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Sustainability Leaders for the Future (SLF)

Thanks in part to generous grant funding from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation, the Sustainability Leaders for the Future (SLF) program is developing the next generation of leaders prepared to live in a more sustainable and carbon-constrained world. The program builds on Morris’s international reputation for:

Replicable across other college campuses, the program builds on Morris’s international reputation for:

  • Engaging student leaders
  • Developing sustainability curriculum
  • Building environmentally sound facilities

So far, the program has lead to:

  • the creation of seven sustainability-focused courses
  • revision of 12 courses to add sustainability content
  • a rise in our AASHE (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education) STARS score from 68.87 to 70.84
  • development of the SLF fellows program for faculty, staff, and students
  • education and outreach efforts involving campus and surrounding community

Here are some of the ongoing projects:

Environmental Leadership and Stewardship Coursework

A new Environmental Leadership and Stewardship academic area of emphasis prepares students to play a leading role in solving environmental problems and developing sustainable practices in a wide range of contexts. With sufficient student interest, this area of emphasis could become a standard minor at UMN Morris. Courses and activities include:

  • ENST 1101 Environmental Problems and Policy 
  • CMR 2102 Communication and the Environment: Analysis and Criticism 
  • CMR1062 Introduction to Interpersonal and Group Communication or Social Uses of Media
  • POL 2354 Political Ethics
  • POL 3272 Making Environmental Public Policy
  • IS 3253H (honors course): Honoring Native Treaties: Human Rights and Civic Responsibilities
  • PSY 3542 Multicultural Psychology
  • SOC 3112, Sociology of the Environment
  • 3000-level Directed Study based on a real-world sustainability need/issue/topic; must include a community engagement attribute, paper, and public presentation and/or publication
  • Participation in MLEAD workshop: co-curricular requirement, offered by Simón Franco, coordinator, Student Activities, Conferences and Events

Building Institutional Sustainability Networks (BISoN)

The event programming arm of SLF helps faculty, staff, and students:

  • Learn about how the campus community has contributed to regional sustainability
  • Identify opportunities to work with partners on and off campus to better integrate sustainability into their teaching, scholarship, and other work
  • Develop relationships and collaborations with others interested in sustainability

Sustainability Literacy Assessment - Morris (SLA-M)

The SLF survey, or SLA-M, is open to all incoming first-year students and graduating seniors. SLA-M is designed to:

  • Examine students’ attitudes regarding sustainability
  • Determine whether and how students are learning about sustainability at Morris
  • Identify how much students know about problems relevant to regional, national, and global sustainability

Sustainability Leadership Collection (Briggs Library)

SLF is working with Briggs Library to improve access to materials relevant to sustainability leadership.

Speakers: Sustainability and Wellness

SLF has worked with campus units to host speakers who expand the campus conversation about sustainability leadership.

Campus partners include:

Past speakers

  • Ian Cheney (filmmaker)
  • Chris J. Cuomo (philosophy and women’s studies, University of Georgia)
  • Michael Dorsey (board of directors of the Sierra Club; advisor to Senator Barack Obama)
  • Lori Gruen (animal studies; feminist, gender, and sexuality studies; philosophy; science and technology studies; Wesleyan University)
  • Dale Jamieson (environmental studies and philosophy, New York University)
  • Gary Nabhan (activist; author; poet; Southwest borderlands food and water security, University of Arizona; MacArthur Fellow)
  • Ralph Nader (activist, candidate for the President of the United States of America)
  • Jay Odenbaugh (philosophy, Lewis and Clark College)
  • Rory Smead (philosophy, Northeastern University)
  • Pandora Thomas (co-founder and director of the Black Permaculture Project)
  • Kyle Powys Whyte (American Indian studies and philosophy, Michigan State University)

The Sustainability Leaders for the Future program is sustained in part by a grant from Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies.