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Although many people work on sustainability efforts across campus, the UMD Sustainability Office works to coordinate those efforts by communicating and sharing information. We also track metrics of sustainability in energy, carbon emissions, waste and more to evaluate our progress to becoming a more sustainable campus

Who we are

Mindy Granley

Mindy Granley

241 Darland Administration Building
(218) 726-8198

Position: Sustainability Coordinator

Favorite thing about working in the Sustainability Office: Connecting UMD students with projects that help reduce waste and save energy on campus and knowing that their exposure to sustainability will follow them into whatever career field they venture into. Learning about sustainable changes my fellow UMD colleagues have made, and finding ways to tell their stories to the campus. Planning for future changes on campus that will reduce our carbon emissions.

Why sustainability is important: The biggest reason sustainability is important to me is because I care about the future of my friends and family. We all depend on the Earth's environment to provide clean air, drinkable water, food and a stable climate. However, these environmental systems are impacted by the choices we make every day in society: what we buy, what powers us, what we throw away, what we use. Balancing environmental impacts while meeting the needs of society in an economically efficient way is a big challenge, but it is one we have to face in order to sustain our lives and our future.

Responsibilities: My job is to coordinate activities, communicate progress, and assess the changes UMD is making to be more sustainable.

Carl Berwald

Carl Berwald

219 Darland Administration Building
(218) 726-6391

Position: Sustainability Communications Assistant

Majors: Political Science and German Studies

Minor: International Studies

Favorite thing about working in the Sustainability Office: Working in the Sustainability office always brings something new. We are not doing the same thing day after day, rather we are working forward, making a difference, and making progress. I feel like I am making a difference here, and that is important to me. I also enjoy the open and positive work environment.

Why sustainability is important: Sustainability is important because we only have one earth, and we have over 7bn people. We only get one earth and we need to be able to effectively use and allocate its resources but not deplete them. Climate change is one of the most challenging and immediate problems we face as a planet, and we need to work together in order to mitigate our environmental damages and reverse ones we have already made.

Responsibilities: Creating content such as web pages, blog posts, signs and anything else to help spread the word about sustainability at UMD.

Nate Levendoski

Brian Bluhm

219 Darland Administration Building
(218) 726-6391

Position: Sustainability Office Transportation Assistant

M.Ed. Environmental Education Candidate

Favorite thing about working in the Sustainability Office: Working in the Office of Sustainability provides me with the opportunity to develop my knowledge and abilities while also helping to solve some of the most profound challenges facing humanity. The university is a place where people come together to expand their knowledge and understanding of the world. I am excited to be working with passionate people to promote sustainability in such a dynamic place as UMD while also empowering students to lead more balanced lives.

Why sustainability is important: The focus on interrelationships between economics, society and environment is what makes sustainability such an important and timely topic. By learning to live in ways that promote the well-being of our economies, our people and our planet, we can ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy the same (or better) quality of life that current generations enjoy!

Responsibilities: Coordinate efforts to develop a cleaner, safer and healthier transportation system at UMD, track and evaluate campus transportation emissions, sustainability outreach and education.

Natalie Brown

Natalie Brown

219 Darland Administration Building
(218) 726-6391

Position: Sustainability Energy Outreach Assistant

Major: Environmental Studies

Minor: Spanish

Favorite thing about working in the Sustainability Office: I enjoy working at the Sustainability Office because I know that I'm actually doing something to make a change at UMD and locally. It is excellent to have the opportunity to work with amazing, inspired people. Being able to interact with the UMD community in its efforts to become more sustainable gives me a positive outlook for the future of Duluth and the rest of the world.

Why sustainability is important: Many reasons there are so many pressing global issues, such as economic downturns in once-thriving nations, poverty, and hunger, are due largely in part to ecological deterioration. Being sustainable means happily living within one's own means. It is not necessary to buy, buy, buy in order to be satisfied, and right now is a turning point in society to realize this. I'm excited to be part of such a revolution!

Responsibilities: Outreach efforts, such as posters, e-mails, displays, and promotional events to further engage the campus community.

+Previous Sustainability Employees and Interns

Judy Breuer

Judy Breuer

Position: LiNCS Researcher

Major: Health Education with Community Concentration

Minors: Environmental Studies and Sustainability, Philosophy, and Psychology

Favorite thing about working in the Sustainability Office: Because this was a small 40 hour senior project, I had freedom to explore projects already in motion or bring in my own ideas. There were so many options I would have enjoyed taking on. I finally decided to consider water, bottled water and the need for water bottle filling stations in the dorms and around campus. I talked to and surveyed students about their daily water intake. I also discovered student concerns regarding access to drinking water when living in the dorms. As much as I loved my project itself, I very much enjoyed brainstorming ideas and digging into the possibilities of next steps. My intention is to continue working on these issues in some capacity while I'm at UMD. The need doesn't end when the senior project is over. Thank you for the opportunity.

Why sustainability is important: Sustainability is important because this world, though amazing at providing us a place to live, is being taxed by our fast paced and amazing progress. The consequences of our actions as people, businesses and institutions are important to consider. We benefit by learning how we might lighten the load in what ever way we can. This is undoubtedly a complex balancing act. Sustainability is a huge interwoven and connected subject. When you look at one topic there are five other considerations that pop out that we need to consider. This shouldn't discourage us but excite us in the discovery of how we can rise to the challenge of finding even small actions allowing us to continue appreciating all the wonderful things we are able to utilize and benefit from.

Nate Levendoski

Nate Levendoski

Position: Sustainability Communications Assistant

Major: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Writing Studies, Journalism focus

Favorite thing about working in the Sustainability Office: Sustainability really is an issue, one that's becoming more and more relevant with the passage of time; it's an incredible opportunity to be able to witness so closely how UMD is shifting toward a more sustainable ideology, and it's great to work for a cause that I can believe in, especially one that everyone in the UMD community can benefit from.

Why sustainability is important: I like to look at the world in terms of systems, all of our choices have consequences, some positive, some negative. To me, that's what sustainability is about, acknowledging that we are a part of something greater than ourselves, whether it's the UMD campus, Duluth, or the world in its entirety. We all are a part of these larger systems, and these systems deserve our stewardship.

Sam Domeier

Sam Domeier

Position: Minnesota GreenCorps Energy Conservation Member

Favorite thing about working in the Sustainability Office: The Office of Sustainability is committed to integrating sustainability into all aspects of campus life, and that is why I am so excited to be a part of this office. I am also gaining valuable experience in the field of energy conservation, and this will greatly help me as I look forward to finding a career. UMD has signed onto the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment and agreed to work to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions over time, eventually reaching climate neutrality, and it is great to know that the Sustainability Office and the UMD campus are so committed to sustainability and the future of our environment.

Why sustainability is important: Sustainability issues are some of the most important issues facing our world today, and without a willingness to change our way of thinking concerning the environment, we may be putting ourselves and future generations in harm's way. Practicing sustainability is the only way that we will be able to continue enjoying our natural environment for years to come. Individual behaviors, attitudes, and choices are vital components in the reduction of our energy use and carbon output, and if we each take small actions every day, the results will add up.

Responsibilities: I am responsible for a number of different things while serving on the UMD campus. These responsibilities include researching, creating, implementing, and coordinating energy conservation and education programs on campus, conducting public relations outreach through advertisements, press releases, brochures, and presentations, and administering energy assessments for campus students, staff, and faculty members.

Anne Rittgers

Anne Rittgers (graduated)

2010 UMD Student Employee of the Year

Position: Sustainability Assistant

Major: Economics

Minor: Environmental Studies

Favorite thing about working in the Sustainability Office: Gaining valuable career experience working with a large variety of people on a large variety of projects to benefit the campus community; working daily to expand the definition of sustainability for myself and for campus; and working with knowledgeable, passionate people like Mindy.

Why sustainability is important: Sustainability is important because, in the words of Albert Einstein, "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." We are faced with heavy-hitting global issues that our generation is going to be forced to deal with- energy, water, food, etc. crises. The best way to overcome these challenges is to take a sustainability-based approach, considering economic, environmental, and social factors, in order to overcome these issues and provide future generations with a better quality of life on a healthy planet.

Responsibilities: Tracking, interpreting, and reporting raw operations and research data on greenhouse gas emissions, transportation trends, recycling, stormwater management, and more; designing and preparing sustainability communications (posters, presentations, displays, brochures) to the campus and community; and helping plan and promote various sustainability events, including the bi-annual Sustainability Fairs.

Hannah Schoof

Hannah Schoof (graduated)

Position: Health Education Intern

Major: Health Education - Community Health

Minor: Psychology; Foreign Studies

Favorite thing about working in the Sustainability Office: The enthusiasm that Mindy has for her work.

Why sustainability if important: Because we live on such an amazing planet, I believe it is important to reduce waste and use our resources wisely in order to keep our earth beautiful for as long as possible.

Nicholas Benz (Summer 2011)

Position: STARS Intern

Major: Environmental Studies

Project: I collected data for the Sustainability Tracking and Assessment Reporting Tool. This involved many hours of data collection including interviewing department directors and many hours of online research.

Why sustainability if important: It is the way the world will continue to thrive. The best part is that sustainability doesn't have to been really complex to see effects. By simply turning off lights and computers at the end of the day we save large amounts of energy. The other cool part is that sustainability can be very complex and thought provoking. There are always new ways to increase sustainability and improve the current system.

Ali Naqvi

Ali Naqvi

Position: Engineering Assistant

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Minor: Math

Favorite thing about working in the Sustainability Office: The fact that this is not just another job that will pay my bills and then it is history. The things I am learning through this office go way beyond the paycheck. It is redefining my lifestyle.

Why sustainability is important: I think waste is nasty. Using up more resources than an individual, a firm, a city or a country needs leaves less for the others and cost of living goes up ultimately affecting everyone. Sustainable resources help offset this damage.

Responsibilities: My duties include researching on sustainable alternatives and practices and to spread awareness regarding the same through writing.

David Rosen (Summer 2010)

Position: Transportation Intern

Major: Economics

Minor: Environmental Studies

Jimmy Peterson (Summer 2010, graduated)

Position: Sustainability and Assessment Intern

Major: Environmental Studies


Our Mission

The Office of Sustainability and the UMD Campus are committed to communicating, educating, and inspiring action to integrate sustainability into all aspects of campus life.

UMD Sustainability Staff at AASHE 2010 in Denver, CO.

UMD Staff at the AASHE 2010 Conference in Denver, CO. From left: Anne Rittgers, Nate Levendoski, Mindy Granley

Questions, Comments or Ideas?

We'd like to hear them. Sustainability is an effort that is dependent on input and support from students, faculty and staff. Feel free to contact us to help make UMD a more sustainable campus.


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The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.
Last modified on 02/14/13 07:32 AM
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