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Adapting the EPIC Model to Institutional Context

Featuring: Maria Dahmus

May 12, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm CT

This online viewing and discussion session is part of the free #2020 EPIC-Network Webinar Series. As part of the transition from an in-person conference to a free, and online, event series, this webinar is open for anyone to attend. After the event ends, its recording will be posted to this page. So even if you cannot attend, you can still engage with its content.

This presentation will explore the question of how to adapt the EPIC Model to the needs of higher education institutions with various missions, sizes, and strengths. Maria will share a case study of adapting the EPIC Model to the University of St. Thomas, a mission-driven liberal arts institution, through the founding and development of the Sustainable Communities Partnership (SCP). She will discuss adaptations of the model including a multi-year partnership structure and on-campus partnerships. Maria will also share an arts-based initiative, SCP Arts, that enriches the public’s engagement with partners’ sustainability goals through collaboration with local artists. Finally, strategies for adapting the EPIC Model to different contexts, while still achieving the overarching goals of an EPIC partnership will be discussed. The session will conclude with an interactive discussion of potential adaptations of the EPIC Model to session participants’ institutions.

Presenter Bios

Maria Dahmus, Ph.D. is the co-founder and director of the Sustainable Communities Partnership (SCP) in the Office of Sustainability Initiatives at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota.  Maria develops and implements the strategic vision for SCP, from multi-year partnerships and project development to daily operations.  In 2017, Maria created SCP Arts. Through SCP Arts, students collaborate with local artists to translate SCP project findings into artwork, bringing to life partners’ sustainability goals for people of all ages.  Maria received her Ph.D. in Environment and Resources at the University of Wisconsin.  She studies social dimensions of sustainability, including the development of common ground and coalitions for natural resource policy among ‘unlikely partners’ and social dimensions of nutrient fluxes in the urban ecosystem.  She has also worked as an experiential educator and has taught a variety of environmental studies courses, partnering on applied projects with cities and other partners, including visual and performing artists.

More about the #2020 EPIC-Network Webinar Series

Usually only paying EPIC-N Members can attend live tapings and review recordings of the EPIC-N Webinars. This event is different. Until June 30, anyone can engage in this contact! After June 30, recordings are posted to the EPIC-N Member Commons, a password protected space for paying member programs to access the full range of resources EPIC-N provides. Details about membership can be found here. Email questions to

View the list of all of the #2020 EPIC-Network Webinar Series events here.