Nebraska spotlights action towards Sustainable Development Goals

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Nebraska spotlights action towards Sustainable Development Goals

February 25, 2021

Our world is more interconnected than ever. Crises like disease outbreaks, feeding a growing world using limited resources, climate change, race and gender-based violence, economic inequality, access to education, and water insecurity are shining light on the fact that these issues affect many, if not all people, throughout the world.

“The only way to address the wickedly complex challenges we face is a society is through collaboration – here in Nebraska, across the country and around the world,” said Mike Boehm, NU Vice President and Harlan Vice Chancellor of the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Collaboration also means speaking the same language when it comes to naming and framing these wicked issues.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries - developed and developing - in a global partnership,” says the U.N. “They recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.”

While many across the campus community have heard of or are actively incorporating this framework into the grand challenges of which they address, some may not be or may not see how these goals are relevant to the work done for local communities and Nebraska. To aid in this effort, the university is participating in the Sustainable Development Goals Action and Awareness Week 2021, alongside numerous universities across the nation and world, during the week of March 1-5, 2021. 

"Generally, we hope to bring awareness to the SDGs more broadly and to shine a light on the many ways Nebraska faculty, staff, students and others are already doing incredible work to advance these goals, many of which align with Chancellor Green's recently announced 'Grand Challenges,'" said Brianne Wolf, global programs and outreach manager with the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

The practice also aligns with the recently announced university-wide global strategy, as laid out by Associate Vice Chancellor of Global Affairs and Senior International Officer, Josh Davis. The strategy was developed in concert with a committee of faculty and staff from across the university.

"Ultimately, it can be both energizing and effective to frame our work within the larger challenges of the SDGs and galvanize everyone in the community, no matter their position, to take action towards these goals, too," said Wolf. 

All are invited to join a panel discussion featuring a snapshot of the work advancing the SDGs across the university community. Panelists include Yulie Meneses, Research Assistant Professor & Water for Food Processing Specialist, Department of Food Science & Technology; Michael Shambaugh-Miller, Executive Director & Founder, Produce from the Heart and Lecturer, Geography, School of Global Integrative Studies; and Kathryn Woerner, Nebraska student studying environmental studies and natural resource economics. Woerner also serves as Programming Director for the Student Organic Farm & is an ASUN Senator. The conversation will cover advancements towards Goal #2 of Zero Hunger, Goal #6 of Clean Water and Sanitation, Goal #13 of Climate Action, Goal #15 of Life on Land, and Goal #12 Responsible Production and Consumption.

There are many examples of the ways Nebraska is advancing the SDGs in our day-to-day work. The campus community is encouraged to explore and participate in the following events taking place that week that advance many of the goals:

See more events happening this week related to the SDGs here

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln is also a member of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN). The network mobilizes global scientific and technological expertise to promote practical solutions for sustainable development. To learn more about the university's involvement with that network, visit or contact Dave Gosselin at


Are you a faculty or staff member and your work advances one or more of the SDGs? Are you a student involved in a UCare project, student organization programming or other activity that moves the needle on these global challenges? Share about your work and be counted among our university-wide efforts.

Students, interested in learning more about the Sustainable Development Goals and how your classwork, professional development and other experiences connect to them? Contact Brianne Wolf to learn more about our soon-to-be-announced SDG program and ways to get involved.