Breakout Session IV, Saturday, 2-2:50 pm

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Beyond Doom and Gloom for UMACS, Suzanne Savanick Hansen & Debra Rowe, Macalester College

Location:  Weitz 132

Sustainability Offices struggle to connect with civic engagement around policy issues. Many sustainability staff do not have policy expertise or self-censor because they don’t know what is permissible under rules for non-profits. HEASC is looking to fill this void by sustainability offices, civic engagement offices and faculty through the “Beyond Doom and Gloom” Initiative. In the presentation, we will discuss resources already available and then discuss how UMACS schools can safely connect to civic engagement policy opportunities and help students learn the skills needed to participate in democracy for a sustainable future. Dr. Debra Rowe will present virtually and Dr. Suzanne Savanick Hansen will facilitate the discussion. This presentation connects to all of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and most directly to “climate action”, “peace, justice and strong institutions” and “partnership for the goals”.

UN Sustainable Development Goals:  No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Good Health & Wellbeing, Quality Education, Gender Equality, 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, Partnership for the Goals


Sustainable Justice in Wisconsin: A Transdisciplinary Approach, Greta Gaard & Grace Coggio, University of Wisconsin-River Falls

Location:  Weitz 236

As evidenced by AASHE's recent Keynote presenters--from Julian Agyeman (2010) on "Just Sustainabilities" to Marsha Chatelain's creation of the #fergusonsyllabus (2016)--AASHE's present and future directions foreground strengthening connections between environmental justice (a grassroots movement of working class people and communities of color) and sustainability (a largely white and middle-class movement for transforming business, industry, and public utilities). How can that transdisciplinary vision be articulated through college campuses that are largely disciplinary-based? Our campus took on that challenge, providing annual Sustainability-Across-the-Curriculum workshops, mentoring faculty to support their decisions to infuse social justice-driven courses with analyses of economics and environment, and to offer cultural diversity trainings to faculty oriented primarily to environmental sciences. Inspired by Agyeman's work, our new Sustainable Justice Minor offers curriculum across all four university colleges, with foundations and capstone courses that are co-taught and bridge university-community bounds. Enlivening both students and faculty through film-and-discussion series, through mindfulness pedagogy, art-based sustainability workshops and pop-ups, and regional sustainability bus tours are some of our tools.

UN Sustainable Development Goals:  Quality Education, Gender Equality, Reduced Inequalities, Responsible Consumption and Production, Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions


Teaching Social Justice: Pedagogies for Engaged Citizenship, Jim Zaffiro, Central College

Location:  Weitz 236

"Teaching Social Justice and Human Rights: Pedagogies for Global Citizenship"
This presentation will aim to bring people together to share new and effective ways to teach and learn about social justice and human rights, broadly-defined. It highlights applications of SDG 16 "Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions" and community-building at the local and global levels as a means of preparing future engaged citizens in the context of a variety of undergraduate disciplines and courses. I will offer examples of successful activities, high impact learning experiences, assignments, and learning outcomes from four of my courses, while inviting audience participants to come prepared to share and discuss their approaches. The goal is to have all of us come away with some new ways of teaching and learning about human rights.

UN Sustainable Development Goals:  Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions


SCP Arts: A Collaborative, Arts-based Applied Learning Partnership Model for Creative Community Engagement, Maria Dahmus, St. Thomas

Location:  Weitz 133

Communities locally and globally face the challenge of re-imagining and implementing systems that restore interconnected human and environmental well-being. The Sustainable Communities Partnership (SCP), a member of the EPIC-N network, engages students across disciplines with local and regional government partners through course-based, applied projects to advance community sustainability goals. These collaborative projects can be transformative for students and implementation of project results can benefit the community in multiple ways. But, even so, residents in the community may not engage directly with the results or sustainability goals. In this presentation, I outline an arts-based, applied learning model I have developed to enrich student learning and public engagement with partnership goals and outcomes: SCP Arts. SCP Arts integrates arts-based dimensions into SCP projects through workshops with local artists to enrich student analyses and problem-solving and to engage people of all ages with community sustainability goals. The collaborating artist and students co-envision artwork to analyze and communicate project results, and SCP partners share the project artwork in their communities and beyond. I will provide three examples of SCP Arts in practice: the Metropolitan Council’s climate vulnerability collaboration with an English course; Metro Transit’s diverse ridership collaboration with a Leadership for Social Justice course; and the University of St. Thomas Pollinator Path’s pollinator habitat and public engagement collaboration with Biology and Engineering courses. As part of this discussion, I will invite the audience to participate in an interactive activity that models the process through which the public engages with SCP Arts project artwork. Finally, I will discuss preliminary results from a collaborative study of the impacts of SCP Arts collaborations on student and community engagement.

UN Sustainable Development Goals:  Good Health & Wellbeing, Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Climate Action, Life on Land, Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions


The Arts of the Earth Festival, Nitzana Flores & Anna Haynes, Bemidji State University

Location:  Weitz 133

This year the Bemidji State University Sustainability Office hosted an event celebrating art, honoring Mother Earth, and inspiring community with the 2nd annual Arts of the Earth Festival. Open to the community, young and old, the event featured Earth-minded art displays of many medias, live music, poetry, workshops, children's activities, vendors and booths, and documentaries. It was important to us to keep the event accessible for all, as sustainably as possible.

UN Sustainable Development Goals:  Good Health & Wellbeing, Quality Education, 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, Partnership for the Goals


The Importance of Meaningful Collaborations Outside of the Sustainability Community, Vern Cooper, Bemidji State University

Location:  Weitz 230

As a student member of the Bemidji State University's Sustainability Office, I have noticed the importance of collaborating with students, organizations, and members of the community who are not necessarily involved in the sustainability community. During my time working on various projects with the sustainability office, I've really enjoyed seeing how hard the people I work with work to make a positive impact on campus and with-in the community. It's given me the opportunity to see how individuals can make a change. I believe that by collaborating on sustainable projects with those outside of the sustainability community, we have the opportunity to show them how individuals can make a change as well as educating on the dynamics of sustainable approaches. I would like to give a brief description of a few of the projects the BSU Sustainability Office has collaborated on with other BSU organizations and community members to promote sustainable education outside of the Office.

UN Sustainable Development Goals:  Quality Education, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Partnership for the Goals


Full-Spectrum Sustainable Energy Course, Arjendu Pattanayak, Carleton College

Location:  Weitz 230

I would like to describe lessons learned from a course I have taught termed 'Sustainable Energy Principles and Practice'. During this course students learn the broad principles of sustainable energy physics and technology, but also that the challenges are best understood in the context of social and human elements such as economics, culture, and individual choices. We then travel to India for a couple of weeks to understand the specifics as well as to do solar installations in the service of energy justice. This hands on experiences enables a very different kind of learning as well as offsets the carbon footprint of the trip. The students then return to campus and try to implement local sustainable energy projects.

UN Sustainable Development Goals:  Clean Water and Sanitation, Affordable and Clean Energy, Decent Work and Economic growth, Climate Action


Low-Temperature Heating Hot Water Building Conversions, Aaron Einck, MEP Associates

Location:  Weitz 231

The engineering community is entering an exciting time of rethinking how buildings are heated and cooled. Design approaches that incorporate low-temperature heating hot water and flexible infrastructure provide opportunities to deploy new technologies that allow connectivity to district heating and cooling systems and reduce energy footprints, annual utility costs and carbon footprints. This presentation will discuss the benefits of converting existing buildings and how existing buildings may be evaluated and converted to a low-temperature hot water infrastructure while reusing as many of the existing assets as possible.

UN Sustainable Development Goals:  Sustainable Cities and Communities, Responsible Consumption and Production


You Are the Open Energy Dashboard, Steven Huss-Lederman, Beloit College

Location:  Weitz 231

The Open Energy Dashboard (OED) is a free and portable energy dashboard that is designed to support the sustainability community. OED already supports many features including acquiring and archiving meter data, aggregating energy data, multiple graphical representations and export of any data. These features support sustainability goals such as affordable and clean energy (UN #7) by documenting how energy efforts pay off and climate action (UN #13) through dissemination of information and support of engagement with energy data. The first part of this presentation provides a quick overview of OED features and welcome thoughts/suggestions on current features. The OED team strongly believes that the sustainability community owns the direction of this project. Thus, in the second part, the audience will examine proposed features and suggestions for other enhancements. For example, would you like the ability to show your campus usage on a map, show your progress toward carbon neutrality, a heat map, track actual vs projected project goals, or something else? You talk with OED, we listen, we create the dashboard features, you use it to meet your energy and sustainability goals, and the whole community benefits.

UN Sustainable Development Goals:  Affordable and Clean Energy, Climate Action


The Bemidji State University Student Green Fee, Erika Bailey-Johnson & Jordan Lutz, Bemidji State University

Location:  Weitz 233

Students at Bemidji State University (BSU) decided they wanted to go to the next level of environmental efforts and agreed to contribute financially to the cause. BSU students established a $5 per semester Green Fee in the fall of 2008 that went toward creation of a sustainability staff position and student projects. The Green Fee supported several projects and programs such as a solar bus stop shelter, climate action planning, and the Arts of the Earth Festival. Come to this session to find out more about how we utilize the Green Fee and whether something like this might work for your institution.

UN Sustainable Development Goals:  Decent Work and Economic growth, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Climate Action, Partnership for the Goals


Creating Organizational Culture Change in Higher Education, Elise Amel & Amir Nadav, St. Thomas

Location:  Weitz 233

Culture is a shared set of assumptions that guides people’s thoughts and behaviors. Within organizations, aligning structures and process with organizational culture is crucial for maintaining successful organizational functioning. This means that when assumptions must change, as is the case with sustainability, an organization’s culture as well as its structures and processes need to be reexamined and realigned. While it seems like a “chicken and egg” problem about what to tackle first, the culture or the structures and processes, classic organizational change principles can be leveraged to simultaneously create culture change and ensure the alignment of organizational features that support it. We will share a brief case study from the University of St. Thomas that illustrates the application of these classic principles. The case will address the essential role of leadership, participation in strategic visioning, alignment, goal setting, transparency, and accountability in supporting organizational transformation. While we walk through the case study we will open the floor for questions and observations and provide an organizational change worksheet for attendees which they can fill out with relevant information (who, what, when) about their own institution, creating a roadmap to culture change.

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


Northfield as a Living Lab: Community-Wide Food Recovery Expansion, Erica Zweifel & Alex Miller, Carleton College

Location:  Weitz 235

The City of Northfield, The Community Action Center of Northfield and Carleton College's Center for Community and Civic Engagement, and Sustainability Office are working to develop a community wide response to food recovery efforts. The Community Action Center of Northfield has transformed to a SuperShelf model which transforms food shelves and creates welcoming environments for communities to access appealing and healthy food. Utilizing the Environmental Protection Agency’s Food Waste Hierarchy model, Northfield is a living lab for best practices around food waste and reuse. We are combining this SuperShelf model with Carleton's Food Recovery Network volunteer base and the City of Northfield's infrastructure to address food recovery at the community level. Northfield aspires to be a model community for food recovery, organic waste reduction and share this knowledge with other cities and communities. This case study highlights how a partnership between a college, non-profit, city government, and an MPCA Recycling and Composting Grant can reduce food insecurity and food waste in a community.

UN Sustainable Development Goals:  Zero Hunger, Good Health & Wellbeing, Reduced Inequalities, Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action


Fighting Waste, Feeding People: Mitigating Food Insecurity within Rice County, Julia Braulick, Emily Moses, Grace Liao, and Brendon Lin, Carleton College

Location:  Weitz 235

This presentation will showcase the Carleton chapter of Food Recovery Network. Our work in this program is twofold: first, we fight food waste at Carleton by recovering surplus food from the two dining halls each night. Second, we redistribute this food to our local partner organizations to fight food insecurity in Rice County. Over the past five years, Carleton’s program has expanded from recovering one night per week in the dining hall to now being a robust community network. Last year, we recovered and donated over 7,500 pounds of food that would otherwise have gone to the landfill. By linking the Carleton student body to youth organizations, schools, housing providers, and churches, our program builds community connections around food. Through FRN National’s mission of fighting waste and feeding people, we directly contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals of Responsible Production and Consumption and Zero Hunger. Our presentation will provide strategies to reduce food waste across scale and show individuals how they can take agency within their own communities. In our presentation, we will share our organization structure, leadership roles, funding sources, and community partner communications. We will also discuss ways that both larger campus collaborations and individual efforts can work to mitigate food waste. We will engage the audience through group activities that highlight food waste, food insecurity, and opportunities to make an individual impact. This will include discussions around ways to reduce food waste at college campuses and an interactive quiz to reveal the impact of food waste in communities across the region. We hope to encourage audience members to think deeper about the significance of food in their communities, and to recognize that they can contribute to this cause. Reducing food waste is a collective effort made possible by individual action.

UN Sustainable Development Goals:  Zero Hunger, Responsible Consumption and Production


Food Waste and Recovery, Alexandra Torrance, Bemidji State University

Location:  Weitz 235

Food waste is not only bad for the environment, but has moral implications as well. Food that is thrown away ends up in landfills and produces large amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas. For the past four years, the Sustainability Office at Bemidji State University has done Weigh the Waste to calculate just how much post-consumer plate waste is generated on campus every semester. This presentation explores food waste at Bemidji State University, why and how it happens, and the subsequent prevention and recovery efforts.

UN Sustainable Development Goals:  No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action


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