Posts Tagged ‘Luther College’

This past July, the US Department of Energy launched its Clean Energy in Our Community video series, which “features small communities throughout the country that are striving to become more sustainable, are investing in the green economy, and are bringing the benefits of clean energy to local residents and workers.”

All three institutions featured in the series so far (Luther College, University of Minnesota-Morris, and Allegheny College) are signatories of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. Two (Luther and Allegheny) are recipients of 2012 Second Nature Climate Leadership Awards.

You can watch the inspiring videos below or by following the links above.

Nominations for the 2013 Second Nature Climate Leadership Awards, which recognize innovation and excellence in climate leadership at signatory institutions of the ACUPCC, are now being accepted.

Luther College:

University of Minnesota-Morris:

Allegheny College:

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By Richard L. Torgerson, President, Luther College And Co-Chair, ACUPCC Academic Committee
(This article appears in the June, 2012 issue of The ACUPCC Implementer)

The ACUPCCRichard Torgerson, President, Luther College

Since its founding in 1861, Luther College has remained true to its mission by preparing graduates to respond to a changing world. As we look ahead we see global environmental problems, resource scarcity, and climate change threatening the health of the planet. In response to these threats Luther College’s 2007 Sesquicentennial Strategic Plan pushes the college to seek sustainability through greater operational efficiencies while preparing graduates with the skills, knowledge, and experience to lead society toward a more sustainable future. In order to “make sustainability a part of every student’s learning experience,” a clearly articulated conceptual framework for sustainability education is necessary so that faculty from disciplines across the campus can discover how sustainability connects to their work and can enrich their teaching.

In March 2009 a campus faculty survey revealed 25 courses are sustainability-focused, which means 20-100% of the class time in these courses deals with sustainability.  Another 16 courses were sustainability-related, which means less than 20% of class time dealt with sustainability. In summer 2012 nine Luther faculty have submitted proposals to participate in a summer workshop to prepare a fully designed new or modified, ready-to-teach course focusing on sustainability. Participating faculty are also asked to engage in ongoing discussion through the fall of 2012 with faculty peers to share ideas and plans for dissemination of work and to share their experiences through presentations and brown-bag lunches. Participating faculty receive a $1200 stipend jointly funded by the Margaret Cargill Foundation and the Luther President’s Fund. The use of presidential discretionary funds for high priority initiatives signals to the campus a level of importance and affirms good work being done. To stimulate faculty thinking about sustainability in the curriculum two Luther faculty have written a Frequently Asked Questions about Sustainability Education to answer questions and stimulate thinking.


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2012 CLA winner badge

2012 Second Nature Climate Leadership Awards

Recognizing Innovation and Excellence in Climate Leadership at Signatory Institutions of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment


Recipients of the Third Annual Second Nature Climate Leadership Awards were recognized for their efforts during an awards ceremony at  the ACUPCC Climate Leadership Summit in Washington, DC on June 21st. This year’s Climate Leadership Awards were created, designed, and fabricated by students from Pratt Institute’s Center for Sustainable Design Studies (CSDS). The awards were created using reclaimed redwood from New York City water towers. The surface of the wood was beautifully and uniformly weathered, and each award included a distinctive waterline running through the grain of each piece, providing a unique and one of a kind finish. The students felt that the material and finished product honored the intent of the awards by illustrating the unique and innovative strategies the recipients are taking to work toward climate neutrality.

The Climate Leadership Awards were created, designed, and fabricated by students from Pratt Institute’s Center for Sustainable Design Studies

The 2012 awards featured the most competitive round of awards to date, with over 60 schools from across the network submitting nominations to be recognized for their climate leadership.

A select group of 20 finalists were chosen for their outstanding achievements to participate in a video competition in partnership with Planet Forward, the web to television initiative that asks citizens and experts to share energy, climate and sustainability innovations.

Finalists’ videos drew over 70,000 views and 14,000 votes from the public during a month long competition in April, 2012, with the top vote-getter, William-Paterson University of New Jersey, receiving over 2,800 votes.  Watch their innovative video – and all of the finalists’ entries – at planetforward.org.

The Award Winners were chosen by the Second Nature Board in May 2012, and the ten recipients represent the diversity of institutions of higher education and are located throughout the United States.

“These institutions are leading the way for the academic community by demonstrating how sustainable practices can be put into place on campus that have a long-term impact on creating a sustainable society for the benefit of all,” said Dr. Anthony D. Cortese, president of Second Nature. “They have all shown tremendous creativity and an unrelenting commitment to integrate sustainable practices into their campuses and society as a whole.”


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2012 Second Nature Climate Leadership Awards

Recognizing Innovation and Excellence in Climate Leadership at Signatory Institutions of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment

The Climate Leadership Awards highlight campus innovation and climate leadership to transition society to a clean, just, and sustainable future, and are chosen from ACUPCC signatory institutions in good standing via a nomination process.  This year marks the third annual Climate Leadership Awards, and Second Nature is proud to announce this year’s Finalists, who will advance on to be considered for a 2012 Award.

2012 Finalists for Institutional Excellence in Climate Leadership

  • Doctorate Granting University
    Arizona State University, AZ
    Georgia Institute of Technology, GA
    New York University, NY
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL
    University of South Florida, FL
  • Master’s Colleges & University
    Florida Gulf Coast University, FL
    Goddard College, VT
    University of Central Missouri, MO
    William Paterson University of New Jersey, NJ
  • Baccalaureate College
    Allegheny College, PA
    Carleton College, MN
    Luther College, IA
    Spelman College, GA
  • Associate/Tribal College
    Austin Community College District, TX
    Chandler – Gilbert Community College, AZ
    Glendale Community College, AZ
    Haywood Community College, NC
  • Special Focus Institutions / Other 
    Pratt Institute and PALS, NY
    SUNY Upstate Medical University, NY
    University of California System,CA

Second Nature is proud to be announcing the awards winners of the 3rd Annual Climate Leadership Awards at the 6th annual Climate Leadership Summit of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) on June 21-22, 2012 in Washington, D.C.

In partnership with Planet Forward, all finalists will be featured in a public voting competition from March 15th – April 15th 2012, where viewers can vote on the most innovative and ground-breaking institution in each Carnegie Classification. Campuses with the top votes at the end of April will be featured in a variety of media opportunities. More information on the voting competition will be posted soon.

For more information: http://secondnature.org/awards/

View 2011 Climate Leadership Award Recipients
View 2010 Climate Leadership Award Recipients

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Participants at the April conference. Photo courtesy of Craig Mosher, Luther College.

By Susan Jane Gentile, STARS Content Specialist
Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education

The Integrating Sustainability into the Undergraduate Curriculum: Best Practices and Pedagogical Resources conference was held at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa April 3-4, 2011. Each participant received a copy of Jim Farrell’s book, The Nature of College: How a New Understanding of Campus Life Can Change the World, and Jim was the keynote speaker on Sunday.

Discipline groups met at the beginning and end of the conference to discuss sustainability in the curriculum in their fields. On Monday the following presentations were offered in three concurrent sessions:

  • Using STARS to Evaluate and Enhance Sustainability in the Curriculum,
  • Sustainability in General Education,
  • Using Campus Operations as a Teaching Tool,
  • Place-based Education as Pedagogy for Sustainability,
  • Curriculum Component of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment and Climate Action Plans,
  • Faculty Development for Sustainability,
  • Learning Outcomes for Sustainability.

Keynote James Farrell (center), St. Olaf College in a small group discussion with Kent Simmonds, Luther College and Candace Eudaley, East Central Intergovernmental Association. Photo courtesy of Craig Mosher, Luther College.

Also, Luther College’s director of sustainability gave a brief presentation on sustainability on their campus. There were about 60 participants at the conference from a number of Midwest colleges and universities, most in Iowa and Minnesota.

The conference was co-sponsored by Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM) and Upper Midwest Association for Campus Sustainability (UMACS). Participants from the workshop will continue to share information and work together informally while using existing gatherings like the UMACS and AASHE conferences to continue the dialogue.

Participants at the April conference. Photo courtesy of Craig Mosher, Luther College.

For more information about the conference and the Integrating Sustainability into the Undergraduate Curriculum project, visit: http://serc.carleton.edu/acm_face/sustainability/

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