University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
Sustainability Education

6th Annual Sustainability Film Series

January 29, 2016Kyle SamejimaFeatured, film series, GeneralComments Off on 6th Annual Sustainability Film Series

Check out our line-up for our

6th Annual Sustainability Film Series for 2016!


We are super excited about the depth and breadth of our 2016 Sustainability Film Series.

Screenings are held the first Thursday of the month at the Bell Museum of Natural History at 10 Church St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455.

All films are free to University of Minnesota students, staff, and faculty and included in admission to the Bell Museum for others.

There will be groups tabling before the films, guest speakers and experts, and free food! Doors open at the Bell Museum at 6:30, with activities and food before the film screening and 7:00 (except for the February 4th film Just Eat It. Doors will open at 6:45 PM for activities and film screening at 8:00 PM)


Just Eat It. A food waste movie
Thursday February 4th, 2016
6:45PM – 9:45PM


Just Eat It is an award-winning documentary about food waste in our country. Here is a blurb from their website: “Filmmakers and food lovers Jen and Grant dive into the issue of waste from farm, through retail, all the way to the back of their own fridge. After catching a glimpse of the billions of dollars of good food that is tossed each year in North America, they pledge to quit grocery shopping cold turkey and survive only on foods that would otherwise be thrown away. In a nation where one in 10 people is food insecure, the images they capture of squandered groceries are both shocking and strangely compelling.”

The World Resource Institute reported that if food waste were its own country, it would be right behind China and the US in greenhouse gas emissions and that  a UN Sustainable Development Goal is to cut food waste and loss by half 2030. Come hear what you can do!

Schedule for February 4th:

6:45 – 7:15 PM Tabling and Food
Student and Community Group Tables:
The Food Recovery Network student group will be there with information on how you can get involved and actions to take in food recovery
Real Food Challenge works to increase local, healthy, fair, humane and sustainable food on campus
Students for Sustainability works on activities related to campus sustainability

7:15 – 7:50 Panel Discussion with Local Food Waste Experts (Check out our Facebook Event link for more information on our panelists and moderator):

Moderator: Marta Monti

Panelists: JoAnne Berkencamp , Rhys Williams, Jennifer Schmitt, Allyson Green

8:00 – 9:30 Just Eat It Screening

9:30 – 9:45 Brief Q and A 

Thursday March 3rd, 2016
6:30PM – 9:00PM

We Are All Related Here


We Are All Related Here is a documentary experience inside the Yup’Ik Native American community in Newtok, Alaska and their struggle and resolution in the face of the impact of climate change. They face the ramifications of erosion and flooding and the possibility of moving their entire community. What does that mean to them and for us?

Thursday April 7th, 2016
6:30PM – 9:00PM
This Changes Everything. Capitalism vs the Climate


From the This Changes Everything website:
“What if confronting the climate crisis is the best chance we’ll ever get to build a better world?

Filmed over 211 shoot days in nine countries and five continents over four years, This Changes Everything is an epic attempt to re-imagine the vast challenge of climate change.

Interwoven with these stories of struggle is Klein’s narration, connecting the carbon in the air with the economic system that put it there. Throughout the film, Klein builds to her most controversial and exciting idea: that we can seize the existential crisis of climate change to transform our failed economic system into something radically better.”

This Changes Everything sold out two screenings at St. Anthony Main Theater in Minneapolis in the fall of 2015, so here is your chance to see this acclaimed film!

Thursday May 5th, 2016
Plastic Paradise. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

In a new study by the World Economic Forum, “32 percent of all plastic packaging escapes collection systems and finds its way into natural ecosystems, including the oceans…where plastic is expected to outnumber fish by 2050”.

From the film website:
“Thousands of miles away from civilization, Midway Atoll is in one of the most remote places on earth. And yet it’s become ground zero for The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, siphoning plastics from three distant continents. In this independent documentary film, journalist/filmmaker Angela Sun travels on a personal journey of discovery to uncover this mysterious phenomenon. Along the way she meets scientists, researchers, influencers, and volunteers who shed light on the effects of our rabid plastic consumption and learns the problem is more insidious than we could have ever imagined.”

Take a brave plunge into seeing the impact of our consumption and what we can do to mitigate this problem!

Jobs and Summer Internships in Sustainability!

January 25, 2016Moriah MaternoskiFeatured, GeneralComments Off on Jobs and Summer Internships in Sustainability!

West River Parkway riverJobs, Internships, Fellowships!

Are you a student looking for part time jobs, summer internships and volunteer opportunities? Or, perhaps you’re graduating this semester and you’re looking to take that next step into a full time job. Whether you’re just looking to volunteer or you’re going to be leaving your undergrad years, this post has got it all! You can find positions related to water conservation, natural resources management, sustainability and MORE below!

Part time positions

  1. Outreach & Development Assistant for Friends of The Mississippi River (Paid, part time) The Outreach & Development Assistant (ODA) will be responsible for providing administrative support for FMR’s public engagement and fundraising work. The ODA needs to be goal-oriented, highly organized, possess excellent written and verbal communication skills, be comfortable and skilled working with both people and spreadsheets, and be able to work effectively in a highly interactive team-based office setting.
  2. Volunteer Coordinator at Audubon Minnesota (Part Time) The Volunteer Coordinator will focus on the recruitment, training and coordination of all volunteer aspects of the statewide Marshbird Survey including scheduling, supply allocation, survey route assignments and problem solving. The Volunteer Coordinator will also assist the project manager with data management and assure data quality.

Summer positions

  1. The Nature Conservancy GLOBE Internships (SUMMER) The positions for our 2016 cohort include 35 positions in 15 states and include both field and office-based positions in areas including: marketing, community outreach, policy, environmental studies, natural resources management, wildlife ecology, rangeland ecology, philanthropy, technology & information systems, GIS, and government relations
  2. I Can Paddle! Youth Outdoors Crew with MnDNR (SUMMER) Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) I Can! programs introduce Minnesota families to a variety of outdoor activities including camping, fishing, paddling, and rock climbing. Youth Outdoors I Can Paddle! Crew Members serve as paddling instructors and guides for weekend canoe and kayak workshops. Instructors teach basic paddling technique and provide on-the-water guidance for first-time paddlers. Workshops take place on both lakes and rivers managed by the DNR. Instructors provide environmental education throughout the workshops as well, offering participants information about Minnesota’s natural resources. Through their dedicated service, Youth Outdoors I Can Paddle! AmeriCorps members add value to the community and environment.
  3. ILF Civic Fellowship for Asian Pacific American (SUMMER) Students Every year, ILF’s selection committee identifies approximately 30 outstanding Asian Pacific American (APA) college students to spend eight to ten weeks interning at a federal agency in Washington D.C. during the summer.
  4. Green Crops (MULTIPLE OPPORTUNITIES!) In Green Corps’ yearlong paid program, you’ll get intensive training in the skills you need to make a difference in the world. You’ll get hands-on experience fighting to solve urgent environmental problems — climate change, deforestation, water pollution, factory farming and many others — with groups like Sierra Club and Food & Water Watch. And when you graduate from Green Corps, we’ll help you find a career with one of the nation’s leading environmental and social change groups.
  5. The National Great River Research & Education Center Internship (SUMMER)

Unpaid/Volunteer positions

  1. Special Event Intern at Freshwater Society (Unpaid) For over 45 years, the Freshwater Society has worked to protect, preserve and restore freshwater resources in Minnesota. Founded in 1968, the organization opened the first freshwater research facility in Minnesota. Forty-five years later, the Freshwater Society focuses on promoting policies and offering programs to reduce non-point pollution and ensure the sustainability of groundwater, and is a leading public nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving, restoring, and protecting freshwater resources and their surrounding watersheds.
  2. Legislative Program Intern with Clean Water Action (Unpaid) Monitor and track legislation, observe House and Senate committee meetings, conduct policy research, attend monthly program meetings, draft fact sheets and campaign materials, assist in preparation of our annual legislative scorecard, work with Clean Water Action members to increase level of individual advocacy activities, and other tasks as assigned.

Full time positions

  1. Minnesota Environmental Quality Board Job (Full time) The position is a unique opportunity to work on a wide range of environmental policy issues, including water policy, climate change, clean energy, environmental review, and other emerging issues. The preferred candidate is a self-starter, flexible, excited to learn new things, has the ability to translate technical and scientific material into plain language. Copy editing skills would be ideal. Work will be in both team and independent settings. The position directly supports a Board of nine state agency Commissioners and five appointed citizen members. The position will curate and administer monthly Board meetings. This position will be the agency contact for all media, and as communication lead they will support EQB messaging to ensure strategic messaging is embedded in all agency materials. Communication work ebbs and flows, the position will also support policy work as needed. Job Opening ID 2226
  2. Clean Water Fellow with Izaak Walton League of America (Full time, out of state) The Clean Water Fellowship is a temporary position of up to two years and is designed to provide applied experience in environmental education to a candidate with an undergraduate degree who is planning to pursue graduate studies in environmental education, natural resources conservation or a similar field. The Clean Water Fellow will work with the Clean Water Program Director to deliver and manage the Creek Freaks program. Creek Freaks is a national program that engages children ages 10-14 in hands-on stream studies including water quality monitoring. The Clean Water Fellow will conduct Creek Freaks environmental education programming for children and train and support adult Creek Freaks program leaders. In addition, the Clean Water Fellow will create videos, fact sheets, and website content and will promote the program using social media. The Clean Water Fellow also will recruit, train, and coordinate networks of adult volunteer water quality monitors.
  3. Outreach and Events Coordinator for Pacific Forest Trust (Full Time, Out of State) The Outreach and events Coordinator reports and provides support to the President for all aspects of PFT’s individual/event-based fundraising program. She/he works within the Development and Communications team and closely with the Executive Coordinator.
  4. Biological Science Aid with National Park Service in Moose, WY (Full Time, Out of State) Experience your America and build a fulfilling career by joining the National Park Service, as we prepare for a second century of Stewardship and Engagement. Become a part of our mission to connect with our past and create important connections to the future by building a rich and lasting legacy for the next generation of park visitors, supporters and advocates.

And for all ambitious freshmen and sophomores, check out this awesome Conservation Scholars Program through the University of California Santa Cruz!


Top 10 career checklist for winter break

January 6, 2016Kyle SamejimaEvents, Featured, General, ResourcesComments Off on Top 10 career checklist for winter break


Top 10 Career Checklist for Winter Break

Face it – you can only lie around in your pajamas watching “Walking Dead” for so long before it starts to get boring. When you’re ready, here are some actions you can take to jumpstart your career search. Be sure to mark your calendar for the Environmental Internship and Career Fair on February 3rd from 1- 5 PM at the North Star Ballroom on the St. Paul Campus – an easy shot on the Connector from the East or West Bank.


  1. 3332472100_e9aedf1cc9_oFind a Career Focus. Struggling with direction(s) for your career post-college
    This Career Focus Exercise may help. Follow the link and click on Career Focus Exercise under


  1. Identify Your Top Professional Skills. Analyze your most successful accomplishments and identify what you do best. Here’s an Assessing Your Skills (Peak Experience Stories) link to help to do that. Follow the link and click on Identify Your Skills Using Peak Experience under Self-Assessment.


  1. Picture3Make a new Professional Connection. Use your current network or contact Career Services to find someone doing interesting work and arrange an informational interview. For a refresher, view the webinar “How to do an Informational Interview“.  It’s good to have your own business cards, which can be made on campus. Students can call Anne at 612-625-1307 to inquire about printing. You can also check out Avery Business Card templates online or go to or where you can design your own for a reasonable price.


  1. Reconnect With a Professional Contact. Take some time to have coffee with a former colleague or mentor. Give them an update on what you are doing (don’t mention “Walking Dead”) and ask for suggestions.
  1. Polish Your Resume & Cover Letter. Using an interesting job or internship posting as a guide, develop a targeted resume and cover letter. For some tips, watch the webinars “Tailoring Your Resume” and “Writing Persuasive Cover Letters“.

  1. Polish Your LinkedIn Profile. Choose a clear, friendly and professional photo for your profile, write a headline that showcases your specialty, and use the summary section to walk the reader through your key skills and passions. Ask to join the “Sustainability Studies Alumni Network– University of Minnesota” on Linkedin. 
  1. Practice Your Interviewing Skills. The webinar “Interviewing Success” and ask a friend to do a practice interview with you. Or, practice your interviewing online with “Interview Stream“.
  1. Volunteer. Get involved in an issue that you feel passionate about and meet professionals in the field.Demonstrate your skills and build relationships.
  1. Join a Professional Association. There are associations for every field that can provide knowledge and networks. Many have student members at reduced fees. Check out resources and links to Professional Associations at the  Career and Internship Services page for CDE, CCE and CFANS; the Sustainability Education Career Resource page and the main UMN Career Resources page.
  1. Look Through Job and Internship Postings at the U’s GoldPASS job and internship site. Final Note – Make an Appointment with Career Services !.College Graduate Students


Job posting for Policy Program Assistant, Washington DC

December 29, 2015Kyle SamejimaGeneral, ResourcesComments Off on Job posting for Policy Program Assistant, Washington DC

Check out this post for a Policy Program Assistant for the American Meteorological Society in Washington DC:

Policy Program Assistant Application Site

SustTunes: sustainability as well-being

December 10, 2015Kate FlickEvents, Featured, General, Graduate News, Undergraduate NewsComments Off on SustTunes: sustainability as well-being
SustTunes Ambiance

SustTunes Ambiance

“It was ridiculously calming for whatever reason. I tried to pin down why, but I think it was just the vibe of the place.  And it was nice to see so many passionate folks relaxin’ together,” commented one student who attended the first SustTunes on Friday, Dec. 5th.

What!?  But it’s right before the end of the semester, the eye of storm, so to speak.  Yet still, around 175 people gathered in the solstice-approaching darkness of “winter’s coming” season to an event that marked the first of its kind.  The zero waste event, hosted by the Institute on the Environment’s Sustainability Education, transformed a space usually used as a research institute, a study area, or a pass through space into one of comfort, community-building, and relaxation.

Perhaps it was the festive lights, or the rhythm of music echoing through the halls, or the SAMEE Art Exhibition curated throughout the space.  It had never been activated in quite the same way.  There were children, students, professionals, grandparents.  Everyone was mingling together, flowing through the different parts of the building as easily as water.

So this arises the question: how did SustTunes implement sustainability as a community practice of well-being?

UMN Energy Club phone charging station

UMN Energy Club phone charging station

In Restorative Commons, Creating Health and Well-being through Urban Landscapes, Campbell and Weisen link human health and well-being to civic stewardship, space, programming, and design:

To support healthy cities, we must engage with multiple open space site-types using systems thinking while championing civic creativity and self expression.  Understanding the profound impacts of social and economic inequality on health outcomes, we must commit to social justice, promote social cohesion, tailor programs to serve diversely resourced communities; and cultivate local economic systems.  Retaining the best of previous calls for sustainability, there is a need to support future generations through education and youth empowerment (p 20).  

The student-organized event represented many of these things, manifesting in particular youth empowerment, civic creativity, and self expression.  Eleven student organizations represented different elements of sustainability, from Ducks Unlimited to UMN Energy Club. Four student bands, Willows, Shawnna, Geocasual, and Mind Cents, played a range of music types from acoustic to jazz funk.  Various local organizations representing the cultivation of local economic systems and health catered, including a donation of apples from the Co-op Partners Warehouse.

Shawnna wailing.

Shawnna wailing.

It seems that it is this yearning to see sustainability as restorative practice rather than an apocalyptic “fix-it-to-the-end-of-the-world!” that brought these pieces together.  Lyrics in the song “Soundwaves” by featured band Geocasual encompass this tension between angst and agency that many in sustainability work might feel: “Time has shown our life’s eroded. I noticed when our shores had no more shells. I don’t mind, cuz I hear the sound, the song of my own waves.”

In this way, SustTunes did not just speak of, but put into practice, this realization for a new way of working that moves from angst to agency, breaking free from the stress and speed to one of relationship and animacy.  It taught us together as a community of professionals and future professionals, of youth and elders, about how to move towards an empowered restorative commons by finding threads of commonality rather than difference.

Many thanks to the organizers, musicians, student groups, caterers, and participants.  We hope to see you next year!

Geocasual on stage

Geocasual on stage

Mind Cents jazzing it up

Mind Cents jazzing it up

UMN Marine Biology club

UMN Marine Biology club

Student organizers. Thanks for the leadership!

Student organizers. Thanks for the leadership!

Willows rocking out.

Willows rocking out.


Campbell, Lindsay, and Anne Wiesen. Restorative commons: Creating health and well-being through urban landscapes. Vol. 39. Government Printing Office, 2011.

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.