Reminder: Join 700 others in taking the 2018-19 sustainability pledge

The UW-Green Bay Sustainability Committee has created the following pledge for individuals to complete as we head into another school year. By thoughtfully considering each of the items in this pledge, we hope that you will lead a more sustainable lifestyle. Take the pledge.

Take the 2018-19 sustainability pledge

The UW-Green Bay Sustainability Committee has created the sustainability pledge for the 2018-19 academic year. By thoughtfully considering each of the items in this pledge, you might be able to lead a more sustainable lifestyle. Take the pledge. Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations.

Sustainable management grad makes a difference for Georgia-Pacific

UW Sustainable Management student Jessie Johnson is headed toward a successful career. Johnson, who graduated from UW-Green Bay in May, 2018 with a Master of Science in Sustainability Management, landed a job at Georgia-Pacific in 2014. She started as a lab technician while she was still in school working on her Bachelor’s in Integrated Leadership Studies with an emphasis on Environmental Policy at UW-Green Bay. Johnson moved up the business ladder rather quickly, as in 2017, a year after graduation, she entered the Environmental Entry Level Professional Program at Georgia-Pacific in Atlanta. The training enabled endless opportunities; her next role could be anything from an environmental engineer in the air, water, or waste departments to a product stewardship associate position or she could become a member of the corporate sustainability team in Atlanta. She is happy to pursue a career that lines up so well with her educational background. Read more about Jessie’s journey here.

Mark your calendar: New documentary, ‘Searching for Sustainability’ will be screened on campus

Watch this space for more, but hold the date: A fascinating documentary, Searching for Sustainability will be shown on campus, Feb. 13, 2018 at 6 p.m. in Phoenix Rooms B and C of the University Union. UW-Green Bay Professor Kevin Fermanich (NAS) and Associate Prof. Debra Pearson (Human Biology) were involved as experts in the film. Included that evening is a discussion panel featuring faculty and local experts. This event will be open to all faculty, staff, students and the general public and there is no charge for the screening. However, an Eventbrite page is being created to help determine an accurate seat count. Please register if you plan to attend.

Marc Minani, class speaker

Rwandan Native, UW-Green Bay Graduate Student Reminds Fellow Students to ‘Leave No Stone Unturned’

Opportunity can catch you by surprise, showing up in the most unlikely places. So it’s smart to leave no stone unturned. That was just one piece of advice shared by UW-Green Bay Student Commencement Speaker Mark Minani at the Spring 2016 Ceremony at the Kress Events Center May 14.

The graduate student and Graduating Class Speaker has been turning over stones since arriving on campus and Green Bay in the fall of 2014. “The sheer number of connections and contributions he’s made on and off campus are inspiring,” noted Prof. Michael Zorn, Chair of the Environmental Science and Policy Graduate Program, in nominating Minani as a Commencement Speaker.

Marc Minani between mentors John Katers and John Arendt
John Katers, Marc Minani and John Arendt

Minani assisted in the operation of an indoor organic farm, a community-based project that aims to support local markets with fresh produce by using sustainable practices…volunteered for the Richard Mauthe Center…organized and anchored the International Day of Peace, a Climate Change Panel Discussion and a book discussion club that brings together multiple generations…volunteered as a Greater Green Bay Young Professionals Ambassador…served as an interviewee for the Ethics in Business Awards…founded and served as President of the UWGB African Students Club…was an International Designee on the UWGB SUFAC (Segregated University Fee Allocation Committee) and a member of the UW-Green Bay Public and Environment Affairs Council…and visited high schools and elementary schools to motivate kids to attend college through the Phuture Phoenix and Globe Trekking programs.

Minani’s accomplishments are even more profound when one considers the extremely traumatic personal events he experienced in his native Rwanda. “His ability to overcome personal tragedy to become an exceptionally positive individual with a likeable disposition and outgoing personality are noteworthy,” adds Zorn. “So too is his deep desire to address environmental issues while making the world a better place.”

Minani sent off his fellow students with a few other pieces of advice:

 “Working for money is necessary but alone it is not rewarding. However, serving others always brings joy and satisfaction.”

“Let’s never forget the importance of living our lives with passion, courage, enthusiasm and honesty. And whatever we decide to do, let’s be the best at it.”

“You are a Phoenix. You are rising from the ashes. You were reborn with wisdom and strength that creates a light that shines bright to help, encourage and inspire others. Let our exciting journey begin!”

See video

Minani is introduced by Mathew Dornbush at 01:03:14 in the 3:03:22 spring commencement live stream video recording.

More About Marc Minani

This spring, Mr. Minani received an award from the Brown County Conservation Alliance for his active involvement in solving community environmental issues while a student. Indeed, Minani has left a positive and lasting footprint on our campus and our community. Like so many UWGB students, he exemplifies how one person can leave this place better than they found it.

His future career interests are to serve his country and the whole world as an environmental advocate in finding solutions to cross cutting issues as water, energy and food.

Minani received his Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural Economics at the National University of Rwanda in 2013. He received a master’s degree in Environmental Science and Policy and a Certificate in Environmental Sustainability at today’s commencement ceremony. He was chosen to speak on behalf of his graduating class by a committee of UW-Green Bay faculty members and administrators.

Born in Rwanda, Africa, Minani moved to Green Bay to pursue his graduate studies. For his thesis work, Minani studied the environmental and economic implications of soil conservation practices. His dream: to return to his native Rwanda an expert in ways to maximize crop productivity in his hilly homeland while preserving the environment.


That’s a wrap: Students keep ton of plastic bags out of waste stream

top-plastic-film-recycleIt hasn’t even been on campus for a year, but the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay plastic film recycling program has already processed the equivalent of nearly one million plastic bags.

“We’ve recycled somewhere between 1800 and 2200 pounds of plastic film,” said former student intern Matthew Malcore. “Not all of it has been just plastic bags, but assuming the weight of a plastic bag is 5.5 grams, this equals the weight of between 816,000 and 997,900 plastic bags. Approaching the weight of one million plastic bags in under a year, just at a community level. That is pretty amazing to me,” Malcore said.

The goal of the plastic film recycling program is to keep plastic films, such as grocery bags and pallet wrap, from the waste stream. When not collected separately, the films can pose problems. If thrown into the garbage can, the plastic film would end up in a landfill, but attempting to recycle it along with plastic or glass containers and paper, could clog the sorting machines at the recycling facility, which are typically designed to handle rigid materials.

“Aware of this problem, we were searching for a better solution,” said Felix Pohl, sustainability communications manager. “If we collect plastic films separately, they do not pose a problem in the waste stream and furthermore the material can be re-purposed by specialized recycling companies.”

In order to accomplish this, an Environmental Management and Business Institute (EMBI) intern took on the job.

“One of our former interns in the EMBI internship program had made contact with Zeus Recycling from Sheboygan regarding plastic film recycling and wondered if EMBI could assist in providing intern support to Zeus in order to launch a pilot program on plastic film recycling here on campus,” said John Arendt, EMBI Associate Director. “Utilizing the Great Lakes Internship Initiative grant, EMBI offered student Matthew Malcore to provide Zeus with that help to begin the plastic film pilot.”

The program officially began on March 1, 2014, when 12 drop-off boxes, provided by Green Bay Packaging, were placed in various locations around campus, including 10 in public areas and two in maintenance areas.

“As we essentially started the program without any particular funding, we utilized donated cardboard containers and mounted self-made signs on them,” said Pohl.

story-plastic-filmAs the student intern, Malcore (pictured at left) was in charge of collecting the plastic film at each of the collection points, sorting, and baling the material. Beginning halfway through the fall 2014 semester, Malcore has been helping to transfer the management of the program to the Public and Environmental Affairs Council (PEAC).

“A significant part of our outreach was to involve the students from PEAC, a great student organization bringing together students from all over campus who share a genuine concern for how we build our future in the face of environmental challenges,” said Pohl.

Malcore, a member of PEAC, will be helping the organization to continue the program.

“As PEAC is now the group responsible for the program, I will be continuously training members on how to collect, differentiate and bale the plastic,” said Malcore.

The program was implemented October of 2014, starting with bins placed in the laundry rooms of residence halls.

“Some bins were packed full after the first week and others took a bit longer to fill,” said Kayla Billet, Residence Life Eco-intern and Co-leader of the Residence Green Life Committee, “The committee members then bring the collected plastic film to the larger collection box in the Community Center. From there the organization PEAC does the collecting and packaging for further recycling.”

The program’s popularity has spread past the boundaries of campus as well.

“Currently, the popularity of plastic film is growing throughout the state, said Arendt, “We have seen other campuses start programs, but UW-Green Bay was the first. K-12 schools are taking on recycling, and the Wisconsin DNR is promoting the program.”

Plastic film recycling programs are a step in the right direction, but according to Malcore, eliminating all use of these plastics is the best solution.

“Single-use plastics have become a growing problem, especially as pollutants of the oceans,” said Malcore, “Using cloth bags instead of plastic bags and re-using water bottles instead of purchasing new ones constantly is always preferable to using single-use plastics. Even though more of the single-use plastics, such as plastic bags, increases the amount of material we reclaim and technically makes the program more profitable, PEAC is an environmental organization and the purpose of both the organization and the program is to reduce environmental impact.”

In the coming months, the program will start diverting the plastic film to TREX Decking in order for the film to find new life in the form of park benches and decks.

“This program provides the opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to first think about plastic film not as waste but as a resource and to actively divert it from the landfill,” said Arendt, “This is education in action.”
Story by Katelyn Staaben, editorial intern, Marketing and University Communication

International water/environment seminar will meet on campus

The 17th Biennial Water Resources and Environmental Management Seminar will be hosted on the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay campus Tuesday and Wednesday (June 17 and 18).

The Water Resources and Environmental Management Seminar is an informally organized program initiated 30 years ago by a group of civil engineers (including Prof. Emeritus Jack Day) with interests in water resource and environmental management issues.  The goal was to share knowledge and promote understanding among professionals from around the world with similar interests and concerns.

Since then, approximately every two years, a seminar program has been scheduled somewhere in the world.  The agenda usually consists of two days of seminar presentations and two or more days of field trips, the latter designed to acquaint visitors with water resources and environmental management issues in the region where the seminar program is being held.

Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam; Lima, Peru; Beijing, China; and Tarragona, Spain have been sites where seminar programs have been held in recent years.  This year it is Green Bay’s turn. Prof Emeritus Day and Bob Wenger of Natural and Applied Sciences are organizers of the event.

Members of the campus community are invited to stop by Phoenix Room C and listen to any of the more than 20 talks that are scheduled on these two days between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. with lunch breaks from noon to 1 p.m..  The speakers are out-of-town visitors and local presenters, including a number of UW-Green Bay faculty members.

Tuesday, June 17

8:30               Seminar Registration

8:45               Welcome (Chancellor Tom Harden and Mayor Jim Schmitt)

9:15-9:35     John Katers (Anaerobic Digester Systems in Wisconsin)

9:35-9:55     Michael Troge (Attempting to Achieve a Truly Sustainable Plan Using the Land,

Water, and Energy Components)

9:55-10:15   Bob Howe (Measuring Ecological Health of the Great Lakes Coastal Environment)

10:15-10:30 Questions

10:30-10:45 Break

10:45-11:05 Tom Sigmund (Opportunities and Challenges at NEW WATER, Green Bay)

11:05-11:25 Rob Montgomery (Climate Change Vulnerability Analysis for the Milwaukee

Metropolitan Sewerage District)

11:25-11:45 Bill Samuels (Forecasting Time-of-Travel and Containment Levels for Emergency

Response to the West Virginia Chemical Spill)

11:45-12:00 Questions

12:00-1:00   Lunch in Phoenix Room B

1:00-1:20     Paul Sager (Estimating Improvements in Lower Green Bay through TMDL-Mandated

Phosphorus Reduction)

1:20-1:40     Val Klump (Green Bay: Dead Zones, Climate, and Its Future)

1:40-2:00    Michael Zorn ((Determination of Phosphate, Nitrate, Dissolved Oxygen, and

Temperature in Green Bay, Lake Michigan, Using High Temporal Resolution

in situ Sensors)

2:00-2:20    Jack Day (Progress in River Basin Sustainability: A Global Sample-Wisconsin, USA)
2:20-2:45    Questions

2:45-3:00    Break

3:00-3:30    Jacobo Juan Bosco Bucaram Ortiz and Napoleon Puño Lecarneque (Analysis of

Environmental Impacts of Irrigation Systems in Yaguachi Canton, Guayas Province,

Ecuador: Surface Water Gravity Flow vs. Groundwater Pumping with Diesel


3:30-3:50    Jose De Pierola (Social Contribution of Mining through Technology Transfer in

Water Uses)

3:50-4:10    Questions

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

 8:45 am            Welcome (County Executive Troy Streckenbach, Deans Sue Mattison and Scott


9:15-9:35     Nancy Quirk (Green Bay Water: Past, Present, and Future)

9:35-9:55     John Luczaj (Groundwater Quality Challenges in Northeastern Wisconsin)

9:55-10:15   Ron Hunsinger (Drinking Water Quality Management)

10:15-10:30 Questions

10:30-10:45 Break

10:45-11:05 Walter Grayman (Ubiquitous Sensing of the Environment)

11:05-11:25 Dick Males (Flood Damage to Roads)

11:25-11:45 Marc Anderson (Building a Better Environment by Doing Things “Porely”)

11:45-12:00 Questions

12:00-1:00   Lunch in Phoenix Room B

1:00-1:20     Kevin Fermanich (Addressing Eutrophication Impairments in the Green Bay

Ecosystem: Research on Watersheds Vulnerable to Agricultural Runoff)

1:20-1:40     Patrick Robinson (The Story of the Green Bay Cat Island Chain)

1:40-2:00     Jessica Shultz (Coordinating Water Quality Improvement Efforts in the Lower

Fox River Watershed)

2:00-2:20     Bud Harris (Rehabilitating a Dysfunctional River/Bay System – What Have We


2:20-2:45     Questions

2:45-3:00     Break

3:00-3:20     Robert Clark (EPA’s Water Quality Modeling Research Program: A Historical


3:20-3:40     Jonathan Bulkley (Political Theory and Resource Allocation: Application to

Contemporary Environmental Challenges)

3:40-4:00     John Stoll (An Economic Perspective on Public Policy Issues)

4:00-4:15     Questions



Get paid to go green: Teach sustainable concepts, earn $250 stipend

The Environmental Sustainability committee, in collaboration with the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning (CATL), is announcing a faculty development opportunity for the 2014-15 academic year. Given that UW-Green Bay is Eco U and the new general education requirements beginning in Fall 2014 include a 3-credit sustainability component, the purpose of this opportunity is to integrate sustainability concepts in a wide variety of UW-Green Bay courses so the learning outcomes from sustainability-specific courses can be applied in courses that are not typically viewed as sustainability-related (e.g., humanities, arts, mathematics, computer science, professional programs, etc.). Participants will attend a half-day workshop in August 2014 and then implement and assess a sustainability-related activity, assignment, project, etc. in a course taught during the 2014-15 academic year. There is room for only twenty participants. If you have questions or wish to apply, contact Scott Ashmann, environmental sustainability chairperson, at or 465-2052.

For more information, check out our full news post.