This page, developed for the St. Olaf and Carleton Cows, Colleges and Curriculum: Sustainability Issues in the Classroom faculty development seminar, includes information on sustainability efforts at Carleton, St. Olaf, Northfield and Minnesota. We included links to Northfield and Minnesota specific environmental data that can be easily used by faculty in classes. We also included a sustainability bibliography.
If you know of more resources, please help us add to our collection by filling our the resource submission form. Thank you.
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Carleton College | St Olaf College | Northfield Sustainability Information | Minnesota Sustainability Information | Campus Sustainability Information | Sustainability Resources | Pedagogical Resources | Example student projects
- Sustaining Carleton includes information on sustainability at Carleton. Currently under development, the site will soon includes a wealth of information on sustainability policies and contact people.
- Greening Carleton: A College's Steps toward Sustainability (Microsoft Word 43kB May24 06) An overview article about Carleton's sustainability efforts by By Allison Madison, a St. Olaf student, for the Minnesota Office of Environmental Assistance.
- Cowling Arboretum website includes information about the Carleton Arboretum, flora and fauna, and includes maps.
- Carleton College built an industrial wind turbine in 2004 and was the first educational institution in the country to own a utility grade wind turbine - the 1.65-megawatt giant produces approximately 40% of Carleton's annual energy usage. See The History of Carleton's Wind Turbine and Frequently Asked Questions About Carleton's New Green Power Wind Turbine for more information.
- The Environmental and Technology Studies (ENTS) Program grew out of the conviction that the College has a responsibility to prepare students to respond to the grave threats posed to natural ecosystems by patterns of human development. The program offers a concentration program of study for students. The site includes a Student Projects archive ( This site may be offline. ) which is a database of student projects, often these proejcts are about the Carleton campus environment.
- Upper Lyman Data Buoy was installed by the Geology department in June of 2006. It currently measures temperature every fifteen minutes, and relays this information via radio to a computer in the Geology lounge. In the future, additional sensors can be added to the buoy to measure other water quality parameters such as depth, chlorophyll, turbidity, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, and pH. See the Upper Lyman Data Buoy Quick Guide (Microsoft Word 298kB Dec12 06) for details on how to access and use the data.
- Carleton's Energy Future was an interdisciplinary faculty development seminar held in December of 2005. The website includes useful resources for faculty.
- Carleton Weather Station Data Carleton has a weather station on top of Olin Hall. The website includes realtime and archived data.
St. Olaf College
- Black Gold and Green is the St. Olaf sustainability website. It includes information about sustainability projects on campus, links to the sustainability report as well as student projects.
- Riding the Wind: the St. Olaf Wind Turbine Northfield's St. Olaf College was awarded a $1.5 million grant from Xcel Energy's Renewable Development Fund in late 2004 to assist in construction of a wind turbine. Construction should begin in spring 2005.
- St. Olaf Natural Lands website includes information about the natural areas restorations, plants and links to maps.
Campus Sustainability InformationIndividual College or University Examples
- Middlebury College Environmental Affairs Campus Initiatives Middlebury has a long history of campus sustainability efforts and incorporating projects in to the curriculum.
- Northland College focuses on environmental learning. They built a "green dorm" for the same amount of money as a traditional dorm that includes composting toilets and a small wind turbine.
- Oberlin College's Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies Because of this exemplary building (and David Orr on their faculty), Oberlin College has become a national leader in campus sustainability.
- University of Minnesota This site describes sustainability initiatives taken at the University of Minnesota.
- University of Minnesota, Morris Green Campus Initiatives has incorporated biomass gasification, a wind turbine, green vehicles and local foods to their campus.
- Piedmont Project a faculty and staff development program developed to strengthen Emory's involvement with sustainability and environmental issues. More than 30 curricular projects in arts, humanities and languages have emerged from their workshops, in addition to about an equal number in the social sciences, sciences and professional schools together. This workshop was modeled on their project.
- Upper Midwest Association for Campus Sustainability UMACS is a new organization focusing on sustainability in higher education institutions throughout the region. UMACS serves as a networking tool information resource and conference organizer for faculty physical plant professionals campus administrators students and others seeking to place their campuses on a more sustainable footing. National Organizations
- AASHE has a detailed website that includes a tremendous amount of useful information for students, staff or faculty interested in campus sustainability. Both Carleton and St. Olaf are members of AASHE, so students, staff and faculty can register for access to their materials.
- National Wildlife Federation's Campus Ecology Program ( This site may be offline. ) includes a vast amount of information on campus greening projects. Students may also apply for a campus ecology fellowship that provides small amount of funding to begin projects.
- University Leaders for a Sustainable Future assists colleges and universities in making sustainability an integral part of curriculum research operations and outreach. ULSF is also the secretariat for signatories of the Talloires Declaration 1990 which has been signed by more than 300 university. The site also includes curriculum resources, including sustainability syllabi.
- US Partnership for the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (more info) consists of individuals, organizations and institutions in the United States dedicated to education for sustainable development. It acts as a convener, catalyst, and communicator working across all sectors of American society to fully integerate sustainable development into education in the United States. International Organizations
- Global Higher Education for Sustainability Partnership is an collaboration dedicated to mobilizing universities and higher education institutions to support sustainable development in response to Chapter 36 of Agenda 21.
- Barlett, Peggy and Chase, Geoffrey, 2004, Sustainability on Campus: Stories and Strategies for Change. Cambridge: MIT Press.
- Creighton, Sarah Hammond, 1998, Greening the Ivory Tower. Cambridge: MIT Press.
- Egan, Timothy, "The Greening of America's Campuses" New York Times, January 8, 2006. This article discusses innovative sustainability projects underway on campuses.
- Forrant, Robert, Jean L. Pyle, William Lazonick, Charles Levenstien, 2001, Approaches to Sustainable Development: The public university in the regional economy. University of Massachusetts Press: Amherst MA. This book came out of an interdisciplinary study at the University of Massachusetts Lowell to find ways for the university to stimulate regional sustainable development.
- Orr, David, 2004, "Designing Minds" in Earth in Mind: On Education, the Environment and the Human Prospect, Washington: Island Press.
- Orr, David, 2002, The Nature of Design. New York: Oxford.
- Orr, David, 1994. Earth in Mind. Washington DC: Island Press.
- Orr, David, 1992, Ecological Literacy. Albany: SUNY Press.
- Pulman, Andrea and Michael Philps, 2006, The Business Case for Renewable Energy: A guide for colleges and universities. Nacubo. Available from www.nactubo.org. Carleton College is highlighted in this book on renewable energy.
- Sterling, Stephen, 2001, Sustainable Education: Revisioning Learning and Change. Totnes, Green Books.
- White, Stacey Swearingen, 2003, "Sustainable Campuses and Campus Planning: Experiences from a classroom case study at the University of Kansas" International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, v. 4, n. 4, p. 344-356.
Northfield/Minnesota Sustainability InformationNorthfield/Minnesota Data
- Cancer Mortality Maps and Graphs Data may be searched by state. The site includes graphs on mortality by different types of cancer.
- Cannon River Gauge Height and Discharge This site shows realtime data in graphical or table format from the USGS station at Welch.
- Community-based Air Emissions Mapping Tool and Environmental Justice The Minnesota Community-based Air Emissions Mapping Tool was developed to provide a visual snapshot of air emissions from multiple sources across the state displayed along with community and population census data.
- Environmental Data Access The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's Environmental Data Access system allows users to view and download water quality data and air quality data about Minnesota
- Farm Subsidies Database. The Environmental Working Group has a searchable farm subsidy database that is searchable by state, county, and name. This link will send you to the overview page.
- Minnesota River Basin Data Center (more info) includes animations, fact sheets, basin overviews. The site also includes an excellent wetland loss and restoration animation from the area.
- Minnesota Milestones The report uses 70 progress indicators to determine whether the state is achieving 19 publicly determined goals. The goals are grouped in four broad areas: People, Community and Democracy, Economy and Environment.
- Northfield Weather Station Data Carleton has a weather station on top of Olin Hall. The website includes realtime and archived data.
- Surf Your Watershed The EPA surf your watershed site is a clearinghouse for environmental information by state and watershed. This link takes you to the Cannon River Wateshed section.
- TOXMAP: Environmental Health e-Maps is a mapping program of Toxic Release Inventory and Superfund sites as well as demographic data. The site has data from all over the U.S., but can be searched by state or location. The previous link sends you to the Minnesota section. In addition, the Science Education Resource Center has a datasheet, Exploring TOXMAP Data in the Classroom with more information about using TOXMAP data in classes.
- USGS Real-Time Water Data for MinnesotaIncludes data on streamflow, precipitation and groundwater. In addition, the Science Education Resource Center has a datasheet, Exploring USGS Peak Streamflow Data in the Classroom with more information about using this type of data in classes.
- Cannon River Watershed Partnership works to protect the Cannon River and its watershed.
- Center for Sustainable Living is a non-profit organization in Northfield that is dedicated to fostering liveability and sustainability for communities.
- The Just Foods Coop is the local food cooperative in Northfield.
- Maltby Nature Preserve is a 90-acre wildlife sanctuary and environmental education facility.
- Northfield Environmental Quality Commission (EQC) The EQC advises the City of Northfield on environmental quality and natural resources concerns and on implementation of environmental policy. Meets every 3rd Tuesday of the month, 7pm.
- Northfield Freecycle is a website that lists free items that may be useful for someone else.
- RENew Northfield The mission of RENew is to lead the Northfield-area community to energy self-sufficiency.
- River Bend Nature Center is a nature center in Faribault that offers environmental programming.
- Cost of Mercury (Microsoft Word 34kB Jul7 06) This memo Minnesota House of Representative Research Department Memo details the response to Rep. Jean Wagenius about the economic costs of mercury exposure of Minnesota children. The analyst uses data from an article that estimated the costs to the US economy of mercury.
- The Cannon River: An overview of the physical characteristics and management of the watershed Britt Carlson, Jeff Jasperson, Tonya Kjerland, and Nathan Smits, Bio 285: Water Resources Management, St. Olaf College, January 28, 2004.
- Economic Profile of the Upper Mississippi River Region U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Report prepared by: Industrial Economics, Incorporated, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1999.
- Minnesota Report Card on Environmental Literacy is a survey of minnesotans' beliefs, knowledge and behaviors towards the environment.
- The Price of Pollution Cost Estimates of Environment-Related Childhood Disease in Minnesota 2006 Report by the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy.
- Surf your watershed The EPA surf your watershed site is a clearinghouse for environmental information by state and watershed. This link takes you to the Minnesota section.
- Sustainability The Very Idea 1993 Report by Minnesota Planning/Minnesota Environmental Quality Board that describes sustainability in Minnesota.
- Congregations Caring for Creation is a Minnesota-based, interfaith organization supporting congregations who want to include environmental stewardship at the congregational level.
- Forum of Women in the Environmental Field is a professional networking group in the Twin Cities that hosts breakfast speakers and other events every other month. It is a good resource for graduating students.
- Minnesota Environmental Partnership is a coalition of 90 Minnesota environmental and conservation organizations working together to protect and preserve Minnesota's precious natural environment. The website includes links to all of the member organizations, policy priorities, and job listings. All of the mainline environmental organizations are part of this coalition.
- Csansome, Constance, 1990, Minnesota Underfoot. A roadside guide to Minnesota's geology. Voyageur Press: Osceola, WI.
- Henderson, Carrol, Andrea Lee Lambrecht, and others, 1997, Travelers Guide to Wildlife in Minnesota, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources: St. Paul MN. This guidebook is organized by region. The Southeast Blufflands and Big Woods section includes the Cannon River Wilderness Area, and Nerstrand Big Woods State Park. It's a great resource for anyone traveling around the state.
- Ladd, Doug and Frank Oberle 1995, Tallgrass Prairie Wildflowers. Falcon Press: Helena, MT. This field guide is organized by flower color.
- McKnight Foundation, (1996) The Mississippi River in the Upper Midwest: it's economy, ecology, and management. The McKnight Foundation: Minneapolis MN. This report details the natural and human history, water quality, human impacts, and management of the Mississippi River. The report also provides recommendations and case studies.
- Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 1999, A Guide to Minnesota's Scientific and Natural Areas. This guidebook includes River Terrace Prairie SNA in Goodhue County, (located on the Cannon River near Cannon Falls), Praire Creek Woods SNA (adjacent to Nerstrand Big Woods State Park), Cannon River Trout Lily SNA (on Cannon River near Faribault, some areas are accessible only by canoe).
- Moyle, John B and Evelyn W. Moyle, 2001, Northland Wildflowers: The comprehensive guide to the Minnesota region. University of Minnesota Press: Minneapolis, MN. This book is arranged by flower color and includes nice photographs.
- Ojakangas, Richard W. and Charles L. Matsch, 1982, Minnesota's Geology. University of Minnesota Press: Minneapolis, MN. This book has been used as an introductory geology text. It includes good photos and descriptions of geologic sites in Minnesota.
- Tester, John R., 1995, Minnesota's Natural Heritage: An Ecological Perspective. University of Minnesota Press: Minneapolis, MN. A good introduction to Minnesota's ecosystems.
Sustainability ResourcesWhat is Sustainability?
- Edwards, Andres, 2005, The Sustainability Revolution: portrait of a paradigm shift, New Society Publishers: Gabriola Island, BC, Canada. This is an excellent and complete overview of sustainability in all of its forms. It is a good text for a class.
- Uhl, Christopher, 2004, Developing Ecological Consciousness: Path to a Sustainable World, Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. We used this book in our workshop.
- Daniel Sitarz, Sustainable America: America's Environment, Economy and Society in the 21st Century. Washington DC: President's Council on Sustainable Development, 1996.
- Schor, Juliet and Taylor, Betsy. Sustainable Planet. Boston: Beacon, 2002. Environmental Justice
- Environmental Justice Resource Center at Clark Atlanta University This site includes a wealth of information about environmental justice. It also includes a curriculum guide Farming and Food
- Imhoff, Daniel, Farming with the Wild: enhancing biodiversity on farms and ranches. (2003) Sierra Club Books: San Francisco. This book describes how farms and ranch management can increase biodiversity. The book uses case studies, including a dairy operation near Winona MN and the wild rice project as part of the White Earth Recovery Project on the White Earth reservation in MN.
- The Lure of the 100 Mile Diet Margot Roosevelt, Time Magazine, June 12, 2006. This article describes a new initiative to have people eat more local food. A new group, http://locavores.com/ 'Locavores' started in San Francisco in 2005 and challenged people to eat food from a 100 mile radius in August.
- The Pleasures of Eating Wendell Berry, an excerpt from the book, What are People For? 1990, Northpoint Press. A very nice essay about the connections between food and the environment. If you enjoyed lunch at the workshop, you will appreciate this essay.
- Lyson, Thomas, Civic Agriculture: Reconnecting Farm, Food and Community. Lebanon NH: University Press of New England, 2004.
- Pollan, Michael, The Omnivore's Dilemma. New York: Penguin, 2006.
- Sanders, Scott Russell, 1998, Hunting for Hope. Boston: Beacon.
- Dauncey, Guy, 1999, Earthfuture: Stories from a Sustainable World. New Society Publishers. –short stories set in a sustainable future
- Lappe, Frances Moore and Lappe, Anna, 2002, Hope's Edge. New York: Putnam.
- Loeb, Paul, 2004, The Impossible Will Take a Little While: A Citizen's Guide to Hope in a Time of Fear. New York: Basic Books.
- Piercy, Marge, 1976.Woman on the Edge of Time. New York: Fawcett Crest. –an ecofeminist novel
- Gruchow, Paul. 1995, Grass Roots: The Universe of Home. Minneapolis: Milkweed Editions. –short essays by a local author on finding a place for oneself in the Midwest
- Fostering Sustainable Behavior Created by a social psychologist, the community-based social marketing approach is a very effective way to get people to change a target behavior. It is used by small groups, communities, government agencies, even individuals, to try to bring about change, towards more sustainable behavior, within a group of people or community. The web site has case studies, an online guide (also available as a published book), and a description of 'tools' that one can use to try to change behavior. CBSM is gaining great popularity around the world, and has been widely used in canada and australia to change a number of environmentally-damaging behaviors.
- Teaching Psychology for Sustainability: a manual of resources The website for psychologists wanting to incorporate sustainability into their courses.
- Raymo, Chet, 1999, Natural Prayers, Ruminator Books: St. Paul, MN. The author combines observations, science and meditations in this book that details a year in the Bahamas, New England, and Ireland.
- Castree, Noel and Bruce Braun (eds), 2001, Social Nature: theory, practice and politics, Blackwell Publishers: Malden, MA. The authors in this collection discuss the social construction of nature and the concrete ways in which it is made and the political implications of its construction.
- Chambers, Nicky, Craig Simmons, Mathis Wachernagel, Sharing Nature's Interest: Ecological footprints as an indicator of sustainability. Earthscan Publications Ltd.: London. Describes ecological footprints as a way to assess sustainability. Includes global and national footprints, regional footprints, product footprints, and footprinting lifestyles. Includes a section on footprints for universities using the CampusCalc program. The program is calibrated for the UK and is not transferable to US institutions.
- Cronen, William, The Trouble with Wilderness; or, Getting Back to the Wrong Nature in (William Cronon, ed., Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human Place in Nature, New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1995, 69-90).
- Ecological Footprint Calculator is a good tool to help students see the connection with everyday behaviors and impact. This is one of numerous calculators available on the web.
- Harris, Jonathan M, Timothy A Wise, Kevin P. Gallagher, and Neva R. Goodwin, (eds) A Survey of Sustainable Development: Social and Economic Dimensions. Island Press: Washington DC. This collection of articles include the environmental dimension of sustainability, the economics of sustainability, the North/South imbalance, population and urbanization, agriculture and renewable resources, materials, energy and climate change, and policies for sustainability. It has an international perspective and was used in a sustainability science course at the University of Minnesota.
- McDonough, William, A Boat for Thoreau Essay mentioned at the workhshop about designing a future.
- Nattrass, Brian and Mary Altomare, 1999, The Natural Step for Business: wealth, ecology, and the evolutionary corporation. New Society Publishers: Gabriola Island, BC. Outlines the Natural Step framework, a model from Sweden, which outlines several system conditions for sustainability and promotes working with businesses to change practices to align with these conditions. The framework has been used extensively in Europe and has been used in select cases in the U.S.
- Stavins, Robert N (ed) 2000, Economics of the Environment: selected readings, W.W. Norton & Company: New York.
- Sustainability Video Shorts Arnold Creek Productions has a group of free video shorts on sustainability and social responsibility. They're designed to further public awareness about sustainability and related issues of the day.
- Case Place The Aspen Institute Business and Society Program CasePlace offers a wide range of business education materials in social impact management, sustainability and business ethics. The site contains cases and teaching notes, teaching modules, journal articles, course syllabi, books, and conference announcements.
- The Emerging Environmental Majority: There's a thaw in relations between greens and hunters. It could heat up big-time over global warming (more info) , Christina Larson, Washington Monthly, May 2006. This article describes the history of conservation and environmental movements, including their rift and recent moves toward collaboration.
- The Foundation for Sustainable Development is a 11 year-old 501(c)(3) non-profit that works closely with many universities, across academic disciplines, to facilitate undergrad and graduate students' project work and research in Latin America, East Africa, and India with locally-based NGOs. These students support community initiatives while also implementing projects of their own design in collaboration with their organization and our field staff.
- Grant, Tim and Gail Littlejohn (eds), 2001, Greening School Grounds: Creating Habitats for Learning, New Society Publishers: Gabriola Island, BC, Canada. This book is designed for K-12 teachers and includes information on how to plan and implement native landscaping and gardens on school grounds. It also includes a section on how to incorporate these lands in to the curriculum.
- Louv, Richard, 2006, Last Child in the Woods: saving our children from nature-deficit disorder, Algonguin Books of Chapel Hill: Chapel Hill, NC.
- Ryan, John and Durning, Alan, 1997, Stuff: The Secret Lives of Everyday Things. Seattle: Northwest Environment Watch.
- United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development In 2002 the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014) was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly and UNESCO was designated as lead agency for the promotion of the Decade.
- Facing the Future: People and the Planet has free downloadable lesson plans on aspects of sustainability for teachers. It is developed for educators at the primary and secondary level. The advanced level has material that is appropriate for introductory college students. The group also has a textbook resource for teaching about sustainability: It's All Connected: A Comprehensive Guide to Global Issues and Sustainable Solutions. To read more and download a preview of the book, visit their website at: http://www.facingthefuture.org/purchase.htm.
- The Science Education Resource Center's website includes a wealth of pedagogical information. The sites were originally designed for geoscience faculty, but many are useful in all fields. These sites may be of particular interest to workshop participants:
- Savanick, Suzanne, Campus-Based Learning This website module describes how faculty can use campus projects in introductory geoscience courses. The website explores the pedogogical and practical benefits of using campus examples and describes in step-by-step detail how faculty can incorporate campus projects in courses. Several example courses explore energy-related issues including: Campus Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory Environmental Assessment Course and Campus Nitrogen Budget.
- Designing Effective and Innovative Courses This module includes an on line tutorial for course redesign that is applicable for all fields.
- Observing and Assessing Student Learning This website includes a list of assessement tools and techniques.
- Cooperative Learning This site describes why and how to use groups effectively in teaching.
- Field Labs This site describes how to set up effective field trips.
- Teaching Geoscience with Visualizations includes a searchable collection of visualizations appropriate for teaching, teaching tips, and lessons from cognitive science research. The site is set up for geoscience instructors, but can be applied to other fields.
- Caviglia-Harris, Jill, 2004, "Interdisciplinary Teaching: Analyzing consensus and conflict in environmental studies", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol.5, No. 4. p. 395-40.
- Zull, James E, 2002, The Art of Changing the Brain: enriching the practice of teaching by exploring the biology of learning. Sterling, VA, Stylus Publications.
- National Research Council, 2002, How People Learn: brain, mind, experience, and school. Washington D.C., National Academy Press.
- Ward, H. Acting Locally: concepts and models for service-learning in environmental studies, Washington D.C., American Association for Higher Eduation 214 p.
Example student projects
- "The Cannon River Region and "A Sense of Place", St. Olaf College, Environmental Studies 399.
- The Cannon River An overview of the physical characteristics and management of the watershed Britt Carlson, Jeff Jasperson, Tonya Kjerland, and Nathan Smits, Bio 285: Water Resources Management, St. Olaf College, January 28, 2004.
Please help us add more resources to our collection. Please fill out a resource submission form. Thank you.
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