Service Areas: Research
(1999-2005) Funded by Hewlett Foundation, the IEN coordinated a national research and outreach network to evaluate the potential value of CBCs, specifically how they do, and do not, satisfy the needs of communities, agencies, and organizations involved in protecting and managing natural resources. A \"Community-based collaborative\" is essentially a committee of stakeholders that seeks consensus agreements for management of a specific natural resource, most typically federally-owned lands. These collaboratives are gaining in popularity among communities who benefit from and utilize these... Continue reading →
(2001-2004) IEN was invited by the National Preservation Institute to develop a training for people who are managing projects involving historical preservation and natural resources, including SHPOs, Transportation agencies, Business, Environmental nonprofits, and others. The 3-day training built capacity for conflict resolution, negotiation and consensus building in projects involving the Section 106 and NEPA regulatory frameworks.
(2001) Bruce Dotson authored a handbook entitled “ Land Uses and Transportation Choices for the Future\" for the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission (TJPDC). The Handbook is intended for an audience of both citizens and professionals. Part I describes the Corplan computer model created by the project and the thinking behind its development. Part II describes the process of organizing and conducting a planning process built around the model. Consensus building and process design are two considerations which reflect the IEN’s work. This handbook benefitted other communities in... Continue reading →
(2006-2007) With the support of an anonymous donation for a graduate student internship, the IEN worked in partnership with the Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC) to develop the first local food directory for the greater Charlottesville region: “Buy Fresh, Buy Local.” The PEC is serving as official host for this directory and will be updating and distributing the directory on an annual basis (PEC's Buy Fresh, Buy Local site) . IEN sees this project as connected to many of its other projects addressing rural economic development and sustainable agriculture.
National Preservation Institute: Conflict Management & Negotiation Skills for Cultural and Natural Resource Managers
(2006 - Present) The National Preservation Institute continues to feature IEN as trainer for three-day intensive seminars on conflict resolution and prevention. Laws and regulations related to cultural and natural resources often require participatory processes that can be mired in conflict and misunderstanding. Projects frequently can be more effectively navigated when stakeholders use collaborative processes to identify and resolve problems during consultation. Through interactive exercises and role plays, participants learn the skills needed to frame the... Continue reading →
(2007-2011) This three-year project developed a real-time, microcomputer-based system for supporting community consensus decision-making about watershed issues. Led by a multi-disciplinary team at Virginia Tech, this project involved stakeholders from the North Fork of the Shenandoah watershed, representing a wide range of interests including agriculture, government, private business, environmental and utilities. The overall goal was to develop a flexible, practical toolkit that will provide watershed stakeholders with the knowledge and skills to select water quality protection mechanisms... Continue reading →
(1999) The IEN was asked by the Chair of the Legislative Subcommittee on the Impact of Satellite Chip Mills to conduct an assessment of the issues and prospective actions concerning chip mills in Virginia. IEN staff interviewed stakeholders and researched events and findings in other states. These results were presented to the Subcommittee along with some suggestions for ways in which the they might proceed.
(1998) The EPA funded a project that created a partnership among the EPA, the Environmental Law Institute (ELI), and the IEN, to examine the question of what is meant by the word \"sustainable.\" The IEN evaluated and computer-coded over 600 grant applications for the EPA Sustainable Development Challenge Grant for analysis by the ELI. The research aimed to elucidate what \"sustainable\" means to grant applicants, and what are common elements of community sustainability as perceived by communities throughout the United States. Can a better definition of community sustainability be developed... Continue reading →
(1997) With support from the Virginia Sea Grant Program, the Institute conducted a convening study on the Menhaden fisheries controversy to determine whether alternative dispute resolution techniques could be used to resolve this protracted common property resource conflict. Upon completion of the study, IEN published a report called, "The Menhaden Fishery Controversy: A Convening Analysis."
(1992) IEN facilitated a series of public meetings involving stakeholder groups working to explore the purposes and uses of a controversial proposed study of the Shenandoah National Park's natural and cultural resources.