New IonE Mini Grants Fund Spectrum of Environment and Sustainability Projects

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Mary Hoff, Institute on the Environment,, 612-626-2670

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (12/5/2011) – The University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment has selected 13 initiatives for funding in the second round of awards for its Mini Grant program.

The Mini Grant program encourages collaboration among faculty, staff and students across University of Minnesota disciplines, units and campuses on environmental themes. Along with up to $3,000 in funding, each recipient is provided space for meetings, workshops and conferences and some administrative support for a year.

Fall 2011 Mini Grant recipients are:

Corporate Sustainability: What Does It Mean and Who Cares?

Michelle Linhoff, Institute on the Environment
Linhoff will develop a survey to improve understanding of corporations’ historical and current perceptions around the topic of sustainability.  

Language / Environment / Media

Charlotte Melin, German, Scandinavian and Dutch (College of Liberal Arts)
Melin and colleagues will develop environmental education culminating in a showcase event, “Language/Environment/Media,” to build communication bridges between the humanities and sciences.

EnviroSearch: A Feasibility Study for a Repository of Environmental Research and Policy

Linda Eells, U of M Libraries
Eels and colleagues will determine whether the University of Minnesota should develop an online, open access environmental sciences resource repository.

Global Experiential Education for Environmental Solutions Workshops

Julian Marshall, Environmental Engineering (College of Science and Engineering)
Marshall and colleagues will explore development of a certificate or major focused on experiential education related to solving environmental problems.

Embedding Experiential Education in Food and Gardening

Randel Hanson, Geography (University of Minnesota Duluth)
Hansen will formalize a partnership among UMD’s Sustainable Agriculture Project, the Duluth Community Garden Program, and the Duluth Public School System to create a model school garden.

Solar Commons

Kathryn Milun, Sociology & Anthropology (University of Minnesota Duluth)
Milun will develop a plan to place solar energy collectors in urban rights of way to provide renewable energy to local businesses and income to low-income housing.

Students Engaged in Systemwide Sustainability

Mary Guzowski, School of Architecture (College of Design)
Guzowski will organize virtual meetings and a spring leadership event for students interested in advancing sustainability on University of Minnesota system campuses.

A Pilot Study to Determine the Needs of Families With a Young Disabled Child to Enable Increased Outdoor Family Activity, Connectedness to the Outdoors and Behaviors for Sustainability

Ruby Nguyen, Epidemiology and Community Health (School of Public Health)
Nguyen will study how families of children with disabilities use the outdoors and participate in sustainability-enhancing behaviors such as recycling.

Spent Lead Ammunition and Bald Eagles: A Model for Dealing With Conflicts in Ecosystem Health

Pat Redig, Raptor Center (College of Veterinary Medicine)
Redig and colleagues will develop a proposal for a mock congressional hearing on a mock policy considering use of non-lead ammunition for deer hunting in Minnesota.

Emerging Water Research Network

Eric Sheppard, Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change
Sheppard and colleague Karen Brown will form an interdisciplinary research group of water scholars focused on Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.

Interdisciplinary Reading Group for Climate Science, Statistics and the Computational Sciences

Singdhansu Chatterjee, School of Statistics
Chatterjee and colleagues will initiate an interdisciplinary reading group spanning climate science, statistics and the computational sciences.

New Directions in Environmental and Energy Law, Policy and Geography

Hari Osofsky, Law School
Osofsky will organize a two-day interdisciplinary workshop to share scholarship among law, geography and public policy.

A Spatial Framework for Understanding Direct Values From Ecosystem Services

Steve Polasky, Dept. of Applied Economics (College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences)
Polasky and colleagues will bring together experts for a two-day workshop focused on better understanding spatial links between ecosystem services and beneficiaries.