Going home for the summer? This is your chance to share simple sustainable practices with family and friends. Here are some little changes anyone can make that will really add up.
Close your blinds when you’re not in the room. Letting the sun heat up an empty room while your air conditioner is running can be an enormous waste of electricity. So close the blinds when you leave– it’s even better than turning off the lights.
Wash your clothes in cold water. This can cut your washing machine’s energy consumption by 85 percent.
Use a drying rack or clothesline instead of a dryer. It will reduce your gas consumption and make your clothes last longer.
Use drought-tolerant plants in your garden. You’ll hardly need to water them at all.
Use a refillable water bottle. Whether you’re working out, gardening, or traveling, refillable water bottles save money, plastic, and energy.
Visit a farmers’ market. Get fresh produce at great prices while reducing your food miles and supporting local farmers.
Agroecology is a scientific discipline focused on understanding the structure and functions of agricultural systems and the interactions between the biophysical, sociocultural and technical components of those systems across a range of scales. Global demand for food is increasing and is expected to double by the year 2050, and this rise is greatest in developing parts of the world. Meeting the demand will require understanding the interdependence of food production practices, as well as the environment and social structures that rely on and shape agriculture. This course introduces students to agroecological approaches to studying and designing systems of food production.
The course will begin by introducing the conceptual basis of agroecosystems and considering different frameworks of inquiry. Students will become familiar with these frameworks as they continue to explore agroecosystems in Nepal, Morocco, and Costa Rica during the second portion of the course. During the final portion, students will use information gathered during these investigations to consider the impacts of global change factors on food production now and in the future, including climate change, water and energy availability, technology, population growth, and environmental degradation. Throughout this course, you will gain skills in accessing and using information on agroecosystems from a variety of sources including GIS maps, farmer and researcher interviews, and published literature. Fore more information on this course, visit the course site.
This course is taught by Dr. Paul Porter, coordinator for Agricultural Industries and Marketing undergraduate degrees. He has extensive experience in world agriculture, including a 12,000 km bike trip across ten African countries co-teaching courses in African farming. To learn more about Dr. Porter’s adventures, take a look at his blog.
Ramsey County Environmental Health Internships
The Environmental Health Section of Saint Paul – Ramsey County Public Health is seeking applicants for up to three paid internships during 2013. Graduate or undergraduate students with an interest in environmental science, environmental studies, environmental health, public health, health education, public policy, or fields related to environmental/public health are encouraged to apply. Candidates must be enrolled in a post-secondary institution in coursework relevant to these areas:
- Environmental health policy development and program implementation
- Environmental health education and outreach
- Evaluation and data management
The specific duties assigned to the interns will depend on the skills and abilities of the individuals hired.
Student Interns are paid up to $15.11 per hour, depending on background and level of education. These internships are available to be filled immediately on a full-time (40 hours per week) or part-time basis, but the starting date can occur after the current school year ends.
The Section will begin to review applications after May 10th, and continue to review them as they arrive. While there is no application deadline, applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.
To apply, send a cover letter explaining their area of interest as well as how the internship relates to your educational program, a resume, and a transcript from your current institution to:
Environmental Health Director
Saint Paul – Ramsey County Public Health
2785 White Bear Avenue, Suite 350
Maplewood, MN 55109 – 1320
Gordon Parks High School Youth Worker Coordinator and Farm Internship
For the past 4 years Cornercopia and Gordon Parks High School have been working together to co-create a relationship between our two programs during Gordon Parks summer sessions. The person filling this position will work with the staff at Gordon Parks HS and Cornercopia to develop and execute learning activities at Gordon Parks HS and most importantly at Cornercopia. During the 6 weeks of the GP summer sessions and the week before classes start, the person filling this position will spend half time working directly with GPHS staff and students. During the time the GPHS classes are not in session the person filling this position will work at Cornercopia producing food, caring for the land, and providing training and leadership to other farm workers and volunteers. Additionally the intern filling this position will provide leadership to develop connections and partnerships with other community groups.
Working hours on the student organic farm are typically 8:00 am (or earlier) until 3:00 or 4:00pm Monday through Friday. Weekend and evening hours can be put in but not exclusively. Weekly group intern meetings and field walks will be held so everyone understands the goals for the week. There is a fair amount of overlap of duties among all interns. Non-market managers will help out at the farmer’s market. Everyone will help plant, weed, harvest and process crops.
This position is 20 hours per week and $10 per hour. U of M Student Status for Spring Semester 2013 is required. Applicants should have a good working knowledge of growing vegetables and be comfortable working with older teens.
To apply for this position: Fill out and return the student application to MISA office (413 Hayes Hall in person drop off or mail to 411 Borlaug Hall) or submit via email to email@example.com . Preference will be given to applications received by May 3rd 2013.
Additional questions can be sent to Courtney Tchida at firstname.lastname@example.org
Student Assistant in the Office of International Programs in CFANS
The Office of International Programs in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences is seeking a student assistant. This dynamic position will provide administrative, communication, and research support to International Programs. We are looking for students who have an interest in study abroad. Applicants must have excellent communication skills and be equally comfortable with research and data organization. In addition, this position requires a high level of professionalism, collaboration and execution skills, and an ability to work in ambiguous settings. The ideal candidate would have a previous study abroad experience or be familiar with CFANS majors and study abroad programs, and have experience with websites and social media tools.
To see a complete description of this position and apply, click here.
Institute on the Environment Graphic Design Intern
The Institute on the Environment is searching for a graphic design intern. This position requires someone who can think creatively while maintaining brand standards and consistency. Duties include designing and producing a variety of print and electronic materials, coordinating the production of print projects, and assisting with image research. Applicants must be currently enrolled as an undergraduate student at the University of Minnesota. For more information or to apply, view the job posting (requisition number 184393).
You wouldn’t go grocery shopping with a blindfold on, would you? Many of us want to know where our food at the U comes from. The student group “U Students Like Good Food” has been working with University Dining Services over the past year to figure out how the U can source more local, sustainable, fair, and humane food.
Join U Students Like Good Food this Tuesday for a panel discussion on food at the U now and in the future, and what we’d like to see. Panelists include:
- Karen DeVet, Director of Dining
- Scott Pampuch, Chef and Sustainable Foods Activist
- Valentine Cadieux, Assistant Professor of Geography
- Naomi Scheman, Professor in Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies
- Eric Larsen, Stones Throw Urban Farmer
- Evelina Knodel, Officer of U Students Like Good Food
As the year winds down and students begin spending more time studying and finishing up projects, the libraries will see extended hours and fuller spaces. At Magrath library, students will find a new diversion- the Sustainability Library Display.
The display is filled with books, magazines, items, and memos all revolving around the theme of sustainability. Although the movement towards a more environmentally-friendly lifestyle may seem like a recent phenomenon scientists and theorists have been studying humanity’s impact on the environment for many decades. It seems as though there is a common deep-rooted will to preserve the natural part of Earth, even as humanity is drawn to growth and materialism.
The display includes old classics such as A Sand County Almanac written by Aldo Leopold in 1949 and Silent Spring written by Rachel Carson in 1962. These two pieces are often seen as the most important environmental books of the 20th century. Silent Spring, which focuses on the use of DDT and its effects on birds, is frequently credited with starting the modern environmental movement. A dated copy of the book and an illustrated selection are included in the exhibit, a contrast from the eye-catching, newly-released books.
The books fall under six categories: Collapse, Consumption, Recent Work, Classics, Food, and Related Issues. Each segment represents a section of sustainability that is important in the academic sector and world conversation. Each piece was recommended by a University of Minnesota student or faculty member for its merit or message. Some books are particularly unique, including Cradle to Cradle, which is printed on plastic that can be recycled indefinitely. Many of the works also include beautiful pictures and colorful covers that would catch the eye of any reader.
The display also features sustainable items including a reusable bag, a CFL, a miniature windmill, and a portable solar oven. Each item contributes to making a positive environmental impact on the world, and represents humanity’s dedication to sustainable technology. The walls of the display are framed with posters detailing past sustainability events and promotions at the University of Minnesota. These books and materials from the past provide keen insight into the future of sustainability and the health of our planet. The exhibit also includes brochures and magazines distributed by the University’s Institute on the Environment focusing on sustainability and world health.
You may recognize some of the books from your classes or from popular culture, or some might be completely new to you. Each contains exciting information about environmental problems and solutions, and may just motivate you to become the next world-changer. Best of all, each book is available for rental at the library. So even though finals may be on your mind, be sure to pick up a book and a list for a good summer read or for a study break. You never know how it might inspire you!
Written by Dominique Boczek