No environmental or natural resource issue can be decided based just on science. Place and values matter. Science, combined with relationship-building, allows diverse interests to learn and find agreement. This approach also enables governments and corporations to gain social license. And together people can create value for their places.
I provide training in collaborative problem solving and leadership skills to enable individuals and organizations to convene, participate and facilitate learning and agreement-seeking efforts in relation to natural resources.
Using my social psychological, policy and ecological background, I enable diverse groups of interests to unravel complexity and build consensus.
I design, lead and facilitate collaborative problem-solving processes, involving diverse interests to learn together and explore solutions.
As social psychologist in natural resource management issues, I study the relationships between people, natural resources and places.
Collaboration and Research Results from Big Goose Creek Resolutions:
BGCR completed a multi-year collaborative process with the Black Hills National Forest to explore issues and ideas to resolve OHV recreation issues in the Black Hills Region. This report outlines the process and results. In addition BGCR completed a review of social science literature and other sources for the Wyoming Energy Authority to explore social license in Wyoming's client states regarding hydrogen, nuclear and carbon sequestrated energy types. The report gives results state by state and outlines recommendations.
It is because of Dr. Western’s professionalism, experience, instruction, and hard-work the Department, through ‘Collaborative Learning’, has achieved greater public support as a result of a better understanding society’s expectations and the multitude of management challenges to improve mule deer numbers"
— Daryl Lutz, Chairman of the Wyoming Mule Deer Working Group and
Wildlife Management Coordinator, Wyoming Game and Fish Department