Community Education and Outreach
Climate Adaptation and Resilience
Since 2017, the CSM program supports students from the University of Minnesota and FH Münster University of Applied Sciences in Germany to pursue internships in each other’s institutions and with university partners. Student interns gain practical work experience in the renewable energy sector, grow international perspectives, make lasting connections, and improve their language proficiency. The internship is coordinated by Prof. Christof Wetter at FH Münster University of Applied Sciences, and Dr. Sabine Engel at the U of M. Interns work on various projects that contribute to the Minnesota-Germany city partnerships. For example: mapping a new solar system being built on campus, researching incentives for combined heat and power and biogas in the U.S., modeling energy savings opportunities, and supporting city departments with specific research.
Leading the Renewables Revolution
This unique study abroad experience offered to students in the University of Minnesota system introduces participants to the political, social, and technological settings within which the transformation to a market-based green economy takes place. Students meet with the full range of stakeholders and agents – in politics, government, the private sector, research and education, and civil society. Participants visit cities across the state of North Rhine-Westphalia that model Germany’s systems approach to the energy and climate transition, including Düsseldorf, Lüdenscheid, Münster, and Saerbeck. The program takes advantage of an international agreement between the state of Minnesota and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia to work together on best practices in climate adaptation, renewable energy and energy efficiency.
Berlin Seminar on Energy Policy
The Berlin Seminar on Green-Energy Policy is a special project of the University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment and a group of international partners: Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, Germany's Foreign Office, and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). The annual seminar is part of a larger Regional Economies and Renewable Energy policy dialogue that is hosted in direct partnership with Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. That partnership allows participants unrivaled insight into Germany's ongoing energy transition. In the past, members of the delegation to Germany visited showcase sights in Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and Berlin/Brandenburg that demonstrated how distributed electricity generation and new technologies add value. Delegations met experts from state and federal ministries and learned the latest figures on climate risk and economic impacts, including in large farming states such as Minnesota. Germany's best think tanks, leaders in business and individuals who have accumulated a wealth of knowledge about all aspects of an energy transition beyond renewable energy were additionally highlighted.