MEDIA ADVISORY: Natural Resource Leaders To Gather at U.Va. for Final Session

June 04, 2012

June 4, 2012 — Many of Virginia's natural resource management leaders will meet June 6 to 8 at the University of Virginia for the final three-day Virginia Natural Resource Leadership Institute-sponsored workshops. The institute's program rotates to different locations throughout the commonwealth during each class year and finishes with graduation in Charlottesville each year.

This year's cohort of 27 fellows – from Virginia industry, business, local and state government, and the environmental community – will conclude their yearlong work together developing skills in conflict resolution, personal leadership and collaborative dialogue.

A highlight of the annual session in Charlottesville is the graduation dinner, which includes the presentation of the Gerald P. McCarthy Award for Leadership in Environmental Conflict Resolution. This year's winner is Mark Miller of Lexington, the Virginia organizer for the Southern Appalachian Forest Coalition.

In addition, fellows will hear presentations on climate change, energy choices and the expected impacts on Virginia's environment from policy decisions in both areas. The keynote speaker will be Tom Peterson of Climate Strategies. Professors from U.Va., Virginia Tech and Virginia State University will join in for the institute's sixth and final session.

The session is not open to the public, but media can contact Will Callaway at or 202-422-1174 for information about the proceedings.

The Virginia Natural Resource Leadership Institute is a partnership of the Institute for Environmental Negotiation at U.Va., Virginia Cooperative Extension at Virginia Tech, the Virginia Department of Forestry and the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.

The institute program is supported this year by a grant from the Dominion Foundation that supports collaborative decision-making for protecting Virginia's environment and natural resources. The institute is also supported with grants from the George Beals Conservation Leadership Fund of the Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts Educational Foundation, the Ballyshannon Fund, Merck and Company, the Virginia Department of Forestry and individual institute alumni.

The Virginia Natural Resource Leadership Institute program is designed to encourage communication and understanding between people representing different interests in Virginia's natural resource issues. Each session offers interactive exercises that focus on a topic such as conflict resolution, facilitation, building consensus, interest-based negotiation, public involvement, environmental justice and collaborative leadership.

For information about the program, contact Callaway at