Sustainability Learning Opportunities

  • You’ll be able to explore your passion as part of campus organizations or gain hands-on experience by collaborating with community organizations for service learning and internship opportunities.

  • MSU Moorhead is recognized as a “top innovator” among Minnesota State Colleges and Universities for its conservation and energy management measures. And it’s our students who are the leaders in funding and promoting green projects to benefit the entire campus community. As a result of the passion and commitment of Sustainability students, a $5/semester environmental fee was approved by Student Senate, which generates approximately $65,000 per year, with 100 percent of the funds going toward developing sustainable procedures, programs, facilities and curriculum.

    The Sustainable Campus Initiative Committee, which includes student membership, has supported, funded or promoted various projects, including installing 30 student-designed bike racks, planting more than 60 new trees, implementing a new, student-run recycling program, sponsoring conventions and workshops, and promoting the adoption of electric vehicles and bicycles.

    The Sustainable Students Association (SSA) works to create a more sustainable future by promoting and educating about sustainable developments, education and policies. Club members attends conferences, host guest speakers, plan the Earth Day festival, and organize educational programs.

    MSUM’s Archaeology Lab has been involved in cultural resource management projects (such as surveys and excavations) since the 1970s, and provides opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience assisting with building a cultural sequence for the region. The Lab has been involved in small- and large-scale projects in North Dakota and Minnesota involving federal agencies, such as the Corps of Engineers; state agencies, such as the Minnesota Department of Transportation; and municipal levels, such as the city of Moorhead.

    Many classes incorporate archaeological site tours into their syllabi to give you a first-hand look at the archeological record and significance of important historic sites throughout the area and region.

    The Center for Geospatial Studies is one of three faculty-driven interdisciplinary centers selected for development at MSUM. The Center is committed to showcasing GIS in inspiring events, engaging learners, helping others use and build GIS infrastructure and establishing dynamic collaborations. It seeks to educate people to think spatially; train them to perform technically using geospatial technologies; and customize and serve data and conduct spatial analyses to inform regional decision-making.

    The Anthropology and Earth Science Department regularly offers study tours that provide unique, immersive educational experiences. Sometimes these might be offered in collaboration with other departments or universities. Recent course tours included Health, Education, and Environment in Tanzania Today to explore the challenges of healthcare and education in this diverse and rapidly developing nation. MSUM also recently partnered with Tri-College University to discover the archaeology of Neolithic Greece while working at the ancient acropolis of Halai as part of the Cornell Halai and East Lokris Project (CHELP). The goal is always to make these programs as affordable as possible while offering upper-level anthropology credits.

    The Dragon Anthropological Association is an organization for students interested in anthropology or other cultures, past and present. Find the Dragon Anthropological Association.

    You have the opportunity to conduct faculty-mentored research or your own research in a variety of areas: human-environment interactions, ethnomusicology, ceramic analysis, science education, medical anthropology, geographic information systems, and much more!

    A field school is a short-term program that gives you practical training of applying what you learned in the classroom into actual field work. These are typically intensive experiences that build strong relationships among peers and faculty mentors. Field school opportunities vary depending on current research interests of faculty or archaeological contracts. Recent field schools include Prairie and Woodland Native Nations, where students visited, researched and interacted with tribal administrators, members and elders from the Sauk Nation of Kansas and Nebraska, the Iowa Nation of Kansas and Nebraska, and the Meskwaki Nation of Iowa; and Meskwaki Ethnohistory Research Group to the Meskwaki Indian Settlement in East Central Iowa for cultural and linguistic presentations.

    You will have the opportunity to present research and/or attend professional conferences at the local, regional and national level. Every year, many students present at MSUM’s Student Academic Conference. Other opportunities may include the Geological Society of America, the Society for American Archaeology, the Plains Anthropological Society, the North Dakota Association for Women Geoscientists, the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference or the Council for Minnesota Archaeology among others.