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Projects Updates for key objective: 8.1 Urban Biodiversity Master Plan

  1. Resilience iCAP Team January Meeting

    Resilience iCAP Team had its first virtual meeting of the Spring 2023 semester on Tuesday, January 10th, at 10:30 AM. Cheryl Bicknell is the new Facilities & Services representative of the team. At the meeting, the Biodiversity Master Plan project student intern Gabriel Harper-Hagen gave a brief overview of the biodiversity plan and shared his progress through an extensive update document. Afterward, the team discussed its goals for this semester. 

    The full recording of the meeting can be found here

    Meeting minutes are attached. 

  2. Resilience iCAP Team October 2022 Meeting

    The Resilience iCAP Team had its second monthly online meeting on Monday, October 10th from 11:00 - 12:00 PM. The team worked on the Campus Sustainability Celebration slides, got updates on Urban Biodiversity Master Plan, talked about sustainability and resilience challenges at Urbana and Savoy areas, and shared announcements on upcoming sustainability events! Meeting minutes are attached. 



  3. Urban Biodiversity Master Plan Student Support

    Biodiversity Plan intern Gabriel Harper-Hagen is looking for students and student groups to help him develop two iNaturalist surveys for the project. Here is the detailed explanation from Gabe:

    The survey will act as a pilot for future surveying around campus and the broader community. We will have two surveys: one focused on animals and one focused on plants. This is because of the different methods of surveying each. The surveys will benefit from as many students that would be interested in this for either one (Or both). The survey will attempt to efficiently gather data about the diversity of plant and animal species found on campus to create a baseline for what is present and to help identify gaps on the campus where diversity may be lacking. If successful, I hope to expand the model to other parts of the community including the park districts to have larger community based BioBlitz seasonally to keep track of the diversity in the area and measure success of the biodiversity plan. 


    As far as students can help, we need enough people to survey the area efficiently in a reasonable amount of time. The student groups and individual students would be helping in an initial survey that focuses only on the campus. My thought is that a date will be set for each of the two surveys where the participants can join to go over brief instructions on identifying plants with iNaturalist, adding them to the project, and explaining the purpose of surveying. iNaturalist allows for specific project data to be collected within a region which is then peer reviewed. Ideally, there will be some experts (students or professors if appropriate) that join for each survey to help with logistics and identification. I hope this will not only be a useful database for our campus to utilize, but also a fun learning experience. 


    All iCAP students and environmental student groups are encouraged to participate. If interested, please email Gabe ( and Resilience iCAP Team clerk Asli Topuzlu ( 

  4. Biodiversity Plan Project Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    Project update from Gabriel Harper-Hagen:

    Over the course of the 2022 summer, Gabriel Harper-Hagen interviewed 45 members from the Champaign-Urbana region to understand more about the regions position on biodiversity. This process has created support for the plan from the community. Achievements and gaps were identified in the region along with barriers and recommendations to successfully integrate a biodiversity master plan. Photos of key aspects and sites were gathered. Strategies for achieving goals have been identified and are in the revising process. The plan is currently being constructed as a draft. Background research and information has been collected and used for support on the topic of urban biodiversity. 


  5. Resilience iCAP Team September 2022 Meeting

    The Resilience iCAP Team had its first online meeting of the year on Friday, September 9th from 2:00 - 3:00 PM. The team reviewed the Resilience Charge Letter, talked about ground rules of the team, reviewed seven Resilience iCAP objectives, and shared updates on each objective. Meeting minutes and ground rules documents are attached. 

  6. Weekly Resiliency Team Meeting

    Present: Meredith Moore, Morgan White, and Stacy Gloss

    Gloss reported on the following:

    • Green Infrastructure Mapping: Lisa Merrifield met with Illinois EPA and partners at the end of March to discuss the mapping project. Meetings will be held with NCSA soon about feasibility and next steps.
    • Gloss notified Lisa Merrifield that she is available to help with Biodiversity Plan
    • DFA advising on-going. Their upcoming presentation is April 27 on E-waste in Siebel Center for Design
    • Final report from Ann Witmer's capstone course is expected: A student consulting team is developing a report on renewable energy technologies that can be adopted through a campus local-offset program
    • Gloss and Moore will present  to GEEB on April 26 on environmental justice


    • SSC semesterly reporting requirement for NGICP training is due July 1; Gloss will email campus NGICP participants.
    • Sustainability Clinic recommendation meeting next steps;
    • Working to understand Extension's role in environmental concerns / environmental justice.  White, Gloss, and Moore will work to meet with Shibu Kar as an introduction between the Resilience Team and Extension on iCAP resilience goals, environmental justice planning, and support for programs like a sustainability clinic

    Tasks (Gloss):

    • Help with agenda for next resilience team meeting & update the gantt chart for meeting resilience goals
    • Attend next Land & Water team meeting if available (related to potential campus master plan for rainwater management & relationship to/with community coordinated rainwater master plan)
    • Attend the iWG meeting as resilience team rep for Environmental Justice iCAP recommendation


  7. Res002 Biodiversity Plan - Successful

    Sherry Nickols-Richardson, Director of University of Illinois Extension, sent Morgan White the following email in support of the Res002 recommendation.


    Dear Morgan,

    Thank you for sharing the Urban Biodiversity Master Plan component noted below (iCAP 202 Objective 8.1). University of Illinois Extension supports the in-kind contribution of Lisa Merrifield toward this effort through FY24. 

    Please note that Illinois Extension does not have funding to support a formal master planning process. This would need to be established and developed by F&S. If there are other implications for financial support now or in the future, Illinois Extension requests that there be discussion about these implications before any expenses are incurred.

    This will be an interesting, informative, and valuable process. I look forward to periodic reports about the progress.


    Shelly Nickols-Richardson


    See submittal and recommendation of Res002 Biodiversity Plan. 

    See transmittal of Res002 Biodiversity Plan. 

    See iWG assessment of Res002 Biodiversity Plan. 

    For future updates on this effort, visit Urban Biodiversity Master Plan.

  8. Res002 Biodiversity Plan - Transmitted

    Following the completion of iWG assessment for Res002 Biodiversity Plan, the recommendation was transmitted to Dr. Nickols-Richardson, Director of Extension, on April 12, 2021. 

    See iWG assessment of Res002 Biodiversity Plan attached. 

    See iCAP team recommendation Res002 Biodiversity Plan.


  9. Res002 Biodiversity Plan - Submitted

    The Resilience team made the following recommendation on 2/3/2021: 

    Lisa Merrifield at U of I Extension should coordinate the development of an urban biodiversity master plan for the local urbanized area of Urbana, Champaign, and Savoy, with broad stakeholder input and direct faculty/researcher involvement.

    Attached is the Res002 Biodiversity Plan recommendation. 

  10. Resilience iCAP Team Meeting Minutes from 1-27-21

    The Resilience Team met on Wednesday, Jan. 27th for their first meeting of the Spring semester. Our clerk, Kimmy, proposed changes to our iCAP portal theme page and received comments from all team members. The Biodiversity Plan recommendation is in the final steps of gathering approval from every team member and will likely be submitted to the iWG this month. Lastly, the team had a brainstorming session for how to identify existing green jobs infrastructure and how to coordinate our environmental justice efforts with the community -- specifically the Sustainability Advisory Commission for the City of Urbana. 

    Agenda, meeting minutes, and chat log are attached.

  11. Resilience Team Meeting Minutes from 12-10-20

    The Resilience Team met on December 10th and had a fruitful conversation about how to help our surrounding communities while maintaining an equal two-conversation where community, faculty, student, and governments are all heard. Comments were discussed regarding our next recommendation, the Urban Biodiversity Master Plan. 

    Agenda, meeting minutes, and chat log are attached.

  12. Municipal Approval Status of Tree Species Data Table

    Associated Project(s): 

    Bianca Han, an undergraduate student, compiled a table that compares the approval status of various tree species by municipality (Champaign, Savoy, and Urbana). The table highlight inconsistencies in biodiversity policies. As examples, scarlet oak and blue ash appear to be prohibited in Champaign, approved in Savoy, and not addressed in Urbana.

    The table also illustrates possible sources of information developed in one municipality that could be used in others. For example, crabapple appears to be approved in Champaign but not addressed in Savoy and Urbana; English Oak appears to be approved in Savoy but not addressed in Champaign and Urbana; and river ash appears to be prohibited in Savoy but not addressed in Champaign and Urbana.


  13. Resilience iCAP Team Follow-Up Meeting

    The Resilience SWATeam met again on October 9th, 2020 at 12pm. The team completed the iCAP 2020 Assessment and in doing so determined the team's priorities for the year. The Assessment has been sent it to the iCAP Working Group, and the team is looking forward to advancing our objectives!

    Attached are a PDF of the completed Resilience iCAP Assessment, meeting minutes, and chat log. 

    The agenda was as follows:

    1. Review iCAP 2020 Assessment (Due October 9th)

    2. Update on Hazard Mitigation Plan recommendation

    3. Plans for future meetings

    4. Announcements



  14. Archived web info - CSE Prairie Project

    Design & Assessment

    The Center for Teaching Excellence has been actively involved in developing and executing the Prairie Project curriculum workshop.  Their expertise in course design and the assessment of student learning has proven valuable to the workshop participants.  Below, you will find resources shared by the CTE.

    A Self-Directed Guide to Designing Courses for Significant Learning

    Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU) Liberal Education and America's Promise (LEAP)Essential Learning Outcomes

    AACU High-Impact Educational Practices

    Second Nature fact sheet on a framework for sustainability curriculum (download as pdf)

  15. Archived web info - CSE Prairie Project

    Courses and Syllabi

    Participants in the Prairie Project were inspired to include sustainability in their courses.  Below you will find revised syllabi and some example assignments with clear linkages to the Sustainability Learning Outcomes.  In addition, there are resources from other universities that offer similar curriculum workshops and national organizations.  We encourage you to integrate sustainability into your course.

    BADM 532 Sustainable Product and Market Development for Subsistence Marketplaces

    BADM 533 Sustainable Product Design and Business Plan Development


    Example Syllabi for Sustainability-Infused Courses:

    Courses of the 2010 Prairie Project Resource People and Participants

    NRES 285: Wetland Delineation and Classification (PDF)


    Conservation and Ecosystem Health (PDF)

    Ecotoxicology of the Northern Hemisphere (PDF)

    IB 105: Environmental Biology Fall 2010(PDF) 
    IB 105: Environmental Biology Spring 2010 (PDF)

    Political Science - Learning Outcomes - Introduction to International Relations (PDF)
    Political Science 280 Fall 2010 (PDF)
    Political Science 280 Fall 2009 (PDF)

    LAS 101 Fall 2010: Environmental Sustainability & World Citizenship (PDF)
    LAS 101: Homework 5 on ecological footprinting and environmental sustainability (PDF)

    CEE 498: Multilateral Environmental Agreements Fall 2010 (PDF)
    CEE 498: Multilateral Environmental Agreements (PDF)

    CEE 535: Environmental Systems Analysis II Sustainable & Resilient Environmental & Water Resource Systems (PDF)
    CEE 535: Spring 2011 Upper Embarras Project Terms (PDF)

    UP 204, Chicago: Planning and Urban Life, Spring 2011 (PDF)
    UP 204, Chicago: Planning and Urban Life: Course Description (PDF)
    UP 204, Chicago: Planning and Urban Life: Overview (PDF)


    External Examples:

    Association for the Advanceemnt of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) examples of courses on campus sustainability (PDF)

    AASHE course inventories*

    AASHE list of Web sites with example syllabi*

    Ponderosa Project Web site, containing course syllabi and other resources

    Piedmont Project syllabi and course modules

    * These sites require a members-only login to the AASHE site. The University of Illinois is an institutional member and you can create an account for free with a (and hopefully e-mail address.

  16. Archived web info - CSE Prairie Project


    Below you will find readings collected from experts associated with the Prairie Project workshop.  The suggestions are intended to provide an introduction to the topic of sustainability, however, some provide greater detail. 

    Is there a suggested reading or other resource you would like to share?  Please let us know.

    Building the Sustainable Community:Is Social Capital the Answer? (PDF)

    Millennium Ecosystem Assessment’s Synthesis report

    Understanding the Social Dimension of Sustainability

    Beyond Fences: Seeking Social Sustainability in Conservation

    The Sustainability Seminar reading list from Spring 2010.

    The Sustainability Seminar reading list from Spring 2011. 

    A very short primer on ecosystem services by the Ecological Society of America (professional organization of ecologists): 

    Ecology of infectious diseases and influences of climate change

  17. Archived web info - CSE Prairie Project

    Teaching Sustainability Workshop 2013

    Providing skills, knowledge, and resources for infusing environmental sustainability into your courses

    Sustainability is one of the great global challenges of the twenty-first century. Whether you teach accounting or aerospace engineering, Portuguese or pathobiology, you likely have something to contribute toward addressing this challenge.The Center for a Sustainable Environment will be hosting the Teaching Sustainability Workshop on April 12-13, 2013. Apply here.

    Friday, April 12 - Reception
    Temple Buell Art Gallery, 111 Architecture Building
    Guest speaker David Schejbal, print flyer

    Saturday, April 13 - Workshop
    Allerton Park & Retreat Center, Monticello 

    The workshop will bring together a group of University of Illinois instructors who want to learn more about adding sustainability to the courses they already teach. Participants in the workshop are typically professors and instructors who are curious about sustainability and want to engage it, but who also have too much to do to become experts in sustainability. After participating in the workshop, you will have a:

    • Working definition of sustainability.

    • Framework for understanding the components of sustainability and how each relates to your expertise.

    • List of readings and short videos that you can use to prepare your class or use in your class.

    • Draft of exercises you might use in your classes and examples of how other instructors have incorporated sustainability into their courses.

    • Set of opportunities for exploring sustainability on campus through the landscape, buildings, operations, and transportation.

    • Cohort of colleagues who have similar goals about infusing sustainability into their teaching and on-going support as you test your ideas in the classroom.

    • Stipend of $500 that you can use however you see fit. 

    Our goal is to provide you with a set of ideas, concepts, models, and examples that you can modify to fit your courses. You’ll get a list of readings and short videos that you might want to use in your classes. And we will work to craft some initial ideas for exercises that you might use as you teach. 

    The workshop consists of five components that are designed to make it as easy as possible for you to add sustainability to your teaching.

    1. Teaching Sustainability Reception. There will be a reception on Friday, April 12, 2013 at the School of Architecture, Art Gallery from 4:00-6:30pm. The 2012 participants will receive their certificate for completing the workshop, followed by guest speaker, David Schejbal. This reception will give you an opportunity to network with last year’s participants. 

    2. Teaching Sustainability Retreat. We will meet on Saturday, April 13, 2013 at Allerton Park ( from 8:30 to 5:00. This is the main event of the Workshop. We will learn from experts who have the capacity to explain concepts about sustainability in a way that is accessible to those of us who are not experts. During the day, you will develop some initial ideas, lesson plans, and exercises that you can use in your courses. We will serve you a continental breakfast, lunch, and snacks. 

    3. Feedback and Revision. During the summer of 2013, we will get together with sustainability experts to provide feedback on your initial plans and course revisions.

    4. Fall Check-In. Near the end of the fall 2013 semester, we will get together for lunch to learn from the members of the group who taught their revised courses and discuss the lessons they learned and what they might have done differently.

    5. Debriefing. During the spring 2014 semester, we will get together to share experiences, assess results, and make recommendations for how this process might evolve. We’ll get together with next year’s cohort.

    Faculty and instructors will receive a stipend for participating in these five aspects of the Workshop. Graduate students and post-docs who will be assisting with modifications of existing courses or development of new courses are also welcome to attend. 

    By applying for this exciting and interactive opportunity, Teaching Sustainability Workshop participants agree to:

    • Participate in the events above.

    • Commit to preparing and submitting a description of the course modification or creation by the end of the retreat, and revising as needed over the summer.

    • Provide a final syllabus, course modifications, and brief summary of outcomes from the experience.

    Please follow up with Amy Rosenbery ( if you have questions about this opportunity. Based on current plans, we anticipate that 20 instructors will be accommodated. Applicants will be notified by mid-March if they have been selected to participate.

    Participant Agenda
    Teaching Sustainability Workshop Reception
    Friday, April 12, 2013, 4:00-6:30pm, Temple Buell Hall Art Gallery, 111 Architecture Building
    4:00pm - "The Changing Nature of Higher Education and the Role of Sustainability Education in the Process" presented by David Schejbal. Print flyer

    Sustainability Curriculum Retreat,
    Saturday, April 13, 2013 
    8:30am-5:00pm, Allerton Park & Retreat Center
    More details to come!

    This event is supported by the Center for a Sustainable Environment and the Office of the Provost.

    Attached Files: 


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