Listening session on rural community prosperity scheduled in Lincoln @ Nebraska Innovation Campus
Oct 24 @ 8:30 am – 12:00 pm



Two regional convenings in October will offer Nebraskans opportunities to share their best ideas on how the University of Nebraska can help rural communities position themselves for economic success. The listening sessions, which are open to the public, will be held in North Platte on Oct. 15 and in Lincoln on Oct. 24.

“The University of Nebraska is a key resource for the state’s rural communities,” said Mike Boehm, NU Vice President and Harlan Vice Chancellor for the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. “As part of our efforts to ensure the continued competitiveness of our state, we want to help rural communities position themselves for long-term economic prosperity.”

The sessions are organized by a working group charged with creating a comprehensive strategic framework for an innovative, robust and integrated approach to rural community vitality, prosperity and resilience.

The upcoming discussions, to be hosted by Mike Boehm, will invite Nebraskans to share experiences in rural community development and to explore how the University can be most effective in strengthening the economic prosperity and vitality of rural communities.

Session times and locations:

NORTH PLATTE: Oct. 15, 1:30 – 5 p.m., West Central Research and Extension Center, 402 W. State Farm Rd.

LINCOLN: Oct. 24, 8:30 a.m. – noon, Nebraska Innovation Campus, 2021 Transformation Dr.

To register to attend in person or online, visit

For more information, visit

More details at:

Sierra Club Monthly Program: Walkable Communities and Missing Middle Housing with Mode Shift Omaha’s Will Greene, Erica Sladky, and Crystal Edwards @ First United Methodist Church - Enter north side of building, Education wing
Oct 24 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

The need for safe, walkable communities in Omaha has never been more clear than this past year, when we’ve seen numerous pedestrian injuries and even deaths, as well as cyclist injuries. And the desire of Omaha residents, especially millennials, to have alternatives to driving their own cars, whether that be bicycling, walking, or using public transportation, has been growing for over a decade.

Connected to having better and safer transit options is the issue of Missing Middle Housing. “Missing Middle Housing” refers to the lack of diverse housing options in walkable neighborhoods. The “middle” refers to homes that are on the spectrum between detached single-family homes and large apartment buildings—in other words, house-scale buildings with multiple units, often duplexes and fourplexes. The “missing” refers to the mismatch between the available housing stock, and shifting demographic needs.

Mode Shift notes that since 1940, Omaha’s population has increased by 100%, but land use has increased by 350%. On the other hand, infill is less costly and easier to maintain than sprawl, and has significantly fewer environmental impacts. These issues of land use policy, walkability, transit, and environment are interconnected, and Mode Shift Omaha has been having a significant impact in the Omaha community by addressing these issues. Join us to learn more with presentations from members of Mode Shift’s Walkability and Missing Middle Housing teams. We’ll hear the success stories and the barriers to change, and learn about goals for making Omaha a better community for all of us.

Sierra Club programs are free and open to the public. More information at:

Solar Installation Seminar – Nebraska Wind & Solar Conference Event @ Lincoln Marriott Cornhusker Hotel, Green Room-Upper Level
Oct 28 @ 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm

About the Seminar

Whether you’re an electrician, engineer, or a solar installer, there is something new for you to learn from the Solar Installation, Best Practices & NEC 2017 Seminar. Examples of concepts that will be covered are overall system design and solar site selection. Michael Shonka, president of Solar Heat & Electric, Inc. will be the lead speaker of this seminar.

Shonka has 30 years of experience with solar energy projects, including many applications of solar air, water, and electric systems. Solar Heat and Electric, Inc. has a number of firsts in the state of Nebraska: the first net metering installation, community solar project, center pivot system, and solar-heated greenhouse. Shonka is a solar instructor at community colleges in Nebraska and Iowa.

This event is associated with the Nebraska Wind & Solar Conference, which will be held October 29th & 30th at the Cornhusker Hotel. If you are interested in learning more about the opportunities that this conference has to offer, you can find more detailed information at

Register for the seminar here.

12th Annual Nebraska Wind & Solar Conference @ Lincoln Marriott Cornhusker Hotel
Oct 29 – Oct 30 all-day

The Nebraska Wind & Solar Conference is a two-day event that brings together a diverse range of stakeholders from Nebraska and across the country to share the latest information and innovations in wind and solar.

Shaped by volunteers from state agencies, farmer and rancher organizations, public power utilities, the renewable energy industry, and academia – the Nebraska Wind & Solar Conference aims to present accurate and objective information pertaining to all aspects of wind and solar development.

Learn More About The Planning Committee

Registration, Sponsorships and Exhibitor Booths Information

Past Presentations
Past Conference Schedules
Voices from the Community


GreenBiz Webcast – Natural Climate Solutions: Tap into the Opportunities
Nov 12 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am

You’ve heard the good news: forests, agriculture, soils and land have been recognized as key levers in mitigating the negative impacts of climate change. Now, it’s time to harness the power of nature to reach our critical climate goals.

Using concrete project cases, the experts on this interactive webcast will demonstrate how leading companies are working collaboratively to deploy natural climate solutions that reduce climate impacts, assess strategic opportunities, mitigate risks and develop strong partnerships across their supply chains. Our participants will explore how the new Natural Climate Solutions Guidance (NCS Guidance), a GHG accounting methodology on land-related impacts, provides the needed framework to give companies a more robust assessment of the effectiveness of their plans and actions to address deforestation, soil health, land use change, biodiversity, regenerative agriculture and more.

In this interactive session hosted by Quantis, we’ll tackle:

  • What natural climate solutions are, and why everyone is talking about them
  • How companies are implementing natural climate solutions, and what results are already coming in
  • Which market levers are driving the need for natural climate solutions
  • How every company can use the NCS Guidance methodology to account for GHG emissions from land, forests and soils across its supply chain
  • Your questions about natural climate solutions


  • Heather Clancy, Editorial Director, GreenBiz Group


  • Neelke Verhelst, Global Sustainability Operations Lead, Barry Callebaut
  • David Rich, Senior Associate, WRI
  • Jon Dettling, Global Director, Services + Innovation, Quantis

If you can’t tune in live, register and GreenBiz will email you a link to access the archived webcast footage and resources, available to you on-demand after the webcast.


MEEA 2019 Midwest Building Codes Conference @ Magnolia Hotel
Nov 13 – Nov 14 all-day

Join the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA) at the 10th Midwest Building Energy Codes Conference for 2 days of networking and discussion on the future of energy codes.

About this Event

The Midwest Building Energy Codes Conference brings together stakeholders from across the Midwest to discuss how best to promote the adoption and raise compliance with building energy codes across the region. This free annual conference provides an opportunity to network, engage in building science and policy discussions, and learn from leading experts about current and future trends.

Agenda Topics

  • The 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC)
  • Resilience and the Built Environment
  • Energy Code Compliance
  • Municipal Building Policies
  • Net-Zero Buildings
  • Stretch Code Opportunities
  • Agriculture and Building Energy Efficiency
  • And more!

Conference Overview

Wednesday, November 13

  • 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. General Session
  • 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. Networking Dinner

Thursday, November 14

  • 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. General Session

Location & Accommodations

Magnolia Hotel Omaha (map)
1615 Howard St., Omaha, NE 68102
To reserve your room at the conference rate, click here.

Travel Stipends for Government Employees

A limited amount of travel support is available to state and local code officials and other government employees. For more information, please contact Nicole Westfall:


Nebraskans for Solar Event – Solar PV: Starting with a Good Economic Analysis @ UNO Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center, Rooms 201/205
Nov 20 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Our speaker will be John Hay, Associate Extension Educator,
Biological Systems Engineering, UNL

John will present the steps in completing a good economic analysis for a Solar PV system — including the common mistakes leading to poor or misleading analysis; the best economic metric for describing economics of a system (hint: it is not payback period); and going beyond economics, he will discuss how individual goals, values, and motivations impact solar PV decisions.

This event is free and open to the public. Please join us and bring a friend! Refreshments provided. Reserved parking is available in the lot in front of the Community Engagement Center, near the Durham Bell Tower. Enter at the kiosk and let the lot attendant, who is there until 7 pm, know you are a Nebraskans for Solar guest.

Book Drawing 

We’ll hold another drawing, this time for 12 copies of a bestselling how-to guide that will enable you to apply what you learn at this presentation to your own solar project for your home, business or farm.

John is a do-it-yourselfer who designed and installed a photovoltaic system for his home. He also has taught hands-on workshops in communities throughout Nebraska, solely or in partnership with Jon Dixon, owner of Dixon Power Systems based in Lincoln.

Install Your Own Solar Panels: Designing and Installing a Photovoltaic System to Power Your Home is a fully-illustrated step-by-step guide written by veteran solar installer Joseph Burdick and long-time builder Philip Schmidt.

Nebraskans for Solar & OPPD Event: The Potential for Combined Renewable Energy & Battery Installations @ UNO Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center, Rooms 230 & 231
Dec 11 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Courtney Kennedy, OPPD Alternative Energy Program Manager, will moderate the panel discussion and facilitate audience questions.


  • Josh Moenning, Norfolk Mayor and founder of New Power Nebraska

  • David Rich, Nebraska Public Power District Sustainable Energy Manager

  • Michal Lisowyj, OPPD Alternative Energy Specialist

Additional details will be posted closer to the event’s date.

Nebraskans for Solar / Nebraska Solar Schools Volunteers Meeting @ UNO Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center, Meeting Room 127
Jan 14 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

We are hosting a roundtable discussion / work party for everyone interested in volunteering to help with and provide your input on our events, programs and projects. We will discuss volunteer opportunities and assemble materials for Earth Day celebrations, Nature Nights and other events, presentations and hands-on workshops. At this work party we will put together Solar Cooker Kits.

Refreshments provided. Reserved parking is available in the lot in front of the Community Engagement Center.

Questions? Please contact Helen Deffenbacher: