Center for Sustainable Communities
April 7th, 2015
Spring planting begins in college gardens
The Luther College Garden Crew has begun planting a variety of veggies for the 2015 season. During Spring Break, green and red butterhead lettuce, spinach, colorful radishes, carrots, and a salad greens mix were planted in the high tunnel. Students can expect to see some of this harvest in the cafeteria before the end of the school year. The cafeteria has already seen one spinach harvest this season, and are hoping to have kale and collard greens before schools gets out. Over the summer, the college gardens will be in full swing, growing cucumbers, bell peppers, hot peppers, heirloom tomatoes, grape tomatoes, beets, and more! To learn more about the gardens, visit the Growing Gardens webpage.
Environmental studies, sustainability-related courses offered in Fall 2015 
Registration for fall semester is right around the corner! Students interested in the environment, social issues and sustainability should consult the Environmental Studies course offerings available online. Some of the on-campus class offerings include:
  • SOC 356: Environmental Sociology
  • ENVS 320: Soils
  • ANTH 203: Environmental Anthropology
  • BIO 365: Ecology

For complete course listings and more information on major/minor options, visit the Environmental Studies website.  

Mini series on climate change to discuss science, policy and Luther's role
The Center for Sustainable Communities is hosting a mini series titled "Luther and Climate Change". It will feature six presentations from Luther Faculty and Staff highlighting why climate change matters to Luther College. The series will run on Thursday mornings from 9:40-10:30 in Valders 367 starting April 2nd. The presentations will focus on one topic and will last about fifteen minutes, followed by Q&A and discussion. The topics tentatively are: Climate Science, Policy, Economics, Technology, Luther's Commitments and Actions and Local Food. Everyone is welcome! Refreshments will be provided. To read more about Luther's efforts to combat climate change, visit the Energy and Climate webpage.
Sustainability in food service forums bring leaders from across the state to campus
During the month of March, the Center for Sustainable Communities hosted administrators and staff from across the region to talk about sustainability in food service. On March 18th, staff from four hospitals and three care centers attended a Lunch and Learn on campus. They had the opportunity to learn from Pam Oldham of Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids about how she and her staff sourced 40,000 pounds of local food last year, started composting, reduced their waste by nearly half, and got rid of their fryer. On March 25th, nearly 40 food service administrators and staff from across the Midwest traveled to Luther for a day of presentations and conversation. Leaders from other colleges and universities were invited to speak on a variety of sustainability-related programs such as social inclusion in dining services, composting, setting and tracking local food goals, carcass utilization, planning a local foods day, and donating food to the community. Many participants chose to stay after the sessions for tours of the cafeteria kitchen and high tunnel at the college farm. To read more about the events, visit the What's Currently Happening webpage.
Local Foods Feature: Grown Locally
Grown Locally is a cooperative of small, local farms in Northeast Iowa dedicated to providing fresh, high quality foods to local food service institutions. Headquartered 30 miles from Luther, the cooperative sells a diversity of produce throughout the Driftless region. Luther purchases a wide variety of goods from Grown Locally, including apples, grapes, melon, watermelon, onions, peas, peppers, and much more! A fun fact: Luther purchases 240 lbs of honey through the cooperative each month! Sustainability student workers have visited select Grown Locally farms and completed student farm assessments, which are available to read on the Growing Sustainable Food Purchases webpage
Sustainability Tip
Do you have lots of plastic eggs left over from this past weekend's Easter festivities? Rather than throwing eggs away, store them away for next year and reuse them. Or, after checking with your local recycling hauler, toss them in your regular plastics recycling bin so they don't end up in the landfill.
This newsletter is provided by the Center for Sustainable Communities, which coordinates all sustainability initiatives at Luther College.  The mission of the Center is to promote sustainability and be a catalyst for change on campus and in the region.  For more information on sustainability initiatives at Luther and the outreach work of the Center for Sustainable Communities, please visit:
Upcoming Events
Wednesday, April 8th- Sustainability Council 
4pm Mott Room
The Campus Sustainability Council is coming together for their second meeting this semester to discuss new policies and to hear from different task groups. Members of the campus community are welcome to attend. Read more
Wednesday, April 8th- Energy Treasure Hunt 
8pm Valders 374
Join Center for Sustainable Communities staff for a tour of campus to identify and learn about energy efficiency in this new weekly series. Read more
Thursday, April 9th- Gardening Series: How to Build a Raised Bed 
9:45-10:45 Valders 262
Jeff Scott of Driftless Gardens has installed many raised beds at schools and homes within the Decorah community. During this class he will discuss key considerations related to raised beds as well as show plans and budgets for various raised bed systems. Read more and register  here
Thursday, April 9th- Luther and Climate Change mini series 
9:45-10:45 Valders 367
The Center for Sustainable Communities is hosting a mini series discussing science, policy, technology, and the economics of climate change. Read more
Staff Spotlight
Stratis Giannakouros

Stratis serves as the Assistant Director of the Center for Sustainable Communities.  In his position, Stratis works on a variety of projects, specifically dealing with energy and waste, the Pre-College Environmental Studies program, and teaching courses throughout the year.  A Dubuque native, Stratis earned a BA in Economics from Loras College and was co-founder of Green Dubuque, a non-profit devoted to making Dubuque a more environmentally sustainable and socially conscious community.  He holds a Masters in Environmental Policy from Colorado State where his research focused on Colorado's New Energy Economy and climate innovation. 
Environment Program Assistant- CS Mott Foundation 

The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation is seeking a program assistant who will aid officers with grant processing and administrative functions related to the Environment program's Advancing Climate Change Solutions (ACCS) grant making. Read More  

NE Wisconsin Food Hub Coordinator- Goodwill Grows 

The Food Hub Coordinator will be responsible for activities to coordinate the first season of the Northeast Wisconsin Food Hub which includes the partner-producer and buyer communication, software troubleshooting and logistics coordination. Read More   

Winter Farmer's Market Coordinator- Churches' Center for Land and People 

Churches' Center for Land and People is seeking a Winter Farmers' Market Coordinator in the Madison, WI area.  The part-time contractual position commences May 1, 2015 with greatest efforts being expended during the Winter Farmers Market season. Read More    

Regional Food Systems Educator- University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension 

University of Nebraska Extension is looking for a Regional Food Systems Educator to teach and coordinate regional food systems programs regionally in east central Nebraska.  Read More

Urban Farm Manager, Program Coordinator- Nourish Farms 

Nourish Farms Inc. is seeking candidates for many positions.  They are looking for people who are passionate about food, sustainable agriculture, experiential teaching and learning, helping and making an impact in our community.  Read More  

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