Jonee Kulman Brigham

Jonee Kulman Brigham, AIA, LEED AP O+M

Senior Research Fellow, Minnesota Design Center, College of Design

Fellow, Institute on the Environment, University of Minnesota

Working in Sustainable & Regenerative Design, Green Schools, and Environmental Education


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Jonee Kulman Brigham works in the area of Sustainable & Regenerative Design, Green Schools, and Environmental Education from an interdisciplinary perspective. She collaborates broadly and draws from her varied experience in a number of roles. She is a Senior Research Fellow at Minnesota Design Center, and Fellow at Institute on the Environment. She is lead researcher on Minnesota GreenStep Schools, a program to challenge, assist, and recognize K-12 schools for their progress in environmental impacts, student and staff health, and environmental education. She also co-leads projects that apply her framework for art and design-led environmental education called Earth Systems Journey which integrates school greening efforts with environmental exploration of the systems interconnecting schools with larger human and natural communities. One example is an LCCMR grant for development of "Mississippi River Water Journey Camps," a program where youth explore the interconnections of drinking water and storm water systems with the Mississippi River and conduct water education and stewardship projects. And prior to that, as a Visiting Scholar in the Art Education program in College of Education and Human Development, Jonee completed "River Journey," a collaborative project with River's Edge Academy charter environmental high school, to apply the Earth Systems Journey framework to the topic of water flows through the school - connecting it upstream and downstream to the Mississippi River and culminating in student GIS story maps to educate the public. This work was made possible by her Fellowship from Institute on the Environment, and in-kind support from many partners. In Fall 2020, she will be co-teaching a course (for the third time) that uses Earth Systems Journey called, "Power Systems Journey," a Grand Challenge course with Paul Imbertson of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department.

In prior work at the University, Jonee was a Research Fellow at the Center for Sustainable Building Research (CSBR) at the College of Design, working as a sustainable design researcher, sustainable guideline developer, and instructor. Before coming to the University of Minnesota, Jonee practiced as an architect and environmental consultant including work for the schools sector. Through her art practice at Full Spring Studio, graduate work, and grant projects, she has developed Earth Systems Journey, a model for experiential, place-based, art-led environmental education. Brigham is advises students for the MS in Architecture - Sustainable Design Track in the College of Design.

More Background

During her first ten years at CSBR, Brigham served in a number of roles. She was Co-Principal Investigator and Co-Editor for the B3 State of Minnesota Sustainable Building Guidelines and led sustainable post occupancy evaluation work at the Center. She was a faculty advisor for the University of Minnesota’s ICON Solar House entry to the DOE/NREL Solar Decathlon. Jonee also served on the Minnesota Greenstar Green Homes and Remodeling Technical Committee, worked on outcome-focused sustainable case study projects for USGBC, and performed materials life cycle analysis studies. She led a daylighting training program for architects, and has taught graduate courses for the School of Architecture in the areas of daylighting, electric lighting and acoustics. She represented the Center as a board member of the Mississippi Headwaters Chapter of the US Green Building Council and served on committees for the technology curriculum and the development of the MS in Architecture - Sustainable Design Track.

During this time, Brigham also completed an interdisciplinary Master of Liberal Studies degree on a model for experiential interconnection in environmental education using art and design to interpret infrastructure and the built environment. She also practices public and studio art through Full Spring Studio. Her art and design-led environmental education project, “Downstream/Upstream: A Journey Through the Urban Water Cycle” was on exhibit at the University of Minnesota Architecture and Landscape Architecture Library in 2012, at Institute on the Environment 2012-2013, and was on exhibit at St. Paul Regional Water Services 2013-2015.

Before coming to the University, Jonee worked at The Weidt Group as an energy and environmental analyst, at Cuningham Group Architects as a practicing schools and restaurant architect and environmental committee member, and at Intep, LLC, as a Senior Project Manager for sustainable schools consulting projects. Based on her varied experience, She co-authored Sustainable Design, a 100-page primer for architects, published in 2001 by the National Council of Architecture Registration Boards. She also served on the AIA Minnesota Housing Advocacy Committee (formerly Search for Shelter Committee,) and the AIA Minnesota Committee on the Environment.