Students Hear Eco-friendly Ideas at Sustainability Panel

Local environmental advocates discussed alternative energy resources and shared ideas on how to live a more eco-friendly life earlier today as part of Augustana’s New Student Seminar (NSS), a course for first-year students designed to facilitate a successful transition into the Augustana community.

The panel discussion, held in the Chapel of Reconciliation, included (also pictured from left to right):

  • Doug Berven, class of 1990, vice president of Corporate Affairs for POET and internationally recognized authority on agriculture, renewable energy and ethanol. Headquartered in Sioux Falls, POET is the largest ethanol producer in the world yet strives to achieve the smallest possible environmental footprint.
  • Steve Scott, class of 1990, president and CEO of Outland Energy. Based in Canby, Minn., Outland Energy works to harness the wind and provide carbonless energy that works for the good of the environment.
  • Matt Gedney, environmental analyst for the City of Sioux Falls. As a member of the City's Public Works Environmental Division, Gedney is part of a small but dedicated team of environmental professionals committed to providing leadership in environmental management while continuing to provide the highest level of service to our customers and community. The Environmental Division’s charge is to protect and enhance the Sioux Falls environment through the management of responsible and reasonable local codes, standards and programs.
  • Anne Scherschligt Haber, class of 2005, facilities manager for Cherapa Place, one of Sioux Falls' first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified buildings. Following the demolition of the Zip Feed Mill, Haber was a key member of Cherapa’s design team, the group who developed a plan to recycle and re-use all of the concrete from the Mill. The team also used local quartzite on portions of the exterior; wood from re-grown forests in the interior; and sensor-activated lights to conserve energy. They even designed the roof to reflect the sun’s heat. On the grounds, natural plants and wild flowers take the place of grass, which eliminates the need to water.

As part of NSS, students also read "No Impact Man: The Adventures Of A Guilty Liberal Who Attempts To Save The Planet And The Discoveries He Makes About Himself And Our Way of Life In The Process," by Dr. Colin Beavan. The book chronicles the year Beavan and his family spent trying to live without negatively impacting the environment, illustrates the struggles, frustrations and discoveries that come with adjusting to a new lifestyle.