Morris Earns Minnesota Climate Adaptation Award

Morris team accepting an award
Author: 
Amber Siddiqui ’17
Publication date: 
May 9, 2017
"UMM is to be commended in successfully promoting the 'Morris Model' for public engagement and leading widespread planning for climate adaptation throughout the infrastructure of the greater community that surrounds the campus. In promoting climate resilience UMM has successfully partnered with many different units of government and nonprofit organizations to address areas of concern where climate change is already having impacts. They serve as a terrific role model for other institutions to engage their surrounding community in meeting the challenges of climate change."—Mark Seeley, professor and MCAP Awards Committee co-chair

The University of Minnesota, Morris has earned a 2017 Minnesota Climate Adaptation Award by the Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership (MCAP). The awards are presented to individuals, organizations, institutions, and businesses in recognition of their exceptional achievements in leadership, education, research, policies, and practices that have resulted in development or implementation of climate change adaptation strategies.

"UMM is to be commended in successfully promoting the 'Morris Model' for public engagement and leading widespread planning for climate adaptation throughout the infrastructure of the greater community that surrounds the campus," wrote Mark Seeley, professor and MCAP Awards Committee co-chair, in the award letter. "In promoting climate resilience UMM has successfully partnered with many different units of government and nonprofit organizations to address areas of concern where climate change is already having impacts. They serve as a terrific role model for other institutions to engage their surrounding community in meeting the challenges of climate change."

The campus has been successful in its efforts to advance awareness of climate adaptation in Minnesota with the help of students as well as state and community partnerships. Through these partnerships, Morris has been able to launch a number of successful programs, including:

  • Minnesota GreenCorps Program with Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA)
  • Rural Climate Dialogues initiative with Jefferson Center and Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy in Minnesota
  • Extreme Action Weather Planning Meeting
  • Morris Model
  • Workshop focusing on how Minnesota colleges and universities could play a leadership role in advancing climate adaptation in the state, with MPCA and colleges across Minnesota
  • Morris Model Climate Adaptation work, for which it was awarded an Environmental Initiative's Community Action award
  • Chasing Ice screening and conversation with community partners

Morris also signed a climate protection agreement with the city of Saerbeck, Germany, and led the development of an interagency climate adaptation planning process to develop a campus-community climate adaptation program.

"This award is exciting recognition of the important role of the Morris campus, and especially the leadership of our students, toward advancing our community-wide Morris Model Initiative," says Troy Goodnough, director of the office of sustainability. "The Morris Model is working on campus and in the community to adapt to changes in Minnesota's climate. Working with many partners, we have built our first community resilience plan, and we have taken actions together that strengthen our community."

A Morris team accepted the award on Monday, May 8, at a ceremony at the St Paul River Center. To learn more, visit wrc.umn.edu.