University of Minnesota Extension
www.extension.umn.edu
612-624-1222
Menu Menu

Extension > Leadership and Civic Engagement Alumni > Event Recap - Southwest and Southeast Minnesota Water Quality Summit on Civic Engagement

Monday, October 26, 2015

Event Recap - Southwest and Southeast Minnesota Water Quality Summit on Civic Engagement


On October 15, 39 water quality professionals from across Southeast and Southwest Minnesota gathered together in Mankato to go deeper into their civic engagement practice. Examining civic engagement as defined in Extension's model, the two facilitators for the day provided examples of participatory practices that have worked to engage the public in improving water quality.


Dr. Ryan Atwell, currently with the National Park Service at Yellowstone as their Social Science Coordinator, shared his experience in using social science and civic engagement techniques to change land practices to improve water quality. His research highlights the layers of social complexity that layer on top of the ecological complexity, necessitating an engaged approach. He advocated for a style of work that allows community members to build a dream together rather than being forced to adopt a pre-determined plan.  Dr. Atwell posed the question that if research suggests adoption of new practices is based primarily on subjective values and social norms diffused through interpersonal networks, what does that mean for the work of water quality specialists?


Extension educator Tobias Spanier reinforced those lessons with an overview of different levels of participation, referencing the Spectrum created by the International Association of Public Participation. He led participants through an activity to depict their engagement with people in their watershed and place it on the spectrum. He wrapped his time by providing participants with a Strategic Doing tool for use with community so that the community can collectively own the work that needs to be done to improve water quality.


At the end of the day, participants left the event with a vision for what civic engagement might look like in their watersheds. 

2 comments:

  1. Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting? I'm pleased I discovered it though, ill be checking back soon to find out what additional posts you include.
    Visit Website

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes i am totally agreed with this article and i just want say that this article is very nice and very informative article.I will make sure to be reading your blog more. You made a good point but I can't help but wonder, what about the other side? !!!!!!THANKS!!!!!!
    navigate to these guys

    ReplyDelete

  • © Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved.
  • The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. Privacy