The MCTC News Blog

Earth Day Global Conversations

Posted on: April 16th, 2015 by insidemctc No Comments

earthJoin the MCTC Faculty Sustainability Committee on Earth Day, Wednesday, April 22 for an opportunity to discuss challenges facing global sustainability with students conversing live from China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Denmark, Japan, Montenegro and Colombia.

At the heart of all major global challenges (food, water, air, energy, resources, poverty and so on) is the environment and climate change. No one country alone can save our planet from our modern world, which is why global communication and relationship-building are essential.

At this event, participants will have real-time conversations with students around the world using live video chat technology. This is an opportunity to hear from global residents what climate change challenges they see their locale experiencing, and an opportunity for participants to share the challenges they see. Click here for further description of this event and here for a schedule of conversation sessions with different countries.

How to Register

To register for this event, please fill out this form on Eventbrite and then follow these steps:

  • Choose a country of interest and a time slot that fit your schedule on Wednesday, April 22
  • See the list of questions that will be used to guide the conversations for each session
  • Create a bio for yourself here to share with the other participants

Please contact Diane Pearson with any questions at

MCTC to Host 11th Annual Sustainability Fair April 15

Posted on: March 31st, 2015 by insidemctc No Comments
Sustainability Fair

Photo from the 2013 Sustainability Fair.

The Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) Three-Legged Frog Environmental Club and MCTC Faculty Sustainability Committee invite the MCTC community to attend the 11th Annual Sustainability Fair. The fair, titled “Act Now for the Future,” will host a variety of community environmental organizations, speakers and student clubs to share their expertise, commitment and enthusiasm to inspire greater awareness and action on current environmental issues.

  • Wednesday, April 15
  • 10:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.
  • T Skyway

The fair will offer educational opportunities on climate change, water conservation, sustainable food, recycling and composting, biodiversity preservation, sustainable transportation and sustainable energy—including solar energy systems. Participants will learn ways to reduce their environmental footprint, and have opportunities to get involved and take action on a variety of environmental issues. They will also learn about options for environmental internships.

The University of Minnesota Raptor Center will return for the fifth year, presenting live raptors, including a bald eagle.

More than 20 environmental and student organizations will be tabling at the fair. The event will provide attendees free pizza with organic ingredients and sodas from a local co-op. There will also be prize drawings, including two free year-long Minnesota State Parks passes.

Students Host Climate Empowerment Workshop

Posted on: March 13th, 2015 by insidemctc No Comments

The “Bottle Buyology” exhibit, on tour at MCTC in 2012, visualizes the amount of waste that could be recycled in the state of Minnesota.

MCTC students of ecofeminism, environmental ethics and environmental literature will present a climate empowerment workshop to members of the community and members of the Future First Women’s Conference on March 28 from 9–noon in K.3360. You are invited to join these students in working for a sustainable future!

Please RSVP to

Optimism in the Face of Climate Change

Posted on: March 24th, 2014 by insidemctc No Comments
"Bottle Buyology" exhibit at MCTC

The “Bottle Buyology” exhibit came to 2012 as a visual representation of how much plastic waste is created in Minnesota.

On Tuesday, March 25, students and visitors will pick up a few optimistic facts about climate change from J. Drake Hamilton, science policy director at Fresh Energy. Hamilton will speak about Fresh Energy’s work to develop climate policy solutions in Minnesota and provide some optimism in the face of all that is disheartening about climate change. Fresh Energy pursues greater energy efficiency through smart legislation, improvements to current laws, better regulations, savvy financial strategies, market-friendly policies and working with utility partners and service providers to increase energy efficiency implementation. She holds a doctorate in physical geology with an emphasis in climatology and water resources.

Stop by for one of two sessions with J. Drake Hamilton:

  • 9:45–11 a.m. in S.3500, Chemistry for Life class
  • 11:15 a.m.–12:30 p.m. in S.1500, Environmental Science class

See a calendar of all spring events here.

“No Impact Week” Supports College Sustainability Efforts

Posted on: February 26th, 2014 by insidemctc No Comments

Thousands of plastic bottles comprise the "Bottle Buyology" exhibit.The MCTC Faculty Sustainability Committee and Three-Legged Frog student environmental club will host No Impact Week at MCTC March 3–7. No Impact Week, inspired by the film No Impact Man, is a one-week challenge that seeks to increase awareness, education and empowerment surrounding environmental issues, and to offer alternative lifestyle habits to reduce environmental impact. Click here for a complete schedule of events, including two screenings of the film No Impact Man.

“MCTC is a large institution, and it does create an impact on the environment,” said Erica Joelson, member of the Three-Legged Frog student club and chief organizer of No Impact Week. “We use energy to heat and cool the buildings, water in kitchens, bathrooms and labs, and paper in all sorts of ways. The amount of waste the College creates does have an impact on the environment.”

In 2009 MCTC President Phil Davis signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, joining a network of 450 colleges and universities across the country that have made institutional commitments to eliminate net greenhouse gas emissions from specified campus operations and to promote the research and educational efforts of higher education to equip society to re-stabilize the earth’s climate. The mission of this group is to accelerate progress towards climate neutrality and sustainability by empowering the higher education sector to educate students, create solutions and provide leadership-by-example for the rest of society.

MCTC has already taken steps to reduce its environmental impact, and currently has in place programs to recycle packaging materials and food waste, incorporate environmental impact studies on all new construction projects and use a variety of energy-saving technologies. “MCTC planted rain gardens during the recent plaza renovation, and the Science building was built with sustainability in mind,” said Three-Legged Frog student club president Michelle Larsen. “The campus offers a decent recycling program, the cafeteria sells organic milk, campus stores sell reusable water bottles and there are many environmentally- and sustainability-minded courses to take. However, we could still do more.”

“I have had students in classes throughout my years of teaching Environmental Science who started out thinking they couldn’t really make a difference in the environmental problems that our planet is experiencing—that their actions didn’t really matter,” said Cathy Geist, MCTC Biology instructor and advisor of the Three-Legged Frog student club. “However, after a time many of them begin to feel more empowered to make changes, and discover that these changes really do matter. There are myriad changes we all can make one step at a time. That’s what No Impact Week is all about.”

Photo: The Three-Legged Frog student group brought a segment of an exhibit titled “Bottle Buyology” to MCTC’s T Building Skyway in the fall of 2012 to illuminate a small percentage of the amount of recyclables that are thrown away in Minnesota each year. The display, created by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, was originally featured in the 2012 Minnesota State Fair Eco Experience building and measured 30 feet long by 15 feet high.