Current and Past Participants

Current Participants

Julia Olson

Julia Olson is an undergraduate in CBS majoring in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, and minoring in Spanish and Wildlife Care and Handling. She is active in Compassionate Action for Animals, Earthtrust, Feline Rescue, Queer Student Advocates, and the West Bank Community Garden, and is currently a volunteer with the Packer Lion Lab.

Lauren Schultz

Lauren is an up-and-coming senior studying environmental science, policy, and management as well as double minoring in leadership and communication studies. She holds a student position at the Institute on the Environment with Sustainability Education as well as with an art-science collaborative called Backyard Phenology that works closely with the Native American Medicine Garden to host talking/healing circles that contribute to the understanding of phenology and observation of the natural world. She is interested in the connections between leadership, communication, and sustainability as well as furthering her understanding of the social issues facing our world. In her free time, Lauren enjoys hiking, backpacking, traveling, concert-going, and working zero-waste events with Eureka Recycling.

Elizabeth McGraw

Libby has traveled to many different countries and observed firsthand how different cultures perceive, prioritize, and practice sustainability. She spent the 2017 spring semester in Tanzania studying the human-wildlife interface and researching the effects of climate change on agricultural practices. She has close ties with Francis Bettelyoun from the UMN Native American Medicine Garden, and has learned a tremendous deal about indigenous traditions, food sovereignty, and decolonization. She is involved with many clubs on campus including the Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology Club, the Marine Biology Club, and the Ski and Snowboard Club. These clubs provide her with a broad knowledge-base as well as a great network of classmates.

Melissa Markay

Melissa Markay will be a junior in the Carlson School of Management. She is pursuing a double major in Public and Nonprofit Management and Finance with a minor in Sustainability Studies. On campus, she is involved with a variety of organizations from IonE to Habitat for Humanity to the Weisman Art Museum. In her free time she loves anything outdoors, from kayaking to hammocking, photography, and shopping for vinyl.  Although she enjoyed spending my summer in London, she loved her time at the U of M and cannot wait to see what fall semester holds!

Sydney Larson

Sydney is pursuing her undergraduate degree in environmental science with a minor in Spanish. She is passionate about local food systems and very interested in the intersections between art and ecology. She is currently an Admissions Ambassador through the Office of Admissions and a research assistant in the Center for Dendrochronology. To combine her love for music and community outreach, she volunteers regularly at The Cedar Cultural Center, helping serve their mission to promote intercultural appreciation and understanding through global music and dance. In the future, Sydney hopes to obtain her M.B.A. and pursue a career in corporate social responsibility, working to create value by participating in collaborative efforts that will strengthen economies and communities while protecting the environment.

Bradley Ni

I scribble, speak words, listen to spoken word, listen to podcasts, travel, write letters,  read fiction, attempt to read non-fiction, cook, avoid baking, sing when no one is listening, sing when everyone is listening, dance, attempt to dance, ride anything with a board, debate, daydream, and listen…

Past Participants

Erica Chung

Erica majored in Biology at the University of Minnesota and participated in the IonE Undergrad Leaders Program during her senior year at the University of Minnesota. The program provided her with a wonderful group of individuals who were also passionate about the well-being of the environment.  Since then, she has continued on for a Masters of Public Health program at Columbia University.

Mallory Thomas

Mallory is a sophomore in the College of Biological Sciences’ Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior. She’s also pursuing a minor in sustainability studies. Her areas of interest include using research of ecological interactions to develop sustainable resource usage at an industry level and sustainable lifestyles at a social level. Mallory is a member of the CBS Student Board, serves on the CBS Learning Technologies Committee and contributes to research in the Snell-Rood laboratory. She also enjoys talking about her experience as a student studying sustainability in Denmark. In the future Mallory hopes to pursue a Ph.D. with a focus on ecosystem ecology, communicate the importance of science to the public and learn Spanish. Some of Mallory’s favorite things outside of school include her four younger brothers, Birch Lake, ranting about social justice and brunch.

Justin Halverson

Justin Halverson is a musician, organizer, poet and senior at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. He majors in music, which he ties into his interest in the intersection of social, environmental and economic assets that benefit communities in creative ways. He is currently a leader of the West Bank Community Garden and is working with local activists and organizations to draft state legislation that funds the growth of community rain gardens. His other experience include working with multiple equity and sustainability organizations across the University of Minnesota campus, as well as Face Forward, Spark-Y Youth Action Labs, Project Sweetie Pie and the St. Paul School of Rock. Justin collaborates with local spoken word artists, plays bass in a number of bands and leads his own group. He envisions bringing people together around the intersection of art, nature and change that will transition us into a world that feels softer, smells like the seasons and moves just a little bit slower.

Kyle Samejima

Kyle is a nontraditional student working on her bachelor of individualized studies in environmental communication with concentrations in sustainability, communication studies and mass communication. She plans to work in a nonprofit or government position, creating environmental advocacy campaigns that excite, engage and empower citizens to make the systemic and personal changes necessary in the age of climate change and the Anthropocene. She is interested in the tension between climate change mitigation and adaptation and the role of our economic system in destroying or preserving our planet, and she traveled to Italy in May 2015 for the Sustainable Food Systems of Italy study abroad program.
Kyle’s favorite things are her three daughters, weather, being a good environmental steward, friends, making jewelry, and the awe and excitement of learning about our natural world. Her favorite books right now are Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond; This Changes Everything: Climate Change vs Capitalism by Naomi Klein; and Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in Without Going Crazy by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone.

Jessica Eckerstorfer

Jessica Eckerstorfer is a senior English and philosophy double major with a concentration in civic life and ethics. She is currently working with Free Arts Minnesota through the Art Connection Grant to bring local youth artwork to various venues in the Twin Cities. Her research focuses on environmental ethics and the links between the humanities and the environment, as well as consumer language and ecofeminism. In her spare time, Jessica continues to grow her mounting book collection, play the piano, spend time as an amateur photographer and bike around the Twin Cities.

Moriah Maternoski

Moriah is a second-year student pursuing her undergraduate degree in food systems. She wants to make a difference in the food system by gathering people from all backgrounds and providing them with the ability to know how to cook nutritious and healthy foods as well as grow them. Additionally, she wants to increase the amount of locally sourced food in her city by enhancing local communities and economies. She is currently a member of the Real Food Challenge leadership team — a group working to get more local, fair, sustainable and humane food on campus. One of her favorite pastimes is running and racing, and she also loves to cook while perusing the internet for new recipes.

Tyler Redden

Tyler Redden maintains office operations and publication orders for the Publications Office at the Institute on Community Integration, as well as providing general office and administrative support. Since October 2012 Tyler has worked in offices at the University, including the Carlson School of Management (IDSc/SME), School of Social Work, Center for Transportation Studies, Chemical Engineering and Material Sciences, and the Health Natural Sciences Libraries (with two years of prior experience working in retail banking). Tyler is a biology, society and the environment major with a concentration on the environment. Tyler is also a double minor in gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender studies and sustainability studies, and is pursuing American Sign Language interpreting certification. Through the GLBTA Programs Office Tyler is listed as a staff and student resource due to his work in the GLBT mentoring program.

James Butler

James Butler is a freshman studying environmental engineering. James is from Vermillion, South Dakota, and has been passionate about the environment ever since his time as a Boy Scout. He is an Eagle Scout and has been on backpacking trips in Wyoming and New Mexico along with numerous summers at Camp Geiger in Saint Joseph, Missouri. His Eagle Scout project included the planning, management and building of two footbridges for a local youth soccer club.

He is very interested in addressing the detrimental effects of climate change with sustainable engineering solutions and being able to communicate these solutions in an effective manner. He enjoys working in a team of diverse individuals to solve real-world issues dealing with sustainable systems, energy and infrastructure. Outside of academics, he plays trumpet in the University’s marching band — the “Pride of Minnesota” — and loves all things Gopher Sports.