University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
Sustainability Education

New Course: ENGL 3502 – Nature Stories: Environmental Discourse in Action

March 25, 2015MadelineFaculty News, General, Undergraduate NewsComments Off


Looking for an enjoyable environmental course to fill out your schedule? Check out this new offering.

-001 DIS , 11:15 A.M. – 12:30 P.M. , Tu,Th (09/08/2015 – 12/16/2015) , LindH  203 , TCEASTBANK , Licht,Melissa Verainstruction mode: Classroom/Onsite , 4 credits

This course will explore how contemporary literature, science, ethics, philosophy, journalism, and popular culture use stories to portray and interpret nature. This course will also feature an emphasis on the lived experience, civic motivation, and observational research that enrich the most effective nature writing. Either by working as service-learners or by designing your own independent action project, you will have the chance to engage with natural environments and action-oriented organizations that interest you. Over the course of the semester, you will devote around 24 hours to your chosen civic work option. For the service-learning option, you will gain first-hand knowledge of local initiatives by working at a local environmental organization or community group. You will be able to learn the stories of local activists in person, and put your own ethical commitments into play by working with an engaged community.

Food Systems Challenge Course Offered Fall 2015!

course banner“Can we feed the world without destroying it?” (GCC 3001) is a Grand Challenge Curriculum (GCC) course where students examine the fundamental changes in our civilization, the global environment, and the global food system that are happening in the 21st century.  Together, instructors and students will seek solutions to the twin challenges of achieving global food security and global environmental sustainability.  Ultimately, we will seek answers to the question, “Can we feed the world without destroying it?”

While there isn’t a single “right” answer to this question, progress can still be made through collaboration and innovation using interdisciplinary approaches.  To act on this challenge, this course moves beyond theories and asks students to analyze the problem and develop their own solutions.

Open to honors and non-honors students in all majors.

Taught by Professor Jason Hill and Regents Professor David Tilman. 3 credits.   Fall 2015: Tuesdays 6:00–9:00 PM,

  • Meets LE theme: Environment
  • Open to all students
  • Fulfills an honors experience
  • Three Credits

Students tackle questions like:

  • Can organic feed the world?
  • Does the bioeconomy help or hinder?
  • How can food waste be curbed?
  • What role should GMOs have?
  • How can education reach more people?

The complexities of the problem and the actors involved are interdisciplinary; all disciplines are needed to develop effective solutions.

The course format includes guest speakers and expert panels of leaders in local food systems, business, the NGO sector, and government agencies. Students learn through lectures and skills labs, and collaborate with interdisciplinary teams on practical solutions to food insecurity as a final project.

Questions?  Contact Barrett Colombo at

Job Posting: Environmental Fellowship for Graduating Seniors

March 23, 2015MadelineGeneral, Undergraduate NewsComments Off



Environment America is seeking graduating seniors for fellowships with grassroots campaigns on climate change.

Environment America believes lack of political will is the greatest factor inhibiting solutions to climate change. It focuses on running grassroots campaigns to “bring people together to convince our leaders to stop pandering to big polluters and climate deniers and start getting behind the solutions.”

Deadline: Monday, March 30.

Learn more and apply at:

Acara Social Venture Course


Acara Global Venture Design: What impact will you make?

Global Venture Design (CE 5571) is Acara’s fundamental 4-cr impact venture design course in which students gain experience working on multidisciplinary teams to design scalable business solutions that address grand social and environmental challenges in India in cooperation with professional mentors. The course will be offered Fridays 9am–noon in Fall 2015. It is open to grad students and upper level undergrads from all colleges and majors, and fulfills the Global Perspectives theme.

What is Acara Global Venture Design?

The course is interdisciplinary, global, entrepreneurial, experiential, project-based and team-oriented. In the course you will:

  • Identify a wicked grand challenge
  • Design a social venture solution
  • Collaborate on an interdisciplinary, global project team
  • Be mentored by business professionals
  • Pitch your venture for seed funding to travel to India

How to apply
Apply for a permission number by emailing Fred Rose at with: (1) your resume and (2) a short essay responding to three questions: Why do you wish to take the class? What is your relevant background experience? What will you contribute to an interdisciplinary team? (Essay should be 2 page max). Application is now open and will be accepted on a rolling basis. The priority deadline is April 1, 2015. Space is limited to 25, so apply soon!

What is Acara?
Acara is a series of courses and incubation actions to shape leaders and ventures for global impact. We support development of impactful venture solutions focused on societal and environmental change in the U.S. and globally. For additional information contact us at or

Paid Internships with Minnesota Technical Assistance Program

March 6, 2015MadelineGeneral, Undergraduate NewsComments Off


The Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP) is seeking junior or senior college students to work on waste reduction and energy efficiency projects at companies in Minnesota. In 2015, MnTAP is 13 summer projects in locations around the state. The application deadline has been extended until March 31, 2015 so there is still time for students to apply.

As a MnTAP intern, students will:

  1. Determine how waste is currently produced in company processes.
  2. Research and evaluate options for reducing waste.
  3. Work with the company’s management and employees to determine feasibility of different waste reduction options.
  4. Develop a cost comparison between the use of existing procedures and the new ones.
  5. Write a final report and present project results.

The projects are at different companies and in different industries so project specifics will vary. Specific job descriptions for the 13 positions are posted on the MnTAP web site at: (

We Need Your Help!

Please post or distribute the attached MnTAP Internship Flier to interested Juniors and Seniors in your department. As a MnTAP intern, students will have the opportunity to affect change while working full-time in a governmental, manufacturing, industrial, food processing, or healthcare facility. This experience not only prepares students for careers after graduation, but also provides an opportunity to help a company make changes to reduce pollution, increase energy efficiency, and save money!


  • Cumulative GPA of at least 3.0
  • Good oral & written communication skills
  • A technical academic background
  • Troubleshooting skills
  • Appropriate majors: Chemical engineering, chemistry, civil engineering, mechanical engineering, industrial engineering, physics, bioproducts and biosystems engineering, food science and nutrition, and others as applicable

The position is full time, 40 hours per week, for three months to start after the conclusion of spring semester or quarter. The pay is $13.00 per hour plus a $1,000 stipend upon completion of the deliverables at the conclusion of the project. This equals $15.00 per hour when averaged over the project.

How To Apply:

Students should complete the online application form and submit it with their cover letter, resume, and unofficial transcript. Students may also complete the application in MS Word and submit it and all other required materials to: Priority will be given to students who apply before March 31, however applications will be considered until all positions are filled. Cover letters should be addressed to:

Linda Maleitzke, Intern Program Administrator
200 Oak Street SE, Suite 350
Minneapolis, MN 55455

The Sustainability Education website is administered by the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment.

The University of Minnesota offers sustainability courses in most of its colleges and campuses around the state. These courses encompass biophysical sciences, social sciences, humanities, arts, design, engineering, business, and health. The Sustainability Studies minor is one of several interdisciplinary programs through which such diverse courses come together.