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Optional Training Sessions

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Nine optional training and skills development courses were offered at this year’s conference.

Eight-Hour Training (Thursday Afternoon, June 29, to Friday Noon, June 30)

  • Managing Change Through Consensus (PDF) (15pp., 111KB)
    Presenter: Donald D. Nelson, Washington State University

    Learned how to use a proven, consensus-building approach to decision-making to effectively manage change and conflict involving natural-resource issues. This practical workshop showed how to use several integrating approaches based on building trust, relationships, mutual respect, effective communication, and ownership in a shared vision. This method, which has proven to be successful in many real-life situations, uses a process that empowers participants to produce collaborative, consensus-based outcomes that achieve wanted goals.

  • Public Involvement Workshop
    Download Part One (PDF) (66pp., 701KB) | Download Part Two (PDF) (1pp., 17.9KB)
    Presenters: Alvin Chun and Renelle, Rae, U.S. EPA
    Achieving Results: The workshop explored how perception affects communication and why it is so difficult to communicate clearly and consistently. Practiced getting results from public involvement by engaging in exercises, real-life case studies, video clips, and an interactive, CD-ROM-based simulated public meeting during which participants practiced new skills. Based on their own public involvement experiences, participants discussed desired results and how to achieve them. Participants were able to take the CD-ROM to use after the workshop as a supplemental learning tool.

  • You Get What You Measure
    Presenters: Melissa Levy and Shanna Ratner, Yellow Wood Associates, Inc.
    Identifying indicators and developing measures of progress can be a powerful tool for personal and organizational development, as well as a key to reflection and learning. Participants learned how to identify and differentiate goals from actions, created effective indicators and measures of progress that motivate further action, and applied measurement results to make better decisions. This informative, interactive workshop is an introduction to the creative process of measurement. In facilitated sessions geared to a variety of learning styles, participants worked alone or in small groups on exercises that helped them discover how identifying measures involved action and reflection, tested previous assumptions about the way the world works, and created a new focus for their energies.

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Four-Hour Training (Thursday Afternoon, June 29 or Friday morning, June 30)

  • Be Prepared: Working With the News Media
    Presenters: Pamela Avery and Kellie Habeeb, Bozell & Jacobs
    In this highly interactive training, participants learned how to work with and build good relationships with print, broadcast and Internet news media. The workshop helped participants understand how newsrooms operate, what makes news, what reporters and producers look for in a news source, and how to craft and successfully deliver effective messages, especially during a crisis. The workshop featured a real-life case study and concluded with a brief one-on-one, on-camera videotaped session to help participants hone their interview and message-delivery skills. The workshop was limited to 12 attendees and only to government (federal, state, tribal or local) employees. Instructors contacted each participant prior to the workshop so that a real-life scenario could be created for each participant’s one-on-one on camera session. [Note: This Workshop was offered twice, once on Thursday afternoon and again on Friday morning]

Thursday, June 29

  • Dealing with What You’re Dealt: Real-time Situation Assessment Workshop (PDF) (27pp., 539KB)
    Presenters: Martha Bean, Collaborative Focus, and Nedra Chandler, Cadence
    This workshop took an innovative approach to situation assessment for complex, multiple-party settings. Using an interactive game that included an accelerated, engaging, and realistic simulation, participants explored various new assessment approaches and discussed the theory, implications, ethics, and the practice of situation assessment, which is undergoing something of a renaissance. Participants worked in groups on a situation assessment exercise that unfolded in phases. Using color-coded cards with distinct information relevant to each aspect of a situation, each group drew a unique combination of stakeholders, interests, and settings and used various tools and approaches to address the situation as it evolved. Participants worked together to address their situation, pausing periodically to consider strategic and ethical questions. Groups shared their experiences in a lively discussion of experiences and lessons learned.

  • Using Geographic Information Systems as a Tool to Enhance Community Involvement
    Download Part One (PDF) (5pp., 16.6KB) | Download Part Two (PDF) (25pp., 275KB)
    Presenters: Yolanda Anderson, Marcia Bradshaw, Rakesh Malhotra, Peter Muriuki, and Kimberly Outen, North Carolina Central University
    Participants learned the basics of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and mapmaking and participated in a hands-on demonstration using GIS software to create maps that enhance community awareness of environmental issues. The spatial juxtaposition of environmental hazards (toxic chemical handling and storage facilities, effluence, and pollution) with human activity (schools, hospitals, residential areas, and water sources) creates a powerful message. Participants with computers were allowed to follow the demonstration independently and work on an exercise using GIS software.

Friday, June 30

  • Developing your Leadership Campaign: Bringing Community Toxic Situations Under Control (PDF) (5pp., 16.6KB)
    Presenters: Bill Long, U.S. EPA Office of Air and Radiation, John Sanlon, JSEA, and Stacie Smith, Consensus Building Institute
    The leadership campaign approach enables community activists to use existing programs and projects as platforms upon which to build partnerships, secure resources, and generate commitments. In this workshop, participants designed a community leadership campaign to control an air toxic situation they identified. Community leaders and trainers from EPA, the Consensus Building Institute, and JSEA, Inc. showed how to tap into existing resources, relationships, and community energy to reach compelling air toxic goals. Participants developed their own goals, leadership voice, and campaign game plan. They learned to transform complexity and obstacles to participation into solutions and to secure the resources they needed to achieve dramatic results. Each participant left with a design for his or her own campaign that excited others to join.

  • Guided Group Discussion: A Strategy for Changing Behavior (PDF) (33pp., 162KB)
    Presenters: Christina Stanley and Carol Werner, University of Utah
    Participants learned how to lead discussions using an effective group strategy designed to persuade people to change their environmentally damaging behaviors. Using a strategy developed to reduce household hazardous waste, participants learned how to lead discussions that didn't try to persuade individuals, but got group members to inform and persuade themselves. This process gave social support and credibility to the information individuals received and enhanced the message impact. Research on the program’s effectiveness was presented and features that made the program effective–or undermined it–are discussed.

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