2023 Sustainability Campus Leadership Awardees announced!

It takes many hands, hearts, and minds to create a sustainable campus. As a part of Earth Month programming, join us in celebrating four individuals that go the extra mile, dedicating their time and energy to supporting a more sustainable Michigan Tech.

This year’s awardees are:

  • Undergraduate: Janelle Freeman (sustainability science and society)
  • Graduate: Elise Rosky (Ph.D. in physics candidate)
  • Staff: Dan Liebau (Facilities)
  • Faculty: Mark Rudnicki (CFRES)

We will gather for a celebration of the award winners and their accomplishments and provide a brief update on sustainability work at Michigan Tech with some time to enjoy snacks and interact with your peers.

Event Details:

  • What: Sustainability Awards Gathering
  • When: Monday, April 10, from 4-5 p.m. (formal program ends by 4:40)
  • Where:  MUB Ballroom

Here is the 2023 Sustainability Awards video, created by Monte Consulting (Matt Monte is a proud MTU Alum!):

Play Michigan Tech 2022-23 Sustainability Awards video
Preview image for Michigan Tech 2022-23 Sustainability Awards video

Michigan Tech 2022-23 Sustainability Awards

Sustainability Month is Here!

Last year MTU celebrated Earth Week, but this year we have so many new ideas that we’re dedicating a WHOLE MONTH to sustainability events! Our student organizations are excited to show you all the ways you can live more sustainably! Check out the official Sustainability Month flier with individual event descriptions below for all the  ways you can get involved!

  • Clothing Swap – March 30th & 31st, 11– 4pm @ Fisher Hall Do you enjoy thrifting, upcycling, or free stuff? Stop by the clothing swap to check out our free, gently used and donated items. You never know what you might find! Donations accepted at the event. Event hosted by the Students for Sustainability, contact Clare Fidler at ccfidler@mtu.edu for more information.
  • Reading & Conversation with Erin Sharkey Michael Kleber-Diggs – April 3rd, 5:30-7pm in Forestry G002 or on Zoom Erin Sharkey and Michael Kleber-Diggs will discuss, A Darker Wilderness: Black Nature Writing from Soil to Stars, a collection of personal and lyric essays in conversation with archival objects of Black history and memory. This collection explores stories spanning hundreds of years and thousands of miles, traveling from roots to space–finding rich Blackness everywhere. Together we will consider the significance of nature in our lives and on the role of nature in the lives of Black folks. Snacks provided! Event hosted by the Office of the Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the Office of Sustainability and Resilience. contact Cindy Pindral at clpindra@mtu.edu for more information.

Virtual Event Link: https://augsburg.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_nURxhbBQTJugZwSoU0movQ

  • Clothing Alterations Edu. Session – April 6th, 7-8pm @ MUB Makerspace S4S is hosting a mending and modifying clothing education session. We will have various stations for learning to sew buttons, patches, etc. Event hosted by Students for Sustainability, contact Clare Fidler at ccfidler@mtu.edu for more information.
  • Sustainability Awards – April 10th, 4-5pm @ MUB Ballroom Find out the winners of the 2023 Sustainability Awards and learn about sustainability initiatives at Michigan Tech from Office Director, Alan Turnquist! Light refreshments provided. Event hosted by the Office of Sustainability and Resilience, contact Alan Turnquist at alturnqu@mtu.edu for more information.
  • Bird Feeder Craft Night – April 13th, 4-6pm @ MUB Makerspace Learn to craft a small bird feeder by reusing small plastic bottles. Event hosted by Students for Sustainability, contact Clare Fidler at ccfidler@mtu.edu for more information.
  • Waste Reduction Drive – April 15th, 9am-3pm @ SDC Bring all your old deodorant tubes, dental products, razors, writing utensils, socks, and egg cartons to the SDC to have them recycled by our awesome sustainability leaders from the MTU Sustainability Demonstration House! Contact Abbey Herndon at alherndo@mtu.edu for more information.
  • Art and Music Festival – April 16th, 3:30-7:30pm @ Rozsa Center Lobby Listen to local music, meet with sustainability-related enterprises and student organizations, admire earth-themed artwork, and learn about ways to become involved! Event hosted by Keweenaw Youth Climate Action, contact Paige McKean pemckean@mtu.edu or Francine Rosinski at fmrosins@mtu.edu for more information.
  • Earth Day Dinner – April 20th, 4-7pm @ McNair Dinning Hall Join us for the 3rd annual Earth Day Dinner! Food served in McNair Dining Hall will be plant-based and generated waste will be diverted from the landfill. Event hosted by the Sustainability Demonstration House, contact Kendra Lachcik at ktlachci@mtu.edu or Abbey Herndon at alherndo@mtu.edu for more information.
  • Sustainability Foods and Movie Night – April 21st, 6-8pm @ Fisher 125 Students for Sustainability is hosting a movie night with vegan and vegetarian snacks! Contact Clare Fidler at ccfidler@mtu.edu for more information.

Upcoming Event – From Soil to Stars: Finding Nature in the Archive

From Soil to Stars: Finding Nature in the Archive
A Virtual Reading & Conversation Presented by Augsburg University
Monday, April 3 from 5:30-7:00pm
G002 Hesterberg Hall, U.J. Noblet Forestry Building

What are the politics of nature?
Who owns it, where is it, and what role does it play in our lives?

Join MTU’s Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion and MTU’s Office of Sustainability and Resilience as we attend the virtual discussion of “A Darker Wilderness: Black Nature Writing from Soil to Stars,” a collection of lyrical essays in conversation with archival objects of Black history and memory. This collection of lyrical essays explores stories spanning hundreds of years and thousands of miles, traveling from roots to space-finding rich Blackness everywhere. Presented by Augsburg University as part of Earth Month 2023 at Michigan Tech.

NEW! MTU’s Plastic Film Recycling Program

In an effort to reduce plastic waste on campus and in the community, MTU’s Office of Sustainability and Resilience has started a new plastic film recycling program! This separate recycling stream allows us to collect a host of stretchy plastics like bags, bubble wrap, and shipping envelopes that would otherwise go in the landfill. Anyone is welcome to use the receptacles for plastic films generated at home or on campus. Bins are located across campus in most major academic and residential buildings.

Through a partnership with Tadych’s Marketplace, the collected plastic goes to Trex, a composite decking manufacturing company, to be made into long-lasting, sustainably sourced decking materials.

Accepted Plastics Include:

Grocery Bags • Ice Bags • Resealable Food Storage Bags • Cereal Box Liners • Case Overwrap • Bread Bags • Newspaper Sleeves • Dry Cleaning Bags • Bubble Wrap • Plastic Shipping Envelopes

All items must be clean, dry, and free of food and organic residue.

For more information and a complete list of acceptable items, visit NexTrex.

Questions? Follow @sustainablemtu on Instagram and send us a message!

Looking for a Green Read? Check out the Sustainability Book Collection!

Location: Van Pelt and Opie Library, 2nd Floor. Michigan Tech Campus.

The Opie and Van Pelt Library has recently added a new resource, the Sustainability Collection! Here you’ll find a variety of books, information, and campus resources regarding sustainability topics of interest. The collection is made up of recommendations from students, staff, and faculty with many of our books doubling as required texts for fall and spring semester courses. The collection is constantly rotating its inventory and is always open to suggestions for new material, so stop by and check out a book!

Here’s an closer look at the informational graphics featured in the Sustainability Collection.

Reach out to the Office of Sustainability and Resilience on Instagram: @sustainablemtu

Panel: Introduction to Sustainability Careers – Monday 2/13

Interested in learning more about possible careers in sustainability and want to meet other students from across the region? Then, this event is perfect for you! This panel will include people working in the corporate, government, social enterprise and non-profit sectors. Confirmed panelists are Suzanne Savanick Hansen, Environmental Sustainability Manager for Alina Health and Rob Garcia-Gradoville, Sustainability Manager for Cargill.

The panel will be Held Monday, February 13, 7:15-8:30, Wads G42, snacks will be provided
Career Panel: Introduction to Sustainability Careers

This watch party is a wonderful opportunity to ask questions/learn about how sustainability is practiced in industry!!

Seeking Nominations: Campus Sustainability Leadership Awards

Know someone who is passionate about sustainability and is improving campus or the community through their teaching, research, or service?  Please consider nominating them for the second annual campus sustainability leadership awards!

Self-nominations are welcome; nominations from others are encouraged. Please submit nominations via our submission form by Feb. 15. Award recipients will be informed by March 4 and recognized at an Earth Week lunch event April 19.

The awards will recognize a faculty member, a staff member, and a student on campus who has made significant contributions to advancing sustainability.  A public ceremony will be held to celebrate their accomplishments in early April.

Last year’s winners are listed below, and a 3 minute video on their contributions is on the sustainability website.

Undergraduate: Kendra Lachcik

Graduate: Rose Daily

Staff: Larry Hermanson

Faculty: Sarah Green

Awards are made possible through the Tech Forward Initiative on Sustainability and Resilience

2023 Sustainability Film Series!

Everyone is welcome to be apart of a more sustainable future. The third Thursday of each month from January through May, a highly acclaimed sustainability-related film will be shown at G002 Hesterberg Hall, U.J. Noblet Forestry Building on Michigan Tech’s campus. Films will be facilitated by an expert in the field, and showings are free with a suggested $5 donation to help support future events like these. Donate here!

The Office of Sustainability and Resilience is on Instagram! @sustainablemtu

Announcing the Frank Chernosky Climate Leadership Award

We are thrilled to announce the competition for the second annual Frank Chernosky Campus Climate Ambassador Award that will support the development of Michigan Tech undergraduate students into the climate change leaders of tomorrow.  This alumni-funded award is named after Frank Chernosky, a former professor and advisor at Michigan Tech.  Mr. Chernosky was an early advocate for sustainability principles who impacted many students before dying tragically from a rare form of Heart Cancer in 1971. 

This award in his name consists of three forms of student support: a partial tuition scholarship, funds for professional development and/or applied work, and a formal mentorship by campus and/or external professionals.  One recipient will be chosen annually.

The award for 2023-24 will be $9,600 – a scholarship amount of $8,000 spread over fall and spring semesters, and a professional development and applied work fund of up to $1,600 to be used by August 2024. Awardees will also receive active mentorship from campus and/or external professionals to help them develop networks and skills for their future work.  The overall timetable for the award is flexible to accommodate opportunities such as a co-op or internship.  Applicants and award recipients will solidify the details on the timing of the award, as well as the nature of mentorship and professional development, through the application process and dialogue with the committee.

To be considered, an applicant must be a full-time undergraduate student at Michigan Tech with the equivalent of at least three semesters of full-time enrollment at Michigan Tech by the fall of 2023. They must also have a minimum of two semesters of coursework remaining, though there is potential for flexibility to accommodate an internship or coop into the award timeframe.

Applications are due March 15th, with interviews to follow. The committee will make a decision by April 14. Interested students are encouraged to draft their application early discuss their ideas with Alan Turnquist before applying at alturnqu@alturnqu

Full details of the award and a link to the application are available in the PDF document below.

Campus Sustainability Month at MTU

There are a host of events happening in October for the sustainability passionate or curious. See the poster below for the details.

Interested in participating in Sustainability activities on campus and throughout your community? Sustainability month offers a variety of fun opportunities! From craft nights, award winning documentary viewings, community tree identification, and more! See the attached flier and follow us on instagram @sustainablemtu for individual event details.