Natural Resource Leadership and Management : A Practical Guide for Professionals book cover
1st Edition

Natural Resource Leadership and Management
A Practical Guide for Professionals

ISBN 9780367692971
Published November 26, 2021 by Routledge
150 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book examines leadership and management in natural resources, drawing on literature, principles, and the author’s own experiences as a leader and activist.

Developing a general framework summarizing the leadership and management cycle in natural resources for practitioners, the book provides a synthesis of leadership theory and practice stemming from the personal and spiritual values of work, and the key principle of aligning organizational resources and actions with stated intentions. It discusses the somewhat unique context of natural resources, comprised of private and public goods and services and complex societal values. Key strategies that enable natural resource professionals to be leaders at all stages and positions in their career, including vision and sustainability, proficient human resources management, fairness and merit, and transparency and openness are analyzed. Case studies of famous natural resource leaders and activists, including Ding Darling, David Attenborough, Wangari Maathai, Marina de Silva, Greta Thunberg, Bob Brown, and Christina Koch, are included. The book examines their values, training, and principles and how they influenced national or global natural resource management. Drawing on the author’s own experiences as a leader and activist, including his role as Department Head at North Carolina State University, as an elected officer in the Society of American Foresters, and as an activist opposing the sale of the Hofmann Forest, the book provides practical examples and guidelines that professionals can consider and use in their careers.

This book will be of great interest to natural resource managers and professionals as well as students studying environmental management and natural resource governance and to practitioners who are looking to develop broader leadership and management skills.

Table of Contents

1. The Leadership and Management Cycle in Natural Resources 

2. Natural Resource Leadership Principles 

3. Conservation Leaders from Ding Darling to Greta Thunberg 

4. Natural Resource Context: Goods and Services, Professionals, and Careers 

5. Key Leadership Tools and Approaches in the Management Cycle 

6. Two Leadership Cases from Government and Nongovernment Organizations  

7. Environmental Activism to Stop the Hofmann Forest Sale 

8. Conclusion

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Frederick Cubbage is Professor in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources at North Carolina State University, USA. He has been a line manager or elected leader with several organizations for two decades and is an author or coauthor of more than 500 scientific articles and several books.


"This book offers a comprehensive review of the leadership and management literature. In addition, it tells the story of leaders, including the author, who have given their lives to caring for and protecting the natural resources that we all hold in common. We owe them all a debt of gratitude."
Peter Block, Organization Development Consultant, Author, The Empowered Manager

"Fred Cubbage is as frank, as he is knowledgeable. Bucking the closed door, top only, leadership style, he instead trusts the entire team with an open door and open plan to align vision and achieve success. Cubbage brings decades of natural resource experience with him as he shares within Natural Resource Leadership and Management for Practitioners, a thoughtful compendium on best practices in natural resource leadership."
Mary Ellen Aronow, Director, Forest Economics, Hancock Natural Resource Group

"Because we like nature we are taking up natural resource leadership. Fred Cubbage draws this conclusion out of his life experience that is full of active engagement in forestry. Being a brilliant researcher Fred shows well applicable, science-based tactics for leaders and illustrates those by lively examples. A great book to become better prepared for jumping into leadership challenges wherever you are in your career!"
Max Krott, Professor for Forest and Nature Conservation Policy, Georg-August University of Göttingen, Germany

"In this book, Dr. Cubbage has provides a valuable collection of principles and perspectives on leadership in natural resources that have not existed before. First, it is the confluence of two scholarly rivers, one being key principles from iconic management gurus and the other being key philosophies of iconic conservation leaders. Second, it details his personal applications of these principles and philosophies through his life as an honored practitioner, manager and leader in natural resources and in several contexts. In this way, his book is also a rare glimpse into the real-world trials and travails of an everyday leader who chose to step into the arena in the finest tradition of Teddy Roosevelt and Gifford Pinchot."
Tom Davidson, Forester, MBA, MS Organizational Development, Leadership Nature

"In times like today, times of great change, natural resource practitioners must cultivate — intentionally grow — their personal abilities to lead people and manage resources well. Highly effective skills to lead and manage well are needed now more than ever in natural resource-related professions. I highly recommend this book for that personal cultivation and growth, but I recommend the book specifically for facilitated, small group or class discussions. The insights provided are best internalized by facilitated discussions followed by personal reflection, which is high octane fuel for personal growth in this essential field."
Steve Bullard, former forestry professor, department chair, and dean, and recently retired as provost, Stephen F. Austin State University

Fred Cubbage provides a thoughtful examination of organizational management as well as his own examples of leadership applications in forestry and natural resources. Fred has succinctly highlighted honest cases of challenges that other conscientious natural resource professionals are likely to encounter during their career, as well as pitfalls and rewards associated with their leadership. An excellent read for any professional looking to improve their leadership skills while fulfilling their broader mission in the environmental field.
Christa Rogers, Natural Resource Manager, Mecklenburg County Parks System

"Armed with about four decades of professional involvement, Dr. Cubbage communicates about many natural resource management phenomena. Based on case studies, he perceptively analyzes practitioners’ pragmatic management and leadership roles. For multidimensional natural resources’ attributes, the distinguished economist developed a simplified leadership and management model and examined key scenarios: Identify missions, develop objectives and strategies, develop infrastructure, employ and lead personnel, measure performance, and evaluate success."
Chris Zinkhan, Chairman, The Forestland Group

"The book, Natural Resource Policy, written by Fred Cubbage and others has become the standard for teaching policy to undergraduate resource management students for many years. This new book takes the lessons gained from the first book and provides students with the tools to engage in the development and implementation of resource policy. The main examples in the book are gleaned from the author’s personal experience and provide a fascinating array of problems that resource managers and administrators are likely to face in their careers. A great introduction to the ideas of leadership that many will benefit from."
David H. Newman, Interim Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF)

"Professor Cubbage delivers a masterpiece on natural resources leadership. The book fills a critical void in the literature, adding academic gravitas to a topic usually left to conservation activists, and folding natural resources into a subject usually left to the business school crowd. Topics like "Shady Approaches" and "Wicked Problems" offer the reader a sobering look at common leadership pitfalls, and highlights the need for the leadership models, principles, and tools that Cubbage shares.

The work is robust and thoughtful, drawing on Professor Cubbage’s deep understanding of natural resources policy and informed by his many years of professional and academic leadership. The book is surprisingly accessible while delivering depth of understanding (and great stories) that will delight leadership beginners and experts alike.

Students of policy, management, and leadership will find Cubbage engaging while imparting decades of practical wisdom with relative ease and without pretention. The combination of powerful stories to inform and reinforce key concepts and accessible writing will make this a standard guide for a new generation of leaders trying to make sense of a complex and complicated system. Aspiring leaders would be wise to add Cubbage to their reading list."
Damian C. Adams, Ph.D., J.D., Professor, Natural Resource Policy & Economics, Associate Dean for Research, University of Florida