Climate Change and Clean Energy Capstone
Hennepin County's Environmental Services Department worked with a class at the University's Law School on a capstone class titled "Climate Change and Clean Energy," supervised by Professor Hari Osofsky. The goal was to help the County explore options for expanding the distribution of the energy that is produced at its waste-to-energy facility, the Hennepin Energy Recovery Center (HERC). The HERC is located in downtown Minneapolis and burns 1,000 tons of garbage per day to generate energy. Students in this capstone gained practical experience on local efforts to foster climate change and clean energy while providing valuable information to the County on legal considerations associated with energy sales from the HERC facility.
Horticulture, Turft Grass Management and Pesticide Certification Training
Sentencing to Service (STS) is a structured work program that provides a sentencing alternative for low-risk adult and juvenile offenders. Instead of serving time in jail or paying a fine, offenders can work, learn new skills, and gain self-confidence while completing community improvement and restoration projects. Learn more about STS in this short video.
The University of Minnesota's Extension School provides a training course for Hennepin County Sentencing to Service (STS) Crew Leaders. The Extension course includes information about plant selection, landscape implementation and maintenance, turf grass science and management, and a pesticide certification preparation and exam. In 2014, Hennepin County sent approximately 20 STS Crew leaders to training, and plans to send between 10-15 staff members to horticulture training this year. This collaboration provides technical training and certification to STS Crew Leaders while allowing the University to educate citizens on science and researched-based best practices relevant to their jobs.
Image Source: http://www.hennepin.us/residents/public-safety/sentencing-service
Hennepin County Library’s Stop, Look, Art! Project
During the summer of 2014, the Hennepin County Library hired a Ph.D. candidate from the Art History Department to review artwork in each of the Libraries for the Stop, Look, Art! project. The art historian researched 115 library-owned art pieces and produced brief descriptions for each piece. The existing information was incomplete or, in some cases, unverified. The Library plans to use the descriptions generated to update its website and enhance in-building displays.
Image Source: http://www.apps.hclib.org/buildingprojects/onepercent (2014)
Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring Study
The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office is collaborating with the Extension School to replicate a federally-funded Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring (ADAM) study. The purpose of the study is to collect data on drug use and related behaviors among adults booked in jail. The study involves a survey that includes questions about drug use, treatment, age of first arrest, employment and housing history, and drug market activity. A team of researchers led by Professor Mary Marczak from University Extension interviewed and completed drug testing on a random sample of males booked into the Adult Detention Center over a period of two weeks. The researchers analyzed the data collected, which the Sheriff’s Office plans to use to inform decisions about programming and the need for services.
Image Source: http://hennepinsheriff.org (2014)