Virginia Tech’s Executive Master of Natural Resources – Back in Xizhou

After meaningful exchange focused on sustainability at Linden Centre last year with our first cohort, this year’s cohort looked further beyond the borders of the Centre and Xizhou to learn about sustainability in the Erhai Lake.

This unique master’s program is made up of 20+ sustainability professionals from varying backgrounds including forestry, engineering, environmental conservation, communication and public policy. Prior to arrival in Dali the cohort divided themselves into 5 specific topic areas to focus the conversations with a diverse group of stakeholders with significant impact throughout the Erhai Lake basin. The groups included Governmental/Nongovernmental Environmental Agencies, Education/Academics, Beverage, Agriculture, and Tourism.

After three packed days with meetings from government agencies, professors and PhDs, farmers, fishermen, businessmen, and people in the civil society space, the group headed up to see a different side of Yunnan’s ethnic biodiversity in Shangri-la and then stopped to see the new Linden Centre project in Wuxi before heading back to Washington DC.

With just over a month until graduation, as a final capstone project, the cohort plans to combine learnings from professional experiences in America, XMNR programming, and the International Residency in Dali to consider what it takes to build a community inclusive model for decision making. We look forward to hearing more on their ideas on how to further build on all the good work already being done towards a sustainable future for Dali.

Virginia Tech’s Executive Master of Natural Resources (XMNR) in Leadership for Sustainability is an accelerated, 18-month graduate degree program for full-time working professionals in business, government and/or civil society. Please click here to learn a bit more about the background of this degree program.

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