Metropolitan Council (2017-present)

ENVR

Completed Projects


Thematic and Intertextual Perspectives:  City Lights, Urban Experience (ENGL 203), Olga Herrera
Fall 2018

Students in ENGL 203, in collaboration with SCP Artist-in-Residence Sarah Nelson, will connect human experiences and climate vulnerability data through story and art.  Through library research, ethnographies, artist input, subject interviews, and information from the Metropolitan Council's Climate Vulnerability Assessment, students will explore climate vulnerability in neighborhoods in the Twin Cities, selected from the localized flooding and heat interactive story maps. The Council may use the final illustrations to communicate to their stakeholders the significance and risks of local flooding and extreme heat in urban areas.

Illustration co-created by students and SCP Artist-in-Residence Sarah Nelson:

Writing for Strategic Communication (COJO 344), Chuck Grothaus
Spring 2018

College students are often unaware of the wide range of employment and career opportunities available to them when they graduate. This is also true with government agencies like the Metropolitan Council. The Metropolitan Council would like students to help develop a strategic communications plan to promote the Council as an employer for recent college graduates. COJO 344 students will develop a strategic communications plan in collaboration with the Metropolitan Council to promote the Council as a prospective employer. Messaging will emphasize the range of multi-disciplinary job opportunities as well as the mission-driven nature of the Council.

Environmental Studies and Geography Capstone (ENVR 401/GEOG 402), Tony Siebenaler-Ransom and Eric Wojchik
Spring 2018

The Climate Vulnerability Assessment (CVA) project identifies potential vulnerabilities of regional systems to the increased frequency and severity of climatic events. The CVA project will guide planning and policies regarding infrastructure, assets, facilities, and the built environment to help address climate vulnerability in the region. As part of the CVA, ENVR 401/GEOG 402 students will prepare an Extreme Heat Report with maps, data analysis, case studies, findings and recommended climate adaptation or mitigation strategies.

Environmental Writing and Community Outreach (ENGL 315)Salvatore Pane
Fall 2017

The Local Planning Assistance work unit at the Metropolitan Council provides technical assistance to communities that are currently drafting their 2040 Comprehensive Plan Updates as required by state statute. Many communities are considering integrating sustainability and resilience planning related to climate change in their Comprehensive Plan. The Metropolitan Council is interested in engaging cities in conversations about community views on climate change to better understand perspectives on climate change and also to inform the inclusion of climate resiliency in a city’s vision section of their Comprehensive Plan.  Students will conduct climate conversations with a selected city and synthesize these conversations into themes that can be provided to the city to integrate into their vision section of their comprehensive plan.  Students will also write about their experiences of these community conversations to offer a guide for the Metropolitan Council and cities who would like to engage in similar community conversations about climate change.   

Earth's Record of Climate (GEOL 462)Carolyn Dykoski
Fall 2017

The Local Planning Assistance work unit at the Metropolitan Council provides technical assistance to communities that are currently drafting their 2040 Comprehensive Plan updates as required by state statute. The Metropolitan Council is encouraging cities to include a chapter on planning for climate resiliency in their Comprehensive Plan.  As part of this effort, materials that explain climate science both to city staff and the general public would be useful.  Students will develop fact sheets about climate research methods for city staff and/or the general public, focusing on what Twin Cities lake core samples tell us about changes in climate in the area over time and why this information is important for climate resiliency planning.  Currently cities have state-level data available to them, but student-developed fact sheets about Twin Cities metro lakes would bring this climate science to a local level. 

Geographic Info Systems (GEOG 321), David Kelley
Fall 2017

Students will work with the Metropolitan Council on climate vulnerability and resiliency story maps of the Metro area and examine flood and heat data layers in the area.  Project details coming in October!

Environmental Studies Capstone (ENVR 401), David Kelley
Spring 2017


Project Overview

The Metropolitan Council is interested in an exploratory study on the urban tree canopy to inform their future work and research regarding the urban tree canopy.  Possible student research questions could include assessing gaps in the canopy, developing community engagement initiatives, examining the relationship between the canopy and stormwater, examining the relationship between the canopy and socioeconomic factors, etc.  Students from the Environmental Studies Field Seminar will develop and conduct a research project about this broad topic based in their disciplinary interests.  The topic of the urban tree canopy offers an array of social and environmental questions to explore, engaging students in real-world research and problem-solving that draws together their curricular work in geography and environmental studies.  At the same time, students’ research will inform the Metropolitan Council’s various areas of work related to the urban tree canopy across social and environmental dimensions.


Project Outcomes