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Interested in serving on an RSDP board?

Learn more about opportunities to work with fellow community members and University faculty and staff who are passionate about sustainability in your region.

Doug presenting Ardy with certificate of appreciation

Northeast RSDP current and former board chairs Doug Franchot and Ardy Nurmi-Wilberg.


The University of Minnesota Extension Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDP) support sustainable development throughout Greater Minnesota in the areas of agriculture and food systems, clean energy, tourism and resilient communities, and natural resources by fostering community-university partnerships involving education, research, and outreach.

Regional boards

RSDP conducts its work through regional governing boards. Each RSDP region (Central, Northeast, Northwest, Southeast and Southwest) has a board composed of community volunteers and University faculty and staff. We strive to have three community board members for every University member.

Our boards are committed to building partnerships that connect the citizens of their region to local assets and the education, research and outreach resources of the University of Minnesota. These boards build partnerships in the region, connect RSDP work to regional sustainability issues, review project proposals, and make decisions about the allocation of University resources toward projects that demonstrate public purpose.

Roles and responsibilities

RSDP board members function as a team, working with local communities to identify and implement programs and projects that foster sustainable systems in our four focus areas of agriculture and food systems, tourism and resilient communities, natural resources, and clean energy. The board solicits, evaluates and votes on proposals. The board coordinates and leverages the resources of the University of Minnesota and other partners, and ensures active community participation and shared decision-making.

Board members are asked to serve for three years, participate in regular board and focus area work group meetings—both in-person and by conference calls—contributing time, energy and insight to the projects. Mileage and honorarium for agreed upon meetings and special assignments are paid by the regional RSDP through the University of Minnesota. Board membership is open to residents of Greater Minnesota and University of Minnesota faculty, staff, and students.

Sean and Katherine talking while standing in front of a lake

Southwest RSDP board members Sean Yang and Kathryn Kelly.


Whether you are a community volunteer or University faculty, there are many benefits to serving on an RSDP regional board.

Benefits to community members

Benefits to University faculty and staff

Eric Kaler, Jim Chamberlin and Bob Backman standing together at 20th anniversary event

University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler, Central RSDP board member Jim Chamberlain, and Northwest RSDP board member Bob Backman.

Characteristics of RSDP board members

Board application

Interested in serving on an RSDP regional board? We encourage you to apply!

If you have questions completing this form, please contact your regional Executive Director:

Central  I Northeast I Northwest I Southeast I Southwest

Click here to apply to an RSDP board today!
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