UT Program on Collaboration

Utah Program on Collaboration

Environmental and natural resource (ENR) issues are ecologically, politically, culturally, and emotionally complex. Not only do they often cross jurisdictional boundaries, impact diverse stakeholders, and involve multiple institutions; they also typically involve high levels of uncertainty and complicated science. As a result, ENR issues are often contentious and controversial.

Collaborative efforts that meaningfully engage diverse agencies and stakeholders have considerable potential in Utah and the greater mountain west as a way for involved parties to work through conflict and identify and implement creative and effective solutions for ENR issues. To help advance collaborative problem-solving around ENR issues throughout Utah, the Wallace Stegner Center’s Environmental Dispute Resolution (EDR) Program, in coordination with The Langdon Group, has developed the 3-part Utah Program on Collaboration.

Forum on Collaboration (1-day)

Held on November 19th, 2015, the Forum on Collaboration provided an opportunity for state and federal decision-makers to learn from each other by sharing their experiences and challenges with collaborative problem-solving. Almost 40 high-level representatives from 25 state and federal agencies participated in the Forum, with many providing sponsorship funding. The Forum provided participants with the tools needed to identify opportunities for collaboration, implement best practices, and evaluate effectiveness. For more information about the Forum, please see the below resources.

We anticipate hosting a half-day Forum on Collaboration for high-level state and federal agency leaders annually.

Dialogues on Collaboration

The EDR Program hosts semi-annual Dialogues on Collaboration to provide a broad cross-section of ENR stakeholders opportunities for networking, education and training, and ongoing sharing of collaboration best practices and lessons learned. The first Dialogue was held on June 15, 2016, 1-5 pm, at the S.J. Quinney College of Law.  Topic: Working with elected officials on water issues: What can collaboration bring to the table?”

The second Dialogue on Collaboration was held on December 7, 2016, 1-5 pm, at the S.J. Quinney College of Law.  Topic: “Working with tribes: What can collaboration bring to the table?” Related readings:

The EDR Program anticipates hosting two Dialogues on Collaboration in 2017. Please contact Angela Turnbow if you would like to receive information about future Dialogues.

Short Course on Effective Natural Resources Collaboration

The EDR Program hosts the six-session Short Course on Effective Natural Resources Collaboration, which teaches mid- and upper-level professionals and other individuals working on ENR issues in Utah the “art and science” of collaborative problem-solving through lectures, case studies, peer-to-peer sharing, discussion, and simulation exercises. Participants put the concepts and skills learned through the course into action in a real-life setting through designing and implementing an ENR collaboration Capstone Project.

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.

We are currently accepting applications for the 2017 Short Course, which will consist of six 2-day sessions held at the University of Utah.


For more information, contact Danya Rumore.

Utah Program on Collaboration
Thank you to our Sponsors!

To become a sponsor, please contact Danya Rumore.