By 2050, the world will be a fundamentally different place. Sustainability and natural resource management professionals will need to be able to work across scales, disciplines, and sectors to understand and operate within a rapidly changing context. The Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability is committed to building leadership for this future. CLiGS is building a portfolio of global programs to explore and help advance sustainable development strategies in rapidly urbanizing regions around the world. MNR students have an opportunity to participate in these programs and projects by enrolling in a CLiGS International Project study abroad course (NR 5954) for three (3) credits.
CLiGS International Projects are applied, professionally oriented, interdisciplinary, and short-term projects that explore and advance innovative sustainable development strategies being developed in places around the world. CLiGS International Project courses (NR 5954) include four weeks of online pre-trip work, 10-days of international fieldwork, and four weeks of online post-trip work. Travel occurs over semester breaks. There are additional expenses involved in NR 5954 to cover field and travel expenses. To learn more about specific projects, visit http://gsi.cnre.vt.edu
Upcoming CLiGS International Project
CLiGS India Project
With close to 1.2 billion people, India is the world’s largest democracy. It’s GDP growth is among the fastest in the world, coinciding with increases in population, literacy rates, and life expectancy. This growth has been disproportionately concentrated in India’s urban centers, increasing strains on infrastructure and resources. Cities offer the promise of economic opportunity, driving urban expansion and migration. For the crowded island city of Mumbai, this presents challenges for urban planning and development, including managing ecosystem services. Within Mumbai’s city limits is a national park that covers 104 km2 of protected forest. Home to incredible biodiversity including a small population of native leopard species, Sanjay Gandhi National Park also provides protection for one of the city’s main water sources. Yet as the city’s footprint swells with growing slums and high rises, the challenges of managing this urban ecosystem are intensifying with increasing rates of human-wildlife conflict and land use disputes.
The Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability’s (CLiGS) India program is focused on exploring the challenges and strategies for managing this complex socio-ecological system. CLiGS is assembling an interdisciplinary team of graduate students and professionals to work with local partners in Mumbai to better understand and advance urban ecosystem management strategies, specifically how to help vulnerable populations live in close proximity to leopard populations. The CLiGS India: 2014 Urban Ecosystems Project is a ten-week project (Dec 2013 - Feb 2014) that includes 10-days of fieldwork in India over winter break. The project is offered for 3 graduate credits through NR 5954. There are additional costs entailed in this course to cover travel and field expenses. To learn more and submit an application, visit http://gsi.cnre.vt.edu
Global Sustainability Initiative Projectsin Brazil, China, and Russia are scheduled for 2013, with exciting projects in India and South Africa coming in 2014. Focused on sustainable development strategies in rapidly developing contexts, GSI Projects offer graduate students and professionals an opportunity to travel and gain direct international experience while earning 6 graduate credits in ten weeks. (learn more)