Sustainability Manager

Kagin Commons, 120

Dr. Suzanne Savanick Hansen is the Sustainability Manager at Macalester College and teaches occasional courses for the Environmental Studies Program. She earned her PhD in conservation biology from the University of Minnesota, a master’s degree in environmental management from Duke University, and a bachelor’s degree in geology from Carleton College.

She was the first paid sustainability staff person in the region when she started the Sustainable Campus Initiative at the University of Minnesota as a graduate student. She has co-organized three regional faculty development workshops focusing on sustainability in the curriculum. She also has significant faculty development experience through her work with the Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College.

She often publishes academic articles on using the campus as a living laboratory and she originally started the Upper Midwest Association for Campus Sustainability. In addition, she has reviewed proposals for the National Science Foundation and recently wrote a commissioned paper for a National Academy of Sciences workshop.

Her professional experience includes working as an elected supervisor of the Dakota County Soil and Water Conservation District and working at the Office of Environmental Assistance. When she is not at work, she cross country skis, canoes, and tries to keep a garden alive at her family’s farm in southern Minnesota.

Suzanne’s research interests include urban ecology, sustainability, and sustainability education. She is a sought-after speaker about sustainability, campus sustainability, and sustainability faculty development.


Suzanne Savanick Hansen, 2017, “The Campus as a Living Laboratory, Macalester College Case Study Macalester College, USA” in Handbook of Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development in Higher Education, Sustainable Development, Springer . vol 3, pp 223-239. Link to the paper

Savanick Hansen, Suzanne and Sarah Fortner, 2016Geoscience Service-Learning Literature Themes, Commissioned Paper for National Academy of Science Service Learning in the Geosciences Workshop April 20-21, 2016.

Savanick Hansen, Suzanne and Debra Rowe, 2016, “Sustainable Development Primer for Higher Education: Presidents, Chancellors, Trustees and Senior Leaders”, Higher Education Associations for Sustainability Consortium (HEASC).

Suzanne Savanick Hansen and Christopher Wells, 2012, “The Campus as a Teaching Tool:  Case Study of the Macalester College EcoHouse” in WL. Filho (ed) Sustainable Development at Universities: New Horizons. Peter Lang: Frankfurt am Main.

Suzanne Savanick Hansen, Jonathan Bucki, and Justin Lee, 2011, “Engaging the Campus Community through Participatory Sustainability Strategic Planning“, Sustainability: The Journal of Record. v 4, n. 2, pp. 75-79.

Wells, Chris, Suzanne Savanick, and Christie Manning, 2009, “Using a Class to Conduct a Carbon Inventory”, International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, v 10, n 3, pp. 228-238.

Savanick, Suzanne, Richard Strong, and Christie Manning, 2008, “Explicitly Linking Pedagogy and Facilities to Campus Sustainability: Lessons from Carleton College and the University of Minnesota”, Environmental Education Research v 14m n. 6, pp. 667–679.

Savanick, Suzanne, Larry Baker and Jim Perry, 2007, “Case Study for Evaluating Campus Sustainability:  Nitrogen Balance for the University of Minnesota“, Urban Ecosystems, v. 10, n. 2, p. 119-137.

Savanick, Suzanne and Jim Perry, 2006, “Using the Campus Nitrogen Budget to Teach about the Nitrogen Cycle”, Journal of Geoscience Education. v. 54, n. 3, p. 312-319.

Savanick, Suzanne and Jim Perry, 2003, “Urban Ecology and the University Campus” in Koester, Robert (ed.), Connecting to Place: Greening of the Campus 5 Conference Proceedings, Ball State, Indiana, Sept 2003.

Brijdeep S. Bhasin, Thorunn Bjarnadottir, Varsha N. Das, Maia M. Dock, Emily E. Pullins, Jon R. Rosales, Suzanne Savanick, David M. Stricherz, Lark A. Weller, B.S., 2003, “Passport to Earth Summit 2002: A Case Study in Exploring Sustainable Development at the University of Minnesota”, International Journal for Sustainability in Higher Education, v. 4, n. 3, p. 239-249.

Savanick, Suzanne and Jim Perry, 2001, “University of Minnesota Sustainable Campus Initiative” in Koester, Robert (ed.), Moving to the Mainstream: Greening of the Campus 4 Conference Proceedings Vol. IV, Ball State, Indiana, 20-22, Sept 2001.