UT Program on Collaboration

Utah Program on Collaboration

Utah Program on Collaboration logo

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 have considerable potential to help diverse agencies and stakeholders work though conflict, and identify and implement creative and effective solutions to ENR issues. To help advance collaborative problem-solving around ENR issues throughout Utah, the Environmental Dispute Resolution (EDR) Program developed the Utah Program on Collaboration in coordination with The Langdon Group.

The Utah Program on Collaboration is comprised of three components:

Utah Program on Collaboration partner logos listed as a thank you.

The Utah Program on Collaboration is made possible thanks to the generosity of a diverse group of sponsors.

To become a Program on Collaboration sponsor, please send an email to edrprogram@law.utah.edu.

Students attend a class while woman instructor gestures at the S.J. Quinney College of Law.-

Short Course on Effective Natural Resources Collaboration

We offer an annual Short Course on Effective Natural Resources Collaboration that teaches professionals working on ENR issues the art, science, and skills of collaborative problem solving. The course consists of six two-day sessions that are taught by 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. To date, the Short Course has trained more than 60 individuals representing all levels of government, corporations, NGOs, tribes, and consultancies.

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.

EDR Fellows Network

Short Course graduates become part of the 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.

Apply to the Short Course

The application period for the 2021 Short Course is open and applications are due April 19, 2021.

For more information about the Short Course and / or to express interest in participating in the 2021 cohort, contact us at edrprogram@law.utah.edu.

Conference attendees at a table in the S.J. Quinney College of Law.

Dialogues on Collaboration

We host two Dialogues on Collaboration each year to foster public awareness about and support for ENR collaboration. Dialogues focus on topical ENR issues and provide opportunities for a broad cross-section of stakeholders to network, learn about and practice collaboration skills, and share collaboration best practices and lessons learned. Each Dialogue attracts about 80 attendees. Our generous partners and sponsors ensure the Dialogues remain free and open to the public.

Prior Dialogues have addressed the following topics:

Please contact us at edrprogram@law.utah.edu if you would like to receive information about future Dialogues or become a sponsor.

Forum on Collaboration

Every other year, we host the Utah Forum on Collaboration to engage high-level state and federal ENR agency leaders in peer-to-peer learning and dialogue about collaboration. The full-day event is designed to help participants explore opportunities and challenges for collaboration in Utah and to cultivate and reinforce support for multi-agency and multi-stakeholder collaboration around complex ENR issues. Each Forum has brought together more than 30 representatives from more than 20state and federal agencies.

November 19, 2015, Forum on Collaboration.

December 13, 2017, Forum on Collaboration.

We anticipate hosting our next Forum on Collaboration in fall/winter 2020. For more information about our Forum on Collaboration or to become a sponsorplease contact edrprogram@law.utah.edu.