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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Register Now for New Environmental Leaders Institute

August 2, 2012

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A series of workshops from September to January is geared to help environmental professionals address complex issues and work collaboratively with fellow professionals across private, nonprofit and government sectors.

The Ohio Environmental Leaders Institute is a forum to develop a network of effective environmental decision-makers by focusing on three areas: environment, collaboration and leadership, said Anne Baird, educator with Ohio State University Extension and one of the institute's organizers.

"Most environmental issues require collaboration across disciplines and sectors," she said. "It's not easy to find professional development that focuses on cross connections, and it's even harder to find networking opportunities with people not in your discipline or sector."

But when it comes right down to it, people need to work across traditional areas of expertise.

"Those working on transportation issues need to talk with water and energy managers," for example, she said. "The Ohio Environmental Leaders Institute will help environmental professionals foster those connections, and they'll learn that through the application of ideas involving the environment and sustainability."

The institute is being organized by Baird; Joe Bonnell, program director in watershed management for OSU Extension; and Maggie Lewis, lecturer in Ohio State's Fisher College of Business.

Participants can sign up for individual sessions or the whole series of four workshops, which include:

  • Managing Complex Systems, Sept. 6-7. Held at Stone Laboratory at Put-in-Bay on Lake Erie, the workshop will focus on the issue of harmful algal blooms and broaden participants' awareness of core competencies essential for sustainable environmental management.
  • Assessing the Sustainability of Shale Gas Exploration in Ohio, Oct. 18-19, at Mohican State Park Lodge, Perrysville, Ohio. This workshop, which includes a field trip, will focus in part on how to help people identify shared values and reach agreement.
  • Exploring Renewable Energy in Ohio, Dec. 3-7. This one-week online session will focus on managing the transition from non-renewable to renewable energy resources, including learning about obstacles and policies involved. It will also increase participants' awareness of trends in renewable energy and how to evaluate the costs and benefits of various renewable energy sources.
  • Planning the Urban Environment, Jan. 23-24, 2013, at the Blackwell Inn on Ohio State University's Columbus campus. This session will focus on strategies involved in transforming urban areas and suburbs into sustainable communities.

Registration for the full program, which includes curriculum materials, three overnight sessions including field trips, meals and lodging, and the one-week online session, is $1,400. Early registration by Aug. 10 is $1,250.

Registration for individual sessions is $350.

For more information and to register, visit

Participants may be able to earn continuing professional development (CPD) or continuing professional education (CPE) credit. In addition, graduate or undergraduate credit hours are available through Ohio State's School of Environment and Natural Resources. For more information, contact Baird at 614-292-8603 or, or Bonnell at 614-292-9383 or

Funding and support for this program was provided by OSU Extension, Ohio Sea Grant, Ohio State's Office of Energy and Environment, the National Urban Community Forestry Advisory Commission and the Virginia Natural Resources Leadership Institute.


Martha Filipic
Anne Baird, Joe Bonnell