University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
NiSE at the Institute on the Environment

Our Collaborators

Central to NiSE at the Institute on the Environment, NiSE participants bring together some of the world’s most influential decision makers. Through focused discussion and working groups, these business and sustainability experts are developing research with real-world impact.

Participant partners meet to identify barriers to and opportunities for environmental and social innovation. This ongoing dialogue informs a parallel research agenda, generating new and actionable knowledge, and was the model for the initial two years.

NiSE is currently able to support up to three projects at any given time. In collaboration with the various partners, NiSE will deliver reports, analytical tools, demonstration projects, and pre-competitive solutions. These outcomes will inform future academic research and further the sustainability efforts of our partner organizations.

  • Georjean Adams, College of Science and Engineering, University of Minnesota (UMN)
  • Beverly Anglum, University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, UMN
  • Laura Babcock,  MnTAP, UMN
  • Michelle Barness, College of Design, UMN
  • Saif Benjaafar, College of Science and Engineering, UMN
  • Joslyn Biever, College of Science and Engineering, UMN
  • Laura Bloomberg, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, UMN
  • John Carmody, Center for Sustainable Building Research, UMN
  • Steven Corkery, UMN
  • John Deen, College of Veterinary Medicine, UMN
  • Karen Donohue, Carlson School of Management, UMN
  • Thomas Eggert, Wisconsin School of Business
  • Sherry Enzler, UMN
  • Omar Espinoza, College of Science and Engineering, UMN
  • Adam Fischer, College of Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resource Sciences, UMN
  • Miriam Fischlein, University of Southern California
  • Thomas Fisher,  College of Design, UMN
  • Paolo Gomes, MIT
  • Vladas Griskevicius, Carlson School of Management, UMN
  • John Gunnar Carlsson, College of Science and Engineering, UMN
  • Karen Hanson, Provost, UMN
  • Jason Hill, Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, UMN
  • Marc Hillmyer, College of Science and Engineering, UMN
  • Michael Houston, CIBER/CSOM, UMN
  • Jan Joannides, Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture, UMN
  • Kathryn Keefer, UMN
  • Andrew King, Dartmouth University
  • Robert King, College of Food and Natural Sciences, UMN
  • Kate Knuth, Institute on the Environment, UMN
  • Jennifer Kuzma, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, UMN
  • Clarence Lehman, College of Biological Sciences, UMN
  • Thomas Lyon, University of Michigan
  • Alfred Marcus, Carlson School of Management, UMN
  • Julian Marshall, College of Science and Engineering, UMN
  • Cindy McComas, College of Science and Engineering, UMN
  • Sally Mills, Carlson School of Management, UMN
  • Ruth Okediji, University of Minnesota Law School, UMN
  • Deniz Ones, College of Liberal Arts, UMN
  • Craig Packer, Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, UMN
  • Katey Pelican, Department of Veterinary Population Medicine, UMN
  • Abby Pinto, CIBER, UMN
  • Steve Polasky, Department of Applied Economics, UMN
  • Shri Ramaswamy, College of Science and Engineering, UMN
  • Akshay Rao, Carlson School of Management, UMN
  • John Sheehan, LiveFuels
  • Amy Short, UMN
  • Virajita Singh, College of Design, UMN
  • Brian Smoliak, University of Washington
  • Lauren Snively, University of Minnesota-Crookston
  • Karsten Steinhaeuser, College of Science and Engineering, UMN
  • Hung-Suck Park, University of Ulsan
  • Kyo Suh, Seoul National University
  • Dan Svedarsky, University of Minnesota-Crookston
  • Vicki Svedarsky, University of Minnesota-Crookston
  • Deb Swackhamer, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, UMN
  • Steven Taff , College of Food and Natural Sciences, UMN
  • Dominic Travis, Department of Veterinary Population Medicine, UMN
  • Elizabeth Wilson, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, UMN
  • Maurizio Zollo, Bocconi University, Italy
Non-Government Organizations, Non Profits and Foundations
  • Erik Assadourian, Worldwatch Institute
  • Erin Bowley, Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies
  • Tom Burk, UMN Foundation
  • Anna Claussen, Institute for Agricultural and Trade Policy
  • Steven Corkery, UMN Foundation
  • Roger Dower, The Johnson Foundation
  • Joe Fargione, The Nature Conservancy
  • Paul Gardner, Recycling Reinvented
  • Terry Gips, Alliance for Sustainability
  • Sean Gosiewski, Alliance for Sustainability
  • Mike Harley, Environmental Initiative
  • Keely Herron, Net Impact
  • Andrew Hutson, Environmental Defense Fund
  • Brendan Jordan, Great Plains Institute
  • Melinda Kimble,United Nations Foundations
  • William Nelson, CHS Foundation
  • Kari Niedfeldt-Thomas, The Mosaic Foundation
  • Rolf Nordstrom, Great Plains Institute
  • Anastasia O’Rourke, Big Room Inc.
  • Brian Richter, The Nature Conservancy
  • Martha Stevenson, World Wildlife Fund
  • Jim Sulerud, Lutheran Ventures
  • John Wells, Great Plains Institute
Government Leaders
  • Ellen Anderson, State of Minnesota
  • Linda Barr, Chief Chemicals Management Branch, U.S. EPA
  • Sheri Brezinka, USGBC Minnesota Chapter
  • Carolyn Collopy, Hennepin County
  • Trevor Drake, City of Rogers, MN
  • Wayne Gjerde, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
  • Richard Graves, U.S. Green Building Council
  • Robert Gubrud, City of Edina Energy and Environment Commission
  • Tony Hainault, Hennepin County
  • Garth Hickle, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
  • John Jaimez, Hennepin County
  • Troy Johnson, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
  • Randy Kiser, Hennepin County
  • Ben Knudson, Hennepin County
  • Paul Kroening, Hennepin County
  • Rosemary Lavin, Hennepin County
  • Donna McIntire, U.S. State Department
  • Dave McNary, Hennepin County
  • Carl Michaud, Hennepin County
  • Timothy Nolan, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
  • Shannon Pinc, Saint Paul Public Schools
  • Tim Pratt, City of Roseville
  • Mike Risse, Hennepin County
  • Bill Ritter, State of Minnesota
  • Amy Roering, Hennepin County
  • Brendon Slotterback, City of Minneapolis
  • John Smith, Saint Paul Public Schools
  • Paula Sunde, USA Government Liaison
  • Kelly Wilder, Hennepin County
  • Andre Xiong, Hennepin County
  • David Zumeta, Minnesota Forest Resources Council
NorthStar and IonE
  • Molly Buss, Institute on the Environment, UMN
  • Emily Dombeck, Institute on the Environment, UMN
  • Jennifer Edwards, UMN
  • Jon Foley, Director of the Institute on the Environment, UMN
  • Lewis Gilbert, Institute on the Environment, UMN
  • Mary Hoff, Institute on the Environment, UMN
  • Sarah Karnas, Institute on the Environment, UMN
  • Kate Knuth, Institute on the Environment, UMN
  • Holly Lahd, NiSE, UMN
  • Michelle Linhoff, Associate Director of NiSE, UMN
  • Chris Mayr, Institute on the Environment, UMN
  • Rylie Olson, NiSE, UMN
  • Rebecca Pickens, NiSE, UMN
  • Joey Reid, Institute on the Environment, UMN
  • Todd Reubold, Institute on the Environment, UMN
  • Jennifer Schmitt, NiSE, UMN
  • Timothy Smith, Director of NiSE & Associate Professor of CEM/BBE, UMN
  • April Snyder, Associate Administrator, UMN
  • Jillian Stein, Institute on the Environment, UMN
  • Mary Swenson, Institute on the Environment, UMN
  • Jennifer Theodore, Graduate Research Assistant, UMN
  • Molly Wangen-Becker, Institute on the Environment, UMN
  • Lauren Werner-Foley, Institute on the Environment, UMN
  • Lori Young-Williams, Institute on the Environment, UMN
Industry/Business Leaders
  • Rajib Adhikary, Dell Inc.
  • Bernie Aldrich, Apoge
  • Greg Allgood, Procter and Gamble
  • Mark Apfelbacher, The Stratford Companies
  • Mike Ardito, Tennant Co.
  • Andrew Atkin, EFFECT Partners
  • Martha Avery, Independent
  • Chuck Bennett, Aveda
  • David Bero,  Davisco
  • Anne Berg, Vyway Market & Brand Strategy
  • Sandi Bloomquist, Caldrea/Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day
  • Diego Bonta, Dow Water & Process Solutions
  • Matt Boys, Best Buy
  • Darin Broton, Tunheim Partners
  • Scott Burglechner, Best Buy
  • Mary Capozzi, Best Buy
  • Kim Carlson, Cities Management/EarthSmart Consumer
  • Rebecca Carlson, RHC Associates, LLC
  • Thad Carlson, Best Buy
  • Andrea Carruthers, Faegre & Benson LLP
  • Kent Cavender-Bares, IonE/UMN
  • Robin Chase, Zipcar & GoLoco
  • Hugh Cherne, Best Buy
  • Chad Christenson, Tennant Co.
  • Eliza Clark, Paydirt LLC
  • Bette Danielson, Nordic Ware
  • Mike Deaner, Andersen Corp.
  • Stephanie Dennis, Best Buy
  • John Depaolis, County Choice/GrainMillers
  • John Dettmann, Faegre & Benson LLP
  • Bruce Dorey, Daikin McQuay
  • Ed Doyle, Target Corporation
  • Megan Duley, NewFields
  • John Ehrmann, Meridian Institute
  • Cass Erickson, Green Grantwriter
  • Chris Erickon, Climate Earth
  • Dawn Erlandson, Aurora Strategic Advisors
  • Mike Erlandson, SuperVALU
  • Jim Felt, Rimage Corporation
  • Terry Foecke, Materials Productivity LLC
  • Arlys Freeman, Midwest Floating Island
  • Doug Fullen, Medtronic, Inc.
  • Robert Garfinkle, Science Museum of Minnesota
  • Gena Gerard, Energy Management Solutions
  • Paul Gerrard, Humana Inc.
  • Tim Gieseke, Ag Resource Strategies LLC
  • John Gisler, Heartland Inc.
  • J. Glasnapp, Andersen Corp.
  • Tim Goodman, Aspen Research Corporation
  • Miki Griffin, The Marvin Companies
  • Kelly Groehler, Best Buy
  • Pat Hamilton, Science Museum of Minnesota
  • Marius Hansen, Tysvar
  • Mike Harley, Minnesota Environmental Initiative (MEI)
  • Jim Hartzfeld, InterfaceRAISE & Former Chairman of the Board, USGBC
  • Dan Haugen, Finance & Commerce
  • Mary Hayes Grieco, The Midwest Institute for Forgiveness Training
  • Paul Helgeson, Gold’n Plump Poultry
  • Pam Helms, Caldrea/Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day
  • Garth Hickle, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
  • David Hilbrich, Best Buy
  • Joel Hodroff, DualCurrency Systems
  • Mark Hopkins, United Nations Foundation
  • Andrea Hopmann, The Stratford Companies
  • Kim Jeffery, Nestle Waters North America
  • John Johnson, Changemaking Systems LLC
  • Jeremy Kalin, Eutectics Consulting LLC
  • Rebecca Kenow, Land O’Lakes Inc.
  • Michael Koenig, Andersen Corporation
  • Scott Koenig, Andersen Corproation
  • Cary Krosinsky, Trucost
  • Charley Kubler, G&K Services Inc.
  • Yimin Liu, Ford Motor Company
  • Alexis Ludwig-Vogen, Best Buy
  • Steven Lydenberg, Domini Social Investment LLC
  • Jerry Lynch, General Mills
  • Joel Makower, GreenBiz
  • Michael Martin, EFFECT Partners Inc.
  • Jeff Mauk, Eutectics Consulting LLC
  • Darren McGann, KPMG
  • William McLain, 3M
  • Mike Mehle, Tennant Co.
  • Hamlin Metzger, Best Buy
  • Gary Meyers, Tennant Co.
  • Mike Michaud, Juhl Wind Inc.
  • Stan Mierzejewski, Tennant Co.
  • Mark Mikkelson, Andersen Corp.
  • Patrick Milan, Tunheim Partners
  • Keith Miller, 3M
  • Gerry Mimick, Tennant Co.
  • Todd Pitchell, Pace Analytical Services Inc.
  • Claus Moberg, SnowShoeFood
  • Paul Narog, 3M
  • Craig Neal, Heartland Inc.
  • Patricia Neal, Heartland Inc.
  • Alec Neal, Heartland Inc.
  • Christine Negra, CCAFS Commission on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change
  • Keith Newhouse, Land O’Lakes
  • Chris Oehler, POET Biorefining
  • Cassandra Palmer, Best Buy
  • Jason Pearson, TRUTHstudio
  • Annie Perkins, Andersen Corp.
  • Julie Perrus, Larkin Hoffman
  • Steve Peterson, General Mills
  • Greg Putnam, A Greener U Solutions
  • Lois Quam, United Health Care
  • Rajan Raj, Ecolab
  • Leo Raudys, Best Buy
  • Susan Roeder, Andersen Corp.
  • Kevin Rutherford, Caldrea/Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day
  • Sol Salinas, Accenture
  • Dan Schibel, General Mills
  • Nathan Schock, POET Biorefining
  • Steve Schultz, 3M
  • Amy Skoczlas Cole, Summerville Strategies
  • Ellen Smilanich, Smilanich Consultants
  • Dave Staub, Staub Design
  • Lindy Staub, Staub Design
  • Jim Stoffel, Caldrea/Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day
  • Andrew Strom, Tennant Co.
  • Joe Swedberg, Hormel Foods
  • Jean Sweeney, 3M
  • Pete Swenson, Tennant Company
  • Heather Tansey, 3M
  • Todd Taylor, Fredrikson & Byron
  • Owen Thaddeus, Herman Miller
  • Kristin Tongson-Hollander, The Stratford Companies
  • Veronika Torarp, Twin Cities Women in Sustainability
  • Nim Traeger, The Traveler’s Companies, Inc.
  • Kathy Tunheim, Tunheim Partners
  • Margaret Uttke, Global Corporate Consultancy of Antea Group
  • Tom Vandervoort, Tunheim Partners
  • Kurt Volkmann, Accenture
  • Donovan Walsh, The Financial Services Consulting Group
  • Michael Washburn, Nestle Waters North America
  • Jim Weglewski, Andersen Corp.
  • Arthur Weissman, Green Seal, Inc.
  • Keith Zook, Procter and Gamble
  • Danny Zouber, North Sky Capital


Founding Partners

Founding Partners not only help to collaboratively develop novel solutions to the knottiest sustainability challenges through engagement in our research initiatives, but the funds they contribute help support our graduate student researchers’ academic journeys, as each initiative is led by a graduate student or post doctorate working with Tim Smith. NiSE offers graduate students and post doctorates an incredible opportunity to do applied work–research that matters to you, the leaders and drivers of sustainability in the business world.

Individually we can make a difference; but together, working across industries and sectors, we can chart the course for a truly sustainable society and economy—one that is economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable and prosperous for generations to come. Consider becoming a Founding Partner.

  • 3M
  • Andersen Corporation
  • Aspen Research Corporation
  • Best Buy
  • Caldrea/Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day
  • CCAFS Commission on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change
  • EFFECT Partners
  • Great Plains Institute
  • Hennepin County
  • Interface, LLC
  • Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
  • Science Museum of Minnesota
  • Stratford Companies
  • Tennant Companies
  • Trucost
  • Tunheim Partners
  • United Nations
  • Worldwatch Institute

College & Department Partnerships

Carlson School of Management
The mission of the Carlson School of Management is to discover transformative knowledge about the issues faced by organizations and managers in a dynamic global economy and create exceptional learning and career opportunities by facilitating an engaged and integrated community of scholars, students, and practitioners.

Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER)
Created by Congress in 1988 and administered by the U.S. Department of Education under Title VI, Part B of the Higher Education Act of 1965, the CIBER network links the manpower and technological needs of the United States business community with international education, language training and research capacities of universities across the country.

College of Biological Sciences
CBS is one of only a few colleges nationwide that focus exclusively on biological sciences. Our research and education programs, which span molecules to ecosystems, are aimed at improving human health and quality of life, and providing food and energy for the Earth’s growing population without depleting ecosystems.

College of Design
Through a unique commitment to creativity and advancing technologies, the College of Design at the University of Minnesota leads, innovates and educates in the full range of design fields by researching ongoing and emerging issues, exploring new knowledge, and addressing and solving real-world problems; all while adhering to socially responsible, sustainable, and collaborative design thinking.

College of Veterinary Medicine
The College of Veterinary Medicine affects the lives of Minnesotans every day by educating current and future veterinarians and biomedical scientists, discovering and disseminating new knowledge and skills, and providing state-of-the-art veterinary services. The University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine is fully accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Council on Education.

Department of Applied Economics
The Department of Applied Economics offers teaching, research, and outreach programs in four broad areas: environmental and resource economics; food systems; growth, development and trade; and public sector economics.

Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering
The Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering prepares engineers, scientists, business professionals and leaders in the discovery, development and application of renewable resources and sustainable technologies to meet society’s needs while enhancing the environment in Minnesota and beyond. From biofuels, renewable energy to bio-based materials and from food to systems for improving water and air quality, BBE faculty and graduates create solutions in all stages of design, development and manufacturing that promote sustainable utilization of renewable resources and enhancement of the environment.

Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior
EEB is part of the College of Biological Sciences at the University of Minnesota and is one of the University’s most highly ranked units. The department is located in the Ecology Building on the St. Paul campus, but also has two major field stations where students and faculty conduct field research. Many of the research collections of the Bell Museum of Natural History are also located in the Ecology Building, and the department is an affiliated department of the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory.

Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering
The Industrial & Systems Engineering (ISYE) program at the University of Minnesota is a leading program with an internationally recognized faculty. The program is part of the University of Minnesota’s College of Science and Engineering, the highly interdisciplinary college of engineering, physical sciences, and mathematics. Faculty members are active in several research areas with a particular focus on Operations Research and its applications, including supply chains and logistics, health care, revenue management, transportation, and service and manufacturing operations.

Department of Veterinary Population Medicine
Created in 2004, the Department of Veterinary Population Medicine (VPM) merged Clinical and Population Sciences with Veterinary Diagnostic Medicine, thereby creating unique opportunities to address some of today’s most pressing issues in veterinary medicine. It educates undergraduate, graduate and professional students and veterinarians by delivering the most up-to-date scientific information in effective ways, by encouraging leadership, by facilitating experiential learning and by using technology to enhance the learning process.

Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs
Humphrey School graduates work throughout the world on issues from humanitarian assistance to health policy to business development. Its students have the opportunity to gain global perspectives from the faculty and curriculum and by working with University and local international organizations. They participate in critical debates with peers from around the world through such connections as Interdisciplinary Perspectives in International Development, the School’s International Fellowship Programs, and by pursuing international internships.

University of Minnesota Law School
For more than 120 years, the University of Minnesota Law School has been a pioneer in legal education and research. A top public law school in a vibrant, urban setting, it offers students access to a world-class faculty, an innovative curriculum, unmatched clinical practice and experiential learning opportunities, and a network of dedicated alumni around the world.

Water Resources Center
The University of Minnesota’s Water Resources Center provides leadership in freshwater management through cutting-edge research, educational opportunities for students and professionals, and community outreach. For students, WRC provides a critical link to water-resources professionals and access to all the University’s water-related programs. For citizens and professionals, WRC provides oversight of community-based programs and training and assistance with issues related to impaired waters, storm water management, agricultural practices and global water issues.

NiSE is a program of the University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment.

Welcome to the NiSE website! Check here for regular updates on events, meetings and information pertaining to our current work.

Visit the contact page to send an inquiry online.
Get Connected
Blog categories
Explore NiSE