Apply for the Short Course on Effective Natural Resources Collaboration


Feb 25, 2019 | EDR Blog

By Katherine Daly

Consider words like personal, effective, and awesome. What might they describe? Here’s a hint: Short Course.

That’s right! These words describe the Short Course on Effective Natural Resources Collaboration. Every word in the cloud above comes from participants in the 2018 cohort, who shared their reflections on the Short Course with us. (Read their testimonials at the bottom!) In addition to the collaboration skills, techniques, and concepts that will serve them in both their lives and careers, the 2018 cohort will graduate next month with a certificate of completion, CLE and/or AICP credit, a network of new friends and collaborators, and a completed Capstone project that applies what they learned to a real-life challenge of their choosing.

If these words resonate with you, we invite you to apply for the 2019 Short Course. We are accepting applications online through March 27, 2019, and anticipate selecting and notifying Short Course participants by April 9, 2019. The 2019 Short Course will be held at the S.J. Quinney College of Law with the first session beginning June 20-21, 2019.

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Now in its fourth year, the Short Course teaches professionals working on environmental and natural resource (ENR) issues the art, science, and skills of collaborative problem-solving. The course consists of six, two-day sessions that are taught by multiple EDR Program faculty and partners. Each student completes a Capstone Project that allows them to put the skills they have learned into action as part of an on-the-ground collaboration effort. Short Course participants acquire:

  • Skills to help them effectively participate in multi-party collaborative processes around ENR issues;
  • Techniques that will help them identify opportunities for progressive collaborative problem-solving processes around ENR issues, as well as skills for convening, facilitating, and sustaining such efforts; and
  • Experience implementing an ENR collaboration effort relevant to the participant’s own work, with the mentorship and guidance of EDR Program staff and peer-to-peer support.

The Short Course has trained more than 60 individuals representing all levels of government, corporations, NGOs, tribes, and consultancies. Short Course graduates become part of an EDR Fellows Network that provides opportunities for ongoing peer-to-peer learning and multi-stakeholder engagement aimed at supporting collaborative ENR efforts throughout Utah. Read about how the EDR Fellows have used collaboration to manage ecosystems, launch a clean air education campaign, and improve tribal relationships with the Utah Bureau of Land Management on the EDR Blog.

We will select participants representing a range of stakeholder groups to foster robust dialogue and peer-to-peer learning. Ideally, the 2019 class will include representatives of all levels of government (local, state, federal, and regional), industry, advocacy organizations, tribes, consultants, and community members from around Utah. The Wagner Charitable Foundation continues to generously provide scholarship funding to help us ensure the stakeholder diversity of the 2019 Short Course cohort.

Here’s what other members of the 2018 cohort say about the Short Course:

The Short Course made me think about my work in a completely different way. It seamlessly blended no-nonsense communication techniques with cutting edge methodologies concerning collaboration and consensus. Now, when faced with parties who appear to be at odds, I look past each party’s position to identify their interest. I use the tools and techniques I learned during the Short Course to improve my communications with state agencies, other attorneys, and private parties. Short Course principles should be required learning for professionals across all disciplines

Ariel Calmes
Attorney, Western Resource Advocates

The EDR Program’s Short Course was fascinating. Anyone who works with people on environmental issues will benefit from taking the course. The curriculum explores how and why people become committed to positions on environmental issues as well as tools you can use to open up dialogue about those positions. After taking the Short Course, I feel much more confident about helping people address environmental disputes, and I have a good sense of when I may need to bring neutral professional environmental dispute resolution specialists to the table. 

Luke Smart
Attorney Advisor, US Department of Interior

Being in a position of authority for most of my career (e.g. manager, supervisor, etc.), I wish I had taken a course like this early on to better understand the collaborative process and how useful it can be in the workplace. I don’t intend on being a “big C” collaborator or facilitator but everything I learned here has helped me be a better leader and to dissect and address issues.

Anonymous 2018 participant

There are opportunities for me to use the concepts I learned in this class every day in my job and personal life. I highly recommend this Short Course to anyone who leads teams or programs.

Jessica Wade 
State Fire Management Officer, Bureau of Land Management

The EDR Short Course has been incredibly beneficial for me. From understanding theory to role-playing scenarios, there are so many useful tools and skills that I’ve learned and will be able to employ in my career. It has helped me to recognize the value that true collaboration can bring to the complex environmental problems we face, while providing the opportunity for putting skills into practice with our capstone. Though collaboration can be seen as putting common sense to work, it takes a lot of dedicated effort and strategy to ensure it is successful. The Short Course has helped prepare me for both organizing and engaging in collaborative efforts in my current role as an environmental advocate and has me proactively thinking about ways to incorporate these skills into my career long-term.

Jessica Reimer, Policy Associate
HEAL Utah

I think the EDR Program’s Short Course on Collaboration is a “must do” for Utah’s non-profit conservation community. Real world collaborative processes involving contentious conservation issues are not easy; this course can give Utah’s NGO’s some very effective tools to ensure “win-win-win” outcomes for the people of Utah, our natural heritage that we must conserve, and the agencies mandated with its stewardship.

Allison Jones
Executive Director, Wild Utah

Katherine Daly is the Program Manager of the Environmental Dispute Resolution (EDR) Program at the Wallace Stegner Center, S.J. Quinney College of Law, University of Utah.