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UMD Sustainability Banner: Education and Research - In a world full of serious sustainability issues, students need to be prepared to solve complex issues that balance enviromental, economic, and social.

Making the changes necessary for UMD to operate more sustainably requires contributions and creativity from students and faculty in all areas of study. Education and research are essential to these efforts, as outlined in UMD's Energy Action Plan.


UMD provides opportunities to learn about sustainability from many different colleges and disciplines. The Sustainability Office has put together a cross-disciplinary list of sustainability related courses at UMD.

Many UMD programs integrate sustainability into their curriculum, including Civil Engineering, Environmental Education, Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, and the many programs offered in the LSBE.

With four LEED certified buildings (and another seeking certification), many energy saving projects and alternative groundskeeping methods, UMD facilities also serve as educational tools for many programs. Examples include summer biology classes planting produce in campus gardens and tours of the UMD heating and cooling system by Building System and Controls (BSAC) staff for mechanical engineering courses.

Dr. David Syring's Anthropology Senior Seminar students have found creative ways to learn about various aspects of sustainability on campus, working in teams to share their experiences and teach what they have discovered.

To see Anthropology studies and other student projects, go to the student ideas page.


UMD undergraduate students have an opportunity to be a part of sustainable development projects in the local Northeast Minnesota community, based on their interest and qualifications. The Sustainable Development Research Opportunity Program (SDROP) provides students a $1500 stipend for projects that can last up to 1-year.

We've put together a list of potential sustainability research projects.
Malosky Stadium solar panel.

UMD's solar panel Arrays provide hands on research into alternative energy for UMD students.

Solar energy is converted into alternating current for use in the Malosky Stadium. A weather station was installed on the roof to aid research in the area of concentrated photovoltaic systems (CPV). Watch the live solar output and learn more about this project.

UMD's Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) focuses its research on industry growth and utilizing natural resources in the best ways possible. Projects include building hybrid homes with efficiency in mind and mattress recycling program feasability.For more information on these and other NRRI projects, check out the NRRI Now newsletter.


C. Hale takes her turn at pressing cider with a wood cider press.

The Sustainable Agriculture Project (SAP@UMD) formed in 2009 to institute education, research, and community engagement around local food systems and food security in the western Lake Superior region. SAP@UMD is an interdisciplinary faculty collaborative that provides overall leadership and is housed in the Center for Sustainable Community Development. SAP@UMD was awarded stewardship over fifteen acres at UMD's Research and Field Studies Center (formerly the Northeast Agricultural Experimental Station), including a five acre heritage apple orchard and a ten acre field for experiential learning and research.

In Spring, 2011 SAP@UMD participated in the Communities Take Root contest to restore the five acre apple orchard. In the contest, orchards are awarded to communities that are able to collect the most votes. The effort gained the support of thousands of votes. On June 1, 2011 SAP@UMD was announced as a winner in the contest.

SAP@UMD hosts a variety of workshops and seminars, including the 2011 New Food Regionalism seminar series. Other projects include a one acre plot at the Field Studies Center to grow produce for UMD Dining Services to provide local food to the UMD campus. Watch the following video to learn more.

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Last modified on 02/14/13 07:32 AM
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