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Faculty Profiles

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    TrishKenlon_VT MNR_certifications_blogpost
    Career Coaching Series: What certification should I get if I want to work in sustainability? , article

    If you’re confused by certifications in the sustainability field, you’re not alone. Trish Kenlon, founder of Sustainable Career Pathways and one of our Career Coaches, offers a practical guide to navigating the certification landscape.

    Date: Oct 12, 2021
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    A typical street scene in Manshiyat Naser, or “Garbage City,” an informal settlement on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt. Local residents, known as the Zabaleen, are organized in the collecting, sorting, and recycling of millions of tons of Cairo’s refuse, providing an essential service to the megacity where municipal services are often lacking. Photo: Michael Mortimer
    Consider your culture: MNR students learn to reflect on social norms in environmental decision-making , article

    How culturally competent are you? Recognizing the importance of cultural context in sustainability issues, the Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability (CLiGS) administers a standardized cultural competence assessment to all graduate students in degree programs to help them recognize and improve blind spots.

    Date: Aug 24, 2021
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    Kariega Game Reserve, Eastern Cape, South Africa; Photo by Dr. Michael Mortimer*
    Climate change solutions from the other side of the world: Neil Dampier to lead a Global Study to South Africa , article

    CLiGS faculty and OMNR alum Neil Dampier grew up in apartheid-era South Africa. Now, he is teaching OMNR students about the connection between social inequality and natural resources disparity through the “Global Issues in Natural Resources” course, which includes a 10-Day Global Study in South Africa.

    Date: May 18, 2021
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    climate protest sign
    Environmental justice activist Dr. Marcy Schnitzer joins Online MNR faculty , article

    Different perspectives, voices, and backgrounds serve as a foundation on which to build an ethical society that is fair and just, says Dr. Marcy Schnitzer. A new faculty member in our Online MNR program, Schnitzer brings over 25 years of promoting diversity and inclusion in higher education, research, and the nonprofit sector. She is teaching the “Environmental Ethics” and “Strategies for Sustainability” courses.

    Date: Feb 16, 2021
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    Climate resilience of island nations and coastal cities: Cuba, Iceland, Amsterdam, Venice
    Climate resilience of island nations and coastal cities: Cuba, Iceland, Amsterdam, Venice , article

    If your dreams of island getaways or beach vacations immediately bring up concerns about rising sea levels and sinking cities, you are not alone! Different countries around the world are developing adaptation approaches to survive and thrive in the Anthropocene, and we have designed Global Study experiences for our sustainability students to explore some of these approaches first-hand in locations as geographically, economically, and culturally diverse as Iceland, Cuba, Venice, and Amsterdam.

    Date: Dec 15, 2020
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    Photo of plastic pollution on a bean in Ghana
    What can we do about global plastic pollution? , article

    Plastic pollution is a new hot issue in global sustainability, and the debate is quickly moving from the sphere of science into international trade and politics. The ecologist and Online MNR faculty member Dr. Michelle Hilleary shares highlights from her study of the environmental and economic effects of growing plastic waste recently published by the journal “Science.”

    Date: Nov 05, 2020
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    Solving complex sustainability issues starts with clear communication
    Solving complex sustainability issues starts with clear communication , article

    Sustainability issues are complex and often hotly debated. Knowing how to talk about challenging subjects with diverse audiences is key to solving them. Not surprisingly, successful communication starts with empathy—an ability to really listen and put yourself in the shoes of the person or group with whom you’re trying to communicate. Instructor Mary Berry teaches students in our Online Master of Natural Resources program how to become effective sustainability communicators in her course Leadership Communication for Sustainability Professionals.

    Date: Oct 20, 2020
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    Virginia Beach, VA. Photo: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Norfolk District, United States. Wikimedia Commons
    Virginia Beach: bracing for local impact of global climate change , article

    “Climate change is a global phenomenon, but its effects reflect local and regional conditions. Developing and selecting adaptation strategies that reflect geographic idiosyncrasies, as well as the needs and values of multiple stakeholders, isn’t always easy,” writes Jennie Hoffman, marine ecologist and one of the newest XMNR faculty members.

    Date: Oct 13, 2020
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    A famous neon sign with an iconic image of Eva Peron in downtown Buenos Aires.
    Buenos Aires and Mendoza: exploring environmental sustainability in Argentina , article

    This October, students in Virginia Tech’s Online Master of Natural Resources (OMNR) program would have embarked on a 10-day Global Study trip to Argentina, where they would have immersed themselves in new landscapes and studied sustainability issues firsthand. While all overseas trips have been postponed in compliance with the university’s travel policies, we look forward to going back to Argentina as soon as it is safe to travel again.

    Date: Sep 10, 2020
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    book cover image
    Leadership: it’s wicked important, according to new book by CLiGS faculty , article

    Virginia Tech faculty take on pervasive sustainability challenges in a new book Leadership for Sustainability: Strategies for Tackling Wicked Problems, slated to be released in the fall by Island Press. CLiGS Founding Director and one of the book’s authors Dr. Michael Mortimer emphases its timeliness during the COVID pandemic, pointing to “the deep polarization and politicization, disregard for salient facts, distrust of established expertise” that exacerbate so many of today’s environmental challenges and require leadership that can bridge these chasms.

    Date: Aug 04, 2020

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