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Morris Students Showcase Campus Sustainability

Posted by Brittany Grady ’17, Kaiserslautern on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013


Last month several University of Minnesota, Morris students attended the fifth annual Upper Midwest Association for Campus Sustainability (UMACS) conference at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. UMACS provides a regional approach to campus sustainability and offers unique opportunities for shared learning and collaboration.

Of the 14 students present at the conference, 12 presented their research and sustainable initiatives to other students, staff, and faculty from across the Midwest. Alicia Beattie ’13, Hastings, Bryce Blankenfeld ’14, Goodridge, Kali Dale ’14, Bemidji, Sharice Fontenot ’17, Vidor, Natalie Hoidal ’15, Forest Lake, Peter Kavale ’16, Duluth, Brittany Grady ’17, Kaiserslautern, Lily Mahan ’17, Edina, Sienna Nesser ’14, St. Anthony Village, Kristian Nyberg ’14, Minnetonka, River Ostrow ’14, St. Paul, Tim Sheehan ’16, Minneapolis, Jordan Wente ’15, Dodge Center, and MN GreenCorps member Heidi Eger ’13, Woodbury, presented on a variety of themes, including composting, clean energy organizing, and working with small towns on sustainability efforts. Chancellor Jacqueline Johnson also gave a keynote address on sustainability and campus culture.

One major topic at this year’s conference involved sustainable food systems. The food systems campaign strives to involve more people in the food production process by making local foods more accessible. Morris is working with organizations like Morris Healthy Eating to address the issue.

“In considering sustainable energy, we must first consider the resource that allows our own bodies to function, and that is our food,” says Nesser. “However, our current food system is out of our hands. We rely on fossil fuels and large corporations to fulfill the most basic of needs. This system is not something we can rely on in years to come, and that is why it is so important to learn about how we can produce food in our own gardens at the scale of our communities.”

More information about UMACS and the conference is available at umacs.org.


Morris students, staff, and faculty at the fifth annual Upper Midwest Association for Campus Sustainability conference at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.