Natural Resource Leadership Institute To Kick Off Fifth Year Of
May 25, 2004 --
A successful program to help Virginia’s leaders
address difficult environmental and community issues will kick
off its fifth yearlong program this fall.
Virginia Natural Resources Leadership Institute trains people
from industry, businesses,
local and state government, and the environmental community.
VNRLI is a partnership between the University of Virginia’s
Institute for Environmental Negotiation, Virginia Tech’s
Center for Economic Education and the Virginia Department
of the Institute give the program rave reviews. Ed Daley,
city manager and a 2001 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."
in October, the Institute will launch its fifth 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 Resources Leadership Institute is encouraging
applicants from business and industry; state,
local and federal government; American
Indian tribes; environmental and civic organizations; African-American
communities; as well as individuals who are involved in some capacity
with natural resource
issues and are catalysts in their communities.
new class is limited to 30 people.
will gain personal skills in leadership and collaborative
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,
building, interest-based negotiation, mediation, environmental justice
and special group
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 2005 program is land
and each session will offer panel discussions and field trips associated
such as open space conservation, smart growth, environmental justice,
Superfund site cleanup and redevelopment, and sustainable agriculture
many workshops that may have short-lived effects, the Institute
appears to have long-term impacts. One year
after graduating, a
2001 fellow noted
that the Institute “sharpened my negotiating skills and
mediating skills. [It] provided me greater insight into how people
that sometimes become
the basis of personal missions [and] increased my awareness of
tactics used to sway public opinion.”
others, the Institute has also been life-changing. Gavin
Sanderlin, a watershed protection
specialist and organic farm
me the courage to take on projects that I could not predict
the outcome of, but doing so while living by my ethics. [It]
me to tools that I can use to
move through conflict, not only with other individuals or at
the group level, but also within myself.”
Virginia Department of Forestry is eager to see the Institute
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 program’s co-sponsors, said one goal 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.”
for the yearlong course is $1,600, excluding travel, lodging
and some meals.
deadline for applications is June 1, and those accepted will
be notified by June 25.
pleased to be able to offer scholarships to the next class,” said
Tanya Denckla Cobb, senior associate with U.Va.’s
Institute for Environmental Negotiation. “We
want to make it possible for people to participate
without a cost barrier.” She urges people to
apply even if they’re not sure
they can afford the entire registration fee.
an application, contact Tanya Denckla Cobb or program
manager Caroline Wilkinson at (434) 924-6569
email@example.com. The application
is also available
on the Institute’s Web site: http://www.virginia.edu/ien/VNRLI_home.html.
leadership program is supported in part by the
U.S. Forest Service’s
Urban and Community Forestry Grant Program.
Katherine Thompson Jackson, (434) 924-3629