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Conference Proceedings

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Conference Booklet

A conference booklet was prepared and sent via email to all participants in an effort to save paper. The booklet detailed important information about the conference and Seattle, Washington.

download the 2009 Conference Booklet (8 pp, 3.09MB).

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Plenary Sessions

Tuesday, August 18: Welcome, Plenary Activities and Facilitated Dialogue

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) eleventh Community Involvement Training Conference theme was, "Reaching across Boundaries: Sharing Challenges and Opportunities." In keeping with the conference theme, the opening event set the stage for a week-long journey acknowledging that boundaries exist all around us and can pose challenges to effectively solving environmental problems. The session began with introductory remarks from Jim Woolford, Director, Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation, U.S. EPA and Jeff Philip, Manager, Community Involvement and Public Information Unit, U.S. EPA Region 10, followed by a keynote address by Shelly Vendiola, Community Alliance & Peacemaking Project.

During Tuesday's second plenary session, conference attendees participated in a working lunch and facilitated dialogue featuring Mathy Stanislaus, U.S. EPA's Assistant Administrator for the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, and Michelle Pirzadeh, U.S. EPA's Acting Regional Administrator for Region 10.

Wednesday, August 19: Open-Time Topic Announcements and Poster Awards

Conference attendees had an opportunity to participate in open-time sessions later Wednesday morning. During this plenary session, the specific topics for each open-time discussion were announced. The presentation of poster awards were also presented. The Best Overall Award was presented to Ramona Huckstep of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the People's Choice Award was presented to Karen Martin of the U.S. EPA Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response.

Thursday, August 20: Keynote Presentation and Closing Remarks

The Keynote Speaker for the last plenary session was Brian Cladoosby, Chairman of the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community Senate Executive Committee. Mr. Cladoosby also is President of the Association of Washington Tribes. As an active community leader in northwestern Washington, he is very experienced in finding new ways to reach across boundaries and arrive at solutions. Closing remarks by Michelle Pirzadeh, U.S. EPA's Acting Regional Administrator for Region 10, followed Mr. Cladoosby's presentation.

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Open-Time Sessions

The agenda included time for up to eight "Open-Time" sessions on Wednesday morning from 10:45 to 11:45. Conference participants were given the opportunity to collaboratively discuss hot topics or hear an inmpromptu presentation. The following topics were proposed by participants during the plenary session on Wednesday morning.

  • Case Study of Superfund Jobs Training Initiative (SuperJTI) Project at Savannah River Site
  • Demonstration of Internet Mapping Program of Environmental Sites
  • How Neutral Facilitators/Mediators Can Help in Disputes
  • Informal Conversation about Changes of Community Involvement Policy Over Time
  • Proactive Strategies for Working with News and Information Media
  • Strategies for Dealing with Small Groups of People Who Monopolize the Time of Site Teams

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Concurrent Sessions

The conference featured twelve 90-minute, two 3-hour, ten 4-hour, and five 7-hour concurrent sessions on a broad range of topics. The concurrent sessions included:

90-Minute Concurrent Sessions (Tuesday Morning, August 18 through Wednesday Morning, August 19)

  • Advocating for Children's Health at Superfund Sites: Collaboration with Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units
    Presenters: I. Leslie Rubin, SE PEHSU at Emory University; Sheela Sathyanarayana, University of Washington; Margo Young, U.S. EPA
    At a Superfund site, Community Involvement (CI) staff aim to engage and involve the community in ongoing and planned site activities. Often one of the main concerns of community members is how the Superfund site will affect their health and the health of their children. A collaboration between Superfund CI staff and regional Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units (PEHSUs) can help to raise awareness about child-specific environmental health concerns, while providing specialized guidance and information to community members and local health care providers.

    PEHSUs are academically based, typically at university medical centers, and are located across the United States, with one in Canada and and one in Mexico. Sites in the U.S. are funded jointly by EPA and ATSDR. The PEHSU network has experts in pediatrics, allergy/immunology, neurodevelopment, toxicology, occupational and environmental medicine, and other specialized areas. PEHSUs work with health care professionals, parents, schools, community groups and others to provide information on protecting children from environmental hazards through prevention, diagnosis, management, and treatment. They also work with federal, state, and local agencies to address children's environmental health issues in homes, schools, and communities.

    This presentation begins with an overview of children's environmental health issues frequently encountered at Superfund sites and clarifies why it is important to address children's health specifically. The role of PEHSUs in local communities will be described, as well as how this role could be implemented into the existing Superfund Community Involvement plan at a site. In addition, several site-specific case studies will be discussed to examine CI/PEHSU collaboration.

  • Dowload Sathyanarayana's Presentation (PDF) (16pp, 342KB)
    Download Rubin's Presentation (PDF)
    (49pp, 2.2 MB)
  • An Environmental Justice Youth Corps Program: Engaging Multiple Community Partner Linn Gould, Just Health Action; Carmen Martinez, Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition
    In 2001, EPA listed the lower Duwamish River, located in Seattle, Washington, as a Superfund site. This contaminated waterway and surrounding industrialized area is also home to two residential communities facing multiple environmental challenges. The Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition (DRCC) is an alliance of 10 community, environmental, and tribal organizations, formed to defend the interests of the community. Its mission is to ensure a river cleanup that is accepted by and beneficial to the community while protecting fish, wildlife, and human health.

    In addition to Superfund site exposures in contaminated sediments and seafood, South Park, a low-income, predominantly Latino neighborhood has expressed Environmental Justice (EJ) concerns including: the future of its youth; crime and safety; addiction; food uncertainty; affordable housing; and education and employment challenges. In response, DRCC and Just Health Action are providing a bilingual (English/Spanish) EJ science and advocacy program for local youth. The program integrates an EJ education with an experiential component of field trips and community service activities, sponsored by federal, state, and local institutions interested in collaborating with DRCC to address community concerns. The program culminates with student consensus and subsequent implementation of one environmental action they will undertake to improve South Park. This session includes presentation of the curriculum, the community action taken, challenges and successes. There will also be an evaluation of the student's improved ability to be community change agents, as well as an evaluation of the program's effectiveness in building interest and capacity in the Latino community to encourage participation in Superfund cleanup decisions.

  • Empowering a Community to Reverse Environmental Health Policy Mistakes
    Edward Lorenz, Jane Keon, Gary Smith, Murray Borrello, Dianne, Borrello, Ben Roberts, Anita Hemlich, and Amber Keyes, Pine River Superfund Citizen Task Force; Robert McConkie, City of St. Louis, Michigan
    This presentation will describe a community involvement experience in St. Louis, Michigan, the location of multiple Superfund sites related to a common responsible party, Velsicol Chemical, and its former parent, Fruit of the Loom. The sites were initially addressed in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but community participation in the policy process was consciously rejected. Contamination continued to increase after the establishment of two NPL sites in 1983 and the de-listing of a third site. Following the creation of a community advisory group (CAG) in 1998, major new remediation of the sites has taken place. The CAG has pioneered aggressive involvement in litigation against responsible parties and, simultaneously, pressured the federal and state health agencies to investigate potential health consequences of exposures. The CAG has used its local experiences to inform communities internationally about the potential problems resulting from exposure of contaminants used at the Michigan sites. In March 2008, the CAG and Alma College hosted the Eugene Kenaga International DDT Conference, whose deliberations have been presented at World Health Organization meetings in Geneva. The theme of the presentation will address multiple perspectives, including EPA, State, and community, on this approach to environmental-health policy participation. This session includes discussion on the concept of using local knowledge to shape complex technical decision making. The CAG and Alma College won the Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter Partnership Award in 2008, and the CAG's Free Fishing Derby will appear in the Guinness Book of World Records.

    Download Pine River Superfund Citizen Task Force Presentation (PDF)
    (50pp, 1.5MB)

  • Going Beyond the Usual Suspects to Ensure Balanced Participation
    Douglas Sarno, The Perspectives Group, Inc.
    We all have been involved with sites where a small group of very active stakeholders can dominate the agenda. What happens when this important voice in the community does not represent the interests of the community as a whole? In these situations, it is even possible for an individual or small group to become so influential that they impede true progress and jeopardize remedies that are in the best interests of the overall community. How do we include the entire community involved without alienating or disenfranchising those who have had an historically larger role?

    Several experienced CICs from around the country will present case histories of high profile Superfund Sites where this situation has occurred. Douglas Sarno, Principal of the public participation firm The Perspectives Group, will analyze the presentations and offer specific suggestions to create more balanced participation. A panel of senior CIC's will discuss these ideas further to understand their application to Superfund.

    Based on the presentations and panel discussion, Doug will then pose several key questions to the audience for deliberation in a World Caf? style discussion. With the interactive help of the audience, we'll end the session with a number of concrete actions we can take to deal with this dilemma.

    Download Presentation (PDF) (26pp, 491KB)
  • Networking Across Organizational Boundaries to Improve Crisis Communication
    Jani Gilbert, Washington Department of Ecology; Julie Graham, Spokane Regional Health District
    Too often, when an environmental crisis occurs, the responding agency tries to address critical communication needs by itself, neglecting to involve other potentially affected organizations. The result produces, not only resentment on the part of other organizations, but garbled, confusing, or inaccurate messages to the public.

    This session presents a discussion on how networking across organizational boundaries improves crisis communication as experienced by a community in Spokane, WA. Recognizing that "silo" communication is an important barrier to effective crisis response and recovery, a handful of public information officers in Spokane undertook development of a local crisis information network. The network grew over a one-year period from a roster of four information officers to more than 50. Network participants share 24/7 contact information, consult with one another on crisis communication strategies, and meet periodically to coordinate crisis communications plans and to drill in modified joint information center format. While challenges to maintain the network continue to arise, communications in recent crisis events have improved significantly.

    Download Presentation (PDF) (7pp, 71.9KB)
  • New Tools to Transform Your Community Connections
    Jeffrey Philip, U.S. EPA
    Communication technologies like Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and cell phones have changed the way individuals and groups interact and network. These communication media create virtual social networks that provide a powerful means of reaching an audience. Communities, colleagues, and public servants can expand their networks by keeping pace with these latest technological tools.

    In this session, you will learn how these technologies enable the connections between people to grow exponentially. Through innovative uses of your computer and cell phone, you can instantly share information with your audience in ways not possible with fact sheets, newsletters, and email.

    You will be taught how to set up a professional Facebook and Twitter account and develop online connections with your audience. Through these connections, you can invite others to view videos, attend online events, and download information. In addition, you will learn how to set up a mobile audio tour for your subject matter so that anyone with a cell phone can hear a pre-recorded program informing them of health risks or other essential information. Learn how to create a blog and determine when it is prudent to comment on another blog.

    When you leave this session, you will be connected to many other attendees. During the remainder of the week, you will have ample opportunity to practice using these tools to share your ideas and make our Community Involvement work more efficient and effective.

  • Download Presentation (47pp, 3.2 MB)
  • Overcoming Boundaries: Using Online Media Tools to Effectively Engage the Public
    Erin Taylor, Chris Morse, Ray Outlaw, EnviroIssues
    Explore how online media tools can dissolve boundaries and effectively engage diverse stakeholders in your projects. This session will discuss the use of online media tools for community involvement, including using interactive Web sites, tailored software, and visual presentations.

    EnviroIssues, a Seattle-based community involvement and communications firm, will share creative approaches for integrating online media with traditional techniques, including interactive mapping, online public meetings, visualizations and custom information management tools. Presenters will provide examples of how online media tools have been adapted and tailored across varying projects for both the public and project teams?from rural public works projects to urban transportation planning to multi-county water projects—to address common boundaries, such as controversial issues, stakeholder diversity and sensitivity, geographic variations, and technological limitations.

    Using an interactive case study, participants in this session can:

    • Explore how different types of environmental and social boundaries impact the capacity for effective community engagement;
    • Examine potential online media challenges, including accessibility and information technology overload;
    • Develop a community involvement plan integrating online communication tools with other public involvement tools and techniques; and
    • Share observations and explore different ideas for implementing and tailoring their outreach programs.

    Presenters will help attendees plan and design online tool use, and discuss implementation, evaluation and monitoring methods. The session concludes with a discussion about lessons learned and an opportunity for questions and answers.

  • Sa-Heh-Wa-Mish Environmental Stewardship Initiative to Foster Voluntary Behavior Change
    Heidi Keller, Heidi Keller Consulting; Emily Sanford, Washington State University; John Konoushy, Squaxin Island Tribe
    Oakland Bay, located at the southernmost tip of Puget Sound, is a fragile ecosystem that supports an entire community ? economically, recreationally, and culturally. An annual production of more than three million pounds of manila clams and hundreds of thousands of oysters provides over 300 jobs in this small community in Shelton, Washington. It is a source of recreation and pride for Mason County residents and an ancient home for the current members of the Squaxin Island Tribe. The tribe refer to their ancestors, who once lived around Oakland Bay, as the Sa-Heh-Wa-Mish. Interviews of current watershed residents and livestock owners revealed that they do not make the connection between their environmental stewardship practices at home and water quality in Oakland Bay.

    This session will describe how a coalition of community groups banded together to improve water quality in Oakland Bay using a social marketing approach. Participants will learn about prior education and outreach efforts to promote recommended septic and livestock management practices, why social marketing was chosen as a behavior change strategy, the results of qualitative audience research, and the strategies selected to stimulate broad-based behavior change among upland residents. In addition, participants will have an opportunity to work through the features of a social marketing plan, followed by a discussion of the Oakland Bay plan and the strategies that were selected to make the concrete connection between septic and livestock owner environmental stewardship practices and improve water quality in the much cherished bay.

    Download Presenation (PDF) (63pp, 1.7 MB)

  • Teaching Negotiation for Effective Communication and Conflict Resolution
    Mardi Winder-Adams, Positive Communication Systems
    Environmental issues and programs are a source of potential conflict within any community. Teaching both agency representatives and the general community the most effective ways to negotiate and communicate in conflict will only enhance the discussion and the ability to develop a greater understanding for both groups. Effective communication training can be provided prior to town hall meetings, facilitated group meetings, or mediation and negotiation sessions.

    Making the processes of negotiation, mediation, and communication transparent and equal between both the agencies and the community will decrease the potential for misunderstanding and misperceptions. It will also allow both the community members and the agency representatives to have the same understanding of what skills and tools can be used to enhance communication. Through this enhanced communication there is a better opportunity for recognition and empowerment to develop meaningful and sustainable resolutions and agreements.

    The workshop will focus on the basic tasks or skills that can be taught and practiced within negotiation training workshops. It will also highlight how interaction between agencies and community groups in these trainings can be the first step in developing a non-confrontational style of communication and dialogue.

    Download Presentation (PDF) (18pp, 300KB)

  • Using Intercollegiate Debate to Inform Environmental Policy Discourse in America
    John W. Davis, II, JD
    This training session examines ways in which debate enhances organizational effectiveness and public communication on complex and controversial science policy questions. Portions of the training will discuss debate methodology, examine a variety of models and examples for using debate to foster communication and understanding, and outline an agenda for improved decision making through debate.

    Public Forum Debate (PFD) is being used as a new and innovative method to inform and educate the public. PDFs are organized debating events hosted by federal agencies, NGOs, corporations, and associations, who have a stake in promoting public debate on controversial issues within their scope. We use nationally ranked intercollegiate debate programs to research and present the arguments, both pro and con, devoid of special interest in the outcome. In doing so, agency representatives now remain squarely within the decision-making role thereby neutralizing overzealous advocacy that can inhibit learned discourse. Using America's top college debaters, audiences can trust the information being disseminated. We developed a set of best practices and protocols for PFDs. One such model, developed in conjunction with the EPA's Office on Water was publicly tested at the April 2008 EPA Earth Day Debates and the April 2009 National Beach Conference also sponsored by the EPA.

    PFDs have tangible benefits: (1) they provide access to a talented pool of college students; (2) offer high profile deliberation on issues central to your organization's mission; and (3) educate employees and the public on the salient competing arguments arising from controversial issues.

  • Visioning the Future: Engaging Diverse Communities in Creating a Community Vision for the Future of the Lower Duwamish Superfund Site
    Cari Simson, Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition; Maggie Milcarek, University of Washington; Nate Cormier, SvR Design Company
    The EPA listed the lower Duwamish as a Superfund site in 2001. The Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition (DRCC) was formed by an alliance of community, environmental, tribal and small business groups affected by ongoing pollution and cleanup plans for the Duwamish River. DRCC is EPA's "Community Advisory Group" for the site and is working to ensure that the cleanup meets community standards.

    This session discusses the Duwamish Valley Vision Project and the purpose and process for creating a "Vision Map" of the Duwamish Valley, which represents the future of the Duwamish River Valley as envisioned by its residents, workers, businesses, visitors, and river users. The Map depicts a shared community vision for creating a healthy and sustainable Duwamish River Valley, which will help guide cleanup decisions being made by EPA for the Superfund site.

    The Duwamish Valley is a predominately low-income community, representing over 30 native languages, that is challenged by multiple exposures to toxins in its lands, air, water, and river sediments. The Duwamish Valley Vision Map was created through a series of community workshops, interviews and surveys with over 500 residents, workers, business owners, industrial leaders, youth, elders, recreational visitors, fishermen and homeless constituents. Workshops and interviews were conducted in English, Spanish, Vietnamese and Cambodian. The resulting "Vision Map" gives DRCC and the community a tool for evaluating the cleanup alternatives in the pending "Feasibility Study," and a "compass" for planning the future of the Duwamish Valley so that it will better serve its diverse constituents.

    Download Presentation (PDF) (36pp, 3.5 MB)

  • Working Together: Aligning Communities, Academia and the U.S. EPA
    Katie Frevert, University of Washington-Superfund Research Program; Hiram Sarabia, University of California-Superfund Research Program ; Denise Moreno, University of Arizona-Superfund Research Program, Mónica Ramírez, The University of Arizona-Superfund Research Program;
    The federally funded Superfund Research Program (SRP) is a network of university grants designed to seek solutions to the complex health and environmental issues associated with the nation's hazardous waste sites. In this session, case studies related to three SRP projects will be presented followed by an interactive panel discussion centered on inter-boundary partnerships. The three case studies include: the University of California, San Diego's coordination with Tribal nations to reduce exposures to Superfund chemicals; the University of Arizona's cross-border effort with community health activists, Promotoras, built upon a community-based participatory research (CBPR) model; and the University of Washington’s support of the Northwest Toxic Communities Coalition, whose mission is to connect with and empower communities impacted by toxic waste throughout the northwest states.

    Participating SRPs promote CBPR concepts that include implementation of equal representation of all partners, recognition of each partner's strength, and the need to effectively translate research findings to communities. The goals of the presentation are to raise awareness of the SRP as a valuable resource for all stakeholders and to solicit input from conference participants that can help broaden positive impacts in communities.

    This unique community/university/agency partnership reinforces the vital role that basic scientific research plays in addressing challenges posed by environmental contamination in our communities, and helps to inform some of the scientific uncertainties that face the Superfund program.

    Download Presentation (PDF) (28pp, 2.1MB)

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3-Hour Concurrent Sessions (Thursday Morning, August 20)

  • Overcoming Barriers to Effective Community Involvement: A Citizen Participant Perspective
    Dr. John Ray, Montana Tech of University of Montana
    Effective public participation in EPA decision-making and implementation activities can improve the outcome of those actions. The greater the numbers who are substantively involved in making and implementing a decision, the more information, the more perspectives, and the more alternative solutions are brought to that process. Effective community involvement means that the resulting decision will have greater credibility and legitimacy. Public participation promotes public civic education and engagement and can increase trust in government institutions. It also facilitates public acceptance of an agency decision and decreases the likelihood of prolonged challenges to that decision.

    Although the EPA mandates community involvement in the majority of all EPA activities, often the outcome of such involvement is far from satisfactory for both the public and agency personnel. Frequently, the public comes away with the feeling that the agency didn?t listen to them and that their participation had little efficacy. Agency personnel often feel that the efforts devoted to community involvement are not as productive as they could have been. Agency personnel with a technical background may not be comfortable dealing with the general public, and the general public, lacking technical expertise, is uncomfortable dealing with the agency personnel.

    While there may always be tension between government agencies and the public, many of the barriers to effective community involvement can be overcome. This presentation enables agency personnel to identify the impediments to effective community relations and what causes these impediments, as well as develop a customized plan for improving their community relation's activities.

    Download Presentation (PDF) (5pp, 50.1KB)
    Download Presentation (PDF) (1pp, 26.4KB)
  • Using Social Media to Enhance Outreach to Diverse Communities
    Leticia Solaun, and Lorraine Jameson, CH2M HILL
    Social media provides opportunities to interact with stakeholders using Internet and mobile-based tools. This session will provide participants with information on social media, specific types and forums for social media, the nuances of user created content, and ways to effectively use social media to reach and build relationships with diverse stakeholders. Participants will work in groups to conduct a brief social media analysis to select and apply specific social media to a mock situation as a method to share information and obtain input from stakeholders.

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4-Hour Sessions (Tuesday Afternoon, August 18 through Thursday Afternoon, August 20)

  • Apology—A Tool for Conflict Prevention or Resolution? (An Interactive Discussion Workshop)
    Patrick Field, Consensus Building Institute; Lucy Moore; Ray Daw, NFZ Consulting
    At one time or another each of us has faced a citizen or a regulated entity who expressed anger at actions that we have either taken or not taken in our roles with the EPA. Sometimes people outside of the EPA have even made untrue or misleading statements or accusations about EPA and EPA officials for which we wish we could ask for an apology.

    This interactive discussion will examine whether?and if so, who, where, how and when?there is a place for apology (big or little, informal or formal, private, personal or public) in dealing with those who are unhappy, angry, or dissatisfied with the decisions that public officials make. Are there apologies that can be made without incurring liability? What constitutes a good apology? What are the pitfalls in constructing an apology or making a decision not to issue an apology? What can we learn from new practices in medical malpractice, restorative justice, and other applications of apology for resolving conflicts?

    This workshop will be an interactive presentation and discussion with video clips of good and bad apologies and participant evaluations and discussions of the components of apology. The presenters will also lead a discussion of cultural issues surrounding apology and restorative justice.

    Download Presentation (PDF) (35pp, 640KB)

  • Building Sustainable Communities with Vision-to-Action, Multi-Vision Integration)
    James Wadell and Susan James, US Army Corps of Engineers
    A personal vision is the deepest expression of what we want in life. It becomes both a guide for our decisions and a gauge of our sense of satisfaction in life. Enabling those individual self-images to evolve into a shared community vision for the future builds a synergy of excitement with an extraordinary sense of purpose, cooperative direction, and energy.

    The Vision-to-Action, Multi-Vision Integration tool empowers community members to be proactive at the local and regional level and take personal responsibility for immediate action as they visualize themselves living sustainably in their communities.

    This process has been successfully used with over 2,000 total participants in over a dozen locations throughout the country from Selma, Alabama to Hattiesburg, Mississippi, to the Puget Sound. By actively engaging others, understanding and learning about vision, goals and priorities, the various public and private agencies and organizations seeking public input, involvement and support, can determine more precisely anticipate and support that community's vision for economic and environmental progress.

    The outcome provides an economical and excellent first step toward a community's self analysis, description and identification of potential community strengths and weaknesses, and opportunities and ideas to build upon. New levels of cooperation and collaboration are achieved throughout the community.

    This process conveys accessibility of your organization and often times provides new and unanticipated opportunities to build connections and network between public and private sector partners.

  • Communicating During Environmental Crisis
    Helen Burnett and Jessica Wieder, U.S. EPA
    Environmental crises present communication challenges from their onset through resolution. One of the most critical of those challenges is that of communicating quickly and effectively to the media and the public the scope and degree of a crisis. Information about a crisis may be vital to public health and safety, but it often requires conveying highly technical information to the media and the public. What is the best course of action to overcome these barriers when to conveying complex environmental issues in a crisis?

    This four-hour, highly interactive, session features a series of hands-on exercises designed to help participants develop clear and concise messages on complex environmental issues to the media and the public, deliver the messages effectively to the media and the public during the highly charged atmosphere in a crisis, and overcome communications barriers in a simulated environmental crisis.

    Through the simulated environmental crisis, participants will learn how overcoming communications challenges can help inspire confidence and build credibility. While the session focuses on crisis communications, the communications skills and processes presented in this session can easily be applied to other communications issues surrounding environmental planning and implementation, community involvement, outreach, and educational programs.

    Download Presentation (PDF) (39pp, 360KB)
  • Communicating Risk Through Multi-Agency Teaming
    Tim Sueltenfuss, SMITH/Associates; Regina Lundgren
    From environmental damages to public health threats, today's risks require the skills of many agencies to combat and communicate effectively. But when agencies unite, who carries the message? Who agrees on the message? Who creates the message? How are stakeholders involved? This workshop addresses these kinds of questions by laying out the necessary underpinnings of an effective risk communication process and using scenario-based role-playing to allow participants to plan and practice risk communication in the challenging team environment.

    Download Presentation (PDF) (39pp, 2.38MB)
  • Cultural Sensitivity Training: Opportunities to Connect with Native American Communities
    Dexter Albert, Intrinsic Consulting, LLC; Elaine Wilson, Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc.; Pablo Padilla, Padilla Law Firm
    This training is based on the collective experiences of the presenters while working with tribal communities. As Native American outreach, community involvement, and dispute resolution practitioners, the presenters bring a unique perspective to working with Native Americans in the environmental field. Based on their expertise, the presenters offer cultural sensitivity guidance and practical tips for engaging with tribal communities. The presentation incorporates helpful information and tools that public participation and conflict resolution practitioners can use to enhance community involvement, and it shares successful approaches and lessons learned in dealing with complex environmental concerns. The training also brings people with diverse perspectives together using interactive exercises and group discussions.

    The session will begin with an ice breaker designed to highlight cultural misunderstandings. Next, a PowerPoint presentation will offer basic background information and tips for people working with tribes, as well as insights into Native American conflict resolution and peacemaking techniques. Afterward, a panel discussion focused on the panel members' experiences in tribal outreach, public involvement and resolving conflicts in Native America, with a focus on environmental situations. Finally, participants will develop approaches to various real-world scenarios and projects based on actual case studies in small groups.

    Download Presentation (PDF) (44pp, 1.06MB)
  • Meeting Together to Succeed Together
    Mary Wenska, Wenska CommunicationWorks, LLC
    Today, more than ever, it is crucial to be smart about how to set up meetings. Important factors include: who needs to attend the meeting; what are issues to discuss; how to encourage attendees' participation; and how to use the processes that facilitate broad-based agreements (consensus) for proposed action or next steps. This is an interactive course that targets how to effectively manage small group meetings (defined as more than two and less than twenty people) by emphasizing the following key concepts: 1) Making decisions using a consensus building approach; and 2) Managing conflict in and around meetings so as to strengthen rather than endanger or derail successful group outcomes.

    During this session, participants will first work with a partner and later in a small group, to experience the difference among decisions that are: 1) handed down with little or no input from the group; 2) made by majority rule; or 3) developed and decided through a consensus-building approach. Participants will receive feedback from their partners, other participants, and the instructor. In the process, participants will learn consensus-building tools and conflict management skills to improve their interactions at the numerous small group meetings that likely fill their professional and personal lives. This class is appropriate for conference attendees who wish to become more skilled at consensus-building and managing conflict in small group meetings.

    Download Presentation (PDF) (39pp, 171KB)
  • Picturing Your Program: Logic Models Can Tell Your Performance Story
    Yvonne Watson, U.S. EPA
    We've often heard it said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Many organizations, programs, and projects often run into trouble because they lack a clear understanding of how their programs are supposed to operate and, therefore find it challenging to communicate the results of their programs and projects. A logic model is a picture that uses diagrams and text to illustrate the relationships/connection between your program resources, outputs, customers, outcomes, goals, and objectives. A logic model can help managers and staff in government, private industry (large and small businesses), and non-profit sectors understand whether their program or project is operating as intended and achieving the expected outcomes, goals, and objectives. Through a combination of class instruction, hands-on exercises, and a homework assignment (completed prior to the workshop), participants will learn the difference between an output and an outcome and the basic steps needed to develop a logic model of their program, project or organization. Class participants will also learn how the logic model can be used as a tool to design a new program, communicate the organization and operation of an existing program/project, support the identification of key performance measures, share program results, and support strategic planning.

    Download Presentation (PDF) (71pp, 1.12MB)
  • Working Redevelopment into the Superfund Cleanup Pipeline—How Site Reuse Happens
    Bill Denman, U.S. EPA
    This session explores how reuse can fit into each step of the Superfund cleanup process and takes an in-depth look at sites where reuse was incorporated at various stages of cleanup. This presentation shares the story of the Woolfolk Chemical site in downtown Fort Valley, Georgia, where a small community wrestled with Superfund stigma and reuse considerations. Introducing reuse planning at this troubled site helped alleviate community fears and stigma, and played a key role in building a strong coalition among EPA, community stakeholders, and local government. It demonstrates how site cleanup teams can work efficiently with communities, States, potentially responsible parties (PRPs), and other site stakeholders to promote the redevelopment of Superfund sites and bring them back into beneficial use, even when circumstances seem grim and there are significant obstacles to cleaning up the site, much less looking beyond Superfund to think about reuse possibilities.

    Download Presentation (PDF) (112pp, 11.0MB)
  • Using Collaboration to Overcome Barriers
    Judy Smith and Helen DuTeau, U.S. EPA
    Collaboration is important because EPA cannot protect public health and the environment alone. We can leverage our resources by working with others in effective collaborative processes, but we also need to understand when such processes are appropriate and likely to succeed, and when they are not the best choice to make.

    This half-day course is designed to provide Superfund Community Involvement Coordinators with knowledge that will empower them to become collaboration champions with communities and project teams. This session provides skills, assessment tools, and behaviors that can be used to enhance EPA?s internal and external capacity to collaborate. Through successful collaboration we can achieve more open, transparent governance.

    Download Presentation (PDF) (30pp, 682KB)
  • What Factors Determine the Quality of Collaborative Processes?
    Joseph McMahon, Collaborative Processes LLC
    This session is a dialogue among the facilitator and session participants about whether environmental practitioners can more clearly identify, and therefore better define and adjust, the factors that lead to success in collaborative processes. These concepts apply directly to community involvement, the formation of working alliances and partnerships, and the challenge of collaboration among diverse perspectives.

    The dialogue will focus on the six principal factors that contribute to collaborative success when organizations reach across boundaries. Using several cases/hypotheticals nominated by the session participants, we will consider how we can change the collaborative processes to increase the prospects for success. The discussion pertains to all environmental collaborations (whether water, air, environmental justice, or waste). Participants will be given a mapping tool that uses the six principal collaborative factors to help them assess the quality of any collaborative process. The workshop dialogue will focus on how we can make personal and institutional change to increase collaborative success. Background material is available online at: http://www.collaborativeprocesses.com Exit EPA Disclaimer

    Download Presentation (PDF) (20pp, 504KB)

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7-Hour Concurrent Sessions (Thursday, August 20)

  • Be Prepared: Working with the News Media
    Pamela Avery and Dominic Frederico, Turner Strategies

    Registration Restricted: This course is open ONLY to EPA, other federal and state participants and is limited to 12 participants who have taken a basic media/spokesperson training workshop.

    Media/spokesperson training is a must for anyone called upon to speak about an EPA program, project, or issue. What you say and how you say it is critical to getting information out to the news media, community groups, and others. This workshop is designed to give participants the confidence they need to explain their work and talk about tough issues. Participants will learn how to prepare for interviews and public speaking engagements, craft appropriate messages, and deliver those messages effectively?under pressure or in a crisis. They also will learn how newsrooms operate and their rights as interview subjects.

    This highly interactive course features customized scenarios relevant to each participant's programs or projects, and one-on-one videotaped training sessions with a professional interviewer and TV photojournalist. Each participant will receive an EPA Media Training Manual that includes topics covered in the workshop.

  • Interest Based Negotiations for Community Involvement Professionals
    David Batson, U.S. EPA
    This full day interactive training is designed to give community involvement professionals the skills to effectively deal with the many disputes that arise while assisting communities and site activities.

    In this course you will learn the basics of Interest Based Negotiations as presented in the best selling book?Getting to Yes (copy provided to each participant). You will learn how to discover what you and those you are interacting with need in order to successfully negotiate or collaborate and how to maximize your ability to reach an implementable solution. You?ll also learn ways to decide who to involve in negotiations, what issues the group will be able to negotiate successfully and when and how to retain a facilitator to assist with difficult discussions. Through a series of interactive exercises, participants will practice important negotiation skills, such as active listening, questioning, and re-framing using case examples derived from over 20 years of Superfund negotiations.

    This course is appropriate for both experienced and newer CI professionals; experienced staff will have the opportunity to brush up on negotiation skills and see negotiations from a new vantage point, while newer professionals will get a solid foundation in negotiation practice and skills.

    Download Presentation (PDF) (73pp, 3.67MB)
  • Preparing for Effective Community Involvement: Tools & Techniques
    Helen DuTeau, Carrie Deitzel, and Sherryl Carbonaro, U.S. EPA
    This 7-hour workshop is designed to problem solve challenging community involvement situations by offering a variety of tools and techniques to plan effective outreach and involvement strategies. The course focuses on designing strategies that will help you plan a successful public participation program.

    The basis of the workshop is designed around mock community involvement scenarios in which participants will work together in teams to craft strategies. The course will also devote time to coaching participants on strategies to help them in their real life community involvement challenges.

    For more than 25 years, the Superfund program has set the benchmark for community involvement. There is an enormous responsibility placed on EPA to involve the public during the investigation and cleanup of hazardous waste sites. In addition to EPA's statutory requirements to involve the public, we have also developed a toolkit of techniques over the years that can be shared with other programs facing similar community involvement challenges.

    Whether you're planning a public meeting or implementing a comprehensive outreach strategy, we will introduce you to the tools and techniques that help EPA be a more effective partner with the communities we serve.

    This workshop uses a simulated community involvement scenario around which participants will design an outreach/community involvement strategy. Participants will be divided into "teams" and present their strategy to the rest of the group. There will also be an "advice session" at the end of the course to share ideas and offer solutions to real life community involvement problems.

    Download Presentation (PDF) (48pp, 758KB)
  • Risk Communication
    Vince Covello, Center for Risk Communications
    This course provides a framework and basic principles for effectively communicating risk with local residents and other stakeholders during remedial site activities. One of the most difficult tasks a community involvement coordinator (CIC) undertakes is to clearly communicate risks associated with activities at the site. A CIC?s audience for risk communication varies from concerned citizens and elected officials to the news media and business entities, and the type of risk to be communicated varies across the wide spectrum of site remediation. Through a combination of slide presentations, videotapes, and class exercises, participants learn the principles and rationale behind risk communication techniques and their importance. Participants also have the opportunity to examine the critical role of key messages and, through interactive examples, learn how to develop key messages for use in a variety of situations.

    By taking the course, participants will:

    • Learn how to effectively prepare for interactions with the public and the media and avoid miscommunications and pitfalls.
    • Explore the principles and rationale behind risk communication techniques and gain a better understanding of their importance.
    • Examine the critical role of key messages and, through interactive examples, learn how to develop key messages for use in situations that involve communication with the public or media.

  • The Charrette: A Conflict Resolution Tool for Revitalizing Contaminated Lands
    James Wilkinson, and Miranda Maupin, E2 Inc., Tanya Denckla Cobb, and Frank Dukes, Institute for Environmental Negotiation (IEN) at the University of Virginia
    This full day training familiarizes EPA staff with the use of charrettes as a collaborative planning tool and best practice used to resolve conflict and support the revitalization of contaminated lands.

    Training Objectives

    • Explore the characteristics, benefits, and outcomes of charrettes at contaminated lands, with an emphasis on how these processes resolve conflicts and strengthen remedial decision-making, protectiveness, and long-term stewardship.
    • Identify the characteristics of environmental conflicts and understand how charrettes address conflict dynamics at contaminated lands.
    • Participate in immersion modules that engage participants in the charrette process for contaminated lands, providing a sustained opportunity to explore stakeholder interests, analyze site and community information, and identify strategies for effective charrette sessions and post-charrette next steps.
    • Examine how charrettes can be used appropriately in site cleanup and their characteristics at different cleanup stages.
    • Explore examples of charrettes from contaminated sites nationwide.

    The training is built around interactive training modules that immerse EPA staff in site-based situations and engaging discussions focused on charrette best practices. The target audience for this course is EPA staff interested in conflict resolution, collaborative decision-making, and the reuse and revitalization of contaminated lands. The training is designed for EPA staff with initial to extensive experience in these subject areas.

    The training is provided by the EPA Conflict Prevention and Resolution Center (http://www.epa.gov/adr) as part of its capacity building activities for the Superfund and Brownfields programs.

    Download Presentation (PDF)(10pp, 340KB)
    Download Presentation (PDF)(161pp, 17.5MB)

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