Sustainability at UMR
The University of Minnesota Rochester community strongly believes in the importance of gathering information with the intent of informing immediate and long-term practices that contribute to responsible resource utilization and environmental sustainability. UMR, as the newest campus in the University of Minnesota system, exists physically in leased space.
Sustainability and Health Science Education
Our signature undergraduate program, the Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences, is built with an integrated curriculum design model as a foundational principle. One of the themes that is used as an integration point is 'Environment and Health". Courses across the curriculum plan to coordinate content delivery on multiple aspects of the relationship between the environment (all dimensions: cultural, psychological, social, natural, physical), public health, individual health, politics of health, public policy and sustainability. For example, a topic such as "chemical toxins" might be addressed in chemistry, biology, sociology, history, statistics and ethics.
It is hoped that the broad curricular context in which this material is delivered will inform a broader contextual understanding of the issues related to the concept of environment in general and the natural environment specifically. From this perspective, students will develop a better understanding of the effects that global warming and other pressing environmental issues have on various aspects of their daily lives. They will understand that issues concerning the environment and sustainability are not simply outside of themselves and have little direct impact. Rather, the students should develop an appreciation of the direct effect that these phenomena and concepts have on their daily lives and personal health. Furthermore, the interdisciplinary approach to addressing environmental issues will assist student understanding of the variety of approaches that could be used to address these problems. Solutions and courses of action will be informed by student understanding that carbon neutrality and sustainability can and should be approached from disciplinary perspectives beyond biology.
Future Sustainability For UMR
As UMR grows, our hope is that as we can protect the policies and initiatives that give us our current a low-carbon status. Those practices include:
- using community resources and infrastructure. UMR has also partnered with the Rochester Family Y to provide students with recreational and student activities space, along with student work/study employment.
- utilizing technology to decrease our need to travel to other University of Minnesota campuses.
- using automatic light switches in all common areas.
- continuing our aluminum, plastic and paper recycling plan.
- utilizing a heating and cooling system of pumps that regulates temperatures over a 24-hour period.
- planning future building and expansion with sustainability as a major factor.