The UMACS is the main professional organization for sustainability faculty, staff and students in the region. The UMACS conference provides attendees the opportunity for networking and collaboration around sustainability academic programs and campus and community sustainability.

“We have done so much work building the academic sustainability program and the sustainability efforts on campus over the past decade,” says Meghann Jarchow, Ph.D., chair of the USD Department of Sustainability & Environment. “I am excited to get to share our wonderful USD sustainability community with the broader UMACS community.”

The conference welcome and keynote will begin on Friday, Sept. 22 at 3:30 p.m. in Aalfs Auditorium, located in Slagle Hall. Sungmanitu Oyate H’oka (Coyote Nation Singers) will give the opening song and prayer. President Sheila K. Gestring will open the conference with a welcome.

Director of USD Native Student Services Megan Red Shirt-Shaw will give Friday’s keynote address titled, “Native Nations, Land Relations and Higher Education.”

Heidi Roop, director of the University of Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership and author of “The Climate Action Handbook: A Visual Guide to 100 Climate Solutions for Everyone” will give Saturday’s keynote address, titled “Climate Impacts to Action: Starting and Sustaining Your Climate Solutions Journey” at 2 p.m. in the Beacom School of Business Auditorium.

Both keynote addresses are open to the public.

Other conference highlights include a plant-based cooking demonstration and food sampling hosted by Sodexo, a USD sustainability campus tour, community-building and breakout sessions, Spirit Mound star gazing, board games and open mic at the AV Lounge, birdwatching and more. For a full schedule of events, visit

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