By Lindsay Kuczera 

Mark your calendars for Transforming Worldviews: MNR Faculty Perspectives! This fall kicks off the first of four insightful and interactive webinars featuring faculty who are part of Virginia Tech’s Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability (CLiGS).

This new webinar series will provide an opportunity for faculty, students, and alumni from Virginia Tech’s Executive and Online Master of Natural Resources programs to connect and learn together. The webinar series will consist of 45-minute faculty presentations on new and trending sustainability themes followed by discussion. The information faculty share will be different from their courses. Instead, they will be sharing new research and specialty topics, and reflecting on relevant news. There will also be plenty of discussion time, so graduates can reconnect with their former professors and current students can get to know their instructors better.

Building lasting connections
You may remember CLiGS’ 2022 webinar series, Exploring Sustainability Careers, where alumni shared advice for finding and succeeding in a sustainability role in the government, business, and non-profit sectors. Our career coaches and expert alumni shared their professional journeys and answered questions in a follow-up discussion. This new webinar series featuring faculty builds on that foundational connection between students, alumni, and professors, but through a different lens.

What topics will be covered?
Attendees can expect a range of interesting topics meant to challenge our worldviews and motivate us to think critically about how we use sustainability practices in our careers and personal lives. Sessions will include techniques for communicating with different audiences, contemplating land ownership and management, and navigating the complex nature and perception of corporate sustainability.

Save these dates!

Marc Stern webinar headshot
Marc Stern

“Communicating with challenging audiences: what research tells us” 
Led by Marc Stern on Tuesday, October 24, 2023; 2–3:30 p.m. ET

Sustainability challenges are first and foremost people challenges. Even the most elegant technical solutions typically require general agreement (or at least acquiescence) across diverse groups. In our increasingly polarized society, bringing people together to address sustainability issues can be rather challenging. Stern will discuss contemporary research that sheds light on promising approaches for building bridges between antagonist stakeholders in the conservation/sustainability/natural resource management realm.

Kathy Miller Perkins webinars headshot
Kathy Miller Perkins

“ESG and Sustainability in Our Capitalist Society: Risk Management or Positive Impact?”
Led by Kathy Miller Perkins on Thursday, November 16, 2023; 2–3:30 p.m. ET

We all interact with the companies in the private sector daily in our roles as consumers, employees, investors, and citizens. And many of us ponder questions such as whether these organizations serve as a source of magnificent prosperity or are a menace undermining society. The answers are complex and to a great extent depend on how companies define their purpose and responsibilities in society.

In this session, we will unravel the diverse frameworks employed by organizations in the private sector related to purpose, sustainability, and ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance). From multinational corporations to agile startups, we will explore how companies leverage their systems, including their resources, policies, and strategies to minimize risk or to create a lasting positive impact on the world.

Daniel Marcucci MNR Faculty Webinar 2024
Daniel Marcucci

“Reframing Land” 
Led by Daniel Marcucci on Tuesday, February 27, 2024; 2–3:30 p.m. ET

Sustaining the biosphere does not happen without taking care of the land. Yet, we have narrow concepts of land and landscape systems, limiting our ability to manage them sustainably. Most cultures across the globe privatize land, leaving it controlled in bits and pieces by individuals and corporations for their own purposes. Our assumptions about land impact what futures we can envision. 

Marcucci will challenge our conceptualization of what land is and how we see rights and obligations. Moreover, we will explore alternative ways of framing land and our relationship to it—all with the intent of engendering an abundant, rich, sustainable Earth. 

Patricia Raun MNR faculty webinar
Patricia Raun

“The Art of Connecting Across Difference: Engaging Your Communication Partners"
Led by Patricia Raun on Thursday, April 4, 2024; 2–3:30 p.m. ET

This will be a science communications workshop. During the first part of the workshop, Raun will share five principles of communicating science, more about Virginia Tech’s Center for Communicating Science, and anecdotal stories and experiences related to science communication, specifically on natural resources and the environment. The second part of the workshop will be an interactive discussion that will offer attendees room to reflect and engage with fellow students and alums in breakout rooms.

All MNR students and alumni are invited! 
Whether these topics are something you work on daily or just simply pique your interest, we encourage you to join and engage with our expert faculty for what are sure to be interactive and lively discussions! 
Learn more and register