University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
Sustainability Education

Symposium 2014 cropped

Tell Us Your Sustainability Story!


Students from across the University of Minnesota will vie for top honors in the 3rd annual Sustainability Symposium this Friday, April 11.

Undergraduate, graduate and professional students from such diverse programs as civil and mechanical engineering, psychology, architecture, music, finance, chemistry, animal science and more will present past and current projects, describing how their work supports or advances sustainability goals.

“The focus on sustainability, from multiple perspectives and approaches, provides a much more interdisciplinary setting than the usual academic conference. Our students are especially excited to share how their work is poised to foster a more sustainable world,” said Beth Mercer-Taylor, coordinator of the event and of the College of Food, Agricultural and Resource Sciences’ Sustainability Studies Minor program.

This year’s Sustainability Symposium kicks off at 1:30 p.m. with a keynote address from Chuck Bennett, former vice president of Earth & community care at Aveda Corporation. Bennett, whose career spans more than two decades of corporate citizenship advocacy, will talk about “leading from every chair,” the idea that everyone – no matter their level of expertise or chosen discipline – has important contributions and must be willing to engage in developing sustainability solutions if we are to be successful.

This year’s theme, “Tell Us Your Sustainability Story,” encourages contestants to communicate their story in terms that are relatable to a broader University community. Students will present in three categories – poster, multi-media/artist and 5-minute ‘lightening talk’ – and the “best communicator” in each category will take home a Kindle Fire.

Sharing her experience participating in the Symposium last year, environmental science and policy management undergraduate, Kyle Meagher, said, “I think that the ability to explain the findings and implications of research in a concise and accessible way is imperative to accomplishing environmental change. I was also very impressed with the range of research that is being done by U of M undergrads, graduate students and faculty. Learning about their research and seeing it conveyed through a variety of media effectively, I learned a great deal about how to improve the way I share my information.”

The Sustainability Symposium will be held at the Institute on the Environment in the Learning & Sciences Building on the St. Paul campus.

The day’s agenda:

1:30-2:00 p.m. Opening remarks and keynote
2:00-4:00 p.m. Lightening talks and creative works displays
4:00-5:00 p.m. Reception and awards (refreshments will be served).



Learn more


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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.