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Report: “Generation E” Emerges on College Campuses in ND

November 24, 2009

GRAND FORKS, N.D. - There have been Baby Boomers, Generation X, and now there's Generation E, where the "E" ties into ecology, clean-energy economics and social equity. It's the term used in a new report to describe the leaders of the sustainability movement on college campuses, and thousands of projects at 160 campuses across the country have been documented.

Report contributor Julian Keniry, who is senior director of campus and community leadership with the National Wildlife Federation, says the group found that the sustainability movement has grown beyond recycling, though that still matters. At the University of North Dakota, a recycling system was started in downtown Grand Forks.

"The level of engagement we're seeing is unprecedented. There are these examples that just show that there is a level of engagement that we haven't seen in more than 20 years."

She says that, most importantly, the report quashes the myth that students are apathetic when it comes to the clean-energy economy.

Keniry says however that while gathering campus information, researchers learned it was difficult for students to get many projects off the ground because of resistance from school administrators. And she notes that sustainability has yet to become a standard part of university curricula.

"If you're studying the health sciences, business, engineering, you're unlikely to graduate having taken any course on sustainability or environment."

Green projects at United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck are also highlighted in the report.

The full report, "Generation E: Students Leading for a Sustainable, Clean Energy Future," is available online at
www.nwf.org

Dick Layman, Public News Service - ND