[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Thank you to all who attended the Minnesota Environmental Congress on March 15, 2013.

Listed below are materials and presentations from the day that are currently available.

Click the image above to jump to a section of the page.


A video of the day's proceedings will be made available after it has been edited and closed captioned. In addition, state agency staff are currently working on a report summarizing the results of the Minnesota Environmental Congress.


The day was structured with several plenary presentations throughout the day, in addition to breakout sessions focused on the topic areas of Water, Land, Energy/Air, and Climate and featuring expert panelists in the morning (please see the event program and agenda for more information about the event).


Attendees in each of the breakout sessions were asked to provide a short list of recommendations to the EQB, and spent the afternoon working through a process to create these recommendations. The following link provides a summary of these recommendations and the process used to reach them.

Summary of Breakout Sessions and Top Issues [PDF]


All available presentation materials are provided below.

   Plenary Presentations




Educator, Polar Explorer, Photographer, Writer and Lecturer

Will Steger has logged thousands of miles of travel by kayak and dog sled over 45 years, leading teams on some of the most significant polar expeditions in history. The environment, education, and exploration go hand in hand with him. He received his M.A. in Education at the University of St. Thomas, taught at the secondary level and for ten years pioneered outdoor programs. He founded the Global Center of Environmental Education at Hamline University in 1992 and the World School for Adventure Learning at the University of St. Thomas in 1993. Most recently, he formed the Will Steger Foundation. He has received numerous awards, served on the Minnesota Climate Change Advisory Group, and has twice been invited to speak before Congress.

Will Steger's PowerPoint Presentation [PDF]




Presented by Kate Knuth, Citizen Member, Environmental Quality Board

This presentation, summarizing the outreach and public participation leading up to the Minnesota Environmental Congress was presented by Kate Knuth, the newest Environmental Quality Board citizen member.  Kate served 3 terms in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 2006-2012, representing District 50B, and was one of the youngest representatives to serve in the 85th Legislature.   She is currently the director of the Boreas Environmental Leadership Program at the University of Minnesota‚Äôs Institute on the Environment and a graduate student in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences.

Citizen Forum Summary Presentation [PDF]



Presented by Alyssa Tucker, Sonja Smerud, Roger Garton, Juan Medina-Bielski, and Timothy den Herder-Thomas

140 high school students, college students, and young adults from around the state gathered on February 24, 2013 at the University of Minnesota's St. Paul campus to share their vision for the future of Minnesota's environment at the Next Generation Environmental Congress, which was coordinated by young leaders from various organizations. The Environmental Quality Board asked for representatives from the Next Generation Congress to present their vision, which included the video below, at the Minnesota Environmental Congress on March 15th.

Minnesota Youth Voice Video [Youtube]



Director of Global Change Initiative, Science Museum of Minnesota - Keynote Speaker

Patrick Hamilton is the Director of Global Change Initiatives at the Science Museum of Minnesota. He also is a Principal Investigator with the University of Minnesota’s National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics, a Resident Fellow of the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment and a Board Director of District Energy St. Paul. Patrick has been producing energy and environmental exhibits and programs for the Museum for 29 years. Patrick’s current project is Future Earth – exhibits and programs that explore the implications of humans as the dominant agents of global change.

Patrick Hamilton's PowerPoint Presentation [PDF]

Unfortunately, due to the nature of PDFs, this does not include the animations of the original PowerPoint.


   Energy/Air Panel



Professor and Director, Technological Leadership Institute, University of Minnesota

Massoud Amin holds the Honeywell/H.W. Sweatt Chair in Technological Leadership and heads the Institute. In addition, he is Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, a University Distinguished Teaching Professor, and serves as the director of graduate studies (DGS) for the security technologies (MSST) program. Prior to joining the University in 2003, Massoud held positions of increased responsibility at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) in Palo Alto, California, including Area Manager of Infrastructure Security, Grid Operations/Planning, and Energy Markets. In the aftermath of the tragic events of 9/11, he directed all security-related research and development at EPRI, including the Infrastructure Security Initiative (ISI) and the Enterprise Information Security (EIS). While at EPRI, Massoud developed collaborative research initiatives with diverse groups, pioneered R&D in smart grids and self-healing infrastructures, and led the development of over 24 technologies transferred to industry. He is considered by many as the “father of the smart grid.” He has authored or co-authored hundreds of articles, given numerous lectures, and received a variety of honors.

Dr. Massoud Amin's PowerPoint Presentation [PDF]



Executive Director, Fresh Energy

Since joining Fresh Energy in 1995, Michael Noble has concentrated on building constituencies and developing policies for a new energy system. He has nearly 30 years of professional expertise in energy, and has been a key strategist for major public policy innovations in energy, such as energy efficiency, renewable energy development, global warming solutions, and strategies to reduce reliance on foreign oil in Minnesota and the Midwestern region. Michael has served as the CEO of three different not-for-profit energy organizations since 1979 and one for-profit energy services company. Passion for progress is what drew Michael into Fresh Energy; he wanted to work full time on changing the rules of the game, so that cleaner and smarter energy choices could flourish. Currently, he is the Chair of the Clean Energy Working Group and serves on the Steering Committee of RE-AMP. In addition, Michael serves on the board of directors of Conservation Minnesota Voter Center, Wind on the Wires, and the Will Steger Foundation.



President and Chief Executive Officer, Northern States Power-Minnesota

Judy Poferl is responsible for the company’s electric and natural gas operations in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. She has more than 23 years of experience in energy and regulation. She joined NSP in 1998, and subsequently took on increasing responsibilities in the regulatory area before assuming her current position in 2009. Prior to joining NSP, Judy held leadership positions in the Minnesota Department of Public Service (now Office of Energy Security) and Minnegasco (now CenterPoint Energy -- Minnegasco), managing state and federal regulatory activities. She serves on the board of directors for the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and Northern States Power Co. (MN). She holds a bachelor’s degree in Government from the College of St. Benedict and a master’s degree in Public Affairs from the University of Minnesota’s Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs.

Judy Poferl's PowerPoint Presentation [PDF]


   Water Panel




Former U.S. Congressman from Minnesota

David Minge is a former professor, country lawyer, Congressman, and appellate judge with a strong interest in conservation and water quality. While in Congress, David served on the Agriculture Committee, worked to establish the Minnesota River Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, and introduced conservation legislation. David is currently teaching a seminar on Agriculture and the Environment at the University of Minnesota Law School and serving as a facilitator for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Water Quality Certification Program. David has or is serving on the boards of the Minnesota Land Trust, Friends of the Minnesota Valley, Clean Up the River Environment (CURE), and Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota.

Minnesota Agriculture Water Quality Certification Program Fact Sheet [PDF]




Director, Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center, University of Minnesota

Peter Sorensen joined the University of Minnesota in 1988 to study fish behavior, olfaction, and physiology. His position is based in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology; however, he has graduate appointments in Conservation Biology, Ecology, Evolution & Behavior, Neuroscience, and Water Resources Science. He developed his love of research at the University of North Wales and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, and earned a Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography from the University of Rhode Island. As a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Alberta, he identified some of the first sex pheromones (chemical signals that pass between members of the same species) in fish. Peter is enthusiastic to work with students on projects involving any topic that addresses fish behavior, physiology, and chemoreception. His may be the only lab in the world with such a focus.

Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center Brochure [PDF]



Professor and Co-Director, Water Resources Center, University of Minnesota

Deborah Swackhamer is trained as an environmental chemist with a focus on freshwater systems. She joined the U of M faculty in 1986, and is professor in the Division of Environmental Health Sciences in the School of Public Health as well as the Humphrey School. Deborah currently serves as chair of the Chartered Science Advisory Board of the US Environmental Protection Agency, and the Science Advisory Board of the International Joint Commission of the U.S. and Canada. In addition, she is an appointee to the state’s Clean Water Council. Her research interests include the study of toxic chemical risk assessment and policy, fate and exposures of endocrine disrupting chemicals and pharmaceuticals in the environment, and development of comprehensive water policy strategies.

Dr. Deborah Swackhamer's PowerPoint Presentation [PDF]


   Land Panel



Director, Center for Forest Ecology, University of Minnesota

Lee Frelich teaches courses in Forest Fire Ecology and Landscape Ecology on the St. Paul Campus. He has authored more than 110 publications with 88 co-authors from 12 countries and has been listed among the top 1% of all scientists in the world in the Science Citation Index, Ecology and Environment Category. He has appeared in the news media 350 times including The New York Times, Newsweek, National Geographic, and many TV and radio stations. Current research interests include fire and wind in boreal forests, long-term dynamics of old-growth hemlock and maple forests, invasive earthworms in forests, moose-vegetation relationships, patterns of tree height and global warming. He received his Ph.D. in Forest Ecology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1986.

Dr. Lee Frelich's PowerPoint Presentation [PDF]



Chair, Metropolitan Council

Susan Haigh was appointed by Gov. Mark Dayton in January 2011, bringing to the job an extensive background in government and community service. Since 2005, she has served as president and CEO of Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, which has built more than 820 homes in 50 cities with the help of partner families, volunteers and donors. She previously served as a Ramsey County commissioner, chief deputy Ramsey County attorney, assistant Dakota County attorney and as a staff lawyer of the Metropolitan Council. As a county commissioner, Susan served on the metro counties’ Light Rail Joint Powers Board and was a leader on solid waste management issues. She is a member of the Minnesota Housing Partnership Board, the Minnesota Housing Commissioner’s Resource Advisory Committee, the U.S. Council of Habitat for Humanity Finance Committee, Park Bank Board and the Macalester College Board of Trustees. She has a law degree from William Mitchell College of Law.

Susan Haigh's PowerPoint Presentation [PDF]



Chief Executive Officer, Founder, Reluceo

Reluceo is a green chemistry company dedicated to the discovery and development of sustainable technology platforms for manufacturing of functional polymers, bioplastics and other chemical products from non-food biomass and underutilized agricultural and forestry resources. With more than 25 years of diverse biotechnology experience, Olga has held research positions at the M. M. Shemyakin and Yu. A. Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, USSR Academy of Sciences, at Penn State University, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the University of Minnesota. She has worked at Genencor International in Palo Alto, CA, as well as Cargill’s Biotechnology Development Center (BioTDC) in the area of metabolic engineering, and co-founded Segetis, Inc. Olga has 12 peer-reviewed publications, 9 issued patents and a number of pending patent applications worldwide. Olga received her M.S. degree in biochemistry from the Gorky State University, USSR, an M.B.A. from Cardinal Stritch University, and her Ph.D. from the USSR Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Olga Selifonova's PowerPoint Presentation [PDF]


   Climate Panel



Executive Director, Center for Earth, Energy, and Democracy (CEED)

Shalini Gupta has worked at numerous local, regional and national organizations on state/regional regulatory and legislative policy analysis and advocacy related to renewable energy and climate change issues. Her work has ranged from developing community-scale energy projects to international work in Kiel, Germany, and at Argonne National Laboratories. She served on the technical working group of the Minnesota Climate Change Advisory Group and was a Governor appointee to Minnesota’s Next Generation Energy Board. She conducts environmental and energy justice workshops with numerous grassroots groups, and served on the Board of Directors of the Headwaters Foundation for Justice. Shalini was a 2006 National Environmental Leadership Fellow and a 2008 Archibald Bush Leadership Fellow. She holds a B.S. in the geophysical sciences from the University of Chicago and a Masters degree in environmental management from Yale University.

Shalini Gupta's PowerPoint Presentation [PDF]



President, Insurance Federation of Minnesota

Bob Johnson was named to his position in December 2005, after almost 28 years lobbying for the Federation at the Minnesota State Capitol. He has worked at the Insurance Federation as Counsel, Vice President, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, and Executive Vice President prior to being named President. Bob serves in leadership roles for many organizations and lobbying coalitions including the Minnesota Fire Service Advisory Council (Chair), the newly formed Minnesotans for Lawsuit Reform (Chair), and the Minnesota Fair Information Practices Coalition (Co- Chair). He has played a prominent role in almost every major insurance issue at the Minnesota State Capitol in the last several decades. Johnson has a B.A. degree in economics from the University of Minnesota and a J.D. degree, with honors, from William Mitchell College of Law.

Bob Johnson's PowerPoint Presentation [PDF]



Extension Climatologist/Meteorologist, University of Minnesota

In his position, Mark Seeley coordinates weather and climate educational programs with the National Weather Service, the Minnesota State Climatology Office, and various state agencies. His faculty appointment is split between research (20 percent) and extension programs (80 percent) related to the utilization of meteorological and climatological data for agricultural production systems and management of natural resources. He is also active in the NOAA Climate Literacy Program. He spent 1989-1990 on sabbatical leave with the United Kingdom Meteorological Office and Ministry of Agriculture. In 2002 Dr. Seeley was in Washington, D.C. as a NOAA Partner working with the National Weather Service Climate Services Division and the Climate Prediction Center. He has served as a weekly commentator on Minnesota Public Radio’s Morning Edition news program since 1992. He also writes the weekly newsletter “Minnesota WeatherTalk,” helps produce a weekly science podcast for public radio called “Jet Streaming,” and occasionally contributes to MPR’s daily weather blog “Updraft.” He has a Masters degree in Meteorology from Northern Illinois University and a Ph.D in Climatology from University of Nebraska.

Dr. Mark Seeley's PowerPoint Presentation [PDF]