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2013.09.23 > For Immediate Release
contact: Charley Reed - University Communications
phone: 402.554.2129 - email: unonews@unomaha.edu

Sustainability in Nebraska is Topic of Free Conference at UNO

Omaha - The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) may be well known for being the “Crimson and Black” but on Wednesday, Sept. 25, UNO’s College of Public Affairs and Community Service (CPACS) is encouraging citizens to “Go Green” by taking part in a half-day conference dedicated to ideas that can help make Nebraska sustainable.

Tree Campus USA 2013

“Sustainability is a major focus of business and government initiatives,” explained John Bartle, Dean of CPACS. “But taking it from the drawing board and making it work is the real challenge.”

Co-sponsored by the American Society for Public Administration and Water for Food Institute at the University of Nebraska, Wednesday’s “Implementing a Sustainable Future in Nebraska” conference will feature key speakers from UNO, UNL and area business leaders.

“This workshop is focused on successful implementation of sustainable practices,” Bartle said. “Leaders in the public and private sector will share their insights on how to make sustainability work.”

The conference begins at 1:30 p.m. with a keynote panel discussing the steps needed to implement sustainable practices throughout the state. The panel will include Bartle; Deniz Zeynep Leuenberger, associate professor of public administration from Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts; Michaella Wittmann, senior vice president and director of sustainability for HDR, Inc.; and Sherrye Hutcherson, vice president and chief accountability officer at the Omaha Public Power District (OPPD).

"One of OPPD’s top priorities is to ensure we operate in an environmentally sensitive manner,” Hutcherson said. “That’s not a new priority by any means, but we actually changed our mission statement this year to ensure that message is front and center for our employees and our customers.”

From 3:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. participants can attend any of three breakout sessions on topics such as careers in sustainability, environmentally conscious urban design and water resources in metropolitan areas.

Following the breakout sessions will be a special reception hosted by the UNO School of Public Administration from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

All events are free and take place at the Thompson Alumni Center, located on UNO’s Dodge Campus. Anyone interested can register online at http://sustainable-nebraska.eventbrite.org.

Sustainability is one of UNO’s key priority areas as we continue to lead as a premier metropolitan university. In the last five years UNO have become champions of sustainability in the Omaha metro through partnerships with B-cycle, Omaha Metro, Tree Campus USA and Zipcar; UNO is also preparing to launch a new Center for Urban Sustainability.

“Sustainability on college campuses and their surrounding communities is a fiscal, educational and ethical necessity,” added Patrick Wheeler, a specialist from UNO's Evironmental Health and Safety Office. “By bringing UNO and the Omaha community together to address issues like public transportation, water conservation and renewable energy, only good things can happen.”

For more information on the upcoming conference or any of UNO’s other sustainability efforts, contact Charley Reed, UNO media relations coordinator, at 402.554.2129 or by email at unonews@unomaha.edu.

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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urban, regional, national and global life. UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908.

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© 2014 University Communications. voice: 402.554.2129, fax: 402.554.3541, unonews@unomaha.edu