the water they are growing in.  After the preliminary study a site was located that has significant run-off from agricultural land and farm animal waste. 

An earlier prototype of the mats led DuBay to her current design built on a hula-hoop frame and topped with burlap covered water noodles formed around the hoop. They have fabric across the opening and a screen around the top that allows the passage of water but keeps the plants contained. The mats are weighted with cement blocks to keep them positioned in the pond. 

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The mats are filled with plants including two of each kind and four replicates. The Lemma, a genus of free-floating aquatic plants from the duckweed family, doesn't need soil but the other mats contain peat as a growing media. Those mats include a fern, two different species of Rumex (Dock), and cattails. She planted the mats on Sunday, June 30, 2013, and is hoping to keep them there until the fall depending on the weather. The plan is to harvest the biomass in October. 

Contamination of surface and ground water is a serious environmental concern. Research has shown that floating vegetated mats can be used to grow biomass and remove nutrients from wastewater. Smith whose research interests include the use of plants to clean the environment, led the development of the environmental sciences program at the U of M Crookston and her work includes research on soil management practices to improve both soil quality and productivity. 

Funding for DuBay's project came from the University of Minnesota Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program and the Northwest Minnesota Regional Sustainable Development Partnership. 


DuBay worked last summer for the shallow lakes project for the 

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Minnesota DNR and this summer is working banding ducks near Bemidji. 


Today the University of Minnesota Crookston delivers 28 bachelor's degree programs, 20 minors, and 39 concentrations on campus--as well as 11 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 25 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 photos: Students working on assembly of mats, at top, left to right, are Tucker Flaten, Gyaltzo Gurung, Jenny DuBay, and Andrea Ramponi.

Center, left: Tucker Flaten places the wire netting around the mat to be placed in the pond.

Bottom, right: A series of mats with the plants are held in place by cement blocks. The design of the mats is the work of  Senior Jenny DuBay. 




Contact: Katy Smith, assistant professor, environmental science, 218-281- 8262, (katys@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

Jon Foley, Ph.D., director of the Institute on the Environment (IonE) at the University of the Minnesota, will speak at the University of Minnesota Crookston on Tuesday, April 30, 2013, at 7 p.m. His presentation "Can we feed the world without destroying it?" will take place in Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center. The event is free and the public is invited. 

Foley holds a McKnight Presidential Chair in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, and his work focuses on the behavior of complex global environmental systems and their interactions with human societies. In particular, Foley's research group uses state-of-the-art computer models and satellite measurements to analyze changes in land use, ecosystems, climate and freshwater resources across regional and global scales. 

He joined the University of Minnesota in 2008, after spending 15 years on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin. He has won numerous awards and honors, including the National Science Foundation's Faculty Early Career Development Award, the Samuel C. Johnson Distinguished Faculty Fellowship, the J.S. McDonnell Foundation's 21st Century Science Award, and the Sustainability Science Award from the Ecological Society of America. In 1997, President Bill Clinton awarded him the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. He has also been named an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow.

The visit by Foley is part of a series of events taking place in recognition of Earth Week and as a keynote in a Sustainability Summit taking place on April 30 and May 1. For more information about the Sustainability Summit and all related activities, visit www.umcrookston.edu/today. 

To learn more about the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota, visit www.environment.umn.edu. 

Today the University of Minnesota Crookston delivers 27 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and 39 concentrations on campus--as well as 10 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 25 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)

Amy Childers from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Division of Ecological and Water Resources will speak on Wednesday, April 17, 2013, at the University of Minnesota Crookston. Her presentation on the Impacts of Ditching on Streams and Restoration Alternatives will take place in Youngquist Auditorium at 3 p.m. Everyone is welcome to attend and there is no admission charge.

Topics to be discussed include the fundamental concepts in fluvial geomorphology and ecology; including dynamic equilibrium, channel shape, stream flows; how our streams have been impacted by ditching and dams; and stream restoration designs and restoration projects with DNR cooperators.

Today the University of Minnesota Crookston delivers 27 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and 39 concentrations on campus--as well as 10 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 25 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: John Loegering, associate professor, Agriculture and Natural Resources, 218-281-8132 (jlogeri@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

Crookston Students for Sustainable Development (CSSD) are doing their part to reduce 
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disposable plastic water bottles use on campus. The University of Minnesota Crookston followed Bemidji State University's lead by installing a combination water fountain/bottle filler outside of the Center for Sustainability Office in Hill Hall. Today there are five of these "hydration stations"  and a 6th is on order. Rich Connell, director of the Office of Facilities Management on the Crookston campus and his staff coordinated purchase and installation of the hydration stations.

Megan Luxford, a student sustainability assistant, has been leading the effort within the Center for Sustainability. "We've been looking for a product to give back to students who pay the Green Fee as well as promoting sustainability," according to Luxford. "After discussing this within the CSSD, we thought refillable water bottles would be the perfect complement to the hydration stations. After researching a variety of products we found a model with nice messages, made of recycled materials in the U.S.A., and with the option of being personalized for our campus." 

CSSD purchased a supply of the attractive water bottles made from 100% recycled aluminum from Liberty Bottle Works and are making them available for free distribution to U of M Crookston students. 

The campus hydration stations allow for a quick fill activated by a motion sensor that is faster than the traditional drinking fountains and provides a touchless, sanitary option. Although the campus fountain water is high quality well water, the stations are also equipped with a filter and a counter to measure how many disposable plastic waste we've eliminated. Thus far, we've reduced over 20,000  bottles. 
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Bottles are available for pickup from the Center for Sustainability office in 109 Hill Hall. A limited number will be available for purchase by faculty and staff on the Crookston campus.  

For further information, contact Megan Luxford by e-mail at luxfo003@crk.umn.edu or by  phone at 712-310-0638.

Today the University of Minnesota Crookston delivers 27 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and 39 concentrations on campus--as well as 10 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 25 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, top, right: Chancellor Fred Wood fills the very first "Go Green" refillable water bottle sponsored by the Crookston Students for Sustainable Development (CSSD) and the UMC student green fee. Pictured in front of a hydration station is Laura Gabrielson, Chancellor Wood, Ben Williams, and Megan Luxford. The students are all sustainability assistants supported by the green fee to promote sustainability activities on campus.

In photo, left: Students pick up their "Go Green" refillable water bottles in the Center for Sustainability in Hill Hall. 

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

Apples, cucumbers, and tomatoes are the top three most popular Minnesota fruits and 
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vegetables among K-12 students, according to an Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy survey of school food service leaders. Getting these locally grown foods on the menus of schools and other institutions such as hospitals and childcare centers requires cross-sector partnerships, community support and relationship building. The Northwest Region Workshop  is one of eight Farm to Cafeteria workshops taking place across the state between February and April. 

The Northwest Regional Farm to Cafeteria Workshop will be held at the White Earth Tribal College in Mahnomen on Monday, February 4, 2013, from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. 

The workshops are designed to meet the needs of the region and strengthen connections to advance partnerships between local farmers and community institutions. Farm to Cafeteria builds strong communities, healthy people and resilient local farms, creating a "win-win" for all parties. This year's gatherings build on an earlier round of Farm to Cafeteria workshops. In 2010, more than 600 Minnesotans attended eight regional workshops that were aimed to inspire, inform and build support for local food to local institutions.

The workshop in Mahnomen will include peer-learning though presentations of practical experience and innovation in the region; panel discussion about making farm to cafeteria work for the farmers and the cafeterias; presentation on contracts and agreements between farmers and cafeterias; and tools and resources for strengthening community food systems.  We'll enjoy a supper meal and generous time for networking.  

"When schools buy food from nearby producers, their purchasing power helps create local jobs nd economic benefits, particularly in rural agricultural communities," said USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan. "Evidence also suggests that when kids understand more about
where food comes from and how it's produced, they are more likely to make healthy eating
choices."

The 2013 workshops are coordinated by University of Minnesota Extension in partnership with
the Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships, Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture, Statewide Health Improvement Program and Renewing the Countryside, and funded by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

For more information and to register, visit www.extension.umn.edu/go/1132. Contact Linda Kingery at kinge002@umn.edu or 218-281-8697 for more information on the Northwest Regional Farm to Cafeteria Workshop. 

For information on Minnesota Farm to School, visit www.extension.umn.edu/farm-to-school.

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

Join us for the 2013 Local Foods College. The series of 8 sessions is designed for farmers to increase the capacity of farm operations by building production, business, and marketing skills. 

The first session of the series will be held on the evening of Tuesday, January 22, 2013, and will continue on Tuesday evenings through mid-March. The series will be available via webinar at several locations throughout northern and central Minnesota, and may also be viewed at a home computer. Registration is FREE, $25 for printed materials for the entire series mailed to you, and $15 for the Beginner Growers Manual. 

Session topics include: "Beyond the Soil Survey Book"; "Efficient Irrigation"; "Weed Suppression and Control"; "Seeds and Seed Selection"; "Business Planning"; "Working Together for a Regional Food Hub"; "Preservation"; and "Farmers' Markets and Merchandising". 

Participants will learn from practitioners, educators, and those involved in the growing movement to build resilient local foods systems. Participants will choose their viewing location as well as the sessions they wish to attend. 

Host sites will be available in Bagley, Baudette, Bemidji, Crookston, Fergus Falls, Moorhead, Park Rapids, Staples, and Thief River Falls. The series may also be viewed at your own location. 

The Local Foods College is part of a movement to strengthen local and regional food systems. The 2013 Local Foods College is sponsored by the University of Minnesota Extension and the Statewide Health Improvement Program. To learn more, visit www.localfoods.umn.edu. 

For more detailed information and registration, visit: http://localfoods.umn.edu/college or call 888-241-0781. 

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

Aldo Leopold was a conservationist, forester, philosopher, educator, writer, and outdoor 
Jim as Leopold pointing.jpeg
enthusiast. Storyteller Jim Pfitzer (right) will bring Leopold to life on the stage of Kiehle Auditorium on Thursday, January 31, 2013, at 7 p.m. The performance titled "Aldo Leopold - A Standard of Change" is free and all are welcome. 

The one-man play, written by and starring storyteller Jim Pfitzer, is set during an evening in and around the famous Wisconsin Shack that inspired much of Leopold's writing, the performance explores the influences and challenges that led to the writing of the widely popular book A Sand County Almanac. 

As a U.S. forester, Leopold was instrumental in the creation of our first federally designated wilderness in the Gila National Forest. In 1935, he and his family initiated an ecological restoration experiment on a worn-out farm along the Wisconsin River outside of Baraboo, Wisconsin where they planted thousands of pine trees, and restored prairies. 

A little more than a year after his death in 1948, Leopold's collection of essays A Sand 
Leopold_Play.jpg
County Almanac was published and required reading for most wildlife management students across the country. With over two million copies sold, it is one of the most respected books about the environment ever published, and Leopold has come to be regarded by many as the most influential conservation thinker of the twentieth century as well as the father of the field of wildlife management. 

"When confronted with a modern conservation dilemma, those in the wildlife profession often ask, 'What would Aldo Do?' and there is generally a quote from Leopold's writings that nails it!" says Professor Dan Svedarsky, former president of The Wildlife Society. "Many of Leopold's writings are applicable to the sustainability movement as well."


Jim as Leopold Seated.jpeg
Best known for his nature-based personal tales told with a distinctly southern delivery, storyteller and native Chattanoogan Jim Pfitzer has been lauded a "true Tennessee treasure" and his work called "old fashioned and avant-garde at the same time." Pfitzer performs and teaches workshops from coast to coast. To learn more about Pfitzer and the performance, visit http://www.jimpfitzer.com. 

The event is sponsored by UMC Concerts & Lectures, UMC Natural Resources Club, and the Coca Cola Beverage Partnership Grant. 

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 26 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and 39 concentrations on campus--as well as 10 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 25 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: Phil Baird, associate professor, Agriculture and Natural Resources, 218-281-8130 (pbaird@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

A day of discussion and presentations on creating nature-based community play spaces will be held at the University of Minnesota, Crookston on Wednesday, October 17, 2012, in Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center. A $15 registration fee includes lunch and participants may complete their registration online at http://z.umn.edu/NaturalPlaySpace. The workshop runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The morning offers presentations by staff from the U of M, Crookston and local partners covering planning, installation, and the programming aspects of nature-based play spaces. In the afternoon, break-out discussions will address specific areas of interest to help move projects forward no matter what stage they are in currently. 

For more information, contact Marlne LeBlanc at the Extension Regional Center at 218-281-8696 or mleblanc@umn.edu. 

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 26 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and 39 concentrations on campus--as well as 10 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 25 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: Marlene LeBlanc, Extension Regional Center, 218-281-8696 (mleblanc@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

Managing land to enhance wildlife, specifically birds, will be the topic of the "Bird-friendly Forest Management" workshop slated for Thursday, September 20, 2012, at the Forest 
BirdFriendlyForestManagement.jpg
History Center near Grand Rapids, Minn. The workshop, which runs from 7 a.m.to 1 p.m., will include an optional birding walk. The cost is $10 and includes workshop materials, breakfast treats, and lunch. Pre-registration by September 18 is required and registration fees will be collected on the day of the workshop.  Participants should register online at http://z.umn.edu/BFFM (preferred) or call the University of Minnesota Extension-Itasca County at 218-327-7486.  

The workshop is open to the general public as well as natural resource professionals and is under the coordination of John Loegering, University of Minnesota Extension. Woodland Advisor Credit (WAC7) also is available (http://woodlandadvisor.org/classes).  Highlights include habitat management for wildlife; strategies for ruffled grouse, American woodcock, and other brushland species; financial assistance and incentives, property tax programs, invasive species; and a panel discussion of the implications for forests and wildlife in the future.  Workshop content questions may be directed to Loegering at jloegeri@umn.edu or 218-281-8132.

"This workshop will be a great opportunity for woodland landowners with an interest in managing their forest for birds," Loegering says.  "We will have several great presentations by resource professionals from three different agencies with a mission to offer technical assistance to landowners."

Background
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Public interest in birds and birding has increased in the past decade.  Private forest landowners have an opportunity to manage their land to produce forest products as well as enhancing wildlife values, especially for birds.  The workshop will review the basics of private forest management as well as strategies to enhance forests for migratory songbirds, ruffed and sharp-tailed grouse, American woodcock, and cavity-nesting species. This workshop is supported by the Renewable Resources Extension Act Program, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and University of Minnesota Extension. To learn more, visit 
woodcock by fws.gif
http://z.umn.edu/BFFMinfo.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 26 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and 39 concentrations on campus--as well as 10 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 25 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 photos: 
Top, right: workshop brochure
Middle, left: yellow warbler, courtesy of US Fish and Wildlife Service
Bottom, right: woodcock, courtesy of US Fish and Wildlife Service

Contact: John Loegering, associate professor, Agriculture and Natural Resources Department, 218-281-8132 (jloegeri@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

Northwest Minnesota Farmers Markets Return

Summer is here and the markets across the northwest region of Minnesota will once again localfoods.jpgoffer locally-grown, fresh produce and the hours of operation are now even more convenient for customers. The products are high quality and exceptionally fresh which appeals to many who are searching for a healthy option to feed themselves and their families.  Farmers markets are an integral part of the community/farm connection due to the increasing consumer interest in obtaining fresh products directly from the farm. Customers can expect to find farm-fresh produce, baked goods, poultry, meats, eggs, honey, and plants.

The day, locations, and times of the markets within the rivers and prairie region can be located in the Minnesota Grown Directory custom cover page which are available at a community extension office. The information for various markets is also available for viewing on the Minnesota Grown website by clicking on the "farmers market" link or liking us on Facebook under Northwest Minnesota Farmers Market.

The direct distribution of products through farmers markets continues to increase in popularity across the country. Food in the United States travels an average of 1,500 miles to get to the kitchen table. All this shipping uses large amounts of natural resources, especially fossil fuels, which contributes to pollution, and creates excess trash with extra packaging. Much of this pollution could be reduced just by buying locally-grown food.

Today, there are nearly 4,800 farmers markets operating throughout the nation. Marketing food directly from producers to consumers in the food supply chain has many benefits. For consumers, direct distribution initiatives are providing people with locally grown, fresh, healthy and, in many cases, organic food at affordable prices. Through buying locally grown produce, consumers are giving their support to local producers as well as helping to revitalize rural economies. Creating markets where people can buy produce from local farmers and growers reduces the distance that food travels between producers and consumers, which in turn decreases global environmental pollution.

There are many benefits for consumers to purchase from farmers market. First is the freshness of the product, people want to have produce that is crisp and fresh.  Another important attribute is consumers are able to identify the source of the product which boosts the credibility of the market. They have the ability to pinpoint which farm the produce comes from which in turn makes them feel good about their purchase and know that they are supporting local farmers. Finally, many people want to support their local economy and see it thrive. Purchasing products from a farmers market is a very positive and perceptible way to sustain the local economy and put money back into the community.

Useful information can also  be found on the USDA's site:"Know your Farmer, Know your Food," which provides viewers with information regarding local foods. In addition, tune into Crookston's KROX 1260, Mahnomen's KRJM 101.5 FM, Ada's KRJB 106.5 FM, Grand Forks' KNOX 1310 to acquire information about the markets and stay connected to what is going on in northwestern Minnesota.

Watch for the Minnesota Grown Rivers and Prairies logo and we hope to see you at the farmers markets in this region.

Contact: Linda Kingery, 2900 University Ave Crookston, MN (218-281-8697) kinge002@umn.edu

farrell2010.jpgJim Farrell, Ph.D. (at left), a professor of history at St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minn., will highlight Earth Week at the University of Minnesota, Crookston. On Thursday, April 19, 2012, he will speak on "The Nature of Our Lives: How College Culture Degrades Nature and How it Might be Different" beginning at 12:15 p.m. in Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.

His presentation explores the intersections of college culture, consumer culture and the environment by looking at the social construction of common sense and at the emerging uncommon sense of sustainability that's increasingly a part of campus cultures.

As background for his presentation, Farrell includes these important considerations: College students study cultures all the time, in history and the Humanities, sociology and anthropology, languages and literature.  But students don't often study their own culture, which just seems "natural" to them.  Waking up to an alarm, going to the bathroom, sorting through the clothes in their closets, eating in the cafeteria, watching TV and playing video games, using computers and iPods, driving cars and hooking up and hanging out, having fun and partying, practicing religion and politics (or not), students teach each other the cultural scripts of college culture, few of which are good for the planet we inhabit.

Farrell, a professor of history, American studies, environmental studies and American conversations, is an innovative teacher and St. Olaf's first Boldt Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Humanities. As a member of the college's Sustainability Task Force, he's had a hand in the greening of St. Olaf. With colleagues at Carleton College, he's facilitated a series of sustainability workshops on "Cows, Colleges and Curriculum."  Most recently, he served as a member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education's Summit on Sustainability in the Curriculum, held February 2010 in San Diego, CA. He holds a B.A. in Political Science from Loyola University in Chicago (1971), and both an M.A. in History (1972) and a Ph.D. in American Culture from the University of Illinois (1980). For more information, visit http://www.stolaf.edu.  

The program is co-sponsored by U of M, Crookston Concerts and Lectures, Crookston Students for Sustainable Development (CSSD), Institute on Environment - U of MN, and UMC Center for Sustainability.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 26 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and 36 concentrations, including 10 online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,600 undergraduates from 25 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 Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership (NWRSDP) is offering mini-grants for gardens for communities and schools. The mini-grants can be used for gardening supplies, equipment and tools, and communication and outreach activities, up to a maximum award of $500. The application deadline is March 26, 2012, by 5 p.m. Grant awards will be determined by March 30. The application form is available at www.rsdp.umn.edu/northwest

The grants are part of an effort to strengthen a gardening culture and engage new gardeners in northwestern Minnesota. The mini-grants are funded through a grant from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of Minnesota and its Growing up Healthy Program.

The NWRSDP connects University resources and citizen leaders in support of regional aspirations for natural resources, clean energy, agriculture and food systems, and resilient communities. Linda Kingery serves as the executive director.  For more information, visit http://rsdp.umn.edu/northwest.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 26 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and 36 concentrations, including 10 online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,600 undergraduates from 25 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: Linda Kingery, executive director, Northwest Minnesota Sustainable Development Partnership, 218-281-8697 (kinge002@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

If you are interested in growing more of your own food or scaling up production to market garden scale, the upcoming Local Foods College is designed for you. The series, which begins on January 24, 2012, will offer an overview of the basics, from planning to soils, fruit and vegetable production and business planning. The series, available via interactive television (ITV) at several locations across northwestern Minnesota, continues on Tuesday evenings through mid-March. Registration is $10 per session or $50 for the entire series.

Participants will learn from practitioners and educators and share personal experiences with others who are part of the growing movement to build resilient local food systems. Registration can be completed online by visiting www.rsdp.umn.edu/Northwest and payment sent to the Regional Extension Office Crookston, 2900 University Ave, Crookston, Minn., 56716.

Participants will choose the location as well as select the sessions they wish to attend and may bring a family member or partner along for no additional cost. Host sites include the University of Minnesota Crookston; Bemidji State University; Minnesota State University Moorhead; Northland Technical College in Thief River Falls; Central Lakes College in Staples;
Clearwater County Courthouse in Bagley; Lake of the Woods High School in Baudette; and
Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Fergus Falls. Check the locations for the Local Foods College sites.

Session topics will include: Whole farm planning, nutrient cycles and interactions; soils and composting; vegetable production and planning a market garden; starting and managing an apple orchard; small fruit production; backyard poultry; and farm business management. For more detailed information or questions, visit www.rsdp.umn.edu/Northwest or call 888-241-0781.

The Local Foods College is sponsored by the University of Minnesota; Statewide Health Improvement Program; Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation; Minnesota State Colleges and Universities; and North Central Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education.

The Local Foods College is one aspect of a movement to strengthen local and regional food systems. It encompasses healthy foods for healthy people, stronger demand for healthy local foods, available accessible and affordable healthy local foods, and marketing and policy support for farmers and food producers. To learn more, visit www.localfoods.umn.edu.

The Northwest Minnesota Sustainable Development Partnership serves the people in northwestern Minnesota as they experiment with innovative ideas, build and strengthen relationships and take practical steps into a hopeful future. They connect university resources and citizen leaders in support of regional aspirations for natural resources, clean energy, agriculture and food systems, and resilient communities. The Northwest region encompasses Kittson, Roseau, Lake of the Woods, Marshall, Pennington, Red Lake, Polk, Norman, Mahnomen, Clay and Wilkin counties.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 26 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and 36 concentrations, including 10 online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,600 undergraduates from 25 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: : Linda Kingery, executive director, NWRSDP, 218-281-8697 (kinge002@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

As university and college campuses work toward goals of climate neutrality and UND Sustainability Supper.jpgimproved sustainability, the University of Minnesota, Crookston and the University of North Dakota (UND) staged a unique evening of sharing and discussion around this vital topic. A "sustainability supper" was held on Wednesday, December 14, 2011, at the UND Memorial Union in Grand Forks. Participants from Crookston included students, Jen Rasmussen, Jeanne Collins, and Beth Walter; Rich Connell, director of facilities and operations; Peter Phaiah, associate vice chancellor of student affairs; Kent Freberg, assistant professor in the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department; Linda Kingery, executive director of the Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership; Vicki Svedarsky, UMC counselor; and Dan Svedarsky, director of UMC's Center for Sustainability.

The supper began with a welcome by UND President Robert Kelley who noted that he was, "delighted that both campuses are making very good progress in addressing the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and exploring novel, innovative new energy sources in the process." Larry Zitzow, director of facility management at UND, provided an overview of sustainability initiatives at UND with special emphasis on implementation strategies for their Climate Action Plan and improvements in energy efficiency. A couple of years ago, a UND campus input session generated over 90 possible sustainability and energy efficiency projects. Three selection criteria have been applied to choose which to do; 1) return on investment, 2) greenhouse gas reduction, and 3) in line with UND's sustainability efforts.

UND sustainability supper1.jpgA similar overview for the Crookston campus was provided by Svedarsky, Connell, Phaiah, and Kingery. The session provided an opportunity for networking between the two campuses as far as student groups, curriculum initiatives, research possibilities, and facilities management.  Kylie Oversen, UND's student body president noted that she was excited with the possibilities of more interdisciplinary student involvement in sustainability and with the themes of landscaping and faith-based approaches to land stewardship. Juan Pedraza, UND University Relations, reflected back on growing up near Lisbon, Spain, where, "I didn't know what garbage was. Everything was used and re-used." The evening concluded with a discussion around maintaining synergy between the two campuses as they work toward a sustainable future, figure out ways to improve energy efficiency and save money, and collaborate.

Background

In June 2010, U of M, Crookston Chancellor Charles Casey approved an Action Plan for Climate Neutrality and Sustainability which outlines somewhat of a strategic plan for campus sustainability action. The plan sets a target date of 2030 to achieve a balance between carbon released (primarily in the form of carbon dioxide) and the amount trapped or not produced; primarily by conserving energy and shifting to renewable sources. The plan is far reaching and extends not only to energy conservation and efficiency issues directly, but also to transportation, communication, local foods, recycling, and interdisciplinary education approaches. These climate action plans are part of the requirements of campuses signing on to the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), which the University of Minnesota agreed to in 2008. Colleges and universities have a special responsibility to provide a leadership role in this regard according to Michael Crow, president of Arizona State University and one of the founders of ACUPCC.  "While college and university campuses across the country are, in aggregate, responsible for only about three percent of the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions emitted by the U.S., we are educating 100 percent of our future political, business, and social leaders. This fact alone places significant accountability on higher education and its leaders to take action."

The Sustainability Supper initiative is sponsored by the University of Minnesota's Institute on Environment, Mini-Grant Program. Past themes have included international dimensions of sustainability, faith-based approaches to sustainability, and defining what the sustainability means. The system dynamics approach to complex decision making is the theme of the next meeting scheduled for UMC on January 31. One of the over-arching goals of the sustainability supper seminar series has been to better connect campuses to their community by creating a more functional, "Communiversity."  In this way, participants will reach a deeper understanding of collaborative problem solving, sustainability and its many applications, strive toward a more functional "learning community," and seek ways for better synergy in the use of common resources. For more information about sustainability and communiversity initiatives, contact Dan Svedarsky, dsvedars@crk.umn.edu or 218-281-8129.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 26 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and 36 concentrations, including 10 online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,600 undergraduates from 25 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 photos:
Top, right: Larry Zitzow explaining UND's climate action plan. Peter Johnson, UND director of Unviersity Relations, President Robert Kelley.
 
Bottom, left: Peter Phaiah, Rich Connell, and Kent Freberg listen to UND student body president Kylie Oversen, outline her hopes for more student engagement in sustainability initiatives.

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 and the Crookston community are in for a treat Leopoldphoto.jpgthis Thursday evening, December 8, 2011,  when the U of M, Crookston Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society will sponsor the showing of Green Fire - Aldo Leopold and a land ethic for our time. A documentary of the life of Leopold, the father of wildlife management, the film also tells the story of the national wilderness system and the science of ecological restoration. He also had a key role in integrated land use which led to what is now the Natural Resources Conservation Service. The film is free and open to the public and commences at 7 p.m. in Kiehle Auditorium. Student chapter representative, Kelsey Kaiser, can provide further information and can be reached at kaise233@umn.edu


"Aldo Leopold is considered the most important conservationist of the 20th century,' according to Dan Svedarsky, U of M, Crookston wildlife professor, "because his ideas are so relevant to the environmental issues of our time. I've been a Leopold disciple since my college days in the 60's but seeing the synthesis of his life in this film was a powerful, moving experience." Leopold founded the first wildlife management program in the nation at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

His classic book A Sand County Almanac still inspires us to see the natural world as a community to which we belong. Green Fire explores Leopold's personal journey of observation and understanding, It reveals how his ideas resonate with people across the entire American landscape, from inner cities to the most remote wild lands. The film challenges viewers to contemplate their own relationship with the land.

"Green Fire" is the first feature documentary about Aldo Leopold's life and contemporary legacy. It features commentary from conservation leaders including scientists, ranchers, scholars and three of Aldo Leopold's children--Nina, Carl, and Estella. Curt Meine, history professor and Leopold's biographer, serves as the on-camera guide, making connections between Leopold's ideas and their expression in the conservation movement today.  
 
Leopold's notion of an evolving land ethic provides the backbone of the narrative. It was the organizing idea that defined not only his personal, intellectual, and spiritual growth but in many ways the development of the American conservation and environmental movements over the last century. In particular, Leopold sought to resolve the long-standing (and often divisive) tension between the preservationist and utilitarian strains of conservation thought, policy, and advocacy.

"Green Fire" also examines the theme of community--both within the natural world and in the social context of conservation. The related themes of sense of place, stewardship, and responsibility derive from Leopold's notion of community and connect his story to creative contemporary expressions of an environmental ethic. His personal journey is part of a still larger, longer-term, and unfinished journey of Americans (and indeed people around the world) as their relationships to the natural world continue to evolve. The contemporary stories woven into the film illustrate Leopold's continuing influence today, while also demonstrating a diversity of human relationships to nature.

Central to the film is the image of the "fierce green fire" that Leopold saw in the eyes of a dying wolf.  In his famous essay, "Thinking Like a Mountain,"  Leopold reveals a transformation in his own basic values.  His journey to a new way of looking at the world provides the narrative arc of the film as Curt Meine sets out to explore both the man and his contemporary legacy.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 26 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and 36 concentrations, including 10 online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,600 undergraduates from 25 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, communications, University Relations, 218-281-8342 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

The University of Minnesota, Crookston Horticulture Club hosted the Mid-America MACHS_2.jpgCollegiate Horticultural Society (MACHS) 39th annual conference from Thursday, October 20 to Sunday, October 23, 2011. The theme was "Little Campus on the Prairie." This was the first time the U of M, Crookston Horticulture Club hosted the event. There were 33 students and 3 advisors from 6 universities in attendance including: Iowa State University, North Dakota State University, Northwest Missouri State University, South Dakota State University, the University of Wisconsin- River Falls, and Western Illinois University.

Thursday evening students gathered in the U of M, Crookston greenhouse classroom for registration, refreshments, and a campus welcome by Ron DelVecchio, U of M, Crookston professor and head of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department. Friday morning began with the general knowledge exam, plant identification, and plant judging. Each school had a team of 4 students whose individual scores contribute to the team total. This contest was designed to challenge the horticulture students and allow them to see where they stand in relation to other universities.

Friday afternoon included three guest speakers. Linda Kingery of the Northwest Regional and Sustainable Development Partnership talked to the students about the dynamic local foods in this region. Kathleen Brokke, historian and horticulturalist, performed her interpretation of Fannie Manhood Heath, a pioneer horticulturalist in the region. Minnesota Nursery and Landscaping Association President Bert Swanson shared his industry perspective with the up and coming industry leaders. Also taking place Friday afternoon was the planting of an apple tree in the U of M, Crookston Nature Nook to honor Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai. Friday evening included a banquet meal with keynote speaker Rusty Schmidt, natural resource specialist with the Washing Conservation District. Schmidt is one of three authors of the Blue Thumb Guide to Raingardens which has changed the way people think about using water in the Twin Cities area and beyond.

MACHS_1.jpgSaturday was a day of regional tours highlighting the diversity of Minnesota. Students began the day with naturalist Rhett Johnson leading the group through the Agassiz Dunes Scientific and Natural Area in Fertile, Minn. Traveling south to Detroit Lakes, Minn., the group saw the poinsettia growing operation of Bergen's Greenhouse, Inc. In Park Rapids, Minn., students visited the wholesale perennial growing operation of Bergen's Nursery. The final stop for the group was Itasca State Park where they took a tour of Minnesota's conifers. All of the students had an opportunity to cross the headwaters of the Mississippi River which was a first-time experience for many students.

Sunday marked the end of the weekend conference as the MACHS students held their annual business meeting, elected the 2011-2012 officer team, and selected a host school for 2013. Awards from Friday's team contest were presented.  The top overall individual was Winston Beck from Iowa State University. The first place team was South Dakota State University. Iowa State University was the second place team with the team from Northwest Missouri State University placing third. The U of M, Crookston observed the MACHS tradition that the host school is allowed to compete but not receive awards.

The entire event was planned by the U of M, Crookston Horticulture Club students with MACHS_3.jpgsupport from U of M, Crookston staff and faculty. U of M, Crookston senior Kristine Neu served as the chair of MACHS 2011. The MACHS annual conference is the largest undertaking in the history of the Horticulture Club, and they were excited to showcase their program, the campus, and the community to the visiting universities. The host school for the 2012 MACHS conference will be South Dakota State University chaired by Sarah Custer. The host school for the 2013 MACHS conference will be the University of Wisconsin- River Falls chaired by Joel Sehloff. For more information about MACHS and to see more event photos visit the group's Facebook page: Mid America Collegiate Horticulture Society 2011.  

MACHS is comprised of horticulture clubs from universities  and two-year colleges in the Midwest Region including Colorado, Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. MACHS is a branch of the Association of Collegiate Branches (ACB) within the American Society for Horticultural Sciences (ASHS). ACB is a national forum comprised of undergraduate horticulture clubs within ASHS.

The objective of MACHS is to promote an awareness of the profession of horticulture, furnish a medium of communication for horticulture students, and exchange club and professional ideas. These objectives are met through a variety of activities taking place throughout the weekend conference.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 26 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and 36 concentrations, including 10 online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,600 undergraduates from 25 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 photos:
Top right:

U of M, Crookston horticulture students with Sue Jacobson, horticulture instructor (in purple): Standing left to right: Michael Laurich, Alisha Aasness, Catlin Kersting, Chad Harrer, Mitch Sledge, Kristine Neu and Chancellor Charles H. Casey. In the front (left to right): Ashlynn Hartung and Amanda Thompson.

Middle, left: The entire Mid-America Collegiate Horticultural Society crossing the headwaters of the Mississippi River on Saturday, October 22, 2011.

Bottom right: Four generations of MACHS chairpersons (l to r): Joel Sehloff, 2013 chair, University of Wisconsin- River Falls; Sarah Custer, 2012 chair, South Dakota State University; Kristine Neu, 2011 chair, U of M, Crookston; Winston Beck, 2010 chair, Iowa State University



Contact: Kristine Neu, communications assistant, (neuxx019@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

A legend has passed. On September 25, 2011, Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and sustainable development activist died in Nairobi, Kenya, after a prolonged battle with cancer. In her memory and as a tribute to her legacy, the University of Minnesota, Crookston will plant a memorial apple tree on campus. In coordination with the hosting of the Mid-America Collegiate Horticultural Society (MACHS) conference, a Honeycrisp apple tree will be planted at 4 p.m. on Friday, October 21, 2011, in the Nature Nook, near the west entrance to Bergland Laboratory on the campus. The public is invited to attend.

The family of Maathai and the Green Belt Movement asks well-wishers to plant a tree to provide a living symbol of Wangari and her tireless work to make the world a better and more peaceful place. U of M, Crookston Chancellor Charles H. Casey will make comments during the tree planting along with Harouna Maiga, Ph.D., associate professor of animal science and a native of Mali, Africa.

The recipient of numerous awards commemorating her activities with sustainability, international conservation, women's rights, health, Maathai is perhaps best known for wangari.jpgfounding the Green Belt Movement in 1977. The movement was launched in Kenya primarily to inspire women to improve their livelihoods by planting trees for firewood, clean water, and soil protection. It has become a world-wide movement, particularly in third-world countries.

Dan Svedarsky, director of the Center for Sustainability had the pleasure of meeting Maathai at the U.N. Conference on Global Climate Change held in Copenhagen in December of 2009. "A group of us met with her at the Danish Film Institute to view the premier showing of, 'Taking Root,' a film featuring her life story. That film and discussions with her which followed, were an incredibly moving experience," according to Svedarsky.

Background

Wangari Maathai was born in Nyeri, Kenya (Africa) in 1940. The first woman in East and Central Africa to earn a doctorate degree, Professor Maathai obtained a degree in Biological Sciences from Mount St. Scholastica College in Atchison, Kansas (1964).(Her studies in American were supported by a Kennedy Foundation scholarship for Kenyans which also included President Obama's father.)  She subsequently earned a Master of Science degree from the University of Pittsburgh (1966). Professor Maathai pursued doctoral studies in Germany and later obtained a Ph.D. (1971) from the University of Nairobi where she also taught veterinary anatomy. She became chair of the Department of Veterinary Anatomy in 1976.

Professor Maathai is internationally recognized for her persistent struggle for democracy, human rights and environmental conservation. She has addressed the UN on several occasions and spoke on behalf of women at special sessions of the General Assembly during the five-year review of the Earth Summit. She and the Green Belt Movement have received numerous awards, most notably the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize. In 2005, Professor Maathai was honored by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world, and by Forbes Magazine as one of 100 most powerful women in the world.

Apple experts at the University of Minnesota were responsible for the development of the Honeycrisp apple making it an apt tribute to Maathai on the Crookston campus. The event is sponsored by the Crookston Students for Sustainable Development (CSSD) and the Center for Sustainability. It commences an initiative to develop an "Edible Campus Landscape" where fruit-producing trees and shrubs will be planted along with possibly campus gardening. "Wangari would have liked that," according to Svedarsky.

To learn more, visit www.greenbeltmovement.org.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 26 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and 36 concentrations, including 10 online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,600 undergraduates from 25 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: Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and sustainable development activist, from www.greenbeltmovement.org.

Contact: Dan Svedarsky, director, Center for Sustainability, 218-281-8129 (dsvedars@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, communications, University Relations, 218-281-8342 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

Final concepts for nature-based play spaces for the cities of Crookston and Warren, Minn. have now been completed and approved. The children's play space for Crookston was designed for Castle Park (at right below), which is located off of Castle Street to the west of the Crookston hospital complex. The play space for Warren was designed for Island Park (at left below) located off of Warren's South Division Street.

A final design was prepared for each community. Both designs were a collaborative effort between the University of Minnesota, Crookston and Twin Cities campuses. The nature-based play space final design concepts were created by Kristen Murray, U of M, Twin Cities landscape architecture graduate student, and Kristine Neu, U of M, Crookston environmental landscaping undergraduate. Funding for Murray's research assistant position was provided by the Community Assistantship Program (CAP) at the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs at the U of M Twin Cities campus. Both students were advised by Eric Castle, landscape architect and U of M, Crookston assistant professor of horticulture.

A nature-based play space is not the average playground. It looks more like woods, castle-color-small.gifprairie, or garden. Unlike the open woods, the design has a border, so that parents know where their children are, and children can play freely in the space. The design incorporates plants and materials native to the area. The purpose of the design was to create a space that reconnects children to nature and improves overall health of children and families in the community.

The design process for both Castle and Island parks has been ongoing since early summer. The final design for Crookston was based on community feedback gathered at National Night Out on August 2 and input from the City of Crookston. Community feedback from Warren was gathered at the Marshall County Fair, and the City of Warren and Warren Jaycees also gave important input. Both communities will begin installation of their nature-based play spaces this fall. The students of the U of M, Crookston landscape installation and maintenance class, lead by Castle, will be providing installation assistance at both sites. In Warren, the Jaycees will be providing volunteer assistance for the installation.

island-color-small.gifThe nature-based play spaces in Crookston and Warren were two of several regional installations under the Children Discovering Nature in Northwest Minnesota Project. The project team also included Daniel Handeen and Virajita Singh, both research fellows at the U of M, Twin Cities Center for Sustainable Building Research (CSBR), and Linda Kingery, executive director of the Northwest Minnesota Sustainable Development Partnership (NWRSDP). Sarah Reese, Polk County Public Health Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) Coordinator and Kirsten Fagerlund, SHIP staff, served as the liaison between the community of Crookston and the project team. Frances Tougas, North Valley SHIP coordinator, served a similar role in Warren. A portion of the financial support for the planning and implementation of each play space is being provided by a grant received from the Otto Bremer Foundation and the U of M Office of Community Engagement for Health's Clinical and Translational Science Institute.

The project team is forming a core advisory committee for the nature-based play space in each community. Each committee would be comprised of a group of volunteers who will help make decisions, organize other volunteer efforts, and generally help create a vision for the play space into the future. If interested in being a part of the advisory committee in Crookston, community members are encouraged to contact Kirsten Fagerlund 218-281-3385 kfagerlund@pcphealth.org for more information. Community members of Warren should contact Gail Larson, North Valley Public Health Director, 218-745-5154 glarson@nvhc.net or Frances Tougas 218-745-5154 ftougas@nvhc.net.

The final designs are available for viewing at www.umcrookston.edu/childrenandnature.
The Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP), an integral part of Minnesota's nation-leading 2008 health reform law, strives to help Minnesotans lead longer, healthier lives by preventing the chronic disease risk factors of tobacco use and exposure, poor nutrition and physical inactivity.

For moreinformation,visit www.health.state.mn.us/healthreform/ship.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and more than 40 concentrations, including several online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,400 undergraduates from more than 25 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, castl047@umn.edu; Kristine Neu, communications assistant, neuxx019@umn.edu ; Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

Since early July, volunteers have been out on the Minnesota prairie taking a very special census of a threatened prairie wildflower. The prairie fringed orchid has been on the U.S. List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants since 1989, and the annual census gives researchers important data necessary in the protection of the delicate orchid and its habitat.

Under the direction of Nancy Sather, botanist and the statewide orchid count coordinator, students with orchid.jpgvolunteers are out all over the state of Minnesota gathering data. Dan Svedarsky, director of the Center for Sustainability at the U of M, Crookston and research biologist with the Northwest Research and Outreach Center along with seniors Kristine Neu, Pelican Rapids, Minn., a double major in horticulture and communication; Ben Sullivan, Crookston, Minn.; and GreenCorps member Michael Knudson, Glencoe, Minn., both majoring in natural resources, recently  assisted with the census at the Pankratz Prairie located 11 miles southeast of Crookston and owned by The Nature Conservancy.  

"We are always working to better understand the threats and environmental factors affecting the flowering cycle of species like the prairie fringed orchid," Svedarsky explains. "We will be hosting a coordinating meeting on the Crookston campus on July 20 regarding this annual census and on-going research. This information is critical to protecting the prairie orchid. ; Polk County happens to be one of the hot spots for the orchid in our state."

FPO_closeup.jpgThe orchid's population has fluctuated over the years. Across 43 sites in Minnesota the count had declined steadily from 2001 to 2006. The plants prefer moist soil and warm temperatures, but like to grow on the higher side of ditches or hollows. The most common threats to the orchids are habitat destruction including the conversion of land for agricultural purposes, conversion of lands for housing or commercial uses, herbicide drift, and spread of invasive species.

"One of the places providing the perfect growing conditions for the orchid is near Glacial Ridge Project on the tallgrass prairie landscape of the Pembina Trail Preserve," says Svedarsky. "The Glacial Ridge Project, located 10 miles east of campus, is one of the largest wetland and prairie restoration projects in North America."

The prairie fringed orchid attracts hawk moths that feed on the nectar and transfer pollenorchid.jpg from flower to flower and plant to plant according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Web site (www.fws.gov). Pollination can be influenced by timing of the flowering, availability of other flowering species for the hawk moth, and the range of the pollinator in relation to the orchid populations. To learn more about the prairie fringed orchid, visit www.iucnredlist.org.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and more than 40 concentrations, including several online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,400 undergraduates from more than 25 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 photos:
Top, right: 

Ben Sullivan (center), a Shaver Environmental Landscaping intern working with the Northwest Research and Outreach Center, holding a Trimble GPS unit which is used to plot the precise location of the endangered plant in the foreground; Michael Knudson (left), a Minnesota GreenCorps stormwater management specialist working with the Center for Sustainability; and Kristine Neu (right), who is working with the Connecting Children to Nature in Northwest project this summer. Photo by Dan Svedarsky.

Bottom, left and right: Western Prairie Fringed Orchid on the Pankratz Prairie near Crookston, Minn. Photos by Ben Sullivan.

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

Eighteen members of the University of Minnesota, Crookston Natural Resources Club treeplanting.jpgalong with several natural resources faculty and staff members returned to the Little Cutfoot Sioux region of the Chippewa National Forest the weekend of April 30-May 1 for the 29th consecutive tree planting trip for the U.S. Forest Service.  The Crookston Crew, as they've come to be known by Forest Service personnel, planted 4,500 red pine seedlings on a clearcut area near Talmoon, Minn.

Phil Baird, associate professor in the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department knows the impact of these trips on students. "This is something students will remember for the rest of their lives," says Baird."Each year we have a number of alumni returning to join us from across the region and country. It's hard to believe that the club first hoisted their dibble bars on the Chippewa more than 12 years before this year's incoming freshman class was born!"

treeplanting2.jpgThe crew was joined by former students from Washington and Wisconsin who couldn't pass up another shot at this rite of spring for the club. The club returns to the forest each spring to plant trees and again each fall to budcap some of their younger plantings to protect the seedlings from deer browsing.

For more information on the natural resources program at the U of M, Crookston, visit www.umcrookston.edu/academics/agri/natr.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and more than 40 concentrations, including several online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,400 undergraduates from more than 25 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: Phil Baird, associate professor, 218-281-8130 (pbaird@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

gustafson_c.jpg Biofuels Economist Cole Gustafson, Ph.D., from North Dakota State University (NDSU) will present "Economics and Biofuel Opportunities for Agriculture in Northern Minnesota" as part of the fourth in a series of seminars at the University of Minnesota, Crookston. The upcoming Sustainability Supper Seminar, scheduled on May 10, 2011, begins at 5 p.m. with a meal in Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center, followed by Gustafson's presentation at 6 p.m. in Youngquist Auditorium. For meal reservations, contact Michael Knudson, Minnesota GreenCorps member at 218-281-8128 (knud0189@umn.edu).
 
Dan Svedarsky, professor and director of the Center for Sustainability on the Crookston campus, is pleased to have Gustafson headline the seminar. "We are privileged to have a leading expert on the economic aspects of biofuels in the Upper Midwest as our guest speaker for this seminar," Svedarsky says. "He is a distinguished member of the Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics faculty at NDSU and the NDSU Extension Service biofuels specialist."

Gustafson's research responsibilities include development of financial management strategies for farms, ranches, agribusinesses, and agricultural lenders. He has authored more than 30 peer-reviewed journal articles and has obtained grant funding totaling $1.1 million. He most recently received a $300,000 grant  to research an energy beet for the biofuel industry in North Dakota. In addition to serving as a faculty member, Gustafson has also served as department chair and associate dean of research. For more information on Gustafson, visit www.ext.nodak.edu/homepages/aedept/staff/bio_gustafson_c.htm.

A mini-grant from the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment helps fund the series of bi-weekly, "sustainability supper seminars" designed to educate the campus and the local community on sustainability applications as well as explore the "Communiversity" concept.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and more than 40 concentrations, including several online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,400 undergraduates from more than 25 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: Michael Knudson, Minnesota GreenCorps member, 218-281-8128 (knud0189@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

Campus and Community challenges on track to surpass energy-savings goals

Hard work to sustain savings begins

Fergus Falls, Minnesota, April 20, 2011 Otter Tail Power Company celebrated with the University of Minnesota, Crookston, and the community of Rothsay, Minnesota, as the company announced preliminary energy savings associated with the Campus and Community Energy Challenges.

In 2010 the University of Minnesota, Crookston, achieved metered kilowatt-hour savings of approximately 7 percent to 8 percent. From early 2009 through early 2011 Rothsay achieved metered kilowatt-hour savings of approximately 3 percent. When all technology improvements and behavioral change initiatives have been in place for a full year, and when results are adjusted for changes in weather and normally occurring growth, the University of Minnesota, Crookston, is on track to save 17 percent of its prior electricity use. Rothsay is on track to save more than 19 percent. The goals of these challenges are based on sustained savings over a five-year period. Pending regulatory review and approval, that means the campus and town are on track to surpass their energy-savings goals.

"We launched these challenges with a call to imagine all of the residents of a small rural community and all the students, faculty, and staff of a college campus working together to reduce the electricity use of their entire town and campus each by 10 to 15 percent," said Kim Pederson, Otter Tail Power Company Manager, Market Planning. "What they've accomplished so far was more than we imagined possible, but the hard work is still in front of them as they strike out on their own to sustain these savings."

The Crookston campus achieved much of its savings from upgrading campus lightingTree Planting 3598.jpg and installing automated controls on variable-frequency drives for some of the ventilation systems. Otter Tail Power Company assisted with the audits to identify high-level savings projects and provided more than $86,000 in grants and rebates to encourage the investments by reducing payback times.

"Significant savings also were noted when the Facilities Management Department implemented a new work order system in August that took deliberate steps to change operational procedures such as shutting off more lights than before, closing shades, and reducing heating levels in certain areas," said Chancellor Charles Casey. "I'm proud but not surprised about just how much the people on this campus have been able to accomplish. And I'm confident that the behavior changes we've been focused on will continue to show real results."

The community of Rothsay achieved more than half of its cumulative savings from behavioral changes on the part of Rothsay Public School, homeowners, and businesses. Otter Tail Power Company also granted almost $117,000 in rebates for energy-efficient lighting and technology improvements. "This program was developed as a three-legged stool," said Pederson. "Education, efficient end-use technologies, and incentivized behavioral changes each play a critical role in the success of these projects. And achieving long-term savings in Rothsay will be possible only with ongoing energy-saving behaviors and a community that won't settle for anything less than achieving its goal."

Rothsay Public School is committed to continuing its leadership role in this challenge. "The Community Energy Challenge has been an excellent program that has brought a new sense of awareness regarding energy use throughout the community," said Ehren Zimmerman, Dean of Students/Principal at Rothsay Public School. "And it has brought a new approach to hands-on learning for our faculty, staff, and students. Now it's our turn to pay it forward and keep the savings going."

Otter Tail Power Company, a subsidiary of Otter Tail Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select Market: OTTR), is headquartered in Fergus Falls, Minnesota. It provides electricity and energy services to more than a quarter million people in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. To learn more about Otter Tail Power Company visit www.otpco.com. To learn more about Otter Tail Corporation visit www.ottertail.com.

In the photo: To celebrate the success of the Campus Energy Challenge at the University of Minnesota, Crookston, Otter Tail Power Company donated two basswood trees. The shade trees were planted on the west side of the Early Childhood Building to help provide energy savings in the summer. Project leaders and guests marking the event include (left to right): Student Green Team leader Ben Williams, Center for Sustainability Director Dan Svedarsky, Vice Chancellor of Academics and Student Affairs Thomas Baldwin, Chancellor Charles Casey, Otter Tail Power Company Project Manager Jon Fabre, University of Minnesota, Crookston, Facilities Green Team member Brian Christianson; former Student Green Team lead Lisa Gentele, Otter Tail Power Company Crookston Area Energy Management Representative Ken Johnson, Otter Tail Power Company President and CEO Chuck MacFarlane, Minnesota Department of Commerce Deputy Commissioner Bill Grant, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar's Moorhead Office Representative Andrew Martin, U.S. Senator Al Franken's Northwestern Minnesota Field Representative Valerie Graveseth, and U.S. Representative Collin Peterson's Red Lake Falls Office Representative JoAnn Zutz.

Contact: Cris Kling, Otter Tail Power Compnay, 218-739-8297; Andrew Svec, director of communications, U of M, Crookston, 218-281-8432 (asvec@umn.edu)

Results of Campus Energy Challenge to Be Announced April 19

With measurements complete, results of the groundbreaking Campus Energy Challenge, a collaborative project between the University of Minnesota, Crookston and Otter Tail Power Company, will be announced on Tuesday, April 19, 2011.  The announcement will be made at a special energy-savings celebration at Noon in Sargeant Student Center on the Crookston campus.  The entire community is welcome to attend.

In a first-of-its-kind program, U of M, Crookston students, faculty, and staff worked with Otter Tail Power Company to reduce electric energy consumption on campus by as much as 15 percent in the first year.  In the case of the U of M, Crookston, that translates to approximately a million kilowatt hours.  Through a combination of encouraging simple behavior modification--such as assessing personal energy use, turning off lights, and unplugging phone chargers when not being used--and installing more energy-efficient lighting, ventilation, and other technologies, both organizations hope to attain or even surpass that 15 percent savings goal.

In Crookston the April 19 event begins at 11:45 a.m. in Sargeant Student Center with a community-wide networking opportunity.  Attendees will be able to meet U of M, Crookston and Otter Tail Power Company officials, get photos taken with Regal the Golden Eagle and Ollie the Otter, enter a drawing for a free energy-efficient landscape design and installation to be done by students, and enjoy light refreshments.

At noon in the Northern Lights Lounge in Sargeant Student Center, the announcement of energy savings will be made.  Scheduled to speak are Cris Kling, director of public relations, Otter Tail Power Company; Chuck MacFarlane, president, Otter Tail Power Company; Charles Casey, chancellor, U of M, Crookston; and William Grant, deputy commissioner, Minnesota Department of Commerce, Energy Division.  Following the announcement and speakers, a ceremonial tree planting will be held (weather permitting) near the Early Childhood Development Center.  The first 300 attendees at the energy-savings celebration will receive a free sapling tree that can be planted to help reduce carbon emissions.

The Campus Energy Challenge is a pilot project that is part of Otter Tail Power Company's Minnesota Conservation Improvement Program approved by the Minnesota Office of Energy Security.  Otter Tail Power Company will also announce the results of the Community Energy Challenge, a similar program working with the community of Rothsay, Minn., on the evening of April 19, in Rothsay.

Otter Tail Power Company, a subsidiary of Otter Tail Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select Market: OTTR), is headquartered in Fergus Falls, Minn.  It provides electricity and energy services to more than a quarter million people in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. To learn more about Otter Tail Power Company visit www.otpco.com.

Contact: Andrew Svec, director of communications, 218-281-8438 (asvec@umn.edu)

U of M, Crookston Highlights Earth Week 2011

Earth Week will be marked by several events at the University of Minnesota, Crookston Earth Week.jpgincluding a campus clean up, activities to raise awareness, and a celebration of campus efforts to save energy. Crookston Students for Sustainable Development (CSSD) will kick off the week on Monday, April 18, 2011, with Trash and Recycling Awareness Day, an effort to demonstrate how much trash an individual creates in a single day.

On Tuesday, April 19, Otter Tail Power Company will join members of the campus and community for a celebration of the success of the Campus Energy Challenge, a special project that brought Otter Tail and the U of M, Crookston together to help reduce energy consumption. Special highlights include community-wide networking beginning at 11:45 a.m. followed by an energy savings celebration at noon with remarks by Chuck MacFarlane, president of Otter Tail Power Company, Charles H. Casey, chancellor at the U of M, Crookston and William Grant, deputy commissioner at the Minnesota Department of Commerce Energy Division. A ceremonial tree planting will take place at 1 p.m., weather permitting.

Beautiful "U" Day will be the focus on Wednesday, April 20 and include a campus and community cleanup. At noon in Youngquist Auditorium, Dr. Larry Baker, a research professor in the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities will present "Urban Heat Islands and Global Climate Change." Everyone is welcome.

An internationally recognized authority on the water and nutrient cycle of urban environments, Baker will be the featured speaker in the evening as part of a "sustainability supper seminar" beginning at 5 p.m. with a meal in Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center. His evening presentation, open to the public, will begin at 6 p.m. in Youngquist Auditorium on the topic "Urban Ecosystems and Implications for Global Survivability." To make reservations for the meal, contact, Michael Knudson, Minnesota GreenCorps member at 218-281-8128 (knud0189@umn.edu). For more information on Dr. Larry Baker, visit www.bbe.umn.edu/People/LarryBaker.

On Thursday, April 21, the campus and community are invited to join in a Critical Mass Bike Ride. The ride begins at 5:30 p.m. and participants are asked to gather at Crookston High School parking lot for the ride. Helmets are required. Because of liability concerns, Critical Mass bike rides are not sponsored by any person or entity, they are just a group of people getting together to go on a ride.  The route will be on roads and paths that are not as busy and all traffic laws will be obeyed.  Those who are unfamiliar with riding on streets will be informed by more experienced group riders.  
 
A mini-grant from the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment helps fund the series of bi-weekly, "sustainability supper seminars" designed to educate the campus and the local community on sustainability applications as well as explore the "Communiversity" concept.

Earth Day, observed annually on April 22, marks the anniversary of what may be considered the birth of the modern environmental movement. The first Earth Day was held in 1970. To learn more, visit www.earthday.org.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and more than 40 concentrations, including several online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,400 undergraduates from more than 25 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: Michael Knudson, Minnesota GreenCorps member, 218-281-8128 (knud0189@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

SWCS Award Winners-1.jpgUniversity of Minnesota, Crookston students, Timothy Knudson, Monticello, Minn.,  and Adam Kleinschmidt, Glenwood, Minn., were the co-recipients of the 2011 Student Conservationist and Scholarship Award from the Minnesota Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society. Both seniors, Knudson is majoring in wildlife management and water resource management and Kleinschmidt is majoring in wildlife management, natural resources law enforcement, and wildlife management. The award winners were announced by Chapter President, Russell Kleinschmidt, at the annual meeting of the professional organization held in St. Cloud, Minn., on March 22, 2011.

In announcing the awards, President Kleinschmidt noted that, "Both individuals are deserving of the scholarship and exhibit exceptional motivation in their studies and work experience in natural resource conservation.  It is delightful to see such promising young individuals enter the natural resource and conservation profession." Knudson is president of the UMC Chapter of The Wildlife Society and plans to work as a research technician with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife in Yukon Flats, Alaska. Adam Kleinschmidt is the area chairman and founder of the Golden Ducks Chapter of Ducks Unlimited based in Crookston, as well as an active member of other conservation clubs on the Crookston campus. He will be working as a management technician at the Glacial Ridge National Wildlife Refuge near Crookston.

The award consists of a $ 500 cash award. This marks the 8th time in the last 10 years that a UMC student has received this prestigious honor. Russell Kleinschmidt is a UMC wildlife management graduate and is currently a district conservationist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service of U.S.D.A. based in Wadena, Minn. Holly Sandberg won the award in 2009 and is currently a park ranger with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Alaska. Lisa Gentele, a soil conservation technician with the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Alexandria, Minn., won the award in 2010.  

"We're extremely pleased with the track record of our Natural Resources students in receiving this honor," according to Ron Del Vecchio, professor and head of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department. "It reflects well on not only the students but the quality instruction delivered by faculty in the department." Brenda Miller, a civil engineer by background, is the primary instructor in the Soil and Water Conservation program and adds, "Our students respond well to the hands-on type of instruction which we provide and this also serves the needs of employers as well. Graduates are more 'job ready.'"

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and more than 40 concentrations, including several online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,400 undergraduates from more than 25 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, from left: Adam Kleinschmidt; Ron Del Vecchio, Ph.D., professor and head of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department; Soil and Water Conservation Instructor Brenda Miller; and Timothy Knudson.

 



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

The second in a series of "sustainability supper seminars" will take place on Thursday, April 7, 2011, at the University of Minnesota, Crookston. The theme for the dinner is the "International Dimensions of Sustainability," and it  will begin at 5 p.m. in Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center.

A meal from the campus dining buffet line, will allow participants to spend the evening learning about sustainability and its various applications in other lands. Interested students, faculty and staff, community leaders, ministers, agency personnel, farmers, and business and industry representatives are welcome to participate by contacting Michael Knudson, Minnesota GreenCorps member, at 218-281-8128 (knud0189@umn.edu) by April 4 for reservations.

The schedule for the evening includes a welcome and introductions by Director of the Center for Sustainability Dan Svedarsky. Presentations during the evening include: Sophomore Tashi Gurung, an environmental sciences and communication double major from Kathmandu, Nepal, who will be presenting on recycling in Nepal; Senior Nikolay Seregin, a natural resources major from Moscow, Russia, sharing information on sustainability in Russia; and Min-seong Kim, an English as a Second Language student from Gyeonggi, Korea, who will present his study of eco-friendly marketing in Korea. Also speaking is Senior Jeff Cook, a natural resources major from Eagan, Minn., who will give his presentation on the "Impressions of climate change from a Will Steger trek to Baffin Island."  

Approximately 30 participants from diverse backgrounds took part in the inaugural program on March 24 which provided a briefing on overall definitions and applications of the concept of sustainability and initiatives underway on the UMC campus; as well as exploration of the "Communiversity" concept. "It's ideal to have a broad spectrum audience in sessions like these for it provides rich discussion and the clarification of ideas," according to co-convenor, Dan Svedarsky. "We had fun and everyone came away better informed."

A mini-grant from the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment is helping fund the series of bi-weekly, "sustainability supper seminars" designed to educate the campus and the local community on sustainability applications.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and more than 40 concentrations, including several online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,400 undergraduates from more than 25 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: Michael Knudson, Minnesota GreenCorps member, 218-281-8128 (knud0189@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

A mini-grant from the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment will help fund a series of bi-weekly, "sustainability supper seminars" designed to educate the campus and the local community on sustainability applications.  In June of 2010, Chancellor Charles Casey approved an Action Plan for Climate Neutrality and Sustainability and this will be the primary focus of the seminars. The plan sets a target date of 2030 to achieve a balance between carbon released (primarily in the form of carbon dioxide) and the amount trapped or not produced; primarily by conserving energy and shifting to renewable sources.

The plan is far reaching and extends not only to energy conservation and efficiency issues directly, but also to transportation, communication, local foods, recycling, and interdisciplinary education approaches. All campuses of the University of Minnesota have or are developing such an action plan which better positions the University to not only model environmental stewardship but also save money through enhanced operation efficiencies. Numerous other campuses across the country are engaged in similar efforts.

Another over-arching goal of the seminar series is to better connect the campus to the community by creating a more functional, "Communiversity." Hopefully, participants will reach a deeper understanding of the system dynamics approach to problem solving, sustainability and its many applications; to strive toward a more functional "learning community"; and to seek ways for better synergy in the use of common resources.

Dan Svedarsky, professor and director of the Center for Sustainability and Scott Johnson will co-lead discussions and will launch the first seminar on Thursday, March 24, 2011, at 5 p.m. Svedarsky will address, "The broad brush of sustainability, global and local" and Johnson, a systems design consultant from Grand Forks, will outline the application of the systems approach to complex campus-community sustainability initiatives. The session is scheduled for Bede Ballroom on the UMC campus.

A meal from the campus dining buffet line, will allow participants to spend the evening in conversation around a specific topic and engage others in the exploration of ideas relative to sustainability. Interested students, faculty and staff, community leaders, ministers, agency personnel, farmers, and business and industry representatives are welcome to participate by contacting Michael Knudson, Minnesota GreenCorps member, at 218-281-8128 (knud0189@umn.edu) by March 22 for reservations.

Upcoming sessions will include; International dimensions of sustainability (presented by UMC international students and faculty); an Earth Week presentation on April 20 on urban ecosystems; Implementing climate neutrality plans for campuses; Peak oil implications for broad-scale planning; Energy efficiency and renewable energy perspectives; The many values of local food production; and Faith-based approaches to sustainability.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and more than 40 concentrations, including several online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,400 undergraduates from more than 25 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: Michael Knudson, Minnesota GreenCorps member, 218-281-8128 (knud0189@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

University rewarded for rising to the Campus Energy Challenge

The University of Minnesota, Crookston, received a check for nearly $80,000 for results Otter Tail check 2916.jpgachieved through Otter Tail Power Company's Campus Energy Challenge. According to U of M, Crookston, Chancellor Charles H. Casey, this payment and the savings they expect to redirect to students, staff, and faculty later this year are great, but the real reward is the heightened energy-saving awareness that is developing. "When Otter Tail Power Company chose this school as its first Campus Energy Challenge participant, we knew the many opportunities for energy-efficient technology upgrades would result in savings," said Casey. "But our administration has been pleased to see how much difference operational and behavioral changes have made to our electric bills. We've also been very pleased with the efforts of our students, faculty, and staff and with the support and expertise everyone at Otter Tail Power Company has provided.  It has been a team effort."

otpOtterLogoColor.jpgOtter Tail Power Company Energy Management Representative Ken Johnson presented the check, which combines three Campus Energy Challenge payments. The two largest payments are for rebates on lighting upgrades ($33,109) and for variable-frequency drives with an automated control system ($26,518). These technologies enable the campus to reduce its electricity use by 655,300 kilowatt-hours a year. "The overall goal is a 10 percent to 15 percent reduction in electrical use, and these changes alone result in about 8.9 percent," said Johnson. "We're confident that with the ReDirect program's behavior-related savings they'll reach the 10 percent goal and may even approach 15 percent."

The third payment of $20,000 reimburses U of M, Crookston, for expenses related to the ReDirect program, another component of the Campus Energy Challenge. Developed by Eugene A. Scales & Associates, ReDirect helps schools and other large organizations incentivize their students and employees to reduce energy use by "redirecting" most of the savings back to these stakeholders.

"We've seen notable reductions in electric meter readings that date back to our facilities staff's implementation of operations changes in their work order system.  I'm optimistic that with continued dedication by these employees, and even greater student, staff, and faculty behavioral changes through the end of the academic year, we'll be able to announce achievement of the goal during the Campus Energy Challenge's April 19 tree planting celebration," said Casey.  Governor Dayton, U.S. Senator Klobuchar, and many other state and local leaders and the public are invited to join the campus for that Earth Week event.

Otter Tail Power Company, a subsidiary of Otter Tail Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select Market: OTTR), is headquartered in Fergus Falls, Minnesota. It provides electricity and energy services to more than a quarter million people in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. To learn more about Otter Tail Power Company visit www.otpco.com. To learn more about Otter Tail Corporation visit www.ottertail.com.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and more than 40 concentrations, including several online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,450 undergraduates from more than 25 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: State Legislators LeRoy Stumpf and Deb Kiel were on hand for the equipment rebate check presentation by Otter Tail Power Company to the U of M, Crookston.  Left to Right:  Minnesota State Senator LeRoy Stumpf (District 1); Minnesota State Representative Deb Kiel (District 1B); Ken Johnson, Energy Management Representative, Otter Tail Power Company; U of M, Crookston Chancellor Charles H. Casey; and Tim Norton, Director of Facilities and Operations, U of M, Crookston.

Contact: Cindy Kuismi, project communications specialist, Otter Tail Power Company, 218-739-8751 (CKuismi@otpco.com); Andrew Svec, director, communications, 218-281-8438 (asvec@umn.edu)

U of M, Crookston Enters RecycleMania Competition

The Crookston Students for Sustainable Development (CSSD) and the UMCrm_logo_2011.jpg Sustainability Committee are proud to announce that UMC has entered a nation-wide recycling competition called RecycleMania (www.recyclemania.org).  Over 575 colleges and universities will be participating in the 2011 RecycleMania competition that begins on January 23 and runs through April 2. 

The goal of this competition is to increase awareness of campus recycling.  All participating schools are required to report measurements (pounds of recycled materials divided by campus population) on a weekly basis.  The school that collects the most recycleables in a variety of categories per capita wins!  Weekly updates on UMC's RecycleMania results may be viewed at (www.recyclemaniacs.org/university_detail08.asp?ID=1689).

Let's set a goal of placing 100% of our beverage containers and paper products in the appropriate recycling bins throughout campus.  Cardboard should be flattened and placed behind the recycling bins.  Student organizations will collect the recyclables and place them in outside containers for pick-up and weighing.

During the RecycleMania Challenge, please join in the campus activities.  More details will be coming:

    * Trivia Questions--Check out the Eagle's Eye beginning Monday January 31 for a
       weekly trivia question.  Prizes will be awarded to the first person to correctly answer
       the question
    * Recycle BINGO with environmentally smart prize
    * Contests during  one of the home UMC Club Hockey Game
    * EARTH Week
    * Recycling Fair
    * Informational booths in the Student Center with prize giveaway
    * Get caught GREEN-HANDED!  Get caught recycling and receive a free beverage at the
       Evergreen Grill!

Get involved and help make a difference!

For more information, please contact Tim Knudson knud0194@umn.edu, Ben Sullivan sulli495@umn.edu, or Lisa Loegering loege005@umn.edu. 


Contact: Tim Knudson knud0194@umn.edu; Ben Sullivan sulli495@umn.edu; Lisa Loegering loege005@umn.edu

Making the most of a field day for students is the topic of a workshop slated for Thursday, February 10, 2011, at the University of Minnesota, Crookston. The Best Practices for Field Days workshop, which focuses on how to maximize the field day experience, will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Bede Ballroom on the Crookston campus. The $15 registration fee includes lunch.
 
Field days are community events that bring together professionals, volunteers and teachers with school children for a day of learning about their environment. In educational field days, students rotate through multiple presentations on environmental topics.

The Best Practices for Field Days workshop is designed to help organizers and Field Days.jpg  presenters improve the field experience for students by helping them learn and retain important concepts, plan a comfortable and memorable setting, ensure the day runs safely and smoothly, create more useful evaluations, market an event, and to employ designs that help connect youth with nature.

All workshop attendees will receive the Best Practices for Field Days: A Program Planning Guidebook for Organizers, Presenters, Teachers, and Volunteers and a companion CD of tools and templates. For more information, visit www.extension.umn.edu/FieldDays or contact Jolene Beiswenger at 218-281-8027.

The workshop is sponsored by University of Minnesota Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership and its partners University of Minnesota, Crookston, University of Minnesota Extension, Northwest Regional Development Commission, International Water Institute River Watch, Polk and Mahnomen Public Health Programs, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and more than 40 concentrations, including several online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,400 undergraduates from more than 25 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: Linda Kingery, executive director, Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, 218-281-8697, kinge002@umn.edu; Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

Svedarsky_Dan 2.jpgUniversity of Minnesota Wildlife Professor Dan Svedarsky was among 8 individuals recognized as  fellows at the fall annual meeting of The Wildlife Society in Snowbird, Utah.   Svedarsky is a research biologist at the Northwest Research and Outreach Center (NWROC) and professor of natural resources at the University of Minnesota, Crookston.

The title of fellow recognizes members of The Wildlife Society who have distinguished themselves through exception service to the wildlife profession.  Svedarsky received the Minnesota Award from the Minnesota Chapter of The Wildlife Society in 1999 and served as national president of the 9,000 member organization in 2007-08. He currently chairs the College and University Wildlife Education Working Group of The Wildlife Society which organized a symposium at the Utah meeting on educating the wildlife professional.  Svedarsky presented a paper at the symposium along with U of M, Crookston colleagues, Phil Baird and John Loegering.  Svedarsky also serves on a USDA-sponsored, Blue Ribbon Panel with 17 representatives from universities and conservation agencies in the U.S. and Canada who are reviewing the future of the wildlife profession and identifying recruitment strategies for new employees.

In his research involvements, Svedarsky and his graduate students study prairie and wetland ecology and management with one of his favorite subjects being greater prairie chickens.  Most of his studies have been conducted on the Glacial Ridge National Wildlife Refuge, the largest prairie and wetland restoration project in North America located just east of Crookston. Recently, one of his graduate students studied the summer ecology of female prairie chickens at Glacial Ridge and then fall trapped radio-tagged birds for translocation to Wisconsin where numbers are dangerously low. The study was sponsored by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Svedarsky joined other Minnesotans who were honored in Utah with national awards.Svedarsky TWS Fellow.jpg
 Dr. Doug Johnson, a federal biologist in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology at the U of M, St. Paul, received the Aldo Leopold Memorial Award. This is the highest honor bestowed by The Wildlife Society in honor of the founder of the profession. John Moriarty, biologist with Ramsey County, (Minn.) received the Jim McDonough Award to recognize a certified wildlife biologist who has made a significant contribution to the profession by implementing wildlife programs and developing new techniques. Meadow Kouffeld, a doctoral student working with Dr. Ralph (Rocky) Gutierrez at the U of M, St. Paul, received the Donald Rusch Memorial Game Bird Research Scholarship for her work with ruffed grouse.  

The Northwest Research and Outreach Center is part of a system of research centers in different regions of Minnesota conducting research on soils, agronomy, entomology, and natural resources affiliated with the College of Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) of the University of Minnesota. To learn more, visit http://nwroc.crk.umn.edu.

In the photo (l to r): John Moriarty; Bruce Leopold, President of The Wildlife Society; Doug Johnson; Dan Svedarsky; Meadow Kouffeld; and Rocky Gutierrez.  


Contact: Maureen Aubol, office supervisor, NWROC; 218-281-8602 (aubo0002@umn.edu); Dan Svedarsky, research biologist, NWROC, 218-281-8129, (dsvedars@umn.edu)

Rescheduled to Thursday, Dec. 2nd  1 - 5 p.m. at the McIntosh Community Center - To RSVP, get directions, and see the full agenda, please click here or visit http://nwgreenstep.eventbrite.com.

Wondering what you can do to make your community thriving, healthy, and prosperous? GreenStep_Crookston_10-27-10_SHARE.jpg GreenStep Cities has done the research so you don't have to!  This free, voluntary program gives community members the tools needed to create and make citizens' vision for the future a reality!  Northwest Clean Energy Resource Team (CERT) is hosting a free informational meeting about MN GreenStep Cities, a newly-released challenge, assistance, and recognition program that helps regional municipalities look to the future. The meeting has been rescheduled to Thursday, December 2, 2010, from  1 - 5 p.m. at the McIntosh Community Center. A light reception, with appetizers and networking, will follow the meeting from 4-5 pm.

Who should attend? 
Local government personnel, city council members, mayors, county commissioners, community organization leaders, utilities, congregations, community leaders, and the general public can all benefit from GreenStep Cities.  

RSVP
:  To learn more, get directions, and register for this free event, go online to http://nwgreenstep.eventbrite.com or call (218) 281-8685.

AGENDA:
1:00      Welcome: Mayor David Genereux, City of Crookston
1:15    Networking activity
1:35    City of Hoffman: "What can small towns do? A Case Study Example", Muriel        Krusemark, Hoffman Economic Development Authority
1:55    Minnesota GreenStep Cities Overview: Chris Waltz, NW CERT
2:10    Discussion: Existing Skills & Assets you bring to GreenStep Cities, led by Chris Waltz, NW CERT
2:30    Break (refreshments)
2:45    Panel Discussion: Moderator: Chris Waltz, NW CERT    
    
The pane
l:
Lissa Pawlisch - CERTs Statewide Coordinator, University of Minnesota Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDP)    
Cam Fanfulik - Northwest Economic Development Commission
Ken Johnson - Energy Management Representative, Ottertail Power Company
Lisa Pickard - Communications/Member Services Specialist, Minnkota Power Cooperative
Richard Lehmann - Mayor of Bemidji, Optivation (formerly Northwest Technical College Center for Research and Innovation Custom College), Bemidji State University
3:30    Q&A
4:00    Topic tables: GreenStep Best Practices by Category (Building and Lighting, Land Use,     Transportation, Environmental Management, Economic and Community Development).
4:15      Light Reception (appetizers & networking)
5:00      Adjourn

THE BASICS:
Who: Community members and community leaders from Northwestern Minnesota
What: Free, informational meeting on Minnesota GreenStep Cities program
Where: Crookston, Bede Ballroom, University of Minnesota Crookston campus
When:  October 27, 2010
    - 1:00-4:00pm Meeting
    - 4:00-5:00 pm Light Reception (Appetizers and Networking)
   Why: To learn how local communities can become thriving, healthy, and prosperous

ABOUT CERTs: The Clean Energy Resource Teams connect Minnesotan communities with resources to identify and implement energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and more than 40 concentrations, including several online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,400 undergraduates from more than 25 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: For GreenStep Cities: Chris Waltz, NW CERT Coordinator, 218-281-8685 or waltz020@umn.edu

It's about every little thing you do and don't do. Educating students, faculty, and staff about how their behavior can help save energy is critical part of the Campus Energy Challenge, a first-of-its-kind program connecting Otter Tail Power Company with the University of flipitoff.jpgMinnesota, Crookston.  Students have rallied around the energy saving theme chosen for the challenge, "Flip it Off: save your energy for later."

During the month of October students on the Crookston campus are working hard to help reduce energy consumption in the residence halls with a Residence Hall Energy Challenge. The goal is to reduce electrical consumption by 10 percent compared to September in on-campus housing and to help students recognize the impact they have on energy consumption and savings.

To reach the goal students are encouraged to make simple  changes such as shutting off the lights when we leave a room, turning off computers when they are not in use, taking shorter showers, and encouraging others to do the same. It is an effort to help save precious resources and encourage energy saving habits for a lifetime.

The Campus Energy Challenge goal for the U of M, Crookston, is to better understand that the choices made about electrical use have a global impact and to reduce energy consumption by up to 15percent through simple changes in behavior. To learn more about the Campus Energy Challenge, visit http://www.energychallengeison.com/umcrookston.

Otter Tail Power Company, a subsidiary of Otter Tail Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select Market: OTTR), is headquartered in Fergus Falls, Minnesota. It provides electricity and energy services to more than a quarter million people in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. To learn more about Otter Tail Power Company visit www.otpco.com. To learn more about conserving energy visit www.conservingelectricity.com. To learn more about Otter Tail Corporation visit www.ottertail.com.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and more than 40 concentrations, including several online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,400 undergraduates from more than 25 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); Cindy Kusimi, project communications specialist, Otter Tail Power Company, 218-739-8751 (CKuismi@otpco.com) ; Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 2

A grant awarded to the University of Minnesota, Crookston will allow the campus to host a member of Minnesota's statewide initiative to help preserve and protect the environment, known as the Minnesota GreenCorps. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) coordinates the Minnesota GreenCorps, which is an environmental AmeriCorps program.

Knudson_Michael 9329.jpgMichael Knudson (pictured,left) was appointed as the green infrastructure and stormwater management specialist and will be trained for his role as part of a new generation of environmental professionals under the program. He will be located on the Crookston campus and assist with the campus and the city of Crookston in addressing storm water management. He will develop and help implement action steps that will have an immediate effect as well as look at how to invest in the future in an environmentally conscious way. Knudson is a 2009 graduate of the U of M, Crookston, where he majored in natural resources.
    
The Center for Sustainability at the U of M, Crookston was also successful in hosting a GreenCorps member in 2009-10 when Chris Waltz was an energy conservation specialist.  Dan Svedarsky, Ph.D., director of the Center for Sustainability, is enthusiastic about hosting another Minnesota GreenCorps member and what it means, "This opportunity connects the Crookston campus and community in an effort to become more environmentally conscious in managing stormwater in a responsible way," Svedarsky says. "Furthermore, it will help the community and campus have baseline data in place in preparation for future regulations that may be required."
The mission of the Minnesota GreenCorps is to provide its members with opportunities to contribute to improve Minnesota's environment, while gaining experience and learning valuable job skills. Local governments and community organizations statewide host Minnesota GreenCorps members and provide day-to-day supervision for members working on projects in the areas of local government energy conservation, school waste prevention, living green outreach, local food systems, and urban forestry. To learn more, visit the MPCA's NextStep sustainability Web site at www.nextstep.state.mn.us.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and more than 40 concentrations, including several online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,400 undergraduates from more than 25 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)

It's serious, it's funny, it's about making a difference, and it's all happening at the University of Minnesota, Crookston this week. The campus will take both a serious as well as a lighthearted look at saving energy with Bill LeBlanc, president of the Boulder Energy Group. The events are free and public is welcome to attend.

The usual What's on Wednesday (W.O.W.) event takes on the topic of energy saving with "Watt's on Wednesday" on Wednesday, September 1, 2010. LeBlanc will blend his comedy insights with his career in energy efficiency and technology in a program at 7 p.m. in Kiehle Auditorium. The event is co-sponsored by U of M, Crookston student activities, the Center for Sustainability, and Otter Tail Power Company. Otter Tail Power Company  selected the university of Minnesota, Crookston last year to participate in the Campus Energy Challenge, which is an effort to reduce electric energy use on campus by as much as 15 percent by the end of 2010 through behavior changes, equipment upgrades, and education.

On Thursday, September 2, LeBlanc will take a more serious tone as the guest speaker during the Thursday Commons at 12:30 p.m. in Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center. A recognized leader in energy efficiency programs, LeBlanc has particular expertise in program design, marketing, market research, branding, and strategy. He assists utility and public clients in understanding their customer markets, providing tools and messages to sway customer demand, and creating overall market strategies. He has also done extensive work on social marketing.

LeBlanc recently won the Energy Outreach and Branding contract for the state of Colorado and is a senior advisor for the California state energy rebranding effort. He has been a leader and innovator in energy efficiency and load management throughout his 20 year career, working for PG&E, EPRI, E Source, and consulting firms. In 1990, he founded the Association of Energy Services Professionals, still the industry's major society.

Using his comedic talents, LeBlanc travels around the U.S. talking with people about their energy use habits, but there's always a twist because humans manage to screw things up and often lack knowledge about energy, which is true, sad, and funny. LeBlanc, also a standup comedian, performs primarily at larger clubs in Denver and around the state of Colorado. He recently won the Boulder Comedy Contest, and has been a two-time finalist in Colorado's New Faces Contest.

LeBlanc is known for his creativity and problem-solving ability and is a sought-after public speaker. He holds both master's and bachelor's degrees in mechanical engineering from Stanford University as well as a bachelor of arts in management economics from Claremont McKenna College.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and more than 40 concentrations, including several online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,300 undergraduates from more than 25 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)

Field work begins long before kick-off. Research by a university professor will determine the best mix for managing a quality athletic field with a smaller budget and crew - a serious Michalski_M.jpgconsideration in the current economy.

For Assistant Professor of Agronomy Kristie Walker, preparing a soil-based athletic field for both athletes and aesthetics on a budget is a delicate balance. Walker is spending her summer working on the football practice field at the University of Minnesota, Crookston where she teaches students in the agronomy and the golf and turf management programs.

Along with Mark Michalski, a senior double majoring in golf and turf management and horticulture, Walker is examining the effects of cultivation practices on three varieties of grass seed: Kentucky bluegrass , perennial ryegrass, and a mix of the two, all donated by Rivard's Quality Seeds Inc. in Argyle, Minn.  The bluegrass, which spreads through rhizome production, germinates slowly but is the most aesthetically pleasing with its rich blue-green hue.  The ryegrass, a bunch- type grass, has quicker germination but is less desirable in look and color.

"Football fields, like the one on the Crookston campus, are under a significant amount of traffic," Walker says. "With use by both the local high school and the university, we need a speedy recovery of the turf to be ready for play, but we also wanted the best looking field possible with a smaller staff and budget." This situation is common across the region in the parks and school districts with soil-based athletic fields under heavy use.

Best Mix of Seed, Practice, and Price

hollow_tine_aerator_merged copy.jpgWalker is testing hollow-tine and solid-tine cultivation methods along with verticutting on a variety of plots she has marked out for the study. The most disruptive, but probably the most beneficial to the soil, is the hollow-tine aeration which removes soil in cylindrical cores across the profile. The solid-tine aeration punches holes into the soil surface rather than removing cores. The least disruptive to the soil surface is the verticutter, which slices small furrows in the turf canopy and heals more quickly.

Following the weekly cultivation, half of the plots are top-dressed, a method of spreading sand over the turf filling the cuts and holes so water can flow easily through the profile and compaction is reduced.

Measuring the outcome of the seed variety, cultivation technique, and the top dressing against the control will help determine the best method for maintaining football and soccer fields, as well as a baseball outfield. The research will take place over the next two years during the summer months and throughout the fall.

"We are looking for the best overall quality with consideration of cost," Walker says. "The best mix of cultivation practice and price will be the winning combination for us and for our athletic fields."

For more information on the golf and turf management program, visit www.umcrookston.edu/academics.
 
Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 17 minors, and more than 40 concentrations, including several online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,300 undergraduates from more than 25 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 photos:
Top, right: Senior Mark Michalski, Silver Bay, Minn., spreads the top dressing as part of the research on the athletic field.

Bottom, left: The hollow-tine cultivation technique leaves cylindrical cores (inset) across the turf's profile.
 

 

Contact: Kristie Walker, assistant professor, agronomy, 218-281-8116 (kswalker@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

Svedarsky Service Award 2010.jpgDaniel Svedarsky, professor in the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department and the director of the Center for Sustainability at the University of Minnesota, Crookston is a 2010 recipient of the University of Minnesota President's Award for Outstanding Service. Recipients of this award have gone well beyond their regular duties and have demonstrated an unusual commitment to the University community. Svedarsky was one of 11 to receive this year's award.

Svedarsky has been at the University of Minnesota, Crookston since 1969. He is a certified wildlife biologist and researcher with the Northwest Research and Outreach Center where he specializes in tallgrass prairie restoration and management, especially for greater prairie chickens. At UMC he teaches wildlife habitat management techniques and integrated resource management. Publications include; editing the book, The Greater Prairie Chicken; A national look, and senior author of land management booklets entitled; A landowner's guide to prairie management in Minnesota, and Effects of management practices on grassland birds: the greater prairie chicken.  

As the first Director of the Center for Sustainability, Svedarsky is the Crookston campus advocate for sustainability issues and led efforts to develop the campus Action Plan for Climate Neutrality and Sustainability in response to the signing of the President's Climate Change Commitment by U of M President Robert Bruininks.

Described as a visionary, Svedarsky has spent four decades promoting UMC and the University of Minnesota nationally and internationally, most recently in the area of sustainability. In December of 2009, he represented the 8,000-member The Wildlife Society as an official observer at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Over the years, Svedarsky has been involved in the development of several degree programs and numerous courses in wildlife management and natural resources at UMC. He has advised hundreds of students and served as a peer mentor. He is a true promoter of others and has successfully nominated and/or developed many nominating portfolios for faculty, staff, students, and professional colleagues as he promotes a culture of encouragement, positive growth, and recognition.

He has served on numerous University committees including the UMore Park Planning project in Rosemount, All-University Honors Committee, and the Executive Committee of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers. He is a past board member of the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley.

Svedarsky served a 3-year term as the North Central Section Representative of The Wildlife Society (TWS) and is immediate Past President of TWS at the national level. He was recently appointed to a Blue Ribbon Panel to study the future of the wildlife profession in North America.  Svedarsky is a recipient of several awards; National Stewardship Award of The Nature Conservancy, The Hamerstrom Award of the Prairie Grouse Technical Council, The Minnesota Award of the Minnesota Chapter of The Wildlife Society, and the Torch and Shield Award to recognize leadership in the development of UMC, Northwest Research and Outreach Center, and Extension.

Nominators wrote; "Dan embodies a living history of the evolving mission and work of the University of Minnesota in northwestern Minnesota. He will forever be a part of UMC as much as UMC is a part of his being." They referenced Professor Svedarsky's own words ...."How do we serve? We start as individuals, by doing good work, and the work that needs to be done. We must model integrity as we brighten the corner where we are." They concluded with the following statement. "Dan has certainly brightened the lives of those who have passed through UMC."

Also receiving the 2010 award were two individuals from the Morris campus, one from the Duluth campus, one from the Carlson School of Management, and six from the Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses. "The credit they bring to the University of Minnesota is simply beyond measure," President Bruininks said in his e-mail announcement.

The University of Minnesota President's Award for Outstanding Service was established in 1997 to recognize faculty and staff who have provided exceptional service to the University. It is presented each year in the spring and honors active or retired faculty or staff members. For more information, visit http://uawards.umn.edu/Awards/Presidents_Award_Outstand.html.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers more than 25 bachelor's degree programs and 50 concentrations, including several online degrees, in agriculture and natural resources; arts, humanities and social sciences; business; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,300 undergraduates, 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 (l to r): Clyde Allen, chair, U of M Board of Regents; Svedarsky; Robert Bruininks, president, University of Minnesota. 


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

Twenty natural resources students from the University of Minnesota, Crookston recently planted some 2,700 pine, spruce, and fir seedlings on the Deer River District of the Chippewa National Forest.

The four-day trip, a strong tradition for students in the Natural Resources Club at the U of M, tree planting 1.jpgCrookston, marks the 28th  consecutive time student volunteers from the campus have assisted the U.S. Forest Service with the tree planting project. The students were accompanied by club advisors Phil Baird, Tom Feiro, and Laura Bell.

Baird, an associate professor in the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department at the U of M, Crookston, said, "This was one of the wettest trips we've had in 28 years! It rained nearly every other hour for the entire time we were there!  We've been snowed on, rained on, and hailed on in the past, but not so continuously.  

"It was also a very different trip from our previous 27 years in that we saw trees and shrubs in full bloom that have never been at that stage in early May before. It was only two years ago that we had to wrap up the trip early due to the area receiving 20 inches of snow!"

The student volunteers also removed the more than 5,000 budcaps they had installed last October on white pine seedlings and saplings to protect the small trees from overwinter deer browsing. On the return trip the group toured the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Air Tanker Base in Bemidji, Minn.

Since 1983, students, faculty, and staff from the natural resources program on the Crookston campus have planted a total of more than 165,000 trees in the Chippewa National Forest.

For more information about natural resources, visit www.umcrookston.edu/academics.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers more than 25 bachelor's degree programs and 50 concentrations, including several online degrees, in agriculture and natural resources; arts, humanities and social sciences; business; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,300 undergraduates, 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: Phil Baird, associate professor, 218-281-8130 (pbaird@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

The University of Minnesota, Crookston welcomes international lecturer and expert in personal rapid transit (PRT) Edward  Anderson, Ph.D., as a guest  on Thursday, April 29, 2010. Anderson will speak during the regular Thursday Commons session beginning at 12:15 p.m. in Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center. The public is invited to attend Anderson's lecture entitled, "The Role of Science, Technology, and Perception in the New Age of Resource Scarcity," and there is no admission charge.

Anderson is recognized the world over as a strong proponent of PRT systems. For the past 40 years, he has dedicated himself to the field by designing, presenting, and writing about PRT. His numerous contributions to PRT technology include chairing both national and international conferences. This international lecturer and expert has testified before the Minnesota legislature and the U.S. Congress. The author of three books and more than 100 engineering papers, Anderson serves as the editor of "Personal Rapid Transit" and holds 10 patents.

From 1963-86, Anderson taught at the University of Minnesota in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and from 1986-92, taught aerospace and mechanical engineering at Boston University. Over the years, Anderson has been recognized for his achievements and most recently was named a 2010 recipient of the Charles W. Britzius Distinguished Engineer Award. This recognition is the highest honor given by the Minnesota Federation of Engineering Science and Technology Societies. His educational background includes a doctorate in aeronautics and astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a master of science in mechanical engineering from the University of Minnesota, and a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from Iowa State University.
 
"Dr. Anderson developed and taught a course dealing with society, technology, and energy over 30 years ago which was very futuristic and was actually a holistic course in "sustainability," according to Dan Svedarsky, director of the U of M, Crookston Center for Sustainability. "He is truly a renaissance thinker and sees the world not as it is but how it could be."

This special presentation will be a follow-up to Earth Week activities. This year marks the fortieth anniversary of Earth Day and the Crookston campus has planned a week of events to create awareness, encourage involvement, and educate the campus and community about the opportunity we have to take action on behalf of the planet. For more information on activities scheduled on the Crookston campus, visit www.umcrookston.edu/today.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers more than 25 bachelor's degree programs and 50 concentrations, including several online degrees, in agriculture and natural resources; arts, humanities and social sciences; business; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,300 undergraduates, 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)

Earth Day is April 22, 2010, but the University of Minnesota, Crookston will get an early start with an afternoon of activities scheduled on Tuesday, April 20 designed to inspire awareness and appreciation for our environment.

From 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., there will be a student forum and a booth in the Sargeant Student Center sponsored by Crookston Students for Sustainable Development (CSSD) for the campus community to sign energy pledges and volunteer for the evening events. The student forum will be held in the Northern Lights Lounge and focuses on "What Sustainability Means to Me."  Students from various majors will be on stage to give a brief presentation on what motivates them to be sustainable.

At 3 p.m., everyone is invited to a guided nature walk in the Natural History Area located near the campus. Anyone interested in the nature walk should meet on the Campus Mall.

From 5 - 8 p.m., students will be involved in cleaning up Central Park, raking an area under the Robert Street Bridge, picking up trash, and removing the Black Knot on the cherry trees downtown.Relaxation will follow the afternoon's work and will be highlighted by a movie on the Campus Mall.

At 9 p.m., the public is invited to attend a special showing of the film, "Taking Root: the Vision of Wangari Maathai." The movie features the work of 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Winner Wangari Maathai, founder of the Green Belt Movement (GBM) and the first Kenyan women to earn a doctorate. The mission of the movement is to mobilize community consciousness for self-determination, equity, improved livelihoods and security, and environmental conservation. To learn more about the GBM, visit www.greenbeltmovement.org.

The Earth Day activities are sponsored by Crookston Students for Sustainable Development and the Center for Sustainability at the University of Minnesota, Crookston.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers more than 25 bachelor's degree programs and 50 concentrations, including several online degrees, in agriculture and natural resources; arts, humanities and social sciences; business; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,300 undergraduates, 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: Chris Waltz, Minnesota GreenCorps, 218-281-8128 (waltz020@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

Of the 286 students, faculty, and staff at the U of M, Crookston, who responded to a Campus Energy Challenge Survey in February, more than ninety percent believe reducing their electrical use will make some difference (183) or a meaningful difference (69) on campus. Results confirm that students, faculty, and staff, are concerned about our future and believe our actions can make a difference.

The Campus Energy Challenge survey showed that the strongest motivator for saving energy is the chance to save money: fifty-nine percent ranked it highest. Forty percent of respondents stated that concern for the environment is the strongest motivator for reducing their energy use.

Respondents were given four choices as to what obstacles prevent them from reducing their energy use: 1) I don't know what actions will reduce my energy use, 2) I can't remember to do things like shut off lights, unplug things, and close doors, 3) it's too inconvenient, and 4) it's not important to me. Forty-four and forty-three percent of those responding selected options 1 and 2 respectively. This statistic combined with the ninety-four percent of individuals surveyed who stated they want to learn more about how to save energy, gives the U of M, Crookston, the potential for positive change through the  continued education of our campus community.

This continued education is exactly what the Crookston Student Association (the student governing body) is trying to do. Crookston Students for Sustainable Development (CSSD), a sub-committee has worked closely with Otter Tail Power Company to put on the Campus Energy Challenge this year. CSSD serves as a group for exploration, research, and collaborative conception of a number of sustainability initiatives on campus and for the local community. The group is open to all U of M, Crookston students.

This survey was one of the Campus Energy Challenge initiatives that CSSD and Otter Tail Power Company sponsored to help the college reach the goal of reducing its energy use by 10 percent to 15 percent. The "GreenWalking" video surveying random students on their knowledge of energy and an energy game show night also were held.

To learn more about the Otter Tail Power Company, visit www.otpco.com, and for more about sustainability initiatives on the Crookston Campus go to www.umcrookston.edu/sustainability.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers more than 25 bachelor's degree programs and 50 concentrations, including several online degrees, in agriculture and natural resources; arts, humanities and social sciences; business; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,300 undergraduates, 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 Regional Partnerships and Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute invite University Research Faculty and Graduate & Post Graduate students to participate in the upcoming conference, "Relocalizing our Foodshed: Models and Methodologies in Cross-Disciplinary Research."  The two-day symposium and workshop is scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, March 15-16 and will take place in Coffman Memorial Union on the East Bank Campus in Minneapolis, Minn.

Increasing numbers of communities and institutions are calling for and initiating a substantial overhaul of the American food system. The shared vision for this rapidly growing movement reflects a commitment to vital rural communities, healthy landscapes and people, and a robust food culture and agriculture that is more regionally based, sustainable in practice and intimate in scale.

This symposium will convene faculty, staff and students from north central academic institutions with visiting experts and community partners to discuss novel models and methodologies to meet public needs associated with redesigning our food system, with a special focus on foodshed analysis and food systems planning. Researchers from Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Iowa are invited to attend and network with their colleagues at neighboring institutions.

For more information and to register, visit www.regionalpartnerships.umn.edu or www.hfhl.umn.edu. 

Contact: Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives at hfhl@umn.edu; Linda Kingery, executive director, Northwest Regional Sustainable Development, 218-281-8697 (kinge002@umn.edu)

Gentele_Lisa 0132.jpgSeven times in the last nine years a University of Minnesota, Crookston student has been awarded the Student Conservationist and Scholarship Award from the Minnesota Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society. Carrying on this outstanding tradition, Senior Lisa Gentele, Omaha, Neb., a natural resources management major at the U of M, Crookston, is set to receive the prestigious award for 2010.

The award, presented in April at the professional organization's annual meeting, consists of a plaque and a $500 cash award. Last year's recipient was Holly Sandberg, a 2009 graduate of the U of M, Crookston, who is currently a park ranger with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Alaska. Sandberg was the co-recipient with Junior Sheila Carleton, Baxter, Minn., who is currently double majoring in natural resources and agronomy.

According to Gentele, "The Soil and Water Conservation Society stands apart from many professional organizations in my eye in that it emphasizes a more integrated approach to living conditions for both urban residents and rural land owners.  Working for both The Nature Conservancy and Crookston's Park Department in the past has taught me many important ethics about the land, how we chose to manage it, and also how to work with everyone from politicians to local people.   My priority right now is a student but it's easy to look past education and into the working field where real life obstacles can be overcome and environmental changes can benefit everyone, now and in the future."

 Along with completing her degree at the U of M, Crookston in May of 2010, Gentele is the student sustainability assistant in the Center for Sustainability and coordinates student activities in connection with the Otter Tail Energy Challenge grant.  

"One of my areas of responsibility is to increase awareness about our current energy consumption and compare it to what we could save and the dollar amount associated with that savings," according to Gentele. "We've set a high goal on the Crookston campus to become climate neutral in the next 20 years by cutting carbon emissions related to energy consumption and considering alternative energy sources such as  wind, geothermal, biomass, biodigestion, and solar."

"After graduation Lisa plans to start a career in land, water, or energy management to give her an opportunity to practice her conservation passion," according to Dan Svedarsky, Ph.D., one of Gentele's professors and director of the Center for Sustainability on the Crookston campus. "We're so proud of Lisa's enthusiasm and leadership here on campus and for continuing the award-winning tradition of our conservation students." Gentele also serves as vice president of the Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society at the U of M, Crookston.

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. To learn more about the work of the Minnesota Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society, visit www.minnesotaswcs.org.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers more than 25 bachelor's degree programs and 50 concentrations, including several online degrees, in agriculture and natural resources; arts, humanities and social sciences; business; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,300 undergraduates, 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)

Learn more about climate change from a world prospective and how we can make a difference locally by attending a special presentation by Dan Svedarsky, Ph.D., director of the Center for Sustainability at the University of Minnesota, Crookston. Svedarsky will address the Alternative Energy Committee meeting in Crookston on Thursday, January 28, 2010, at 7 p.m. Following the presentation, which will be held in the Seminar Room in the Agriculture Research Building at the Northwest Research and Outreach Center, there will be a question and answer session.  The public is invited to attend the presentation.

Svedarsky's presentation, Global Climate Change Perspectives From Copenhagen And Recommendations For Local Applications will present information on the design landscape of Denmark and Sweden and its application to Crookston and the world. Svedarsky recently returned from Copenhagen, Denmark, where he represented The Wildlife Society at the United Nations Climate Conference.

Maathai+Svedarsky-webedit.jpgThe conference, held in December 2009 was attended by thousands and included 119 heads of state from around the world. Svedarsky, a professor, wildlife biologist, and director of the Center for Sustainability at the University of Minnesota, Crookston, represented the 8,000-members of The Wildlife Society as an official observer. As noted by 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Wangari Maathai, the primary value of conferences such as these is to provide information and inspiration to attendees to return home and make a local difference.   

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers more than 25 bachelor's degree programs and 50 concentrations, including several online degrees, in agriculture and natural resources; arts, humanities and social sciences; business; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,300 undergraduates, 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 photo above: Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai with U of M, Crookston Professor Dan Svedarsky at the Danish Film Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark.

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

RecycleMania competition underway at the U of M, Crookston

A recycling frenzy has taken over the University of Minnesota, Crookston. Starting this week, the Crookston campus will battle against 510 other colleges and universities in a RecycleMania competition to see who can recycle the most over a 10 week period. Schools will be ranked in categories such as the largest amount of recyclables per capita and the least amount of trash per capita.

Sponsoring RecycleMania on campus is the recycling committee of the Crookston Student Association, the student governing body. Crookston Students for Sustainable Development (CSSD), a sub-committee has worked closely with this project.

CSSD was formed last year and serves as a group for exploration, research, and collaborative conception of a number of sustainability initiatives on campus and for the local community. The group is open to all U of M Crookston students and currently has some 15 members.

CSSD student chair and sustainability assistant for U of M Crookston's Center for Sustainability, Lisa Gentele asserted, "RecycleMania is all about student awareness. Each person can make a difference everyday by shutting off one light or recycling one bottle."

Chris Waltz, U of M Crookston's Center for Sustainability's energy conservation specialist supported by Minnesota GreenCorps and recent graduate also showed enthusiasm for RecycleMania, "We are really excited to be participating in such a large competition. Our goal is to be up there in rankings with larger universities like the University of North Dakota and the Twin Cities campus."

Waltz and Gentele recently earned an $11,000 Clean Energy Resources Teams (CERTs) grant for the Center of Sustainability. The grant will support students being paired with a faculty or staff member to address two projects: conduct a feasibility study for a methane digester and measure building-to-building energy use.    

RecycleMania is a recycling program created not just to increase recycling participation by students and staff but to raise awareness of current waste management and recycling practices. RecycleMania is a way for students to learn to address environmental issues in a positive way. The program hopes to inspire colleges and universities to expand their waste reduction programs on campus. The 2010 RecycleMania competition will run from Sunday January 17 to Saturday March 27.

The RecycleMania program was founded in 2001 by Ed Newman of Ohio University and Stacy Edmonds Wheeler of Miami University. These students thought that something needed to be done to increase recycling on campus so they started a competition between their universities to see who could recycle the most over the 10 week competition. RecycleMania has quickly grown over the last 9 years to include 510 colleges and universities across the nation. To learn more, visit www.recyclemania.org.   

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers more than 25 bachelor's degree programs and 50 concentrations, including several online degrees, in agriculture and natural resources; arts, humanities and social sciences; business; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,300 undergraduates, 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: Peter Phaiah, Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, 281-281-8505 (phaiah@umn.edu), Elizabeth Kern, communications assistant, 218-281-8446 (kernx088@umn.edu), Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

Committed to saving energy, the University of Minnesota, Crookston campus will kick-off the Campus Energy Challenge on Tuesday, January 26, 2010, in an effort to raise awareness and educate the campus community on how to increase energy savings. In this first-of-its-kind program, the U of M, Crookston, will work with Otter Tail Power Company to reduce electric energy consumption on campus by as much as 15 percent.

A sustainability survey sent to students, faculty, and staff at the University of Minnesota, Crookston in December 2009 confirms energy saving is important to the campus.  Climate change was definitely on the minds of respondents as 86 percent say that climates or regions around the world are changing. In response to a question should the campus be "using energy efficient technology on the campus as much as possible," 219 of 256 respondents ranked it as important to very important. And 216 respondents said it was important or very important that the campus "take active steps to decrease energy consumption. The sustainability survey was developed by Crookston Students for Sustainable Development (CSSD) And will be followed by a survey specific to energy saving behaviors and motivations, which students, faculty, and staff will receive on January 18.

"The kickoff is most timely on the heels of the U.N. Conference on Climate Change staged in Copenhagen during December," notes Dan Svedarsky, Ph.D., director of the Center for Sustainability at the U of M, Crookston, who represented The Wildlife Society at the conference. "At that meeting delegates from around the world gathered to discuss preventative and adaptation strategies. It provides a global context for these all-important local actions."

The Campus Energy Challenge kick-off includes several entertaining activities related to energy savings. Green Walking," sponsored by (CSSD) and hosted by Senior Elizabeth Kern will ask students random questions about energy use practices and energy savings. In the evening, Student Programming and Activities for Campus Entertainment (SPACE) will join CSSD to host "Flip It Off: Save your energy for later" featuring competitions geared to educate students about the Campus Energy Challenge and energy use in general. Students will contend for cash and door prizes provided by Otter Tail Power Company.

Along with these activities, CSSD is sponsoring RecycleMania beginning January 18.  A competition between colleges and universities to recycle as much as possible over the course of a 10 week period, RecycleMania is a trademarked program of the RecycleMania Steering Committee in coordination with the College and University Recycling Council (CURC).

The Campus Energy Challenge is a pilot project that is part of Otter Tail Power Company's Minnesota Conservation Improvement Program approved by the Minnesota Office of Energy Security in November 2008. Together, Otter Tail Power Company and the U of M, Crookston, will work to nurture and develop energy efficiency habits that will help everyone on campus save money on their energy bills and model those habits to the Crookston community, other campuses, and the country.

Otter Tail Power Company, a subsidiary of Otter Tail Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select Market: OTTR), is headquartered in Fergus Falls, Minn. It provides electricity and energy services to more than a quarter million people in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. To learn more about Otter Tail Power Company visit www.otpco.com. To learn more about conserving energy visit www.conservingelectricity.com. To learn more about Otter Tail Corporation, visit www.ottertail.com.

Program Management for RecycleMania is provided by Keep America Beautiful in coordination with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's WasteWise program. RecycleMania is made possible through the sponsorship support of The Coca Cola Company, American Forest & Paper Association and Keep America Beautiful. For more information, visit www.recyclemania.org.

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 www.UMCrookston.edu.

Contact: Lisa Gentele, sustainability assistant, 402-850-7661 (grego098@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

The University of Minnesota, Crookston continues to move forward in pursuing energy conservation and sustainability goals with the recent awarding of a Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTS) grant of $11,000 according to Dan Svedarsky, Ph.D., director of the U of M, Crookston Center for Sustainability. The grant will support students being paired with a faculty or staff member to address two projects: conduct a feasibility study for a methane digester and measure building-to-building energy use.

"The grant application was primarily developed by Center staff, Chris Waltz (pictured below on left) and Lisa Gentele (pictured on right), Thumbnail image for Gentele_Lisa 9036.jpgin conjunction with U of M, Crookston faculty and staff," according to Svedarsky. Waltz is an energy conservation specialist supported by the Minnesota GreenCorps and Gentele is a student sustainability assistant working with the Center, the Otter Tail Energy Challenge program, and chair of the Crookston Students for Sustainable Development (CSSD).

Key personnel involved in collaborating with students will be U of M, Crookston faculty members: Christo Robberts, Paul Aakre, and Kent Freberg with the methane generator study. Staff members: Tim Norton, director of Facility Management and Operations; Rusty Remick, electrician; and Ken Johnson, Otter Tail Power Company, will advise the building-to-building energy use study.

"This grant will nicely support the implementation of the Otter Tail Energy Challenge awarded to the Crookston campus earlier in the fall," according to Waltz.  The energy use study will evaluate the installation of better monitoring systems so that students in residence halls can engage in competitions to strive to reduce energy consumption and lessen the impact on global carbon emissions. Students will come from a variety of majors on campus and will begin working on the project early in spring semester 2010.

"Grant funds will support U of M, Crookston students to gain research experience in sustainability and energy as well as develop leadership skills using the campus as a real-world living laboratory," notes Waltz. "The program will bring together clubs and organizations, classes, and individuals across campus disciplines to work on applied sustainable research projects which is necessary for the training and development of new environmental professionals."

Waltz_Chris 9647.jpgWaltz, a spring 2009 U of M, Crookston graduate, co-authored the 2008 CERTS grant, "LEEDing Crookston to a Sustainable Future," which allowed Crookston campus students and the campus community to achieve a new level of sustainability awareness and engagement. The grant also facilitated construction of Evergreen Hall according to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards making it the first LEED-certified dormitory within the University of Minnesota system. Students hosted open forums and guest speakers to educate the campus community on the topic of sustainability and its broad applications to energy efficiency and conservation, economic development, local foods, recycling, and atmospheric carbon balance. In addition, the grant supported the Crookston Students for Sustainable Development to host an educational retreat to the ultimate energy efficient, Biohaus (Bio-House), at the Concordia Language Camp near Bemidji, Minn. This retreat was designed to share ideas between students, not only at the Crookston campus but also students from other campuses such as Bemidji State University.

"It has been an absolute delight working with these UMC students the past couple of years as they have engaged in sustainability initiatives," according to Svedarsky. "And this student sustainability action is spreading nationally and globally as well. I just returned from the U.N. Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen and the commitment of young people to planetary stewardship is nothing short of remarkable.  I would also be remiss in not recognizing the key supporting role of Linda Kingery, executive director of the Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, and U of M, Crookston professor David DeMuth. These two individuals are tireless strategists in facilitating many campus and regional initiatives related to sustainability and the environment."

For more information contact: Waltz at 218-281-8128 or waltz020@umn.edu and Svedarsky at 218-281-8129 or dsvedars@umn.edu at the Center for Sustainability, U of M, Crookston.

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 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)

On Monday, Dec. 14, from 7 to 9 p.m., the National Wildlife Federation will sponsor an evening of discussions with a live broadcast link on the University of Minnesota, Crookston campus in Dowell Hall Room 100. The event is free and open to all interested individuals.

The broadcast will originate at the Center for Innovation IdeaLab on the campus of the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, N.D., and also will be broadcast to sites in in North Dakota including Bismarck, Devils Lake, Fargo, and Jamestown.

Presentations Include:

Economic Impact of Hunting and Sportsmen Activities on North Dakota's Economy - Roger Hollevoet, Project Leader for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Devils Lake Wetland Management District

Prairie Wetlands and Climate Change - Droughts and Ducks in the Potholes - Rick Voldseth, Department of Soil Science, North Dakota State University

Pots of Gold - Carbon Sequestration Opportunities for Hunters and Landowners - Liz Mathern, Carbon Credit Program Specialist, North Dakota Farmers Union

Natural Resource Adaptation Funding in the Federal Climate Bills - Justin Allegro, Legislative Representative for Wildlife Conservation, National Wildlife Federation

Learn more at http://online.nwf.org/site/Calendar?view=Detail&id=103901.

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 www.UMCrookston.edu.

Contact: Andrew Svec, director, communications, 218-281-8438; Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

On Friday, October 2, 2009, the University of Minnesota, Crookston formally dedicated a new residence facility, Evergreen Hall. Along with the dedication, Otter Tail Power Company +Evergreen Ribbon Cutting 3597.jpgannounced its Energy Challenge Campus, a special project that brings Otter Tail and the U of M, Crookston together to help reduce energy consumption.

A number of dignitaries and special guests were on campus for the building dedication and energy challenge announcement including the following guest speakers:

Charles H. Casey, chancellor, U of M, Crookston
Clyde Allen, Jr., chair, University of Minnesota Board of Regents
Bernie Lieder, state representative, Minnesota District 01B
Gary Willhite, director of residential life and security services, U of M, Crookston
Thomas Haarstick, president, Crookston Student Association
Chuck MacFarlane, president and CEO, Otter Tail Power Company
Bill Glahn, director, Minnesota Office of Energy Security
+Bruininks 3637.jpgRobert Bruininks, president, University of Minnesota (in photo at left)

In the photo above of the ribbon cutting ceremony: (l to r) Representative Bernie Lieder, Residential Life Director Gary Willhite, Regent Clyde Allen, Regent Venora Hung, CSA President Thomas Haarstick, Michael J. Burns (Michael J. Burns Architects), Chancellor Charles H. Casey, U of M President Robert Bruininks, Assistant Professor Brian Dingmann, Ruann Deschene (Community Contractors, Inc.), and Crookston Mayor David Genereux.

Sustainability is a priority for the University of Minnesota, Crookston. Students helped lead the effort for Evergreen Hall to become the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified residence facility in the University of Minnesota system. LEED certification, an internationally recognized green building certification system, means that Evergreen Hall's apartment-style living was designed with consideration for sustainability and less environmental impact. 

Evergreen Hall makes use of green building materials, such as countertops throughout the facility that feature recycled glass, banana peel fibers, or paper; recycled vinyl and plastic in the flooring; energy-saving lighting; and interior woodwork milled from evergreen and ash trees removed from the construction site. Another unique feature of the building is an innovative interactive classroom. Evergreen Hall is truly a living, learning center. It showcases the technological advantages offered by the Crookston campus and capitalizes on a history of computer-based innovation.

+Chuck MacFarlane 3614.jpgIn photo at left, Chuck MacFarlane, president and CEO, Otter Tail Power Company announced the Campus Energy Challenge. In this first-of-its-kind program, the U of M, Crookston will work with Otter Tail Power Company to reduce electric energy consumption on campus by as much as 15 percent.

Evergreen Hall was designed by Michael J. Burns Architects, Ltd. and built by Community Contractors, Inc. in conjunction with several local and regional subcontractors.

Contact: Andrew Svec, director, communications, 218-281-8438 (asvec@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

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 www.umcrookston.edu/sustainability.

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 www.UMCrookston.edu.
 

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

Crookston, Minn.  - A new project brings Otter Tail Power Company and the University of Minnesota, Crookston together in an effort to reduce electric energy consumption on the campus. The project will be formally announced at the dedication of a new residence hall on Friday, October 2, 2009. During the ceremony, which begins at noon in Evergreen Hall, the selection of the U of M, Crookston as the designated campus for Otter Tail Power Company's Campus Energy Challenge will be highlighted. The public is invited to attend.

In this first-of-its-kind program, the U of M, Crookston will work with Otter Tail Power Company to reduce electric energy consumption on campus by as much as 15 percent. Sustainability is a priority for the U of M, Crookston, and students helped lead the effort for Evergreen Hall to become the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified residence facility in the U of M system. The building's construction focused on minimizing environmental impact and saving energy throughout its development and construction.

A number of dignitaries and special guests will be on campus for the building dedication and energy challenge announcement including the following guest speakers:

Charles H. Casey, chancellor, U of M, Crookston
Clyde Allen, Jr., chair, University of Minnesota Board of Regents
Bernie Lieder, state representative, Minnesota District 01B
Gary Willhite, director of residential life and security services, U of M, Crookston
Thomas Haarstick, president, Crookston Student Association
Chuck MacFarlane, president and CEO, Otter Tail Power Company
Bill Glahn, director, Minnesota Office of Energy Security
Robert Bruininks, president, University of Minnesota

Students, staff, and faculty on the Crookston campus will join Otter Tail Power Company employees to research and analyze current electric energy consumption and develop strategies for reducing their use in 2009; most implementation will occur in 2010. The challenge is a pilot project that is part of Otter Tail Power Company's Minnesota Conservation Improvement Program approved by the Minnesota Office of Energy Security in November 2008.

Together, Otter Tail Power Company and the U of M, Crookston expect to nurture and develop energy efficiency habits that will help everyone on campus save money on their energy bills and model those habits to the Crookston community, other campuses, and the country.

Otter Tail Power Company, a subsidiary of Otter Tail Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select Market: OTTR), is headquartered in Fergus Falls, Minn. It provides electricity and energy services to more than a quarter million people in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. To learn more about Otter Tail Power Company visit www.otpco.com. To learn more about conserving energy visit www.conservingelectricity.com. To learn more about Otter Tail Corporation visit www.ottertail.com.

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 www.UMCrookston.edu.

Contact: Andrew Svec, director of communications, U of M, Crookston, 218-281-8438, (asvec@umn.edu); Cris Kling, director of public relations, Otter Tail Power Company, 218-739-8297

Crookston, Minn.  -  With the first residence facility to earn Leadership in Energy and Gentele_Lisa 9036.jpgEnvironmental Design (LEED) certification in the University of Minnesota system, the Crookston campus has appointed a student to assist in furthering the campus initiatives in sustainability. Lisa (Gregoire) Gentele, Omaha, Neb., was recently hired to support the work of the Center for Sustainability on the Crookston campus under the leadership of its director Dan Svedarsky, Ph.D.

In her role, Gentele will serve as chair of the Crookston Students for Sustainability Development (CSSD) working closely with students and student government in sustainability efforts. She will assist the participation in Minnesota Schools Cutting Carbon Initiative; the Ottertail Power Energy Challenge grant in consultation with Tim Norton, director of Facilities Management and Operations; and contribute to ongoing data collection for Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions report and Climate Neutrality Plan for the campus.

Gentele is majoring in natural resources at the U of M, Crookston with an emphasis in park management and natural resource management and is also a member of the Natural Resources Club and vice president of U of M, Crookston Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society. The senior is planning to graduate at the end of fall semester 2009.

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 www.UMCrookston.edu.

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

U of M, Crookston Selected as Member Site of Minnesota GreenCorps

Waltz_Chris 9674.jpgCrookston, Minn.  - A grant awarded to the University of Minnesota, Crookston will allow the campus to host a member of Minnesota's statewide initiative to help preserve and protect the environment, known as the Minnesota GreenCorps. Chris Waltz, in the photo, was recently appointed as the local government energy conservation specialist and will be trained for his role as part of a new generation of environmental professionals under the program. He will be located on the Crookston campus and assist local entities (city, county, school district) in the conservation of energy from their buildings and/or vehicle operations. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) coordinates the Minnesota GreenCorps, which is an environmental AmeriCorps program. The Crookston campus was one of 56 applicants selected as one of the 12 sites.

In his role, Waltz will work closely with the City of Crookston  and the U of M, Crookston Sustainability Committee and with Dan Svedarsky, director of the U of M, Crookston Center for Sustainability.  Waltz will be responsible for collecting, benchmarking, and reporting up-to-date data on energy use and reducing greenhouse gas ( GHG) emissions such as carbon dioxide. Another responsibility will be to work with the host site to implement action steps that will have an immediate effect as well as look at how to invest in the future in an environmentally conscious way.

Waltz, a 2009 graduate of the U of M, Crookston, majored in natural resources and led the effort as a student in gaining Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for the new residence hall on the campus. Dubbed Evergreen Hall, the residence facility is the first LEED Certified residence hall in the University of Minnesota system. LEED certification, an internationally recognized green building certification system, means that Evergreen Hall's apartment-style living was designed with consideration for sustainability and less environmental impact.

As a member site, the Minnesota GreenCorps position integrates well with the recent selection of the campus as a winner of Otter Tail Power Company's Campus Energy Challenge. The goal of this first-of-its-kind program is to work with Otter Tail Power Company to reduce electric energy consumption on campus by as much as 15 percent over a two-year period.

Svedarsky is enthusiastic about hosting a Minnesota GreenCorps member and what it means, "This opportunity connects the Crookston campus and community in an effort to become more environmentally conscious and to save precious resources and money," Svedarsky says. "Being a member site for the Minnesota GreenCorps and working with Otter Tail Power Company will help us engage in a real, practical way to employ energy conservation methods to help us make better decisions on the campus, in the community, and as individuals."

The mission of the Minnesota GreenCorps is to provide its members with opportunities to contribute to improve Minnesota's environment, while gaining experience and learning valuable job skills. Local governments and community organizations statewide host Minnesota GreenCorps members and provide day-to-day supervision for members working on projects in the areas of local government energy conservation, school waste prevention, living green outreach, local food systems, and urban forestry. To learn more, visit the MPCA's NextStep sustainability Web site at www.nextstep.state.mn.us.

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 www.UMCrookston.edu.



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

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