University of Minnesota Duluth
University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota Duluth
UMD Sustainability

FallphotosBusTour 071

Sustainability is integrated into our operations and physical campus. Our campus buildings, landscapes, and operations provide examples of sustainable choices and serve as educational tools. Call (218) 726-8198 or email to schedule a get a first-hand look into what it takes to build, maintain, and operate a sustainable campus.

Sustainability Tours
Sustainability is integrated into our operations and physical campus.  Our campus buildings, landscapes, and operations provide examples of sustainable choices and serve as educational tools.

Sustainability Tours

Sustainable Landscapes

20292109406_de15395242_oThe use of alternative landscapes can be better for the environment and reduce maintenance costs (and subsequent carbon emissions and chemical use)  This tour will showcase edible and native landscapes, ways the campus captures and treats stormwater runoff (green roofs, pervious pavers, biofiltration, etc.), and preserves green spaces.

Contact the Office of Sustainability to schedule (Tours available in fall, spring, or summer.)

Lesson Guidelines for UMD Stormwater/RainGarden Tours.

Sustainable Buildings

BagleyThis tour will show how UMD buildings are built and improved to be energy efficient, minimize water use, and consumer fewer raw materials/resources.  With 5 LEED-certified buildings, and many buildings recently renovated responsibly, the tour will feature examples of energy-efficient technology, eco-friendly site-design, recycled and reclaimed materials, stormwater treatment, and features for human health and comfort.  A tour of the Bagley Outdoor Classroom is a popular building tour request, as it was built to both Passiv Haus standards and is the only LEED Platinum-certified building at the University of MN.

Contact the Office of Sustainability to schedule (Tours can take place anytime during the year)

Lesson Guidelines for Green Buildings Tours

Rain Garden Tour

8949479978_499a8e1faf_kAn in-depth tour of the largest rain garden in NE Minnesota right on campus.  Learn about stormwater runoff and hydrology, native plants, habitat improvement, and more.

Contact the Office of Sustainability to schedule (Tours are best in early to late Fall, but can take place in late spring or anytime during summer courses.)

Lesson Guidelines for UMD Stormwater/RainGarden Tours.

Campus Waste Reduction Tour

IMG_0070Campus Waste Reduction Tour: It all starts with Dining Services: how do you feed thousands of student meals every day with virtually no waste heading to the landfill?  Find out by visiting the Dining Center to learn about waste reduction and pulping/composting.  Also, learn about the operational impact of compost collection: visit retail campus food operations, learn how to sort waste properly at UMD, and smell the loading dock for yourself!

Campus Energy Tour

Library - 1084This tour/presentation will give an overview of how and where UMD gets its energy to heat and power our buildings. The UMD Heating Plant, chiller plants, and solar renewable energy installations can all be featured and discussed.

Contact the Office of Sustainability to schedule (Tours can take place anytime during the year.)

Sustainable Agriculture Project

10997166353_e2fe557b87_oSustainable Agriculture Project: SAP@UMD formed in 2009 to institute education, research, and regional engagement around community food and agriculture systems in the western Lake Superior bioregion. SAP is a place-based ‘land lab’ comprised of fifteen acres at UMD’s Research and Field Studies Center (formerly the Northeast Agricultural Experimental Station). They manage a ten acre organic (transition) farm and work on a variety of food and agriculture projects in the region.  View a video about the project here.

Contact the Sustainable Agriculture Project to schedule a tour from early summer through late fall.

Natural Resources Research Institute

8949045806_adc9d1230d_kThe mission of the NRRI is to foster the economic development of Minnesota’s natural resources in an environmentally sound manner to promote private sector employment. Often referred to as ‘the sustainability institute”, the NRRI tour offers a fast-paced tour to learn about the wide variety of research underway to promote a strong economy and a healthy environment.  Topics on reclaiming waste materials, re-using mining waste rock, and reviving local forestry resources.

Contact June Kallestad to schedule a tour anytime during the year.

School Sustainability Tour
The school sustainability tours are developed to give students a local perspective on sustainability efforts and give them a hand-on experience on learning on the sustainable practices at the UMD Campus

School Sustainability Tour


  • Identify sustainable features in the Bagley Classroom
  • Name the different sources of energy
  • Describe how energy is produced in a solar panel 

State Standards


  • Renewable vs Nonrenewable Resources
  • Energy Efficiency in buildings
  • Electricity from Solar


Suggested MN Science Standards -Identify renewable and nonrenewable energy and material resources that are found in Minnesota and describe how they are used the changes of energy forms, including thermal, electrical, chemical, mechanical or others as energy is used in devices. – Use logical reasoning and imagination to develop descriptions, explanations, predictions and models based on evidence. – Understand that scientific knowledge is always changing as new technologies and information enhance observations and analysis of data. – Provide examples of how advances in technology have impacted how people live, work and interact. – Identify the energy forms and explain the transfers of energy involved in the operation of common devices. – Compare local and global environmental and economic advantages and disadvantages of generating electricity using various sources or energy. – Describe the tradeoffs involved when technological developments impact the way we use energy, natural resources, or synthetic materials.

Environmental Literacy Scope and Sequence

  • Social and natural systems may not function as well if parts are missing, damaged, mismatched or misconnected. (Grades 3 – 5)
  • The output from a social or natural system can become the input to other parts of social and natural systems. (Grades 6 – 8)
  • Social and natural systems are connected to each other and to other larger or smaller systems. (Grades 6 – 8)

Before the Tour

20160506_141010BEFORE THE TOUR

It is recommended that the teacher prepare the class for the tour with the following:

  • What is electricity, how is it generated?
  • How does it get to our homes?
  • What are Photo Voltaics?


  • Travel time: 20 mins (From UMD bus hub to Bagley Classroom and back)
  • Introduction and Bagley Classroom Tour: 30 mins
  • Energy Sources Percentage Activity: 15 mins
  • Electron Excitement Game: 15 mins
  • Wrap up: 10 mins


The DTA has frequent bus services to and from the campus throughout the day.

* The Office of Sustainability is offering a sponsorship for transportation to the first two schools to apply for the Tour for this academic school year.

Activities on Campus


Tour of the Bagley Outdoor Classroom

A tour of the Bagley Outdoor Classroom will feature examples of energy-efficient technology, eco-friendly site-design, recycled and reclaimed materials and features for human health and comfort. The Bagley Outdoor Classroom is the only LEED Platinum-certified building at the University of MN.

How Can we generate electricity from the Sun? “Electron Excitement” Solar Game

This fun game will help explain how the energy from the sun can be used to create electricity. It will explain how photons from the sun excite electrons in a photovoltaic panel to create electricity.

Energy Sources Percentage ActivityThis activity will talk about the different energy sources available to us and in what percentages they are being used to power our daily lives. Through this activity students will learn about the energy consumption in the US and in Minnesota.


Mindy Granley


Virtual Tour
VirtualTourTake a virtual UMD Campus Sustainability Tour (courtesy of the UMD Geospatial Analysis Center, with special thanks Micaella Penning!)
Classroom Presentations
Classroom Presentations

UMD Sustainability 101

HibTac TourThrough stories and pictures, this presentation will give you an overview of the sustainability concept, and some examples of current efforts on campus.  This presentation can be broad, or focus in on one the following key topics:  energy, water,  stormwater, health and wellness, business operations, or green buildings. (Approx 1 hour)

Green Your Office

KUMDWant to bring a little more your green to work space?  This presentation is a guided discussion with your office or organization, giving a brief overview of sustainability and some concrete ways on how to go green in your everyday work. (Approx 1 hour) 

Green Buildings at UMD

8937768656_3b26246ca4_oFind out why buildings are so important for our sustainability efforts at UMD, and learn about LEED-certified and other green buildings on campus.  This presentation covers new construction, retrofit projects, and sustainable operations. (Approx 1 hour, can be combined with a building tour) 

Leadership Through Sustainable Practices

Attendees learn about the Bagley Nature Area and ClassroomLooking to create a more sustainable world?  This training (around 45 minutes) will introduce the concept and importance of sustainability.  Mindy will walk you through sustainable choices you can make every day on campus, and give you tips on integrating sustainability into your life, work, or organization. (Approx 1 hour) 

Waste Presentation

What to do with your Waste! Want to learn about how to manage your waste at UMD ? This training (Around 45 mins) will help you learn about the the 3Rs and what can and cannot be recycled or composted here at UMD. 

Campus Sustainability Projects

Looking for a way to work on sustainability?  We have ideas!  This presentation is an overview of past student projects, and some needed ideas for future student research, class projects, or internships. (Approx 1 hour) 



UMD Sustainability
The UMD Sustainability website is administered by the University of Minnesota Duluth's Office of Sustainability.
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