Leadership Interviews

      • art installation of hands holding a building
      • Aug 12, 2019 Sustainability Professionals and the World Around Them

        In 2014, through its core course Global Issues in Environmental Sustainability, CLiGS began providing international experiences for all of its students. Starting with its first program in China, CLiGS now offers study opportunities in China, Morocco, India, South Africa, Croatia, and Cuba. In 2020, Argentina, Iceland, and Spain will be joining the roster. Because CLiGS’s students are so often working professionals, our study experiences are designed to accommodate their schedules—they run from 10 to 12 days, and tie directly to the semester-long course content.

      • glacier
      • Aug 09, 2019 Climate change: a new twist on a very old story

        More than 80 percent of adults in the United States now believe that climate change (i.e, global warming) is happening. However, only slightly more than 50 percent believe that humans are responsible (Pew 2018). Despite the established scientific consensus that our current climate crisis is the result of human activity, nearly half of the adult U.S. population still don’t believe it! And yet, there is more to this story; much more. I suspect that only a very small percentage of people know that humans have been contributing to climate change in significant (and positive) ways for thousands of years.

      • McAfees Knob
      • Sep 24, 2018 Developing Resilience

        Two recent alumni of the Executive Master of Natural Resources (XMNR) program are serving as skill-based volunteers in the nonprofit sector and are playing active leadership roles in Virginia’s environmental resilience. Ellen Graap Loth and Vestal Tutterow work in environmental consulting at Cardno and as program management at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, respectively, but have recently reconnected as board members in the organization, Resilient Virginia, a group dedicated to the vitality of Virginian communities.

      • solar farm
      • Sep 17, 2018 Confidence to Lead Sustainably

        In her former role at the U.S. Department of Commerce, Executive Master of Natural Resources (XMNR) alumna, Becky Long, discovered her passion for sustainability while working with international business leaders across different industries.

      • Mogollon
      • Sep 10, 2018 Leadership and Career Change

        Executive Master of Natural Resources (XMNR) program alumnus Hugo Mogollon had been conducting fieldwork for nearly a decade in Ecuador for the nonprofit Finding Species, before deciding to pursue a managerial role within the organization, graduate school, and then a career change with Community Foodworks in Washington, D.C.

      • painting
      • Aug 20, 2018 Designing Sustainable Landscapes

        Nicole Hersch is a recent Masters of Natural Resources (MNR) graduate who combined her studies in sustainability with the Masters of Landscape Architecture (MLA) program at Virginia Tech. She aims to pair her skills in landscape design with an advanced sense of ecology through a cultural perspective.

      • Nomadic state of mind
      • Jul 23, 2018 Building Trust

        Executive Master of Natural Resources (XMNR) graduate Kelly Watkinson has taken her skills in sustainability leadership to the national level, now working as the Land and Climate Program Manager for the Land Trust Alliance.

      • David Robertson
      • Jan 04, 2018 Building Credentials, Competencies, and Connections

        David Robertson, PhD, is the founding director of the Executive Master of Natural Resources (XMNR) graduate degree program and a Senior Fellow and Associate Director at Virginia Tech’s Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability (CLiGS). In a recent interview, he provided some insight to how the XMNR program provides students with not only a graduate degree and an exceptional learning experience but also professional networking opportunities that help students accomplish their career goals.

      • Apr 06, 2015 Growing Resilient Infrastructure

        With global pressures from rising sea levels and expanding urban centers, resilient infrastructure is a proactive solution to protecting vulnerable communities. Smart design is an increasingly important component in tackling these new development projects, and new types of public-private partnerships are arising to help address the issue. CLiGS recently had the opportunity to interview Shalini Vajjhala about her experiences in trying to provide a link between traditional silos to overcome sustainable development challenges. This interview provides insight on the virtues…

      • Mar 02, 2015 Leading the Way from Forests to Faucets

        Forests improve our drinking water: nearly 75 percent of the Northeast and Midwest region’s population relies on forests to reduce sedimentation and remove excess nutrients from the surface water they drink. CLiGS recently had the opportunity to interview Buck Kline about his experiences as a leader of efforts to improve forests and water. This interview provides insight on the virtues of ecosystem services, associated water quality challenges, and practical skills needed for effective leadership.

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