Breakout Session I, Saturday, 9-9:50 am

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The Morris Model: Catalyzing Sustainable Change in Rural Minnesota, Troy Goodnough & Sam Rosemark, University of Minnesota, Morris

Location:  Weitz 236

UMN Morris is playing a leadership role in catalyzing sustainable change in the city of Morris, Minnesota. Currently, there is a group of community leaders from the campus, city, county, public schools, hospital, and community organizations, which call themselves the "Morris Model" team. The team has worked together to create a strategic plan which includes specific goals around clean energy, waste, transportation and community education. This includes the Morris Model 100 -- a list of 100 goals/actions the community will pursue. This presentation will provide information about the development of the Morris Model and examples of community transformation. The Morris Model partners have earned several awards for their efforts and for creating this community-team. At the heart of the Morris Model -- are the UMN Morris students who provide community organizing support, data analysis, and more. This presentation will engage participants in thinking more deeply about how their own community is a "model community" and some steps they can take to create sustainable change in their part of the world.

UN Sustainable Development Goals:  Decent Work and Economic growth, Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure, Reduced Inequalities, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action, Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions, Partnership for the Goals


Launching the Intercultural Student Leaders (ISLe) Program at University of Minnesota Morris, Clement Loo & Tammy Berberi, University of Minnesota, Morris

Location:  Weitz 236

UMN Morris launched the Intercultural Student Leadership (ISLe) program in spring 2019. The goal of the program is to diversity the sustainability leadership on-campus and in the community. The program is a cohort model. Each team member is asked to identify and engage with statewide- and community-leaders that have an interest or career in sustainability. During the course of a year the cohort meets as as a team and shares information about what they are learning and deepen their understanding of sustainability topics, including the UN SDGs. The program provides an opportunity for each participant to articulate their own personal understanding of sustainability, informed by readings, team discussions, cohort trips, meetings with mentors, and their own cultural experiences and background. This presentation will describe the process of the program and provide an opportunity for student participants to share some of their experiences as participants in the ISLe program.

UN Sustainable Development Goals:  Reduced Inequalities, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Climate Action, Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions, Partnership for the Goals


Citizen Science Through "Glocal" Current Issues, Bobak Razavi, Chris Collins, Molly McMahon, & Nick Palombo, St. Paul Academy and Summit School (K-12 Independent School)

Location:  Weitz 132

We will show how 7th-grade science and social studies students at Saint Paul Academy and Summit School engage in current local issues of water quality and sustainability, informed by "glocal" (global and local) considerations. Through project-based learning, students investigate and identify local water issues; analyze data; explore the underlying science; and design, build, and test possible solutions.

UN Sustainable Development Goals:  No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Good Health & Wellbeing, Quality Education, Clean Water and Sanitation, Affordable and Clean Energy, Decent Work and Economic growth, Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure, Reduced Inequalities, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action, Life Below Water, Life on Land, Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions


Supporting Sustainability, Supporting People: A Case Study on a Community-Campus Partnership, Alyssa Melby & Kevin Strauss, St. Olaf College & Cannon River Watershed Partnership

Weitz 133

Building environmental sustainability requires the work of people, and the work of people requires commitment to developing relationships to sustain the work. Presenters from the Cannon River Watershed Partnership (CRWP) and St. Olaf College will share a case study for building relationships and moving environmental sustainability forward, at individual and institutional levels through one particular avenue of higher education community engagement: academic civic engagement (ACE) courses. ACE, also known as service learning or community-engaged learning, matches faculty and courses with community opportunities. CRWP has participated as a partner in several ACE courses across disciplines over the last few years, such as Environmental Studies, Marketing, and History. As the partnership has deepened, the presenters have continued to reflect upon and improve their work based on the following questions: How are we valuing each other’s opportunities and contributions to create mutual benefit? What level of risk is each participant taking on through the partnership? Amidst constraints of time and resources, how do we prioritize our partnership and our work? What impact is this partnership really having on all participants and the institutions involved? How are diverse perspectives of participants accounted for in the planning and implementation of ACE courses? How is creative thinking encouraged in the process and product of the partnerships? These questions will be investigated using different models for higher education community partnership while presenters share lessons learned and key take-aways that can be applied to a wide variety of community partnerships.

UN Sustainable Development Goals:  Clean Water and Sanitation, Sustainable Cities and Communities


Avoiding Drowning by Pooling Our Resources, Steven Huss-Lederman, Beloit College

Location:  Weitz 230

Achieving sustainability goals requires dedication and community building. While educational institutions support and integrate sustainability into their academic missions, there are never enough resources to achieve what is possible and necessary. As a computer science professor, I wanted to make a difference in the sustainability community, and this was my driving force in creating the Open Energy Dashboard (OED) project. I didn't want to just develop a way to engage my campus in resource consumption but wanted to build a tool that could be used at an array of schools in a variety of ways to advance sustainability. I also envisioned a project that enabled a rich ecosystem of hands-on and engaged learning for everyone from computer science to sustainability students along with their educators. I also desire to have students from multiple campuses using and contributing to the OED project to advance its goals and create a wider learning environment. The sum of the contributions of each campus leads to a greater whole where everyone wins. What was/is involved in leading such a project? Did this really work out? Could this be a model that pools our limited resources to better achieve educational and environmental goals at our colleges and universities? Isn't this what UN goal #17 about partnership for the goals is all about? This presentation will give an honest assessment of what it took to create the OED project, how it engaged students, whether it achieve it goals, and what areas need improvement from the vantage point of the potential of shared endeavors for our community. The goal is to have an active discussion of this example and then move to the broader question of widely sharing resources on other projects to try to more rapidly and effectively advance sustainability and climate action.

UN Sustainable Development Goals:  Partnership for the Goals


Managing What You Measure: Having Fun with Energy Data Display and Analysis, Martha Larson & Jeff Ondich, Carleton College

Location:  Weitz 231

Energy data can be a perplexing world, riddled with questions on how to collect, compile, store, integrate, normalize, visualize and analyze millions of values in a way that tells a useful story. This presentation details Carleton's experience with energy data management and the innovative ways it has been used in courses and senior "comps" projects. Since 2013, Carleton has used the Lucid Building OS platform to compile energy data from diverse sources including utility bills, wind turbines, solar arrays and building automation systems. Facilities / sustainability staff will share successes and hiccups with data integration and reliability along with the visual data displays we use to identify building operation profiles, energy conservation opportunities and meter issues. We will also discuss our workflow for using these data visualizations which has evolved over time to a more routine (and therefore reliable) process. Faculty will then describe how energy data has been used in classes and innovative senior "comps" projects that envision even more powerful data analytics tools for the future.

UN Sustainable Development Goals:  No Poverty, Good Health & Wellbeing, Quality Education, Affordable and Clean Energy, Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure, Reduced Inequalities, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action, Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions


Embedding Sustainability in Student Life, Mindy Granley & Jonna Korpi, University of Minnesota, Duluth

Location:  Weitz 231

To address a growing demand for sustainability in operations, learning, and student engagement, UMD created a Sustainability Activities Coordinator position reporting to the Sustainability Director in Student Life. The position was modeled after student activities advisers, and collaborates with Student Life units (Housing and Residence Life, Dining) and beyond (academics, operations). We've helped improve campus operations through student volunteers, paid student staff, academic internships, and independent studies/research. Collaboration with student groups and interns around waste and renewable energy helped transformed campus operations....and gave students professional experiences that go beyond classroom learning.

UN Sustainable Development Goals:  Quality Education, Affordable and Clean Energy, Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action


Niizhoo-gwayakochigewin: Two Ways of Making Things Right, Erika Bailey-Johnson & Alyssa Hauser, Bemidji State University

Location:  Weitz 233

Named for an Ojibwe phrase which translates to “two ways of making things right,” Niizhoo-gwayakochigewin draws from Bemidji State University’s (BSU) Sustainability Office, Department of Languages and Indigenous Studies, Department of Environmental Studies, and American Indian Resource Center to create a single co-curricular program that brings Indigenous perspectives into sustainability initiatives.

As part of this program, BSU has five clear objectives which include creating a new academic major, organizing faculty development workshops, creating a community collaborative to guide the initiatives, managing an undergraduate summer internship program, and hiring two graduate assistants to help facilitate all objectives. The undergraduates will be charged with identifying and pursuing collaboration opportunities between the program and local communities, while the graduate students will provide leadership in the program during the academic year.

The Center for Sustainability Studies and Indigenous Studies Department at Bemidji State University propose an interdisciplinary Indigenous Sustainability Studies (ISS) major and minor to begin the Fall of 2019. While there is one similar program in Canada — the Indigenous Environmental Studies/Science Program at Trent University — in the United States, degree programs that combine Indigenous perspectives with Western knowledge are rare. Indigenous knowledge perspectives will become more legitimized alongside Western worldviews, a change that is crucial for the long-term paradigm shift that this degree program intends to bring about. All Bemidji State University students, American Indian and non-American Indian alike, will begin to appreciate and use the multiple worldviews provided by understanding both Western and Indigenous knowledge perspectives to help bring about creative problem solving and long-term, sustainable changes in the world.

UN Sustainable Development Goals:  Good Health & Wellbeing, Reduced Inequalities, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions, Partnership for the Goals


Sustainability as a Colonized Concept, Meghann Jarchow, University of South Dakota

Location:  Weitz 233

Sustainability is a term used to address the long-term function of the earth, which includes the subsistence of people, the economy, and the natural world. Although the concepts behind sustainability have existed for thousands of years, this new term, and specific sustainability efforts, have only had a strong presence in Western society since roughly the 1970s. Indigenous cultures have recognized these concepts long before the colonization of the lands by white settlers. While the ideas behind sustainability were once a culturally embedded practice, they have, in recent years, become reclaimed and commodified. This research argues that sustainability has become a colonized concept, reclaimed from indigenous worldviews. Settler-colonialism involves the taking of lands from indigenous people to establish long-term dominance through genocide, enforced assimilation, and appropriation of culture and sacred land. Because sustainability is a concept modified from traditional practice, arguably appropriated from indigenous culture, and embedded with a modern, colonized, consumerist culture, it is yet another example of long-term settler-colonialist influence on the United States society.

UN Sustainable Development Goals:  Gender Equality, Reduced Inequalities


Luther College Endeavor Together: Celebrating Diversity, Fostering Sustainable Communities, and Inspiring Creativity, Logan Olson, Emily Neal, Arpine Hovhannisyan, and Carson Schulte, Luther College

Location:  Weitz 235

As an immersive pre-orientation program for first year college students, Endeavor Together at Luther celebrates diversity, fosters sustainable communities, and inspires creativity for participants and leaders alike. Endeavor Together brings together international and domestic first-year students for a week of camping in either the Boundary Waters of northern Minnesota or the Decorah Driftless area before the start of their first semester. Led by Luther student leaders, the groups embark on a trip full of canoeing, hiking, team challenges, cooking, campfires, and community building. Group leaders create a space where participants are encouraged to share about their cultures, identities, fears about college, and much more, all through the setting of an outdoor adventure. Additionally, the program fosters positive connections between participants and our surrounding natural areas, introducing to Luther students what it means to live sustainably and be stewards of the land.

UN Sustainable Development Goals:  Good Health & Wellbeing, Reduced Inequalities, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Life on Land, Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions


Real Food Calculating at Carleton: A Story of Integrated Collaboration, Clara Liang, Grace Liao, Emma Leither, and Caroline Hall, Carleton College

Location:  Weitz 235

Carleton College has been successfully running the Real Food Calculator since 2009. The Real Food Challenge is a nationwide program that helps colleges and universities determine how much of their food is ‘real’ and determine what product shifts can be made to purchase more real food. Food is characterized as real if it is local, humane, sustainable (e.g. organic), and/or fair (e.g. Fair Trade). Carleton has maintained a Real Food percentage of more than 24% every year since 2013, with an all-time high of 31% in the 2016-2017 school year. Our cohort’s success is in large part due to creative collaboration between our dining services Bon Appetit, the Center for Community and Civic Engagement, and the Sustainability Office. These two offices and dining services each supply 1-2 student workers who carry out the Real Food Calculating each year. Every team member works on data input, and the rest of the work is divided up into three main roles. The Real Food work we do at Carleton reflects and supports multiple United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, including Climate Action, Life on Land, Life Below Water, and Reduced Inequalities. Our presentation will focus on developing successful collaborations for sustainable food work. Attendees will have the opportunity to engage with a new online data entry and visualization tool that was recently designed for our calculating group by Carleton Computer Science students.

UN Sustainable Development Goals:  Reduced Inequalities, Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action, Life Below Water, Life on Land


The Upper Midwest Campus Farmers Network: The Potential of Sharing Knowledge Across Campus Farms, Lydia Sulik, Macalester College

Location:  Weitz 235

In 2018, Bon Appetit fellow Peter Todaro worked with Macalester Sustainability Office to help launch an Upper Midwest Chapter of the national Campus Farmers Network (CFN), a network for students, staff, and faculty involved in campus farms to share skills, knowledge, and contacts for campus gardens and farms. A year after the chapter launch, two student workers at Macalester’s Sustainability Office involved in the campus’ student-run garden, MULCH, organized a second CFN Upper Midwest chapter workshop, to revamp the network and inspire further collaboration across campus farms. This workshop provided opportunities for students and staff of campus farms to present on uses for their campus farms and growing strategies, and for group discussions on topics including how campus farms intersect with food justice issues, how to make sustainable purchasing decisions, and how to contend with space and budget limitations on campus farms. While this network is still growing and in its beginning stages, the potential for further collaboration is great. This presentation will give an overview of the history of the Campus Farmers Network Upper Midwest Chapter, outline our aspirations for the future of the network, and give information on how to connect with the network.

UN Sustainable Development Goals:  Zero Hunger, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Life on Land


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