August 2015
In This Issue
Newsletter archive
NRLI website 
Like us on Facebook  View our profile on LinkedIn  View our photos on flickr 

Director's Corner
An environmental consultant once told me about a training program he recently attended that focused on working with stakeholders. One thing in particular struck him, a simple concept emphasized by the trainers, that of "beginnings, middles, and ends". The basic point was that meetings, workshops, presentations, etc. all need to have an opening section that gets everyone warmed up, a core, principal part where the central objectives are addressed, and a final, closure section to wrap things up. So, too, must each activity or theme within those sections have a beginning, middle, and an end. The concept stuck with him because he had always assumed that "diving right in" to the issue at hand saved time and made things more efficient. He had never really bothered much with beginnings. Some months later when I reminded him of the conversation, he laughed and spoke of the remarkable difference it had made once he ceased forgoing the oft-skipped attention to beginnings. Time spent setting the stage and helping people to feel comfortable leads to big returns on engagement, understanding, and commitment.

NRLI is a nine-month program composed of eight three-day sessions, each beginning at noon on Thursday and ending at noon on Saturday. These sessions are intense, and packed full of content, interactive activities, interactions with stakeholders, and field trips. As is described below by Fellows Shelby Krantz and Lori Edwards, Class XV's first session was no exception; we covered a lot of ground - and space - as we explored the issues facing Florida's Space Coast. A key part of Class XV's first session was the "beginning," more than 6 hours of introductory activities (almost a third of our time together) designed to explain the program and help Fellows get to know each other. We will not always spend 6 hours in this way, but this was the first session, the beginning. Like any project or initiative involving multiple stakeholders, for NRLI Class XV to be effective, this impressive group of 20 diverse Fellows has to feel like they understand the programs' objectives and how it will work. They have to feel comfortable sharing and discussing issues with each other and know that their opinions and experiences will be listened to and respected. This will not happen quickly or automatically; it will take dedicated time and effort. There is a lot to learn in each of the eight sessions, but time spent up-front helping individuals become a cohort will more than pay for itself as Fellows discover how much they can learn from each other and from the diverse groups of stakeholders we interact with. The same goes for any group that comes together with objectives to accomplish. In a world where we are all busy with endless tasks and looming deadlines, it is tempting to "be efficient" by skimping on time needed to establish a constructive environment in meetings, presentations, and projects. Short-term efficiency can lead to long-term headaches, and as my friend learned, it is worth investing in "beginnings".
Jonathan Dain, NRLI Director

Class XV Fellows
 Welcome, Class XV Fellows, to the Florida Natural Resources Leadership Institute!
Brad Austin
Dairy Farmer & Co-Owner, Cindale Farms
Angela Collins
Sea Grant Agent, UF/IFAS Extension/Sea Grant Manatee County
Samantha Danchuk
Assistant Director, Broward County, Environmental Planning & Community Resilience Division
Lori Edwards
Supervisor of Elections, Polk County
Gretchen Ehlinger
Senior Technical Manager/Senior Biologist, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Planning & Policy Division
Greg Harden
Field Representative, Florida Farm Bureau Federation
Andy Kohler
Land Management Specialist, St. John's River Water Management District
Shelby Krantz
Coordinator, Southeast Climate Consortium, University of Florida
Jody Lee
Environmental Manager, Florida Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services Office of Agricultural Water Policy
Erin McDevitt
South Region Marine Habitat Coordinator, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Division of Habitat & Species Conservation
Cheryl Millett
Biologist, The Nature Conservancy
Marta Reczko
Water Resources Manager, Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida
Chad Rischar
Senior Project Manager, St. John's River Water Management District
Olin Rondeau
Captain, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Division of Law Enforcement
Angeline Scotten
Senior Wildlife Assistance Biologist, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Division of Habitat & Species Conservation
Jason Spinning
Chief, Coastal Navigation Section, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Planning & Policy Division
Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch
Volunteer Town Commissioner, Town of Sewall's Point
Nick Trippel
Research Associate, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Fish and Wildlife Research Institute
Ivan Vicente
Visitor Services Specialist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge Complex
Tracy Wyman
Landscape Architect, Independent

NRLI Class XV Fellows outside the Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center. The building is 525 ft., 10 in. tall! Photo by Jonathan Dain.
Space Coast in Transition
Click here to download a PDF.
In this issue...  
Session Overview

Curriculum Focus: Introduction to Natural Resources Leadership
Session 1 Fellows' Article
Shelby Krantz & Lori Edwards
Class XV Fellows' Spotlight
Chad Rischar, Senior Project Manager, St. John's River Water Management District
Cheryl Millett, Biologist, The Nature Conservancy
Nick Trippel, Research Associate, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

NRLI Alumni Spotlight
Holly Abeels, Florida Sea Grant Extension Agent, University of Florida/IFAS Brevard County
Jane Provancha, Environmental Projects Manager, MESC-InoMedic Health Applications


Food and Resource Economics Department