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Transforming Worldviews: MNR Faculty Perspectives, a Webinar Series

alumni event mnr faculty webinars collage image

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 faculty will be sharing new research and specialty topics, and reflecting on relevant current events. 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.


  • 45-minute faculty presentations 
  • 45 minutes of discussion
  • A video recording will be available after each webinar 

Note: if you are no longer able to participate and wish to unregister from a webinar, please email Amanda Tai and you won’t receive any associated communications. 


“Communicating with challenging audiences: what research tells us” 

Led by Marc Stern

Watch webinar recording 



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 discusses current research that sheds light on promising approaches for building bridges between antagonist stakeholders in the conservation/sustainability/natural resource management realm.


“ESG and Sustainability in
Our Capitalist Society: Risk Management or Positive Impact?”
Led by Kathy Miller Perkins

Thursday, November 16, 2023, 2–3:30 p.m. ET


We all interact with 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.

Kathy Miller Perkins MNR Faculty webinar 2023


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

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. 


“Reframing Land” 
Led by Daniel Marcucci

Tuesday, February 27, 2024, 2–3:30 p.m. ET


Daniel 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. 


“The Art of Connecting Across Difference: Engaging Your Communication Partners"
Led by Patricia Raun

Thursday, April 4, 2024, 2–3:30 p.m. ET


Please plan to be part of the event with your cameras on and a microphone available. This is an interactive workshop and participation is strongly encouraged. 


Patricia Raun MNR faculty webinar

Your work often depends on your ability to build relationships with people that are very different than you are. As the saying goes, "A story is the shortest distance between two people." 

In this ninety-minute interactive online session, Patricia Raun (theater professor and director of the Center for Communicating Science at Virginia Tech), will introduce five principles of communicating technical information, and then will lead participants (in breakout rooms) through some joyful experiences focused on practicing these principles through story, including sharing vivid sensory and emotional details to build trust and ignite curiosity in public audiences.

Note: if you are no longer able to participate and wish to unregister from a webinar, please email Amanda Tai and you won’t receive any associated communications.