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Letter from the Executive Director

Nicole-end-of-rideEarlier this month I biked 300 miles along California’s coast with Board member David Bryan. Among many other things, the ride allowed me to understand a bit more about what brings people like Dave and the other 130+ riders to this issue. I was reminded over and over again why the work we do is so critical to addressing climate change. We are lucky to have Will Steger’s unique eyewitness perspective framing our work. No one can tell the arctic climate story as well as we can. No one has the history of connecting educators and youth to understanding the power of our planet and engaging them in opportunities to protect it. Will has been doing this for over 20 years and we have been successfully carrying out this legacy for over 6 years.

We are gearing up for a busy fall – with outreach across Minnesota to educate and engage people in climate change solutions through free public forums. Check out our tour locations and dates here.

Mark Riegel, WSF’s new Fall intern

We are also excited to partner with Jim Balog’s Extreme Ice Survey and the Chasing Ice film to co-host screenings Nov. 30-Dec 2nd in Minneapolis. In Chasing Ice, Balog deploys revolutionary time-lapse cameras to capture multi-year record of the world’s changing glaciers. Stay tuned for an opportunity to see a free screening, meet National Geographer photographer James Balog and more.

We are happy to welcome Mark Riegel as a fall intern who will support a variety of our education and outreach initiatives. A junior at Macalester College, Mark is majoring in Environmental Studies with an emphasis on Climate Change Science & Policy. Outside of his studies, he runs cross-country and track and is just over halfway to his goal of climbing all 46 high peaks in the Adirondacks of New York.

Finally, help us receive a $5,000 grant from the Pohlad Family Foundation challenge grant. Has it been a long time since you supported the Will Steger Foundation? Are you a new supporter? Contribute by October 15th and your gift will be matched!


Nicole Rom, Executive Director


Parks Climate Challenge Field Trips
PCCLogoDuring the 2012-2013 school year, we are partnering with the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, Mississippi River Fund and Ft. Snelling State Park to lead field trips along the Mississippi River.  The field trips, funded through the National Park’s Foundation’s Parks Climate Challenge program, will have a climate change and phenology focus and will be shared on our online classroom throughout the year. Learn more by watching this Parks Climate Video

parks climate_video

If you are headed to the National Association for Environmental Education Conference this year there are a number of great sessions focused on Climate Literacy.  Kristen will be presenting in two sessions: Teaching Climate Change: Lessons Learned from EE and Next Steps and The Mississippi River and Climate Change: A Place-based Approach to Climate Change Education. Also, be sure to stop by the Will Steger Foundation table at Education Minnesota October 18! Finally, don’t forget to check out presentations and more from our Summer Institute, featuring Dr. John Abraham, Dr. Eugenie Scott and more!

[important color=green title=Izaak Walton League – A Conversation on Climate Change] Thursday, September 27
Champlin Park High School, North Champlin, MN
With Paul Douglas, Dr. Lee Frelich and Dr. John Abraham
More Info… [/important] [important color=green title=School of Environmental Studies Fest 2012 to Feature Will Steger] Saturday September 29
Learn firsthand from Will Steger why an environmental education is important. Coffee and cake provided by Valley Natural Foods.
More Info… [/important]

Emerging Leaders

Local High School Engagement – YEA! MN
YEA! MN has had a strong start to the school year.  We had a good turn out to our first Steering Committee meeting on September 10th and began to plan our kick-off event, solidify regular meetings times and locations, and started to brainstorm possible YEA! MN events for the winter and spring. Stay tuned for more details on student-led action projects, collaboration with MN350 and other exciting updates!

Midwest Youth Engagement – Thank you Marie!
We would like to thank Marie Donahue for serving as the Interim RE-AMP Youth Climate Coordinator this summer while Abby Fenton was on maternity leave. This summer, Marie ensured that youth were connected with each other across the Midwest and that their initiatives were shared with the RE-AMP community.


Urge Congress to Extend the Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit!
awea-grassroots-hdrOn Thursday, August 2, 2012, the Senate Finance Committee passed a tax extenders bill that includes an extension of both the renewable energy production tax credit (PTC) for utility-scale wind power and investment tax credit (ITC) for community and offshore wind power.  The extension would drive the growth of American wind industry manufacturing jobs and billions of dollars in private investment in homegrown energy. Take action here.

Photo of the Month

Nicole Dave_ClimateRide
David Bryan and Nicole Rom successfully biked 300 miles from Fortuna to San Francisco in early September, raising awareness and funding for the Will Steger Foundation. Read about the ride.


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