Leopold Leadership Fellows’ Environmental Leadership Narratives
In these sessions the authors, listed below, will walk you through their leadership story and discuss how it illustrates various components of the collective leadership framework. Together you will have an opportunity to talk about various ways to teach leadership through the narratives.
Elena Bennett worked with a nature conservation group to plan and support future decision-making for the Monteregie Connection, an agricultural area near Montreal, that is undergoing a shift toward development. Early on, she identified the values that she wanted to express through her partnership with this agricultural community: being a credible, reliable, trustworthy scientist who stays with a project and understands its political, social, economic, and environmental context. An important aspect of this work was figuring out how to frame the future scenarios in order to address the immediate problems that were most pressing for the community while planning for long-term sustainability.
Jill Caviglia-Harris led a National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) working group to discuss research goals for protecting the tropical forests of the Brazilian Amazon. She describes the dynamics and processes behind leading the interdisciplinary and multi-cultural group, integrating the facilitation and collaboration skills she learned as a Leopold Leadership fellow.
Kathy Galvin describes her development as a researcher as she shifted her approach towards participatory, co-constructed knowledge with Kenyan pastoralists grappling with impacts of climate change on their way of life.
Brian Helmuth developed an egalitarian partnership with Iraqi scientists seeking to restore the Hammar Marshes and reestablish connections between the Iraqi scientific community and the international scientific community. He reflects on being “other” as a scientific partner in the context of historical colonialism and war. Playing this role required him to commit to collaborative leadership based on recognizing both his strengths and his weaknesses, as well as acknowledging how others perceived him.
Karen Lips used her network of herpetologists, students, wildlife policy experts, and journalists to lay the groundwork for an interim ban on the importation of salamanders to the US. This action, the culmination of twenty years’ work, has helped prevent the infection of the American salamander population with Bsal, a chytrid fungus with the potential to decimate salamander biodiversity.
Meg Lowman describes her work with Coptic churches to support forest conservation in northern Ethiopia and reflects on pathways for scaling her efforts to save “sanctuary forests.”