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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Clare Ryan
ESRM 400
Seattle Campus

Natural Resource Conflict Management

Introduction to the causes, dynamics, and consequences of natural resource conflicts as well as the range of procedural interventions used to manage conflict. Specific cases of environmental conflict and alternative dispute resolution procedures are examined. Emphasis on developing skills to effectively analyze, manage, and resolve natural resource conflicts. Offered: W.

Class description

Conflict appears to be a pervasive element of our culture and hence our daily lives. Often we are able to resolve, or at least manage, the conflicts that we are faced with each day. However, conflicts involving natural resource and environmental issues appear to be especially difficult, if not impossible, to manage and resolve. We will examine a variety of procedures that are traditionally used to manage conflicts, and analyze why these mechanisms frequently fail when applied to natural resource and environmental issues. The search for alternative means to resolve these conflicts has resulted in increased interest in and use of alternative dispute resolution procedures. Specific local and national cases of actual environmental conflicts and dispute resolution procedures will be examined using a mixture of readings, cases, discussion, negotiation simulation exercises (role plays), lecture, and guest speakers to illustrate key points and themes.

Student learning goals

Identify and analyze the causes, dynamics, and consequences of natural resource conflicts.

Understand the range of possible intervention tools and procedures that can be used to manage conflicts.

Make persuasive recommendations for managing conflict to decision makers.

Develop beginning skills in negotiation and/or facilitation of collaborative processes.

General method of instruction

This course is a mix of lecture and case discussion, combined with negotiation simulation exercises. Thus, it is critical that you do the assigned readings and actively participate in class discussions and role-play exercises.

Recommended preparation

Attend and participate in class sessions and simulation exercises, complete reading assignments, and complete all written assignments.

Class assignments and grading

There will be a number of written assignments throughout the term that will be graded and combined for your final course grade, as described below. Read each assignment carefully and address each item requested in the assignment. Written work must be logically organized, and free of blatant mistakes in spelling, grammar, and punctuation. The instructor will assess your contributions to the class through observation of class sessions and exercises, and you will be asked to assess your own contributions.

Two short negotiation simulation analysis papers. One paper analyzing a public meeting that you have attended. Take-home final exam -- case analysis paper.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional Information
Last Update by Clare Ryan
Date: 01/03/2009