Climate Mitigation or Adaptation? Picking the chicken or the egg
September 24, 2013 — Lise Blackburn

Crossing the road from being a civil engineer to being a sustainability professional has me thinking about climate mitigation and adaption, and what role I should play in either.   If I focus on the egg (climate mitigation), then the chicken (climate adaptation) may not hatch or at least may stay a chick for a longer time.  But the egg will eventually hatch and the chicken coop can’t be built overnight.  It takes time to plan and adapt to the myriad… Read More
Why Should Philanthropists Care About the Environment?
September 24, 2013 — Emily Talley

Philanthropists care deeply about helping the world’s most vulnerable populations, particularly with the fundamental building blocks of food, shelter, healthcare and other human services. The link between these basic needs and our environment is usually brought to light by natural disasters – droughts, floods, severe storms – and sudden or cumulative air and water pollution. Despite the link between environmental quality and human health and welfare, individual, corporate and foundation giving for education, health and human services generally trumps support… Read More
Sustainability in the slums
September 23, 2013 — Courtney Kimmel

The island city of Bombay is home to almost 20 million people.  Eleven million of these people live in one of the 2,000 slums scattered in marginal nooks and crannies around the city.  That’s half of the city’s population living on 8% of the land.  One million people live on the 432 acres called Dharavi, Asia’s largest (or second largest depending on metrics) slum – the oldest in India.  We drove along one edge, slowly steering through the piles of… Read More
Masters Students Explore a More Sustainable Food System
September 13, 2013 — Emily Talley, Kiel Stone

If you have to spend a beautiful Friday evening in a classroom setting, it’s hard to beat the Airlie Center in Central Virginia. A trailblazer among sustainable and “green” conference facilities, the Airlie Center recently hosted our 2014 XMNR cohort. A delicious and locally sourced dinner was presented to XMNR students in a beautiful setting alongside Airlie’s garden. As dinner unfolded, we heard presentations from the Airlie Center’s sous chef and from Virginia Tech faculty member, Founder, and Principal of… Read More
Sustainable Agriculture: The Value of Targeted Partnerships
September 5, 2013 — Iris Picat, Jeremy Orr

As graduate students in Virginia Tech’s Executive Master of Natural Resources (XMNR) program, we recently had the pleasure of touring Claude and Carla Chapman’s grass-fed cattle farm in Bealeton, VA.  Situated along Harper’s Run, which runs into the Marsh Run Watershed, the Chapmans had managed a successful multi-generational farm enterprise when they began to consider sustainable upgrades to their operations. The John Marshall Soil and Conservation District of Fauquier County had been reaching out to the Chapmans for years in… Read More