Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Friday, March 9, 2012

Leadership symposium offers strategies for conservation groups

Strategies to meet the leadership and management challenges facing environmental groups is the focus of a special symposium March 16 at U-M.

  Watch a video about "Conservation Forward: Environmental Leadership in Action" and click here for more information about the conference, speakers and panelists.

The "Conservation Forward: Environmental Leadership in Action" symposium concludes with a keynote address by John Ehrmann, a School of Natural Resources and Environment alumnus who has pioneered the use of collaborative decision-making processes for more than two decades at the local, national and international levels.

The symposium also features expert-led panel discussions on topics such as urban sustainability, energy, state and federal policy, ecosystem services and landscape-scale conservation. The discussions will give managers and leaders at southeast Michigan conservation groups the chance to learn new techniques and strategies to help their organizations.

Event organizers are encouraging attendance from environmental groups across Washtenaw County and are making special efforts to reach them. No advance registration is required. The conference is from 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. in the Dana Building.

The 16 speakers include employees of the U.S. Forest Service, the Nature Conservancy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. All are alumni of SNRE, one of the event's sponsors, and were fellows supported by the Doris Duke Conservation Fund, a leadership program operating at SNRE since 1999.

"For 12 years, the Duke Conservation Fellows program has produced some of the most skilled, visionary and energetic environmental leaders in the country," said Steve Yaffee, professor of natural resources and coordinator of the school's Duke Conservation Fellows. "Today's environmental leaders face a growing number of challenges, and this symposium is designed to help them learn new strategies and techniques for their organizations."

Ehrmann is the co-founder and Senior Partner at Meridian Institute. His address will reflect upon his more than 25 years of experience in the field. He will discuss the use of environmental mediation and collaborative problem-solving approaches in making progress toward a sustainable future. Ehrmann earned his master's and doctoral degrees from SNRE. A reception in the Dana Building's Ford Commons follows his keynote address.

The Doris Duke Fellows program graduated more than 100 students before funding was phased out nationally. The 13th and final SNRE Duke Conservation Fellows group graduates this April. The returning alumni will meet current SNRE students earlier in the day to share the experiences that prepared them to succeed in their careers.