Entering the Anthropocene

Letter from the Executive Director

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The fifth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report is due out on September 27th and is expected to reaffirm that humans are driving global warming and climate change.

I’ve been intrigued by this notion that we have entered a new geologic epoch: the “Anthropocene,” a time when humans have a footprint on everything. Back in May, CO2 levels in the air reached the level of 400 parts per million (ppm). This was the first time in human history that this milestone has been passed. It’s projected to reach 450 ppm by the year 2040. What does this mean when we look at what we can do right now? For us, it means charting a course at the Will Steger Foundation that is strategic and has the most impact, primarily with the educators and youth we serve.

We are gearing up for a really exciting year – focused on taking the Will Steger Foundation from a start-up organization to a sustainable organization! We’ve made changes to our staffing, added new members to our team, and are taking our efforts with educators and youth to a new level of impact, with the ultimate goal of engaging key audiences in solutions to climate change.

A sneak peak of what’s coming: new curriculum; more professional development offerings for educators; clean energy, climate and health; and 250 Minnesota youth at Powershift, a national youth climate summit, including a high school delegation from YEA! MN.

Finally, as a Will Steger Foundation supporter, you’re invited to a private reception and tour with Will Steger to explore his new exhibition: Inside an Explorer’s Mind: Survival, Innovation, Design.
Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD)
Monday, September 23rd, 7-8 pm. Register here.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Please continue to join us to see what lies ahead and ensure that our footprint is a positive one.


Nicole Rom, Executive Director



image The Education program is busy planning another great school year of activities and already looking ahead to the 2014 Summer Institute for climate and energy education. Mark your calendars now for August 4-6, 2014 at the Audubon Center of the Northwoods! Registration will be up and running in October.

Read more about what our 55 educators experienced on the Mississippi River at our Summer Institute for Climate Change Education in August.

We were on stage at the Eco Experience of the Minnesota State Fair awarding four prizes for youth made videos highlighting climate solutions.  Read more here

Our newest educational curriculum, Experience Energy, is now available to download from our website.  Check it out here


We will be hosting a climate and energy literacy webinar series this year!  Stay tuned for more details in next month’s newsletter.

Emerging Leaders

Power Shift 2013!
Powershift WSF is leading a high school delegation from our YEA! MN program to the National Power Shift 2013 youth climate summit in Pittsburgh PA. Over 250+ Minnesota youth traveling to the conference and take the lead in facilitating a workshop on high school student leadership on climate solutions. More than ten thousand youth leaders from every walk of life — college students, young environmental justice leaders, young people of faith, young workers — will come together to learn from one another, to build and launch strategic campaigns in their own communities. You can learn more at the We Are Power Shift website and donate to support MN youth participation here.

WSF Mentorship Program
We are excited to launch our second year of mentorship programming this fall, connecting youth climate leaders with veteran staff at environmental organizations across the Midwest via an innovative model that recognizes both participants as teachers and learners. Our goal is foster dialogue across the generational spectrum to build lasting connections and share valuable experience, insight and perspective that benefits the broader environmental movement and beyond. Contact Savannah Duby to learn more about program participation.

Join us at Indeed Brewing Company on Monday, September 30th for an evening of great music, food, and cause to support our Emerging Leaders Program! The night will include Indeed Brewing Company beer, food from Common Roots Catering, live auction, and local musicians John Munson, Lucy Michelle, and Chris Koza. Help us raise funds to support a new generation of climate leaders! It is sure to be a great event. RSVP today!

In The News

logo citypagesCity Pages:
Will Steger’s Castle in the Clouds

Read More

logo swjournalSouthwest Journal:
Another Side of Will Steger.

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logo independentMarshall Independent:
Will Steger Returns to Granite Falls, MN with clean energy and climate message.

Read More

logo advocateGranite Falls News:
Polar Explorer Will Steger returns to Granite Falls this Sunday; will headline forum on climate change, renewable energy opportunities in Minn.

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logo bluestemBlue Stem Prairie:
Will Steger, J. Drake Hamilton to host forum on clean energy, climate & health in Granite Falls

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logo startribStar Tribune:
Family travels abroad to study climate change with WSF as an education resource

Read More


Cut Carbon Pollution in Minnesota!
post-top-pollution Climate leadership is urgently needed, yet Xcel Energy recommends no action on the state’s biggest source of carbon pollution at its Sherburne County Generating Station (Sherco) in Becker, MN. You have a historic opportunity to weigh in on the future of Xcel Energy’s Sherco 1 and 2 coal-burning power plants. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is accepting public comments through October 1, 2013.

Let Xcel Energy know that Minnesotans want a clean, efficient energy future. Let’s urge Minnesota to lead in reducing the future human and infrastructure costs of carbon pollution. Submit a comment today! Visit www.fresh-energy.org or www.willstegerfoundation.org/action


Photo of the Month

potm sept13WSF Directors (L to R: Janet, Kristen, Nicole, Abby) at a staff retreat in early September
to plan for the year. Thanks to Maplewood Nature Center for providing a wonderful space!


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