Natural Resources Leadership Institute

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Publications and Videos

On-Line Publications

Handling Scientific and Technical Information in Contentious Public Issues: Tools and Techniques for Extension Educators
Kay E. Haaland and L. Steven Smutko, Community Development Publication CD-47, NC State University, Raleigh, NC, 2005.

This booklet is designed to aid discussion leaders who work on contentious public issues. It focuses on one very important component of public issues: deliberation, those situations where information is likely to be debated and discussed apart from the public issue that concerns a community and divides its members. This booklet defines the recommended “best practices” to use when guiding communities in resolving difficult issues.

Handling Scientific and Technical Information in Contentious Public Issues: A Public Issues Education Approach - A teaching tool for faciltators, mediators, and discussion leaders..
Kay E. Haaland and L. Steven Smutko, Community Development Publication CD-46A&B, NC State University, Raleigh, NC, 2004.

This workshop curriculum is designed to improve the skills of discussion leaders who work on contentious public issues. It focuses on one very important component of public issues education – those situations where information is likely to be debated and discussed apart from the substantive issues.


Negotiation and Collaborative Problem Solving: Working Effectively on Tough Community Issues
L. Steven Smutko, NC State University, Raleigh, NC, 2007.

This primer on negotiation and collaborative problem-solving is meant to help people collaborate better.  It is organized on the premise that stakeholders who understand the basics of multi-party negotiation, and who are prepared to negotiate, will realize a better outcome than had they done neither.  


Engaging Your Community: A Discussion Leader's Guide
L. Steven Smutko, NC State University, Raleigh, NC, 2008

This series of nine booklets help discussion leaders and facilitators design and lead collaborative community problem-solving forums.

1. Conflict in Your Community
2. Complexities of Public Disputes
3. Principles of Collaborative Problem Solving
4. Process Design: Issues and Forums
5. Process Design: Stakeholders
6. Structuring Collaboroative Processes
7. Convening a Group
8. Reaching Agreement
9. The Facilitator Role


Public Conflict: Turning Lemons to Lemonade (Links to So. Rural Development Center Website)
Ron Hustedde, L. Steven Smutko, and Jared Kapsa, Southern Rural Development Center, Starkville, MS, 2001.

This manual is a train-the-trainers tool. It is designed to be taught and used primarily by extension educators, community officials, and citizen leaders. The basic goal of the manual is to give workshop participants the applicable knowledge and skills to help teach others how to identify, understand, manage, and when possible and desirable, to resolve conflicts within their own communities.


On Line Streaming Videos

When Talk Works: Building Consensus on the Nantahala (21:03) (MPEG File)
Mary Lou Addor and L. Steven Smutko

This negotiation training video features interviews with a number of parties involved in a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) hydropower relicensing process in the mountains of western North Carolina. Duke Power Company set in motion a process to bring together a broad spectrum of stakeholders – many with competing interests – and negotiate the conditions for the new licenses.  People who live in these river basins, together with scientists, conservationists, river outfitters, and business people , worked together over three years to arrive at a consensus agreement that prescribes new river flows, reservoir levels, and recreation opportunities on the Nantahala and Tuckasegee Rivers.

Contact us to order a DVD copy of this video together with a teaching guide and discussion questions.


Working for the Watershed: A Partnership in North Carolina (17:00) (Links to NC Ecosystem Enhancement Program website)

This instructional video, produced in cooperation with Watershed Education for Communities and Officials (WECO) at NC State University examines a collaborative watershed planning process on Burnt Mill Creek in southeastern North Carolina. It is designed to be used with a companion guidebook, Local Watershed Planning: Getting Citizens Involved about convening and facilitating collaborative watershed planning processes.


Dr. Steven Daniels: A Unifying Negotiation Framework (51:45)
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Dr. Steven Daniels introduces the Discourse Based Approach (DBA) Framework, a recently developed theoretical construct guiding the design and implementation of public decision processes. The DBA Framework was initially developed at the University of Copenhagen as the basis for graduate training in natural resource negotiation/mediation. The Framework has been applied to cases ranging from Australia (aboriginal rights) to Greenland (sustainable shorebird harvesting) to China (forest land tenure reform).

The DBA Framework provides a comprehensive structure for considering a range of social scales and contextual factors that serve as the basis for designing situationally responsive decision making processes. It comes closer to being a globally applicable unifying theory of public decision process than anything available to date.

Dr. Steven Daniels is co-author of Working Through Environmental Conflict: The Collaborative Learning Approach. He is the program leader for Community Development in University Extension, and Professor in the Department of Sociology, Social Work, and Anthropology and the Department of Environment and Society at Utah State University. Much of Dr. Daniels professional interests focus on community linkages to natural resources and in collaborative processes in natural resource management. He has been involved in a number of community-level collaborations, primarily in the Pacific Northwest.

Selected Journal Articles

Singletary, L., L. S. Smutko, M, Smith, G. Hill, S. Daniels, J. Ayres, and K. Haaland, “Skills Needed to Help Communities Manage Natural Resource Conflicts.” Conflict Resolution Quarterly. 25(3): 303-320. 2008.

Singletary, L., M, Smith, G. Hill, S. Daniels, L. S. Smutko, J. Ayres, and K. Haaland, “Strengthening Extension’s Capacity to Conduct Public Issues Education Programs: Results of a National Needs Assessment.” Journal of Extension 43:3(Article No. 3FEA1). 2007

Addor, M.L., T. Denckla, E.F. Dukes, M. Ellerbrock, and L.S. Smutko, "Theory to Practice Model: The Natural Resources Leadership Institute." Conflict Resolution Quarterly. 23(2): 203-23. 2006.

Smutko, L.S., S.H Klimek, C.A. Perrin, and L.E. Danielson. “Involving Watershed Stakeholders: An Issue-Attribute Approach to Determine Willingness and Need”. Journal of the American Water Resources Association. 38(4): 995-1006. 2002.