sustainability efforts

The new Chancellor’s Environment, Sustainability and Resilience Commission revealed the names of the 66 University of Nebraska-Lincoln faculty and students on its inaugural team as a special Earth Day announcement.

A Nebraska Today article released the names and committee assignments for each member on Monday, April 22. According to the commission’s website, the commision will make strategic recommendations to Chancellor Ronnie Green on sustainability initiatives, resilient infrastructure systems and socially responsible practices.

UNL’s sustainability coordinator Prabhakar Shrestha, and the director of environmental studies in the School of Natural Resources Dave Gosselin led the temporary 10-member UNL Sustainability Initiative Team that handpicked the members from applications they received.

Gosselin said they asked applicants to rank the seven teams, with one being the team they’d like to be on the most, and provide a short description of their relevant experience.

“We have an excellent team comprising of experts on the field and passionate staff and students,” Shrestha said in an email. “One of the first goals of the commission is to develop a sustainability and resilience master plan.”

The commission has nine members total: Shrestha, Gosselin and the leaders of seven action teams. The teams are Teaching and Learning, Health and Wellness, Research and Innovation, Land Resources and Ecosystems, Campus Operations, Campus Facilities and Community Engagement.

Kat Woerner, a freshman environmental studies, economics and natural resource and environmental economics triple major, said she applied because it was a good opportunity to make an impact on campus. Woerner ranked Health and Wellness as number one and is on the team.

“Being on the Health and Wellness team, I have the ability to work directly with faculty to improve the quality of food in the dining halls and to generate ideas to solve the mental health issues surrounding sustainability around campus,” she said in a text message.

The commission’s first priority is increasing collaboration with the city of Lincoln, specifically for projects around food, water and energy security, according to the article.

“Community engagement is at the essence of this planning process,” Shrestha said. “I look forward to working with the commission in channeling different challenges that we have at UNL regarding sustainability affairs and [turning] them into tangible solutions.”