(2000 – ongoing)
The Virginia Natural Resources Leadership institute (VNRLI) provides Virginia’s leaders with skills to address complex environmental issues in a collaborative manner. Each class of leaders from Virginia’s industry, businesses, local and state government, and the environmental community works together in a year-long program that provides challenges in conflict resolution, personal leadership, and collaborative dialogue. VNRLI is a partnership between the University of Virginia’s Institute for Environmental Negotiation, Virginia Cooperative Extension and the Virginia Department of Forestry. Founded in 1998, with its first full-year program in 2000, VNRLI is funded by a combination of tuition fees and grants. The year-long program consists of a series of six 3-day workshops in various locations across Virginia. The class curriculum involves three components: personal leadership, collaborative problem-solving, and key natural resources challenges in the state. Each session focuses on a different natural resource issue, including the Chesapeake Bay, water quality, land use, coal mining, forestry, sustainable agriculture, TMDLs, and more.