The Office of Sustainability was founded in 2008, and since then has worked on a wide variety of projects, including energy efficiency, recycling, and alternative transportation, to name a few. To find out more about what the office is working on click on the Campus Initiatives tab, or go to the home page to check out upcoming events.
Sustainability at UWM is a process that engages students, faculty, staff, and the community, both locally and globally. The Office of Sustainability looks to maximize new uses for campus waste, educate all members of campus on energy conservation, and use creative solutions where all social, economic, and environmental means can be met.
UW-Milwaukee is a large system that places many demands on the earth’s natural resources. As the University looks to expand both academically and physically, there is the potential to exhibit sustainable, smart growth that manages its resources wisely.UWM can evaluate a life-cycle analysis of purchases, buildings, and maintenance that enhances dollars spent over time, while minimizing impacts on the environment.
Kate M. Nelson, Chief Sustainability Officer
In 2008 the Office of Sustainability at UW-Milwaukee was established as one of the first in the UW System, and had been under Kate’s direction since.She is responsible for planning & managing a variety of sustainability initiatives, including, but not limited to; energy conservation strategies, stormwater management, expansive recycling programs, sustainable purchasing, alternative transportation options, urban gardening as well as engaging the campus students, faculty, and staff through multiple sustainability outreach and educational programs.Previously, Kate was a GIS specialist and project assistant for The Conservation Fund, and worked to preserve and restore critical land areas for MMSD’s Greenseams program that addressed flood management.Her previous research in the sustainable development of Costa Rica and Romania, has influenced and aligned her strategies for environmental policy and planning here at home in Wisconsin.Kate holds a BA in Conservation and Environmental Science from UW-Milwaukee as well as a previous BA in Theatre and Writing from Cardinal Stritch University.
John Gardner is the Office of Sustainability’s Program and Policy Analyst. John worked on UW-Milwaukee’s STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System) submission over the last academic year. As part of the STARS process and all things data, John digitized and analyzed 5+ years of utilities data (electric, gas, water) for over 80 accounts at UWM, and developed UW-Milwaukee’s greenhouse gas emissions inventory for Scope 1-3 sources. In addition, John drafts energy and emissions reports, assembles all UWM waste and recycling data for the national Recyclemania competition, collaboratively designs Sustainability Office public presentation and booklet materials, and helps out in the gardens. John also works with the Mid-West Energy Research Consortium. John graduated with a BA in Anthropology from the University of Chicago and a Master’s in Urban Planning from UW-Milwaukee.
Laura graduated in May 2013 with a degree in anthropology and German from UWM.She began working in the office September 2012, but has been involved with the campus sustainability movement since she started at UWM in 2009.
Her interest in sustainable food systems led her to the local food movement in Milwaukee.When not digging in the dirt, you can find her attending Milwaukee Food Council meetings, enjoying a potluck with local foodie friends, volunteering at the Milwaukee County Winter Farmers’ Market, or sipping a cup of Rishi Tea.Laura will complete her training with Victory Garden Initiative’s Food Leader Certification Program in December 2013, which teaches leadership and community organizing skills around our current food system.For her project, Laura will be working in UWM’s newest gem, a 20ftx48ft hoop house located near the Sandburg Gardens.The main goal of the hoop house is to build soil to be used in the Sandburg, Restaurant Operations, and Physics gardens.
Megan joined the office in the fall of 2013 as an undergraduate student employee and is in charge of social media and outreach. She is a physics major and Spanish minor and co-chair of the student organization Engineers Without Borders. Megan manages the Facebook page and helps organize many of the smaller campus events and will play a key role in the success of the RecycleMania competition held in the spring. The Engineers Without Borders team has worked with the Office of Sustainability on projects in the past, such as a water catchment and storm water mitigation system for the gardens next to Sandburg’s East Tower and a rainwater catchment system on the awning of the Physics building. It was an easy transition for Megan to join the Sustainability team.
Maryam began working in the Office of Sustainability at the beginning of the fall semester. She is an undergraduate in the French department majoring in French and minoring in Global Studies. After returning from a year and a half long hiatus in France, Maryam is excited to incorporate the experiences she had abroad to bring another perspective to UWM. She is currently working on rolling out an Eco Reps program for the UWM residence halls working in collaboration with UWM housing. The program will be launched in correlation with RecycleMania in January 2014. By getting involved and participating in the sustainable initiatives on campus Maryam has gained a new awareness of what it means to be a responsible and sustainable citizen. She is committed through her work in the Office of Sustainability to continue to ignite the realization that student activism is a necessary and powerful instrument for positive sustainable changes on campus and in the world.
Nathan McNichols is a UWM alumni with degrees in Anthropology and Art History. While living in the Historic 5thWard Lofts, Nathan began working at Roots Restaurant where he developed interests in sustainable agriculture and aquaculture, as well as adaptive reuse, urban in-fill and multi-modal transportation. These interests eventually lead him back to UWM where he is currently a second year graduate student in the Urban Planning program. In his spare time, Nathan enjoys cooking, writing and recording music and performing with his Iron Maiden tribute band.
Kyle is in his final semester here at UWM in the Conservation and Environmental Science program.In fall 2012 he rode his bicycle 1,400 miles from Milwaukee to Nacogdoches, TX to assist the organization Tar Sands Blockade in their attempt to halt the building of the southern leg Keystone XL pipeline.
When he’s not busy with work and school, he enjoys mountain biking, rock climbing and hanging out with his friends outside. His life experiences and his education are what guide passion of helping to make the world a better place for all of its inhabitants. He’s planning on moving to the Boston area after graduation.