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Sustainability Case Studies

  • Article Item
    Anne Usher examining tide pools
    Mapping ocean plastic: OMNR student Anne Usher partners with nonprofit to stem flow , article

    Online MNR Student Anne Usher recently served as an advisor to OpenOceans Global, a marine nonprofit organization devoted to modeling the flow of plastic into the ocean. Anne credits the graduate program with giving her a much stronger understanding of the science of climate change and coastal and marine environments.

    Date: Jul 20, 2021
  • Article Item
    The Green Globe-certified El Dorado Royale by Karisma resort in Playa del Carmen, Mexico
    Can the tourism industry “come back better”? , article

    Makayla Haertel, a student in the Executive Master of Natural Resources (XMNR) program, recently had an opportunity to visit a Green Globe-certified resort in Mexico. She shares her reflections on the potential of sustainable tourism.

    Date: Jul 13, 2021
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    Saving the American French fry: climate change impacts on agriculture
    Saving the American French fry: climate change impacts on agriculture , article

    Online MNR student Brett Hundley examines climate adaptation strategies for potatoes grown in the U.S. Pacific Northwest as part of his program coursework.

    Date: Jul 06, 2021
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    Greening the telecommunications industry: XMNR alum and Cox Communications VP Jeff Merritt makes big strides
    Greening the telecommunications industry: XMNR alum and Cox Communications VP Jeff Merritt makes big strides , article

    A telecommunications industry veteran and XMNR alum Jeff Merritt is on a mission to help one of the largest telecom providers in the country to not only become a more sustainable company but to ensure that it can adapt to and continue to thrive despite operational challenges caused by climate change.

    Date: Jun 01, 2021
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    Stefano Boeri Architetti's Forest City
    Vertical Forest City: China’s sustainable urban development , article

    Historically seen as one of the world’s worst polluters, China is emerging as an environmental leader, with a long-term vision and political will to carry it out. Author and recent XMNR alumna Karen (Songyi) Zhang uses the example of Italian-designed Vertical Forest City in the southwestern city of Liuzhou, as a vivid illustration of that commitment.

    Date: Mar 09, 2021
  • Article Item
    barn photo
    Leading climate adaptation in rural America , article

    Rural economies and environments are being eroded by climate change, but many communities lack the political will and resources to respond. Dr. Bruce Hull shares the work of several sustainability professionals who are leading climate adaptation efforts in rural communities across the country.

    Date: Jan 19, 2021
  • Article Item
    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
  • Article Item
    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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    Green infrastructure: construction, communication, and community
    Green infrastructure: construction, communication, and community , article

    Operating in Prince George’s County, Maryland, the Clean Water Partnership (CWP) is one of the most innovative green infrastructure programs in the country and a great example of a successful Community Based Public Private Partnership or CBP3. Students in our Executive Master of Natural Resources (XMNR) program have an opportunity to meet with and learn from the partners during their coursework on advanced leadership skills, such as building partnerships and cross-sector collaborations.

    Date: Aug 20, 2020
  • Article Item
    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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