Missy nergard Portrait Photograph

Missy Nergard

Director of Sustainability

Office of Sustainability

Hometown: Neenah, WI

Missy Nergard is the Director of Sustainability for the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In this enterprise level role, she integrates sustainability as a cross-sector, transdisciplinary platform in research and academics, public-private partnerships, and the built environment. Her research is on organizational system hierarchies that compartmentalize knowledge and inhibit connections to larger system interactions. Missy has an extensive history of community service, including training and handling operational K9s for emergency first-responder agencies. She has over twenty-five years of experience in higher education administration and sustainability, and twenty years of experience in search and rescue, and disaster response.

Talks:

  • A discussion on learning spaces and how they can be more effectively designed to enhance learning and social equity outcomes. This talk provides examples and student testimonials of how spaces contribute to or inhibit their ability to learn and feel welcome, and how research on cognition and well-being can be successfully integrated into the design of our learning environments.
  • Successful programs are often lauded as a linear endeavor – we started at A and we ended at B. The narrative frequently forgoes the middle part of the journey – the often grueling, circuitous route through bureaucratic morass and organizational pitfalls. Using the model of adaptive operating systems developed by Leith Sharp, Director of Executive Education for Sustainability at Harvard, this talk provides some handy tools to guide the journey through the squiggle in every endeavor.
  • Ever have trouble explaining what sustainability is? Need help identifying it in your own organization? Would you like to be able to point to more than your recycling bins and solar panels to demonstrate the sustainability of your organization. This talk provides an overview of sustainability at an enterprise level and will help frame a narrative so that you can tell your sustainability story.