The MCTC News Blog

MCTC to Host 10th Annual Sustainability Fair

Posted on: March 28th, 2014 by insidemctc No Comments

The Raptor Center visits MCTCThe Three-Legged Frog Environmental Club and MCTC Faculty Sustainability Committee invite the MCTC community to attend the tenth annual Sustainability Fair. The Fair, titled “What Is Your Environmental Footprint (and Why Should You Care)?” 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.

  • April 2
  • 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 and geothermal energy. Participants will learn ways to reduce their environmental footprint, and have opportunities to get involved and take action on a variety of environmental issues.

The University of Minnesota Raptor Center will return for the fourth year, presenting live raptors, including a bald eagle. (Photo taken at the 2013 Sustainability Fair).

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.

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.

It’s Showtime! MCTC Hosts Collage of Spring Shows, Events and Performances

Posted on: March 21st, 2014 by insidemctc No Comments

MCTC Spring ShowsFrom fashion and fine arts to welding, this spring MCTC students, faculty, staff and community will demonstrate their skills in a collage of shows, events and performances.

In celebration of MCTC’s Centennial year, each event is held in recognition of the long history MCTC and its predecessor colleges have in Minneapolis. With roots dating back to 1914 when founder Elizabeth Fish established the Vocational School for Girls, MCTC is proud of its thousands of students, employees, alumni and supporters. This spring, we celebrate how far we’ve come in the last 100 years. It’s showtime!

Events this spring include the tenth annual Sustainability Fair; our Open House, STEM Fair and Skills Rodeo; the Theater department’s spring play Top Girls; a health fair; student and faculty concerts and recitals; and, of course, our award-winning portfolio shows in Apparel, Graphic arts and Photography and Digital Imaging. A comprehensive calendar of events with links for more information can be found 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.