University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
http://www.umn.edu/
612-625-5000
Sustainability Education

G&K Environmental Internship Opportunity

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Image by Ron Reiring, via Flickr Creative Commons. Licensing info: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode.

G&K Services, Inc. is a market leader in branded work apparel programs and facility services in the US. It was founded in Minnesota and employs nearly 7,500 employees. Soon, they could be employing 7,5001!

G&K is hiring an environmental intern to start immediately and work 10-15 hours per week. The job would mostly consist of working on environmental projects and recommending company improvements to the Environmental Compliance Engineer. Interested parties should apply if they have a GPA of 3.0 or higher and have successfully completed their sophomore year at the U (or another accredited college). G&K will show preference to applicants who are working towards a bachelor’s degree in environmental science, environmental management/policy or engineering, industrial engineering, or a related field.

If you would like an application or have any questions regarding the internship, please contact Jacqueline Martin (G&K HR dept.) at jmartin@gkservices.com or Ben Puhl (G&K Environmental Systems Engineer) at bpuhl@gkservices.com.

Native American Medicine Gardens

UMN Native American Medicine Gardens

Tucked between Cleveland and Larpenteur avenues on the University’s St. Paul Campus lie the little-known Native American Medicine Gardens. Run by Native caretakers in the Native American tradition, these gardens represent hope for a sustainable food system and the healing of Native peoples whose health and traditions have been devastated by the loss of their ancestral environments. Visitors to the Gardens are free to take edible and medicinal plants for personal use, with the intention that they reflect upon the true sources of their own food and the importance of food sovereignty.

Food sovereignty, a central principle behind the Gardens, is the ability of an individual or community to sustain itself on its own land as Native American nations did before settlers converted much of it for agriculture. Even after some of the land was returned to the tribe, the unfamiliar new ecosystem and lack of agricultural tradition forced them into dependence upon outside food, which today consists primarily of inexpensive processed meals supplemented by D-grade commodities guaranteed by a nineteenth-century treaty with the U.S. government. Grief over this loss of lifestyle and the resulting health crisis runs high, and gardens like these are part of a movement toward the return of a healthier community and a healthier environment. As Gardens director Francis Bettleyoun expresses, “The Gardens are part of healing ourselves and Mother Earth.”

The Gardens’ message of food sovereignty not only applies to disadvantaged Native peoples; it also points to the lack of subsistence across Western society. “We all have our handout. We are all part of a welfare system,” says Bettleyoun, referring to a universal dependence upon store bought food, “If that food wasn’t there, what would you do? It’s time to start thinking in that way… We are not a free people; we are dependent upon somebody else feeding us, and we don’t have the ability not to work for food that we could be growing on our own.”

The Gardens aim to show how people can reclaim responsibility for their own well-being by growing some of their own food in a way that restores the quality of the land. Caretakers plant many of the same perennials that helped Native communities flourish for centuries. They fertilize the soil with rock dust, a powder of finely ground rocks that recharges soil minerals, plus manure and other organic soil amendments, that make the plants more fruitful and nutritious. This style of gardening is highly sustainable as a single application of rock dust can restore nutrients for many seasons to come, while the native perennials will thrive naturally and maintain soil fertility better than other plants.

The Gardens welcome all community members to partake by assisting with caretaking, attending learning sessions, taking portions of plants for personal use, or simply coming to meditate and enjoy the tranquility of the site.

If you would like to contribute to the Gardens this season, contact fbettely@umn.edu.

To stay in touch with the Gardens, follow them on Facebook.

Sustainability Coordinator Position at Concordia College in Moorhead

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Sustainability professionals possessing a master’s degree in a related field should consider the following job opportunity:

Sustainability Coordinator Position Description

The Sustainability Coordinator serves as a key facilitator of sustainability-related activity on campus. The successful candidate will provide broad institutional leadership in the college’s efforts to infuse sustainability principles into all curricular and operational aspects of the college. The central focus of the position is on engaging with students, faculty, and staff to promote sustainability across campus and to facilitate worthy initiatives. The Sustainability Coordinator will work collaboratively with a diverse array of units of the college as Concordia moves towards achieving its Vision for Sustainability.

 
Specific responsibilities include the following:

  • Work with the President’s Sustainability Council and the various units of the college to refine and pursue the goals and initiatives consistent with the Concordia College Vision for Sustainability and Strategic Plan. Conduct information-finding research and data collection as needed.
  • Track progress on meeting college sustainability goals, produce an annual sustainability report, and keep the college up-to-date in its STARS reporting.
  • Promote sustainable practices and sustainability principles on campus through efforts to increase understanding, foster collaborative educational experiences across all campus constituencies (students, staff, and faculty), and promote behaviors consistent with local and global sustainability.
  • Assist units in developing and implementing changes that reduce the ecological footprint (including carbon emissions) of college operations.
  • Work closely with students, assisting them in pursuing sustainability initiatives and creating a culture of sustainability.
  • Run the Eco-Reps program, oversee EcoHouse programming, and provide overall coordination for the campus organic garden.
  • Manage the sustainability section of the college’s website and promote awareness of the college’s sustainability efforts.
  • Represent the college’s sustainability efforts to community and other external audiences, including alumni of the college

Qualifications:

  • A Master’s level degree, preferably related to environmental or sustainability studies.
  • Two years of experience working in the field of sustainability and/or in higher education.
  • Highly effective leadership, collaborative, and interpersonal relationship skills; able to work successfully with students, faculty, administrators, and support staff.
  • Strong organizational skills and able to handle at one time multiple projects of varying size and complexity.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills; good computer skills.
  • The ability to understand technical and financial data (on carbon emissions, electricity costs, etc.) and to relate them to the general community.
  • An understanding of and interest in the global dimensions of sustainability.
  • Demonstrated ability to design, manage, and implement projects of various types.
  • Support for the mission and vision of Concordia College.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Four or more years of experience working in higher education in the area of sustainability.
  • For more information and to apply, please visit https://hr.cord.edu . EOE/AA. Criminal background check required.

2014 LGBTQIA Student Leadership Retreat

September 4, 2014Elizabeth HokeEvents, General, Undergraduate NewsComments Off

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Applications are now being accepted for the 2014 LGBTQIA Student Leadership Retreat! The University of Minnesota LGBTQIA Leadership Retreat is an annual retreat hosted in the fall for undergraduate lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, asexual/ally students at the University of MN Twin Cities. The retreat is sponsored by the GLBTA Programs Office and the Queer Student Cultural Center.

The purpose of the retreat is to focus on leadership development and community building while exploring intersecting identities and oppressions through a social justice lens. It is also a great way for students to make new friends and meet new people!

The retreat will take place in Coffman Union on Saturday Oct. 4th, 9am-8pm and Sunday Oct. 5th, 9am-4pm.  Meals will be provided and the retreat is free for U of M undergraduate participants. Space is limited.

Please fill out the application by Thursdsay, September 18th.

To request disability accommodations, please contact Frankie Jader at bfjader@umn.edu or 612-625-0537. For all other questions regarding the retreat, please contact Stef Wilenchek at swilench@umn.edu or 612-585-8519.

Food Day 2014

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The iconic turkey dinner at Thanksgiving. The classic birthday cake. A warm bowl of chicken noodle soup when you’re under the weather. These are just some of the ways great food has come to symbolize the many events of our lives. But for many peoples across Minnesota, America, and the world, food does not have these luxurious attachments. Every day, over half a million people in Minnesota are unsure when or where they will have their next meal. That’s where Food Day comes in.

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Food Day is a national initiative that was created in 2010 in response animal cruelty and the growing number of people affected by obesity, diabetes, heart disease, environmental degradation, and unfair working conditions. Food Day prompts Americans to look at these problems and their relation to food in order to inspire solution-driven action. Specifically considering the recent deepening of socioeconomic gaps, Food Day 2014 will have a special focus on food access and justice for food and farm workers.

You are invited to this year’s Food Day UMN-TC event on October 24th at the University Recreation and Wellness Center. An artfully blended vinaigrette of education, advocacy, and free samples, UMN’s Food Day is a great opportunity to learn about delicious local food options and the privilege that is often required to have access to many of them.

Keep up with the event’s development and discuss food systems, policies surround them, and personal diet improvements on Facebook or Twitter, using the #FoodDay2014 hashtag.

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

SUSTAINABILITY CLASSES
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.