Our Accomplishments – Our first 5 Years!

[blockquote]Thanks to you, every year our programs extend and deepen their impact locally and nationally.[/blockquote]

Explore highlighted accomplishments from our programs:

Policy Emerging Leaders Education Expeditions Operations

[important color=blue title=POLICY]


  • Between 2006-2008, Will Steger spoke to over 50,000 Minnesotans, delivering his compelling Eyewitness to Global Warming perspective, inspiring community and political action.
  • In 2007, we worked with Governor Tim Pawlenty to place Minnesota as the national leader in state-wide climate change policy solutions through the passage of the Renewable Electricity Standard and Next Generation Act.
  • Since 2008, we have taken his message to Kansas, North and South Dakota, Montana and Alaska to build public support for federal climate legislation. Our outreach resulted in significant media coverage and public support for climate change solutions.
  • The Longest Summer Tour in the fall of 2008 brought opportunities to dialogue with policy-makers, scientists and climate experts, and solutions from young climate leaders on the forefront of an international movement to solve the climate crisis across the Great Lakes Region.
  • Expedition Copenhagen, a Midwest youth delegation to the United Nations climate conference, resulted in several youth meetings with prominent decision-makers, including U.S. lawmakers and heads of state.
  • In 2010, we held several round-table discussions and press conferences with business leaders in Montana, Alaska and Minnesota to showcase their support of comprehensive climate policy.
  • Our Clean Air Act Defense work began in 2011; we organized a letter on behalf of over 40 attorneys in Minnesota, including Vice President Walter Mondale and Senator Dave Durenberger, asking Senator Klobuchar to support a strong Clean Air Act.



[important color=red title=EMERGING LEADERS]

    Emerging Leaders

  • Reached over 5,000 youth since the program launched in 2007.
  • Grew YEA! MN to include 25 high schools in the Twin Cities Metro area.
  • Expedition Copenhagen expanded our youth and school networks and fostered cooperation among youth climate groups regionally, nationally and internationally to demand action that will protect their generation from the most serious predicted impacts.
  • Supported and participated in a variety of national conferences, teach-ins, youth climate summits, and initiatives including Focus the Nation Clean Energy Forums and National Teach-Ins, 350.org events, and National Power Shift summits.
  • 2010-2011 featured a partnership with the British Council as we launched the Climate Generation program, including select Climate Champions and awards.
  • Hosted the RE-AMP Youth Coordinator for three years (2009-present) to support and coordinates youth campaigns with RE-AMP campaigns on issues including, energy efficiency, cleaning up coal, fracking, transportation, and sustainable cities. RE-AMP is a network of foundations and non-profits aimed at transforming the Upper Midwest energy sector into a model of clean, efficient and safe energy use, while reducing global warming pollution economy-wide 80% by 2050.



[important color=green title=EDUCATION]


  • WSF has provided professional development to educators for six years through annual Summer Institutes. The Institutes provide teachers with tools to communicate climate change in the classroom. Past keynote speakers have included Dr. Mark Seeley, Paul Douglas, Bill McKibben, Dr. James Hansen, Andrew Revkin and Dr. Naomi Oreskes.
  • Over 500 educators have been directly trained in our climate change education resources through our Summer Institutes.
  • Over 300 educators downloaded Citizen Climate Lesson Plans in conjunction with WSF’s Expedition Copenhagen program. Students submitted position statements online, which were delivered to President Obama and featured on The White House blog.
  • More than 10,000 educators have downloaded our lesson plans or purchased our Educator Resource Binder.
  • WSF’s curriculum resources have been adapted for use by the U.S. EPA Region 5, World Wildlife Fund, Facing the Future and the National Parks Foundation.
  • Established partnerships with the National Education Association, National Parks Foundation/Parks Climate Change, Climate Literacy Network and National Geographic Society.



[important color=orange title=EXPEDITIONS]


  • The 2007 Baffin Island expedition team included three Inuit hunters from Iglulik, Nunavut and focused on telling the Inuit experience with climate change. It was monitored by more than 300 thousand people and over 3,000 educators registered for the companion Global Warming 101 Lesson Plans to follow the expedition. The expedition was featured in local, national and international outlets including Outside magazine, The Weather Channel, CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, NBC Today Show, NPR, BBC World News, Backpacker magazine and the Associated Press.
  • The 2008 Ellesmere Island Expedition included six emerging leaders from four countries in collaboration with the Norwegian government to empower their generation of leaders to advocate for climate change solutions. The expedition visited the remnants of the Ayles Ice Shelf and traveled across the ruins of the Arctic Ocean summer sea ice that had broken off in 2007. The expedition was monitored by 25,000 unique visitors/day and received over one billion media impressions. The expedition was featured on ABCNews.com, Time.com, Treehugger.com. The team graced the cover of Time for Kids and was featured in National Geographic Adventure.
  • Expedition Copenhagen 2009 educated and empowered youth to influence national climate policy and international climate negotiations through an interdisciplinary curriculum, grassroots advocacy and delegation culminating at the U.N. climate summit in Copenhagen (COP15).Youth delegates provided climate education to local communities across the Midwest, through outreach and presentations to middle and high schools. National media coverage during the negotiations included The Huffington Post, Grist, The Washington Post, and National Geographic BlogWild.
  • WSF has partnered with several other expeditions to provide access, education and outreach for their programs, including Jon Bowermaster’s Larsen Ice Shelf Expedition; Victorinox North Pole 2009, an unsupported ski trip to the North Pole; and 350 Solutions Revolution, a youth delegation to the United Nations conference in Cancun, Mexico.



[important color=blue title=OPERATIONS]


  • WSF’s invaluable volunteers donate over 1,000 hours to the organization each year.
  • Launched corporative giving programs with 1% for the Planet, Minnesota Environmental Fund, and the Combined Federal Campaign.
  • Received the Charities Review Council Meets Standard seal for accountability practices.
  • Secured large government grants from the Ministry of Environment, Norway and Royal Norwegian Embassy, US EPA Region 5 and Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund totaling over $500,000.




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