Student Spotlight

Integrating Resilience and Happiness – Part I
November 5, 2018 — John Hicks

Denmark is consistently ranked as one of the happiest countries in the world. Many have hypothesized various reasons for the happiness scores, but even Danes themselves shrug their shoulders when asked why their country always dominates happiness surveys. It is well documented that they have high-quality healthcare, education and welfare benefits. Many attribute Danish happiness to the cultural phenomenon known as “hygge,” which values intimate personal interactions with family and friends. However, there may be another possible explanation for the… Read More
Madrid’s Urban Ecology Innovations – Part III
October 22, 2018 — Marshall B. Distel

[In Part I of this three-part series, published on October 8, Virginia Tech Master of Natural Resources (MNR) student Marshall Distel introduced the city of Madrid as a case study for working to employ a wide array of innovative strategies related to urban ecology to enhance resilience and sustainability. Part II (October 15) explored Madrid's attempts to support sustainable transportation, green infrastructure, and open space planning. In this final installment, Marshall will review urban ecology and governance in Madrid.]  … Read More
Are We Too Tribal for Global Sustainability?
October 18, 2018 — Casey Bata

When I was first getting to know my fiancé, I remember being very nervous to ask what I thought was an extremely important question. A question that, if answered “incorrectly," could lead to the quick demise of our new relationship. I mustered up the courage and tried to sound casual. “So... who is your football team?” Crazy, right? I was nervous about who his football team would be... as if it would be a deal breaker. His response caught me… Read More
Madrid’s Urban Ecology Innovations – Part II
October 15, 2018 — Marshall B. Distel

[In Part I of this three-part series, published on October 7, Virginia Tech Master of Natural Resources (MNR) student Marshall Distel introduced the city of Madrid as a case study for working to employ a wide array of innovative strategies related to urban ecology to enhance resilience and sustainability. In this installment, Marshall explores Madrid's attempts to support sustainable transportation, green infrastructure, and open space planning.]   In order to fight air pollution and climate change, while also supporting equitable… Read More
Madrid’s Urban Ecology Innovations – Part I
October 8, 2018 — Marshall B. Distel

The world is rapidly urbanizing. While the global urban population grew to nearly 4 billion people in 2014, it is predicted to increase to 6.5 billion people by 2050 (McDonnell & MacGregor-Fors, 2016). Moreover, according to recent estimates developed by the United Nations, two out of three of the world’s inhabitants will live in urban areas by 2050 (Haase et al., 2018). As the global population continues to grow and become more urbanized, city governments and policymakers from around the… Read More