2009 Past Events

The following events were sponsored or co-sponsored by the Institute on the Environment.

Putting Minnesota on the Map: Next Steps for Building a Smart Grid Coalition

(11/18) During this half-day conference, more than 200 smart grid experts gathered on the University of Minnesota's St. Paul campus to map out a statewide smart grid strategy. Hosted by the Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment, a signature program of the Institute on the Environment, the conference took place the day after E3 2009: The Midwest’s Premier Energy, Economic and Environmental Conference. View agenda


E3 2009: The Midwest's Premier Energy, Economic and Environmental Conference

(11/17) How do we provide sustainable fuel, food, fiber and freshwater to a global population of 9 billion people in our lifetime? That was one of many urgent questions on the agenda during E3 2009, which took place Nov. 17 in St. Paul, Minn. Hosted annually by the Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment, a signature program of the Institute on the Environment, the conference explored the latest advances in renewable energy. More than 750 attendees gathered at the Saint Paul RiverCentre to share their discoveries. See the IonEvents blog for notes from the conference, and stay tuned to the E3 Web site for video recaps.


Welcome Week Open House

(9/4) New University of Minnesota students enjoyed displays and activities focused on sustainability and the environment, including a series of short videos, workshops and demonstrations, and tours throughout the St. Paul campus. Representatives from the Sustainability Studies Minor and other environmental groups answered questions about academic programs and activities both on and off campus.


Summer Institute for Climate Change Education

(8/19) The Will Steger Foundation, in partnership with the University of Minnesota’s Office of International Programs and the Institute on the Environment, presented its annual Summer Institute for Climate Change Education. The agenda focused on international climate negotiations in Copenhagen and a brand new curriculum on global climate solutions for grades 9-12. Keynote speakers included renowned author Bill McKibben and polar explorer Will Steger.


Midwest Algae Commercialization Workshop

(8/18) This full-day workshop focused on the commercial viability of algae production in the Midwest, government and private initiatives, evolving technologies, processing concepts, life-cycle analysis and finance trends. In addition, participants explored intellectual property issues related to algae production, applications and commercialization. The workshop also featured a panel of exceptional speakers, including keynote presenter Tim Zenk, vice president of corporate affairs for Sapphire Energy.


Biofuel Activities at Sandia and Opportunities with the Department of Energy's Biomass Program

(7/14) Ron Pate offered a brief introduction to the work of Sandia National Laboratories, followed by an overview of Sandia’s programmatic interest in biofuels and recent biofuel project activities, with an emphasis on algae. He also provided information on current funding opportunities through the DOE’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Biomass Program. Pate is a principal member of the technical staff at Sandia National Laboratories, where he has worked for more than 23 years on programs related to national security, defense systems, sensors, energy systems and critical resource issues. View seminar


Biofuels and Bioenergy Informational Workshop

(6/9) This workshop brought together a diverse group of people interested in different aspects of biofuel production. Hosted by the University of Minnesota’s BioTechnology Institute, in collaboration with the Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment, the workshop was designed to assist business leaders and public policy decision-makers in developing state bioenergy resources. Attendees agreed that the workshop provided in-depth details on the status of biofuels research and development.


Climate Change: Health Problems and Healthy Solutions

(6/4) This seminar was presented by Paul Epstein, associate director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School and a medical doctor trained in tropical public health. Epstein has worked in Africa, Asia and Latin America and, in 1993, he coordinated an eight-part series on health and climate change for The Lancet. View seminar


Biochemistry of Biofuels

(5/6) The University of Minnesota’s Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics, in collaboration with the Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment, proudly presented this 11th-annual Bollum Symposium. The event featured four leaders in the emerging area of biochemistry and biofuels, including: Tim Donohue, University of Wisconsin, Madison; Jay Keasling, University of California, Berkeley; James Liao, University of California, Los Angeles; and Steve Ragsdale, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.


Biofuels: A Strategic Perspective

(3/25) Cellulosic biofuels have yet to play a large role in meeting society’s energy needs. Many people still question whether or not meeting a large part of our mobility demands with cellulosic biofuels is compatible with feeding the world, lowering carbon emissions and using land sustainably. During this seminar, world-renowned biofuels expert Lee Lynd presented three working hypotheses related to these obstacles. View seminar


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