University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
Sustainability Education

Paid Internships with Minnesota Technical Assistance Program


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

A Place at the Table: Film Series 2015


Join us for a thinking and doing evening on Thursday, March 5th, 6:30 PM at the Bell Museum, to engage the social and environmental injustices in the United States food system.  We will be showing the acclaimed documentary, A Place at the Table and hosting special guest speaker Michael Chaney, Executive Director of Project Sweetie Pie in North Minneapolis for the second film of the Sustainability Film Series. We will also be creating an interactive activist-art project on hunger to send to decision makers who are passing (or not) legislation on food-related policies while receiving a cooking, and eating, demo with Jenny Breen and University Dining Services.  Find more information here or invite friends with our Facebook event.

Sustainability Symposium 2015

Sustainability Symposium 2015 Banner

Calling all graduate, professional, and undergraduate students at the University of Minnesota! Do you have a project with a sustainability angle? Share your work at the 2015 Sustainability Symposium on April 10 for a chance to win an iPad Mini! Abstracts are being accepted until March 13ALL students are encouraged to submit abstracts!

This year we encourage you to “Tell Your Sustainability Story”. At the Sustainability Symposium, you will have the chance to develop your communication skills by showing and articulating the importance of your research to a broad audience.


Friday, April 10th, 2015, Institute on the Environment

Why Present?

As a presenter at the Sustainability Symposium, you will hone presentation skills by sharing your research, enhance your resume, and connect with individuals sharing an interest in sustainability. Submission categories include conference posters, lightning talks (5-minute presentations of your work), and multi-media pieces (artwork, design project, video, etc.). Click here to view posters from past symposiums.

Get Involved!

Click here to submit your abstract today! Submit your abstract by March 13 for the chance to present at the Institute on the Environment’s Sustainability Symposium on April 10th!
All presenters will be entered to win an iPad Mini! 

Need help? Attend Magrath Library’s workshop!

A workshop for creating posters using PowerPoint is taking place on February 25, 1-2pm at the Magrath Library, presented by Amy Neeser and Megan Kocher. Learn more about the workshop and sign up!

Learn more


Center for International Business Education and Research UMN Institute for Advanced Study UMN Humphrey School of Public Affairs UMN College of Education and Human Development UMN College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences College of Design UMN

Johnson Brothers Scholarship in Entrepreneurship


Juniors and seniors with an entrepreneurial vision are welcome to apply for the Lynn Johnson – Johnson Brothers Scholarship in Entrepreneurship. This scholarship will apply to the Fall 2015 and Spring 2016 semesters.


  • Be a full-time, undergraduate student enrolled in 12 credits or more each semester;
  • Attend the University of Minnesota Twin Cities;
  • Have financial need, meeting low to middle income status as defined by current University standards;
  • Be juniors (60 or more credits at the time the scholarship starts) or rising seniors enrolled in a degree
  • Granting program, and can be in any Twin Cities undergraduate college;
  • Have a strong academic record, and making timely progress toward their four-year degree;
  • Show evidence of a strong commitment to entrepreneurial initiatives. Evidence could include: classes,internships, club or social initiatives, start-ups in business or non-profits, a major or minor in Entrepreneurial Management, etc. Applicants need not have a start-up project underway.
  • Have a completed (or estimated) FAFSA application on file at the University for the academic year

For more information, see the scholarship announcement.

The Nile Project: Using music as a tool to rethink watersheds and cultivate sustainability



The stage was dark at Northrop Hall.  Then it started.  Sophie Nzayisenga from Rwanda is as a queen, a spirit—animate—enticing us in.  She and the inanga instrument sang together.  The music took over the hall, filling us up.  She would look up towards us every so often as if saying, “Come on. Feel the joy.” And then back the task at hand—bring the spirit into the concert hall and a smile would overtake her face and she would be back into the music.the_nile_project_photo_matjaz_kacicnik_7

More musicians had entered at this time.  Each had a distinct way of moving, being, and playing.  They wore things from T-shirt and jeans to kanga.  What they had in common? They were amazing musicians and all part of the Nile Project.

“You are in for a big journey tonight.  We will go all over the Nile.” said Ugandan musician Micheal Bazibu.


The Nile Project was founded in 2011 by Egyptian ethnomusicologist Mina Girgis and Ethiopian-American singer Meklit Hadero to address the Nile Basin’s cultural and environmental challenges at the core of deep conflict between people and people, people and the environment, and sustainability in the past, present, and future.

Since then, the Nile Project has gathered musicians from up and down the Nile River to come together and cultivate the sustainability of their ecosystem.  “We need to rethink how we see our water and our ecosystems,” said President Mina Girgis at intermission. “Before being here, we were just traveling in California, where many of the issues are similar to what is happening right now in the Nile Basin.  We are not alone.  It is something we all need to think about.”

nile river basinSo how do music and sustainability mix?

  • Redefine borders based on ecological boundaries.  The project gives new meaning to water by transcending national boundaries which represent a political memory that often creates divisions between people.  By redefining boundaries, people can gather together to focus on a river spanning multiple nations, languages, and cultures.  For example, Dina El Wedidi (Egypt) and Alsarah (Sudan) got into an accent “war” on stage arguing about how to say the song titled Gharib Ley in Arabic from their different places.  Their performance highlighted the deep tensions present in the area.  But the laughing actions and song lyrics tell a different story “Break down the barriers, rise to me.”
  • Engage people to participate with meaning.  We had to dance.  We had to sing.  In “Biwelewele,” Steven Songo (Burundi) taught us the chorus and we happily sang along in Swahili. He was a trickster though. The chorus we sang was the word “stupid,” which he revealed at the end of the song. “I bet you didn’t think you were singing stupid,” he said, going on to explain that the lyrics encourage us to be supportive, respectful, to leave the hatred, and when we don’t, it’s, well, stupid. Biwelewele, we would sing. And he would sing back in Swahili, “Those people are jealous, hateful, nasty. They are biwelewele (stupid).”
  • Drawing on diversity and using music to find common ground, but accept difference.  In the song Ya Ganouby, Dina El Wedidi told us, “Being part of this project, on tour, has made me realize the distinct difference between even North and South Egypt.  So I wrote this song about this difference.”  The song took us on a journey, playing a rhythm to represent the north and then one of the represent the south, and then it fused both feels into one, accentuating difference and commonality at the same time.  In a pluralistic world seeking sustainability, this is a model from which we could all learn.
  • Empowerment pedagogy.  The music was empowering.  The Nile Project is empowering an international network of musicians to cultivate the sustainability of their ecosystem, educating and empowering themselves as well as the world.  As the group travels, they also share their cultures, confronting assumptions in a powerful way.  In the United States, people often seem to lump Africa into one box full of brown poor people that need “help.”  However, the Nile Project forces participants to get outside these assumptions, animating the audience to active learning and listening from these innovative musicians and project.

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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.