Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.00
Liaison Mindy Granley
Submission Date Nov. 4, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Minnesota, Duluth
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Jonna Korpi
Sustainability Activities Coordinator
UMD Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have one or more active student groups focused on sustainability?:
Yes

A brief description of active student groups focused on sustainability:

There are a variety of student groups working on sustainability at UMD. Some focus on environmental justice and activism, others on recreation and wellness, some on food, while still others focus on social sustainability: building relationships, community connections, and service. The following list includes many (though likely not all) currently active student organizations focused on sustainability: Solar University Network (SUN) Delegation, Biology Club, Bulldogs for the Boundary Waters, Ducks Unlimited, Engineers Without Borders - UMD, Environmental Science Club, Minnesota Public Interest Research Group, ONE Campus at UMD, Outdoor Educators Club, She's The First, Student Association, Student Sustainability Coalition, S.E.R.V.E., Students Who Explore Longitudes and Latitudes, The Bark, The Green Thumb, Twin Ports Rotaract Club, United Residential Students Association, and Wuda Wooch!


The website URL where information about the student groups is available (optional):
Does the institution have gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems?:
Yes

A brief description of the gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects:

The UMD Land Lab is a food justice and environmental research and outreach center located just five miles from the UMD campus. It consists of 10 acres of actively-managed transitional organic farmland and a five-acre apple orchard. The Land Lab sits on the 30-acre Research Farm Outreach Center (RFOC) which houses other UMD research and outreach projects. The purpose of the UMD Land Lab is to explore how to create a food system that meets the needs of all community residents and to serve as an incubator for community and university interaction with the Northland’s natural systems.


The website URL where information about the gardens, farms or agriculture projects is available (optional):
Does the institution have student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes (e.g. cafés through which students gain sustainable business skills)?:
No

A brief description of the student-run enterprises:
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The website URL where information about the student-run enterprises is available (optional):
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Does the institution have sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives through which students can develop socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible investment and financial skills?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives:

The UMD Green Revolving Fund was established to invest in sustainable projects at UMD. Projects are intended to contribute to efforts to save energy and become a more sustainable campus, along with providing long-term financial savings to the University of Minnesota. Any UMD student, staff or faculty member may apply for Green Revolving Funds.

Since its inception with $100,000 in seed money from the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Operations, the Green Revolving Fund has spent nearly $400,000 on campus energy efficiency and solar projects, and the current balance is around $100,000.


The website URL where information about the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives is available (optional):
Does the institution have conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience?:
Yes

A brief description of the conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability:

A Fall Sustainability Fair is hosted annually with speakers, community partners, student groups, and campus departments tabling with focuses on environmental, economic, and social aspects of sustainability. Prior themes included energy conservation, sustainable food systems, and reducing the UMD Carbon Footprint. In addition, local vendors and organization table in the Kirby Student Center hallways during the Fairs. The event also includes our Stormwater Protection staff person, demonstrations, locally sourced food, and sustainable swag.

Student Engagement & Leadership Forum for Sustainability (SELFsustain): Sponsored by the Institute on the Environment, this annual conference brings together 50 student leaders to share ideas, empower each other, and make progress on sustainability projects across all U of MN campuses! This is an annual event and is coming up on it's 10th year. There are many one-off speakers, seminars, and activities that occur on campus each with with students as the target audience as well.

Events are listed at z.umn.edu/UMDsustainCal


The website URL where information about the conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability is available (optional):
Does the institution have cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience?:
Yes

A brief description of the cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability:

UMD is lucky to have the Tweed Museum right on campus. Student projects are displayed, and often focused on sustainability topics across environmental ecosystems, human health and behavior, and consumerism.

Minnesota Public Interest Research Group at UMD hosts a fundraising and awareness event titled: Arts for Activism which provides a platform for students, faculty/staff, and community members to contribute artwork around environmental, economic, and social justice issues to engage in new dialogue around these topics.

Another event that blends art with sustainability is the annual Farm Fest which happens at the UMD Land Lab each September and includes Farm Fresh produce, music, a meal with UMD Dining, and local vendors and environmental organizations.


The website URL where information about the cultural arts events, installations or performances is available (optional):
Does the institution have wilderness or outdoors programs (e.g. that organize hiking, backpacking, kayaking, or other outings for students) that follow Leave No Trace principles?:
Yes

A brief description of the wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles:

The UMD Recreational Sports Outdoor Program (RSOP) fosters active, healthy lifestyles and connections to the natural world. RSOP offers regular Outdoor Activities and Trips, provides opportunities for students and community members to participate in nature-based workshops and excursions, and leads How-to workshops and seminars.

Goals of RSOP programs include skill development, social interaction, environmental awareness and relaxation. Outdoor trips are offered for incoming freshmen to partake during the final days before move-in, which are always a big hit. Additionally, each semester can hold as many as 30 outings, skill trainings, and excursions -- even in the dead of winter. In fact, winter camping trips are some of the most popular events offered.

UMD also has outdoor education majors and environmental education graduate students who organize and participate in course-based activities and they are often recruited to lead the events and work for the Recreational Sports Outdoor Program.

Environmental and Outdoor Education Program:
The Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.Sc.) in Environmental and Outdoor Education major familiarizes students with nonformal outdoor education settings and provides extensive training in outdoor education methodology and program delivery. In addition, nature-based outdoor recreation is emphasized as both method and goal. The major prepares students for professional careers in the broad field of outdoor education, including adventure education, environmental interpretation, and environmental education. Graduates from this program are prepared for careers in a variety of settings, such as environmental education centers (nature centers, residential environmental learning centers); natural resource agencies and facilities (DNR, NPS, USFS, State Parks); non-profits (scouts, museums, zoos, camps); adventure education schools; adjudicated youth facilities; and high adventure camps. Core degree components include outdoor education methods, physical skills development, program planning and delivery, management, evaluation, and principles of outdoor education and recreation. (https://cehsp.d.umn.edu/departments-centers/center-environmental-education/undergraduate-degrees/environmental-outdoor-ed)


The website URL where information about the wilderness or outdoors programs is available (optional):
Does the institution have sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences (e.g. choosing a sustainability-related book for common reading)?:
No

A brief description of the sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:
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The website URL where information about the sustainability-related themes is available (optional):
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Does the institution have programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills?:
Yes

A brief description of the programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills:

The Office of Sustainability offers sustainable life skills programming each semester and content can include making your own products such as deodorant, lip balm, laundry soap and beeswax wraps. Student organizations, interns, and volunteers partner with the Office of Sustainability to host these events.


The website URL where information about the sustainable life skills programs is available (optional):
Does the institution offer sustainability-focused student employment opportunities?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution:

Student Assistants with the Office of Sustainability, Recreational Sports Outdoor Program, Environmental Health & Safety, Facilities Management (composting and recycling), and Dining Services (low-waste meals, food-waste awareness programming).


The website URL where information about the student employment opportunities is available:
Does the institution have graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions?:
No

A brief description of the graduation pledges:
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The website URL where information about the graduation pledges is available (optional):
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Does the institution have other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives?:
Yes

A brief description of the other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives:

Boulder Lake Environmental Learning Center: Boulder Lake Environmental Learning Center (BLELC) was established in 1994 and features a strong and unique partnership of University of Minnesota Duluth's College of Education and Human Service Professions, Minnesota Power, and Saint Louis County Land and Minerals Department.

Boulder Lake's 18,000-acre classroom is a regional leader in fostering connections to natural resource stewardship through education, research, and recreation. Annually BLELC and the outdoor recreation opportunities within its classroom serve more than 8,500 participants including K-12 students, college classes, post-graduate students, and community members from Northeast Minnesota, Northwest Wisconsin and areas across the upper-Midwest region. http://www.boulderlake.org/

Large Lakes Observatory: The Large Lakes Observatory is an academic and research unit within the Swenson College of Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Our focus on the large lakes of Earth means that our work supports the sustainability of well over half of the accessible freshwater on Earth.
https://scse.d.umn.edu/large-lakes-observatory

Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI): The Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) at the University of Minnesota-Duluth is a non-profit applied research organization with research facilities located in Duluth and Coleraine, Minnesota. Employing scientists, engineers and technicians, NRRI performs applied research to develop and deliver the understanding and tools needed to utilize the state's resources in a balanced and responsible manner.
https://www.nrri.umn.edu/


The website URL where information about other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives is available (optional):
Estimated percentage of students (full-time and part-time) that participate annually in sustainability-focused co-curricular education and outreach programs (0-100):
20.70

Additional documentation to support the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.