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Day Two- What does the future look like for North Central MN?

Hear from Megan Dayton, Senior Demographer, and Jason Edens, Instructor at Central Lakes College, as they share about future considerations for demographic and environmental/energy impacts and our civic responsibility to steward these changes. 

Presenter: Megan Dayton,
State Demographic Center


Megan Dayton is a Senior Demographer at Minnesota’s State Demographic Center. Since 2012, she has been responsible for preparing demographic projections for the State of Minnesota, 13 Economic Development Regions, and 87 counties. Serving in this role, Megan is Minnesota's state representative to the Federal-State Cooperative Program for Population Projections (FSCPP) with the U.S. Census Bureau. Megan’s work involves the creation of school district estimates upon request for intercensal levy cycle funding and providing data analysis for state agencies, councils, and legislators. 

Megan’s research interests include improving upon existing data modeling techniques used for state and sub-state areas, as well as social stratification and more general demographic trends related to fertility, mortality, and migration patterns. Megan has hands-on knowledge of social and economic realities brought about by recent demographic shifts. Her work engages an attentive approach to relating current demographic trends with the resulting likelihoods.

Megan holds a master's degree in applied demography from the Center for Demography and Population Health at the Florida State University.

Presenter: Jason Edens,
Central Lakes College

Jason Edens Headshot

Jason Edens is an instructor at Central Lakes College where he serves as the Department Chair of the Environmental Studies and Geography Departments, and is also the host of Lakeland Currents on PBS.


Jason is a long-time thought leader on energy, equity and the environment. Having launched and managed an award-winning national nonprofit dedicated to an inclusive clean energy future, low-income households nationwide are able to actively participate in the renewable energy revolution thanks in good part to his Solar Assistance innovation. Jason has helped draft clean energy legislation at the state and federal level, catalyzed clean energy and environmental projects in BIPOC communities around the world, delivered solar energy solutions to schools and businesses around our region, and even started an international environmental organization nominated for a United Nations Environment Program Award when he lived in Japan. 


Jason has received numerous accolades throughout his career, including the Bush Prize for Innovation, a US Department of Energy Solar in Your Community National Award, Bemidji State University Distinguished Alumni of the Year in 2018, Minnesota Environmental Initiative Award. He graduated from the University of St. Thomas’ Institute for Executive Director leadership, holds a Master of Science degree in Environmental Policy and Planning from Bemidji State University, and earned his B.S. in Social Science Secondary Education from the University of Georgia. He loves teaching at Central Lakes College, driving his solar-powered electric car to work, and spending his summers conducting water quality research on Lake Superior aboard a sailing vessel.

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