University of Minnesota Campus Beyond Coal leader, Siri Simons, was awarded the 2011 Udall Scholarship in recognition for her commitment to the environment. Established by the U.S. Congress in 1992, the Udall Foundation honors Congressman Morris King Udall’s thirty-year legacy of public service and commitment to environmental reform.
Siri Simons is a junior at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. She is a founding member of Campus Beyond Coal at UMTC. Since Fall 2009, she has helped to lead campus efforts to get UMTC to stop burning coal at the campus steam plant – the last coal burning plant in Minneapolis. Thanks in large part to her leadership, the campaign has gathered support from over 5,000 students, dozens of faculty & student groups, 4 neighborhood associations, state legislators, the Minneapolis City Council, and more. Thanks to Campus Beyond Coal, the University is looking into opportunities to transition off of coal as part of their climate action plan. Campus Beyond Coal continues to push the University to develop a timeline and plan for moving away from coal.
In addition to her work on campus, Siri spent last summer working as an intern with the Beyond Coal Campaign in Alaska! She has interned at Frogtown Gardens, a local nonprofit that is working to establish an urban farm site in St. Paul’s Frogtown neighborhood, and at the Northern Alaska Environmental Center in Fairbanks. This semester Simons is studying abroad in Kenya on the Minnesota Studies in International Development program.
This Spring, the University of Minnesota Twin Cities Sustainability Committee is finalizing its climate action plan. They will be holding student and community input sessions. For more information, contact Joshua Low.