Natural Resource Leadership Institute To Kick Off Second Year Of
26, 2001-- A new program to help Virginia's leaders
in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors address community
conflicts over environmental issues will kick off its second year-long
program this fall.
Virginia Natural Resources Leadership Institute trains people from
industry, businesses, local and state government, and the environmental
community. It is the result of a partnership between the Institute
for Environmental Negotiation at the University of Virginia,
the Center for Economic Education at Virginia Tech, and the Virginia
Department of Forestry. The first class of 27 fellows graduates
at the end of May, and because of its successful first year, the
three sponsors will conduct the program for a second year.
fellows give the program rave reviews. "I learned that once people
are really communicating, all kinds of 'thinking out of the box'
can occur," said Mike Roberts, an extension agent and Farm Business
Management coordinator in Virginia's southeast district. "Because
of the nature of my work and volunteer activities, I often find
myself in situations that require mediation, negotiation, or facilitation
skills. The institute offers education and hands-on experience
in all three. I began using techniques learned as an institute fellow
after the very first session."
this September, the institute will launch its second series of six
seminar workshops, held throughout the year in various locations
across the Commonwealth. Participants accepted into the program
attend all six workshops, which run from Wednesday noon through
Virginia Natural Resource Leadership Institute is seeking applicants
from industry, business, local and state government, environmental
organizations and community groups specifically people who
work with their communities and who are involved in some capacity
with natural resource issues. The new class is limited to 30 people.
will learn about conflict resolution and consensus building involving
multiple stakeholders and will receive leadership training. In addition,
they will delve into some of the more demanding challenges facing
Virginia today, such as water quality and supply, human and animal
waste management, urban and rural forestry, chip mills and coal
mining, large-scale animal operations, growth and land use, and
federal Superfund sites. Other natural-resource management issues
are woven into the course, including environmental justice, wildlife
management, land conservation, and rare and endangered species.
Participants will learn of successful partnerships and efforts as
well as protracted or unresolved conflicts.
Daley, Winchester city manager and an institute fellow, said the
program offers powerful tools to those seeking to improve their
effectiveness as a participant and mediator of community conflict.
"I'm leaving the program with an expanded toolbox of dispute-resolution
and leadership skills and a broader understanding of the environmental
issues confronting us at the community and global levels."
Virginia Department of Forestry, a partner in the program, is eager
to see the institute succeed. "The demands and pressures on
our resources are becoming greater ever day," said Bettina
Ring, deputy state forester with the Department of Forestry. "We
need to develop new, innovative approaches to doing business. One
way to do that is to build an understanding of each other and of
of the institute's goals is to bring people together who normally
don't have the opportunity to interact on an informal, friendly
basis," said Mike Ellerbrock, director of the Virginia Tech Center
for Economic Education, one of the programs co-sponsors. "The
institute does not try to convince anyone of any particular solution
or outcome, but it does aim to help people gain insight into different
perspectives about the same issue."
hope to offer scholarships for the course," said Tanya Denckla,
senior associate with U.Va.s Institute for Environmental Negotiation
and coordinator of the program. "We want to make it possible for
people to participate without a cost barrier." She urges people
to apply even if theyre not sure they can afford to pay the
entire registration fee. Cost for the year-long course is $1,600,
excluding travel and lodging.
deadline for applications is June 22, and fellows will be notified
of admission decisions by July 15.
an application contact Tanya Denckla at (804) 924-1970 or email:
or at the institute's Web site: http://www.virginia.edu/~envneg/VNRLI_home.html.
Jane Ford, (804) 924-4298