Natural Resource Leadership InstituteTo Kick Off Third Year Of Successful
May 15, 2002-- A successful
program to help Virginia's leaders address difficult environmental
and community issues will kick off its third year-long program this
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. With the second class of 25 fellows graduating
at the end of May, the three sponsors will continue the program
for a third year.
of the Leadership Institute give the program rave reviews. "The
[Leadership Institute] has been one of the rewarding and beneficial
opportunities that I have experienced," said S.D. Mallete, owner
of a natural resource management company in the Eastern Shore town
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 South East 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."
institute fellow, John Deuel with a Hampton Roads nonprofit group
said, "[The Leadership Institute] will help you become more effective
in your work as a leader of environmental programs. I have gained
a much broader perspective of the environmental challenges we face.
More importantly, I have developed more confidence and knowledge
in my efforts to bring people together on particular issues."
in October, the institute will launch its third series of six seminar
workshops, held throughout the year in various locations across
the state. Participants accepted into the program attend all six
workshops, which generally run from Wednesday through Friday.
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 gain personal skills in leadership and collaborative problem-solving,
with a goal of being better able to both convene and engage in collaborative
problem-solving and consensus-building. Each session offers interactive
exercises that focus on a topic such as conflict resolution, facilitation,
consensus-building, interest-based negotiation, mediation, environmental
justice and special group processes.
addition, participants will gain deeper understanding of key environmental
issues in Virginia and discover opportunities for dialogue and collaborative
problem solving. The overall focus for the 2003 program is land
use, and each session will offer panel discussions and/or field
trips associated with such issues as open space conservation, smart
growth, environmental justice, water quality, Superfund site cleanup
and redevelopment, and sustainable agriculture and forestry.
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 left] 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 is eager to see the institute thrive.
"The demands and pressures on our resources are becoming greater
every day," said Mike Foreman of 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 the issues."
Ellerbrock, director of the Virginia Tech Center for Economic Education,
one of the programs co-sponsors, said, "One of the institute's
goals is to bring people together who normally don't have the opportunity
to interact on an informal, friendly basis. 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."
pleased to be able to offer scholarships to the next class," 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 the entire registration fee. Cost for the yearlong course
is $1,600, excluding travel, lodging and some food.
deadline for applications is July 5, and fellows will be notified
of admission decisions by July 30.
an application, contact Tanya Denckla at (434) 924-1970 or email:
firstname.lastname@example.org, or download the application from the
institute's Web site: http://www.virginia.edu/~envneg/VNRLI_home.html.
Jane Ford, (434) 924-4298