Photo by snoeziesterre on Flickr. CC2.0

Demand an Urban Forest that Works for Us

There is a basic (mis)understanding in the construction industry that the nicer a building’s landscape looks, the more expensive it will be to install and maintain. A property owner’s willingness to pay a price for looking well-kept depends largely on the type of property being managed. A luxury apartment building, upscale shopping mall or gated community is more likely to happily invest in maintenance fees than “functional” establishments such as auto body shops, elementary schools or barracks buildings on a military installation. In locations where a fussy landscape is not critical to the function of the establishment, owners will frequently opt for simple planting palettes comprised mostly of lawn, which is (mis)understood to be low maintenance. (more…)

Marc Stern, CLiGS

Let’s Start by Trusting Each Other

Trust is key to any relationship. That is a well-known truth excessively written about in popular literature. The distinction with a recent article titled The Multidimensionality of Trust: Applications in Collaborative Natural Resource Management co-authored by Marc Stern, Associate Professor at Virginia Tech and Fellow at the Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability (CLiGS), is the way it approaches trust. It decomposes its elements and describes four of the forms it takes under the natural resource management umbrella – dispositional trust, rational trust, affinitive trust, and procedural trust. (more…)

TJ Franklin, XMNR

TJ Franklin – Preparing for Transition to Civilian Life

Although not retiring his military apparel just yet, Thomas (TJ) Franklin, current Executive Master of Natural Resources (XMNR) student, is already thinking of how best to prep for the transition to civilian life.

“The Navy is all I know, and I hope to get into the sustainability field when I retire. I’ve never had to job hunt so the things the program emphasizes will better assist me in that transition,” says TJ. The program is also helping him build friendships and a professional network he hopes to lean on when he gets out. (more…)


Corporate Sustainability Practices for Small Manufacturing Enterprises

What exactly is corporate sustainability? The definition varies, but it is most commonly used to refer to business strategies and activities that meet the needs of the enterprise and its stakeholders while protecting, sustaining, and enhancing the human and natural resources that will be needed in the future. Vestal Tutterow, an Executive Master of Natural Resources (XMNR) alumnus, wrote a report based on a literature review and personal communications with managers he did as part of his graduate capstone project. (more…)

Brian Linden in China

Luxury Tourism: Going Green in China

How do you go from being an art dealer in Wisconsin to a successful hotelier and influential green business advocate in China?  Brian Linden did it by pioneering the market niche of sustainable luxury tourism emerging within the larger multi-trillion dollar tourist industry.

China is relatively new to domestic tourism, but as is typical of most things Chinese, its tourism industry is developing on a grand scale, experiencing double-digit growth. The extraordinary economic development that lifted out of poverty and urbanized hundreds of millions of people is fueling an equally dramatic explosion of domestic tourism. (more…)

Mark Wieder

Why I Went Back to School for a Second Graduate Degree

Are you currently facing the tough decision of whether or not to pursue a professional level degree, or are you considering a career transition? Anyone facing a difficult career change, as I did, should consider the following: What is ultimately convincing you to follow your aspiration, or alternatively, what is holding you back?

In this post I reveal the driving factors that led me to pursue an Executive Masters of Natural Resources (XMNR) degree after obtaining my Juris Doctor (JD) law degree. (more…)