2014 XMNR International Residency


Every year, Executive Master of Natural Resource (XMNR) students, within the Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability (CLiGS), participate in an International Residency (IR) to help broaden their understanding of global sustainability challenges and strategies being developed to address them. Thanks to these trips, the XMNR program, geared towards full-time working professionals, provides students with concrete international experience, dealing with real world sustainability issues.

During the Spring 2014 semester, the 2013-2014 cohort spent four months researching environmental challenges and opportunities in China before heading to Yunnan Province, in the southwest corner of the country, for two weeks. Once on the ground, students deepened their understanding of the situation through interviews and personal observations. The cohort was organized into four teams, each focusing on different strategies for sustainability:

  • Housing Development. The housing team partnered with the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) Housing Knowledge Community to explore issues surrounding sustainable housing in Yunnan Province, and to provide recommendations on best development practices.
  • Sustainable Tourism. Divided into two sub-teams, this group explored the role of tourism for sustainable development.  One group focused on luxury tourism while the other examined heritage tourism. Each team gathered data on best practices in tourism development that manages preservation of the natural and cultural landscape.
  • Networking Best Practices. This team determined best practices for forming Sino-American partnerships in China, and identified environmental networking needs in the Yunnan Province specifically.

The IR experience helped this group of professionals apply the skills and knowledge they’d learned throughout the XMNR, creating tangible products, and expanding their cross-cultural competencies.