University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
Sustainability Education

Apply for the SELF Sustain Student Leadership Conference

February 10, 2014MadelineFeatured, General, Undergraduate NewsComments Off

self sustain

This April 11 and 12, the Institute on the Environment will host students from across the University system for the Student Engaged Leadership Forum (SELF) Sustain conference, a two-day summit for students of all disciplines to network and discuss sustainability and campus development. We are looking for students engaged in sustainability through clubs, internships, coursework, organizations, or research who aim to make meaningful contributions to sustainability in the future.

The conference will take place at the Twin Cities campus from 12:00 pm on Friday, April 11 to 4:00 pm on Saturday, April 12. After a visit to the Sustainability Symposium, students will be paired up to exchange ideas on campus sustainability, have dinner, and spend the evening exploring the Bell Museum of Natural History. On Saturday students will engage in roundtable discussions, prepare presentations on their own involvement in sustainability, and have time to network and continue their conversations on sustainability. To learn more about this experience and how it may impact your future as a sustainability leader, check out the recap from the 2012 SELF Sustain.

Accommodations for non-Twin Cities students will be provided at the University Inn.

Fill out this form to apply!
If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact:

Katie Lederman
Beth Mercer-Taylor: 612-624-9430

2014 Barrett Foundation Business Concept Challenge

Green business

The National Forest Foundation (NFF) has announced the 2014 Barrett Foundation Business Concept Challenge to spur innovation in natural resource management. This unique competition is open to teams that include at least two accredited college or university students, graduate students, or post-doctoral students. Founded by former CEO of Intel Corporation and NFF Board Member, Craig Barrett, the Challenge encourages and rewards innovative market-based solutions to natural resource issues affecting National Forests and Grasslands and hopes to cultivate a new generation of entrepreneurial natural resource and business leaders.

The objectives of the Barrett Foundation Business Concept Challenge are:

  • To develop and launch market-based solutions that satisfy multiple goals of forest health, sustainable use, and economic development, including job creation
  • To stimulate creative thinking to address problems and identify opportunities that benefit the National Forests and Grasslands
  • To educate students and their partners about the practical steps necessary to design and implement market-based solutions to natural resource challenges
  • To prepare students to work with interdisciplinary partners in response to complex natural resource challenges

The Barrett Foundation Business Concept Challenge offers a $75,000 cash award to the winning submission and a $25,000 cash award to the first runner-up.

Application instructions and more information can be found here.

If you have any questions or would like any additional information, please contact

Sustainability Film Series 2014: Your Environmental Road Trip

road trip 4th annual png

With so many negative things happening in the environmental news, it’s easy to feel down and out about the future of Earth’s health. As much as each of us tries to help to make the world a better place, it oftentimes seems like there is simply too much to be done to make a difference.

For this reason, the 4th Annual Sustainability Film Series is kicking off with a fun and light-hearted movie about environmental initiatives across the United States. Your Environmental Road Trip follows three young professionals as they embark on a journey to find unique sustainable ideas in each state. Their story chronicles inventions from solar roadways and recycled museums to a yummy chocolatey Valentine’s Day surprise.

In what may be described as “silly” to some and “thrilling” to others, YERT is fun for all and will leave you feeling enthusiastic about your future environmental endeavors. Not only does the team strive to learn more about sustainability from others, but they have made their own commitments- to create only one shoebox of waste and recyclables per month and to completely avoid incandescent light bulbs. These struggles become all too real when one of the cast members becomes pregnant and must now care for two bodies instead of just one.

YERT has been suggested by the Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) and has also won awards at events such as the Environmental Film Festival at Yale and the Costa Rica International Film Festival.

Following the film, there will be a moderated discussion facilitated by Patty O’Keefe, a recent graduate of the University of Minnesota and a winner of the AASHE award for her work with the Youth Environmental Congress. O’Keefe currently works with MN 350 on engaging youth in environmental issues.

The showing Your Environmental Road Trip, the first installment of the 2014 Sustainability Film Series, will occur on Thursday, February 6th at 7:00 pm at the Bell Museum of Natural History. This event coincides with “BIG Thursday at the Bell” which also includes sketch night, an Audubon conversation, and Exploradome showings.  There will be free food and beverages prior to the event. The film is free with museum admission.

The Film Series will continue on March 6, April 3rd, and May 1st with the movies Midway, A River Changes Course, and More than Honey.

Visit the Facebook event and check out the YERT trailer.

Jobs and Internships with Wilderness Inquiry

January 27, 2014MadelineGeneral, Undergraduate NewsComments Off

Wilderness Inquiry

Wilderness Inquiry is now accepting applications for summer 2014 trail staff and interns. Wilderness Inquiry is a nonprofit located in Dinkytown whose mission is to make adventure travel accessible to everyone, regardless of age, background or ability.

The following positions are available:

  1. Summer Trail Staff: Guide extended trips (hiking, canoeing, kayaking, etc.) to a variety of locations throughout the Midwest and beyond.
  2. Urban Wilderness Canoe Guide: Guide day-trips on the Mississippi River
  3. Internships: Build your resume by gaining outdoor industry experience at Wilderness Inquiry.

To apply, visit the Wilderness Inquiry’s employment page.

Volunteers Needed for Community Garden in Prospect Park

January 27, 2014MadelineGeneral, Undergraduate NewsComments Off


The University is finally getting a community garden! Plans are underway to create a new garden in the Prospect Park neighborhood just east of campus. But in order to launch this project, volunteers are needed to help with planning, concept design, landscaping, construction, horticulture, and garden management. If you’re interested in helping out, reply here!

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.