For the 2015–2016 academic year, RCP collaborated with Carver County and its partners on 29 projects that were matched with 50 courses across 22 academic departments at the University of Minnesota, providing hands-on, applied research opportunities to more than 350 graduate, professional, and upper-division undergraduate students.

The projects are described below. Where available, links are provided to final student reports, presentations, and posters.

Energy and Environmental Stewardship Projects

Alternative Energy Development and Regulation in Carver County
Project Goal: 
Identify best practices and policy tools that can be used by County and local government to accommodate and attract high-quality solar and other alternative energy projects while protecting community interests.
Sponsoring Agency: Carver County Community Development Agency (CDA)
Project Lead: Brenda Lano, Carver County CDA

PA 5721: Energy and Environmental Policy (Instructor: Elizabeth Wilson)  Final Report + Presentation + Poster | Video Spot

Chaska Solar Fields
Project Goal: Evaluate three parcels in Chaska that have been identified as potential sites for a solar field. Results of this project will lead to development of renewable green power to serve Chaska residents and the municipal utility.
Sponsoring Agency: City of Chaska
Project Lead: Andrew Romine, City of Chaska

BBE 5733: Renewable Energy Technologies (Instructor: Min Addy)  Final Report and Presentation

Facility Energy Use
Project Goal: 
Determine options for integrating renewable energy sources into Carver County government buildings, including the government center in Chaska and the public works building in Cologne.
Sponsoring Agency: Carver County Administration Department
Project Lead: Nick Koktavy, Carver County

BBE 5733: Renewable Energy Technologies (Instructor: Min Addy)
Solar Outdoor Lighting  Final Report and Presentation
Wind Power  Final Report and Presentation
Solar Water Heater  Final Report and Presentation

Evaluation of Stormwater Reuse Practices
Project Goal: 
Determine best practices in developing stormwater re-use (irrigation) systems that account for soil suitability, vegetation types, application areas and rates, efficient storage, maintenance, redundancies, and monitoring effectiveness to inform updates to the Carver County Water Management Organization Rules and Guidelines.
Sponsoring Agency: Carver County Water Management Organization (WMO)
Project Lead: Paul Moline, Tim Sundby, and Charlie Sawdey, Carver County WMO

CEGE 5511: Urban Hydrology and Water Quality (Instructor: John Gulliver)
Storm Water Reuse  Final Report and Poster | Final Presentation
Lake Waconia Best Management Practices  Final Report + Presentation + Poster
Grace Chain of Lakes Best Management Practices  Final Report + Presentation + Poster

Watertown Whitewater Park
Project Goal: Investigate the feasibility of removing or restructuring the dam on the Crow River to enhance the fishery in the river and create a whitewater recreation attraction in the City of Watertown.
Sponsoring Agency: Carver County Water Management Organization (WMO)
Project Lead: Paul Moline, Carver County WMO

FNRM 5101: Park and Protected Area Tourism (Instructor: Ingrid Schneider)  Final Report

PA 5253: Designing Planning & Participation Processes (Instructor: Carissa Slotterback)  Final Report and Poster

CEGE 8602: Stream Restoration Practice (Instructors: Vaughn Voller and Chris Paola)  Group 1 Final Report | Group 2 Final Report and Poster

PA 5145: Civic Participation in Public Affairs (Instructor: Kathy Quick)  Final Report and Poster

Housing Opportunity Projects

Barriers to the Development of Affordable Rental Housing and Single Family Owner Occupied Homes
Project Goal: Build on the results of the recently completed Comprehensive Housing Needs Assessment by Maxfield Research by analyzing how existing County and City policies, codes, and practices impact market supply for senior housing, workforce housing, and housing for homeless populations.
Sponsoring Agency: Carver County Community Development Agency (CDA)
Project Lead: Allison Stretch, Carver County CDA

HSG 4461: Housing Development and Management (Lyn Bruin)  Final Poster

PA 5261: Housing Policy (Instructor: Ed Goetz)  Group 1 Final Report | Group 2 Final Report

Housing Improvement Area (HIA) Needs Assessment
Project Goal: 
Determine the need for HIAs within Carver County, and research and evaluate approaches being used nationally to administer HIAs.
Sponsoring Agency: Carver County Community Development Agency (CDA)
Project Lead: Brenda Lano, Carver County CDA

PA 5261: Housing Policy (Instructor: Ed Goetz)  Final Report

Promoting the Expansion of the Carver County Community Land Trust throughout Carver County
Project Goal: 
Explore how the Carver County Community Development Agency (CDA) can build on the success of the Community Land Trust  program in Waconia by expanding the program to create permanently affordable homeownership options in other communities in Carver County.
Sponsoring Agency: Carver County CDA
Project Lead: Brenda Lano, Carver County CDA

PA 5261: Housing Policy (Instructor: Ed Goetz)  Final Report

Watertown Community Residential Marketing Campaign
Project Goal: 
Develop a marketing campaign that highlights the City of Watertown’s amenities and community characteristics—such as natural resources, schools, and a vibrant downtown—to attract home buyers and business development.
Sponsoring Agency: City of Watertown
Project Lead: Shane Fineran, City of Watertown

PA 5261: Housing Policy (Instructor: Ed Goetz)  Final Report

Alternative Transportation Projects

Trail Wayfinding Signage Plan
Project Goal: Develop a trail wayfinding program for the City of Victoria, and coordinate with neighboring Cities and the County to promote consistent user experiences for trail users.
Sponsoring Agency: City of Victoria
Project Lead: Ann Mahnke, City of Victoria

PA 5511: Community Economic Development (Instructor: Bob Streetar)  Final Report + Presentation + Poster

ARCH 3250: Community Design Practice Workshop (Instructor: James Wheeler)  Final Report

Safe Routes to School: Chaska Community Center and School Complex
Project Goal: Evaluate the Chaska Community Center and School District 112 middle and elementary school complex located at Highway 41 and Engler Boulevard to recommend improvements that would enhance bike and pedestrian access to the area and circulation within the complex.
Sponsoring Agency: City of Chaska
Project Lead: Bill Monk, City of Chaska

CEGE 3201: Introduction to Transportation Engineering (Instructor: David Levinson)  Compiled Final Report | Group 1 Presentation | Group 2 Presentation | Group 3 Presentation | Group 4 Presentation

ARCH 3250: Community Design Practice Workshop (Instructor: James Wheeler)  Final Report

Park & Ride Bicycle and Pedestrian Facilities
Project Goal: Inventory the current pedestrian and bicycle environment at SouthWest Transit park-and-ride facilities, identify options for improvements, and prioritize improvements for implementation.
Sponsoring Agency: SouthWest Transit
Project Lead: Matt Fyten, SouthWest Transit

LA 8554: Project Programming (Advisor: Joe Favour)  Final Report and Presentation

Marketing Transit Sustainability
Project Goal: Develop marketing materials and strategies that can be used to promote the sustainability benefits of SouthWest Transit’s services.
Sponsoring Agency: SouthWest Transit
Project Lead: Matt Fyten, SouthWest Transit

JOUR 4263: Strategic Communication Campaigns (Instructor: Hyejoon Rim)  Final Report and Presentation

Human Services Projects

School-Based Mental Health for Central School District
Project Goal: Identify school-based mental health models and best practice to determine options, implementation strategies, and resource needs for developing such a program for the Central School District, located in Norwood Young America.
Sponsoring Agency: Carver County Public Health Department
Project Lead:
Samantha Downs, Carver County

PUBH 7784: Public Health Administration and Policy Master’s Project (Advisor: Donna McAlpine)  Final Report + Presentation + Poster

Childhood Maltreatment
Project Goal: Analyze the incidence and impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) in the County, and identify opportunities to build resistance, support families, and strengthen communities to reduce the incidence of childhood maltreatment.
Sponsoring Agency: Carver County Public Health Department
Project Lead
Jean Pierson, Carver County

PUBH 7784: Public Health Administration and Policy Master’s Project (Advisor: Dr. Ezra Golberstein)  Final Report

Mobile Home Parks: Demographics, Needs, Amenities
Project Goal: Assess the public-health needs of mobile-home community residents in Carver County, and identify interventions and communication strategies that are culturally appropriate for residents.
Sponsoring Agency: Carver County Public Health Department
Project Lead:
Tami LaGow, Carver County

PA 5253: Designing Planning & Participation Processes (Instructor: Carissa Slotterback)  Group 1 Final Report | Group 2 Final Report | Group 3 Final Report

PUBH 7784: Public Health Administration and Policy Master’s Project (Advisor: Beth VIrnig)  Final Report and Poster

SW 8551: Advanced Community Practice: Assessment, Organizing, and Advocacy (Instructor: Liz Lightfoot)  Final Report and Poster

Offender Employment Infrastructure Development
Project Goal: Promote hiring of ex-offenders by local employers in Carver County, and develop strategies for ex-offenders to be successfully reintroduced into the local workforce and to sustain successful placements .
Sponsoring Agency: Carver County Social Services Department
Project Lead: Rod Franks, Carver County

OLPD 5204: Designing the Adult Education Program (Instructor: Catherine Twohig)  Final Report and Presentation

Community Engagement and Education Projects

Victoria Water Conservation and Education Program
Project Goal: Develop a water conservation and education program to reduce outdoor water use for lawn irrigation in the City of Victoria.
Sponsoring Agency: City of Victoria
Project Lead: Cara Geheren, City of Victoria

OLPD 5204: Designing the Adult Education Program (Instructor: Catherine Twohig)  Final Report and Presentation

Downtown Waconia Water Quality Education Campaign
Project Goal: Based on results from a recent resident “knowledge, attitudes, and practices” survey, develop education and marketing tools that the Carver County Water Management Organization (WMO) can use to encourage and assist residents to implement best-management practices that treat storm water runoff and improve surface water quality.
Sponsoring Agency: Carver County Water Management Organization (WMO)
Project Lead: Madeline Seveland, Carver County WMO

OLPD 5204: Designing the Adult Education Program (Instructor: Catherine Twohig)  Final Report and Presentation

Latino Community Engagement Exploration
Project Goal: Identify best practices and strategies for Carver County, local governments, and other agencies to more effectively engage the Latino population in the county about community services and programming.
Sponsoring Agency: Carver County Public Health Department
Project Leads: Jennifer Anderson, Carver County; Sam Pertz, Carver County; Jackie Johnston, Eastern Carver County School District

PA 5253: Designing Planning & Participation Processes (Instructor: Carissa Slotterback)  Final Report and Poster

PUBH 6630: Foundations of Maternal and Child Health (Instructor: Zobeida Bonilla)  Group 1: Final Report + Presentation + Poster | Group 2: Final Report and Presentation | Group 3: Final Report + Presentation + Poster | Group 4: Final Report + Presentation + Poster

PUBH 7784: Public Health Administration and Policy Master’s Project (Advisor: Kirk Allison)  Final Report and Presentation

PA 8081: Participating in Policy and Planning Capstone Workshop (Instructor: Kathy Quick)  Final Report and Presentation

SPAN 3404: Medical Spanish and Community Health Services (Instructor: Emilce Lopez)  Final Presentation and Poster

Assessing Adult Learner Needs
Project Goal: Identify and assess models and strategies for delivering adult education programming in the absence of a higher education institution within Carver County.
Sponsoring Agency: Eastern Carver County School District (ISD 112)
Project Lead: Jackie Johnston, Eastern Carver County School District

OLPD 5296: Field Experience in Adult Education (Advisor: Rosemarie Park)  Final Report

Community Identity Projects

Eco-Tourism Marketing Plan
Project Goal: Create a marketing plan that encompasses the unique natural amenities located in Victoria and Eastern Carver County, including parks, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, lakes and water bodies, outdoor recreation activities, wineries and orchards, breweries, and other businesses that are accessible via bike and pedestrian trails and that appeal to visitors seeking to revel in the outdoors.
Sponsoring Agency: City of Victoria
Project Lead: Ben Landhauser, City of Victoria

FNRM 5101: Park and Protected Area Tourism (Instructor: Ingrid Schneider)  Group 1: Final Report and Presentation | Group 2: Final Report and Presentation

JOUR 4263: Strategic Communication Campaigns  (Instructor: Hyejoon Rim)  Group 1: Final Report and Presentation | Group 2: Final Report and Presentation

Historic Andrew Peterson Farmstead and the Urban/Rural Edge
Project Goal: Inform planning and historic preservation efforts related to the Andrew Peterson Farmstead to maximize the site’s potential as a public resource and an historic attraction.
Sponsoring Agency: Carver County Historical Society
Project Lead: Wendy Petersen-Biorn, Carver County Historical Society

ARCH 5672: Historic Building Conservation (Instructor: Todd Grover)  Final Report and Poster

ANTH 8777: Master’s Thesis (Advisor: Katherine Hayes)  Final Report

ARCH 3250: Community Design Practice Workshop (Instructor: James Wheeler)  Final Reports

SCAN 3504: Emigration, Immigration, Integration: The Nordic Experience (Instructor: Lena Norman)  (Report unavailable)

Administration Projects

Measuring Innovation
Project Goal: Evaluate the impacts and outcomes of Carver County’s continuous improvement and innovation programs. Specifically, the County is interested in methods for evaluating outcomes of LEAN/Kaizen events, explaining innovation outcomes to the public, and developing more intentional approaches to outcomes measurement going forward.
Sponsoring Agency: Carver County Administrative Services Department
Project Lead: Nick Koktavy, Carver County

MBA 6220: Operations Management (Instructor: Scott Martens)
Final Report: Compiled Report (Groups 1-9)
Final Presentations: Group 1 (unavailable) | Group 2 | Group 3 | Group 4 | Group 5 | Group 6 | Group 7 | Group 8 | Group 9

PA 5311: Program Evaluation (Instructor: Jodi Sandfort)  Final Report and Presentation

Victoria Firefighter Recruitment/Retention and Staffing Model Study
Project Goal: Review the City of Victoria’s firefighter staffing model and identify options for meeting increased service needs that will result from anticipated future population growth.
Sponsoring Agency: City of Victoria
Project Lead: Laurie Hokkanen, City of VIctoria

PSY 5707: Personnel Psychology (Campbell and Ones) Final Report and Poster | Final Presentation

Implementation of GIS Tools
Project Goal: Inform the City of Watertown about how GIS tools available through its partnership with the Carver County GIS Office can best be employed in the field to increase staff efficiency.
Sponsoring Agency: City of Watertown
Project Lead: Shane Fineran, City of Watertown

GIS 8990: Research Problems in GIS (Instructor: Dan Sward)

Sustainable Turf Management
Project Goal: Explore best management practices that the City of Watertown can use to maintain playing field surfaces in a way that meets growing community demand for recreational fields, limits adverse impacts to the environment, and decreases long-term maintenance costs.
Sponsoring Agency: City of Watertown
Project Lead: Shane Fineran, City of Watertown

HORT 4062: Turfgrass Weed and Disease Science and HORT 4063: Turfgrass Science (Instructor: Eric Watkins)  Final Report and Presentation

Aquatic Invasive Species Program Evaluation 
Project Goal: Identify evaluation approaches and methodologies Carver County can use to measure the effectiveness of and impacts of its Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Program to inform future improvements to the program.
Sponsoring Agency: Carver County Water Management Organization (WMO)
Project Lead: Madeline Seveland, Carver County WMO

PA 5311: Program Evaluation (Leah G. Moses) Final Report + Logic Model + Poster

Evaluation of Intercultural Specialist Program
Project Goal: To conduct a formative evaluation of the Intercultural Specialist program for Eastern Carver County School District Community Education.
Sponsoring Agency: Eastern Carver County School District Community Education
Project Lead: Jackie Johnston, Eastern Carver County School District

PUBH 7784: Public Health Administration and Policy Master’s Project (Advisor: Zobeida Bonilla)   Final Report + Poster