Apply scientific knowledge and principles, quantitative methods, technology tools, and regulatory policies to think critically and make recommendations to address complex environmental problems
Final Applied Project: Presentation to Stakeholders on Environmental Management Issue:
Addresses Outcomes #1, 2, 3, and 4
- develop and implement management plans that incorporate scientific principles and that comply with environmental laws and ethical principles in a team environment
- demonstrate quantitative reasoning and analysis of information obtained through literature review, sampling, field investigation, and monitoring
- apply scientific knowledge and principles, quantitative methods, technology tools, and regulatory policies to think critically and make recommendations to address complex environmental problems
- communicate orally and in writing on environmental issues, principles, and practices in a clear, well-organized manner so as to effectively persuade, inform, and clarify ideas, information, plans, and procedures to stakeholders and other interested parties
General Considerations for a Presentation to Stakeholders
What you should be sure to convey:
- content is appropriate for the audience of stakeholders and is sufficiently detailed
- show that your assessment/review of the issue has scientific rigor, and that it is an on-going monitoring and evaluation process
- provide representative data and support as graphics, figures, and charts as often as possible
- be clear about roles and responsibilities
- address federal laws, regulations, and policies that govern the process as well as who ensures compliance and how compliance is achieved
- be clear about which natural and treatment resources are involved and which stakeholders are impacted; e.g., processes that impact water or land use will necessarily involve specific jurisdictions
- make stakeholders feel part of the team and that they will be heard; e.g., include direct quotes from stakeholders or explicitly address concerns that have been expressed
- reduce unnecessary fears, suspicions, misconceptions
- encourage the stakeholders to continue participating and working with you to work out fair and equitable solutions
- make recommendations for maintained or improved health and safety compliance, or maintained or improved environmental sustainability
Possible Audience of Stakeholders:
- elected officials
- concerned citizens, especially those who feel directly affected
- university professors and students
- engineering consultants for the cities and counties
- city and county resources personnel
- county and state department representatives such as transportation, environment, or parks and recreation
- facility and utility managers such as from industries that might be impacted
- environmental groups
- special interest groups such as agricultural growers
EXAMPLE 1: Pollutant Load Reduction for a Watershed
You are a Basin Coordinator working with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) Watershed Planning and Coordination Section. It has been determined by scientists at FDEP that an excess of 500,000 pounds of Total Nitrogen discharged into this watershed each year is threatening fishing and recreation in the Caloosahatchee estuary. Although there are five treatment plants discharging effluent into the river, you have determined that pollution from these plants is minimal (represents less than 1 percent of total nitrogen pollutant load) and that most of the pollution is coming from local jurisdictions or upstream in the agricultural areas. The FDEP will not require the treatment plants to reduce their loads to the river because they already have the highest level of wastewater treatment. You are, therefore, going to require a reduction of nonpoint source pollution (generally from stormwater system) from the jurisdictions and from the agriculture. Keep in mind that reductions in nitrogen load will likely cost the jurisdictions millions of dollars. As always, you should research what has occurred (in this case, the Caloosahatchee watershed) and determine how you should communicate what needs to get done and how for your target audience.
For this case, please decided who your audience is and note that at the beginning of your talk. Will you be talking to farmers or homeowners in this watershed? Or is this the first of a small watershed meeting you will be having in a specific area of this larger watershed?
EXAMPLE 2: Research Facility Using Nanotechnology
Assume that you are the environmental manager of the research labs at a relatively large university (have fun giving a name to the university). One of the new assistant professors has received a large grant to research methods to rapidly detect infectious disease using nanotechnology. The research has the potential to be the first step in eradicating infectious disease, particularly in the developing world, where detection of infectious disease often comes too late to prevent spread of the disease. The research will involve developing biosensors that use nanomaterials for detecting and signaling the presence of infectious disease, as well as delivering these nanomaterials to non-human research organisms as a model assay.
The president of the university has received telephone calls and e-mails from local residents and special-interest groups expressing concern about the nanotechnology research being conducted by the new assistant professor. The president has asked that you make a presentation that directly addresses safety and regulatory issues, and ethical concerns about the particular nanotechnological approach used in this research. Note that regulatory issues center on human and environmental health so you will have to address those as part of regulatory issues. Your presentation will be made internally, but will be recorded and provided as a freely accessible presentation at the university website for public and stakeholder scrutiny.
Suggestions for Creating your Presentation
Create your presentation using PowerPoint or other presentation software and turn it in by the last day of class. This project replaces the final exam. Be sure to provide comments on what you would say for each slide in the notes section of the document, or add audio to the presentation using Jing or the software of your choice. If you choose to add voice or visual to your presentation, please make sure to attach your audio or video file so that it can be heard or viewed! You do not have to use voice, but it is a nice option if you want to get your point across with more than written words and pictures.
Project should include:
– Overview of the environmental issue and a brief statement of its purported impact
– Questions and concerns are clearly stated and addressed. Discussed which natural and treatment resources are involved and which stakeholders are affected; e.g., processes that impact water or land use will necessarily involve specific jurisdictions
– Presentation is coherent and cohesive, appropriate for the audience of stakeholders and is sufficiently detailed (Your presentation should take no longer than 30 minutes to present or read, mainly to retain your audience’s attention.)
– Supporting evidence reflects good library research skills and appropriate interpretation of scientific data and other resources
– Representative data and graphics/figures/charts provide relevant, supportive information and evidence
– Roles and responsibilities are clearly presented
– Presentation incorporated stakeholder concerns and addressed their interests; allayed stakeholder concerns by providing strong recommendations.
– Addressed federal laws, regulations, and policies that govern the process as well as who ensures compliance and how compliance is achieved
– Made recommendations for maintained or improved health and safety compliance, or maintained or improved environmental sustainability
– Overview of the next steps this team needs to take, including steps in communications and training
– References and citations from reliable sources in the APA format