Feature Stories

For fifteen years, DNR MinnAqua supervisor Roland Sigurdson occupied an office cube at the Water Resources Center. A scan of his desk and walls reveals a life in balance. The displays are remarkably focused, reflecting his love of family, friends, fun, education and fishing. His wife Stacey and daughter Natalie beam from multiple photos, there are childhood pictures of Roland and his siblings on the farm, images of Roland the educator before groups of fascinated children, and lots and lots of fish.

In February, the University of Minnesota Tourism Center, in partnership with Explore Minnesota, released the “State of Sustainable Tourism in Minnesota: Changes from 2007 to 2013.” The study surveyed 3,550 Minnesota resort and tourism industry managers, owners and operators on sustainable practices ranging from energy efficiency to water conservation.

With one exception—sweeping large areas—there were no significant improvements by operators in the adoption of six sustainable water practices assessed across years.

While there’s been lot of talk about the health and environmental effects of genetically modified crops, there’s been relatively little attention paid to the environmental effects of glyphosate, a companion chemical that’s now the most widely used herbicide in the world.

Known to urban lawn warriors by its commercial name “Roundup,” glyphosate is routinely applied for weed control on an agricultural scale on genetically modified corn, soybeans, alfalfa, sugar beets, and cotton in the Midwest and elsewhere.

October 14th 2014 heralded a new tech-savvy day for the annual Minnesota Water Resources Conference, with attendees encouraged to make use of a mobile guidebook app to plan their days, find sessions of interest as well as tweeting out news about the conference as it happened. Exhibitors made their first appearance at the conference, adding a trade show element to the breaks throughout the day.

Building Minnesota’s Capacity for Climate Adaptation Conference was held Thursday, November 6, 2014 at the Minneapolis Hyatt hotel. The 250 plus attendees heard about the effect of climate change on weather events from speakers Harold Brooks, National Severe Weather Laboratory, NOAA, and climate resilience strategies from Steve Adams Senior Program Advisor U.S. Climate Adaptation, Institute for Sustainable Communities.

You might be surprised at just how much your favorite Minnesota company is doing about climate change. And I’m talking about some big corporate names. Best Buy. General Mills. 3M.

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