Announcing 2011-2012 Executive Seminar Program Case Studies!

The Executive Seminar Program is a professional education program for mid-career managers and senior staff in public, private, tribal and non-profit organizations. This program uses live case studies of controversial natural resource issues as a focal point for leadership development.  Each seminar reconstructs the natural resource policy controversy by visiting the site of the issue, reviewing background materials and meeting with the decisive players in the conflict. Through study of these cases, participants come to understand the complex social, legal and political context of today’s environmental and natural resource problems. They can then identify improved approaches, learn effective techniques, and develop greater ability to lead in the policy context natural resource managers face.

The case studies for the 2011-2012 program year are:

  • Wolf Management in Oregon: October 24-28, 2011 (La Grande & Enterprise, OR)
  • Allocating Oregon’s Near Shore for Marine Reserves and Wave Energy Projects: February 27 – March 2, 2012 (Newport, OR)
  • Aquatic Invasive Species Management: April 30 – May 4, 2012 (Lake Mead, NV)

A two-day program wrap up will take place on June 7-8, 2012, on the Portland State Campus.

Wolf Management in Oregon
Date:  October 24-28, 2011
Location:  La Grande and Enterprise Oregon

After an absence of nearly sixty years, three grey wolves were found in northeastern Oregon in 1999.  These wolves were traced to an experimental population in Idaho that had been re-established as part of a federal wolf recovery program.  Although the migration of wolves into Oregon had been anticipated, their arrival renewed intense debate about the impact on livestock and native ungulates as well as passionate support among conservation groups and wolf advocates.   In response, the Oregon Fish and Game Commission initiated an extensive public involvement process that culminated in the adoption of the Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management Plan in 2005.   This plan was revised in 2010, but numerous bills were introduced in the 2011 Oregon Legislative session to give ranchers more latitude in killing wolves threatening livestock and personal safety, and to compensate them for the loss of livestock due to wolf depredation.  In addition, the U.S. Congress attached an unprecedented provision to the 2011 appropriation bill that removed wolves from the federal endangered species list and returned management to five western states, including Oregon.  The focus of the case study  will be on how well Oregon’s wolf plan anticipated and addressed wolf management issues, and what needs to be done to ensure the conservation of this charismatic species while protecting the social and economic interests of all Oregonians.

Allocating Oregon’s Near Shore for Marine Reserves and Wave Energy Projects  
Date: February 27-March 2, 2012
Location:  Newport Oregon

In 2008, Oregon Governor Kulongoski issued an executive order initiating two intense and sometime contentious ocean planning processes: the designation of marine reserves, and the amendment of the Territorial Sea Plan to guide the potential siting of wave energy projects.  Both planning efforts are led by the state’s Ocean Policy Advisory Council (OPAC), comprised of ocean stakeholders, local governments and state agencies, and will eventually result in allocating portions of the territorial sea (0-3 nautical miles offshore) to these uses and may affect fishing and other activities.   A key tool in facilitating planning and public engagement has been digital map overlays of existing and potential ocean uses and ecological resources.  Factoring in state, federal, and international authorities regulating ocean activities has added complexity to the process.  This case study will examine the effectiveness of these community based planning efforts in reaching marine reserve and wave energy project siting decisions that balance impacts to the marine ecosystem and human uses.

Aquatic Invasive Species Management
Date:  April 30-May 4, 2012
Location:  Lake Mead, Nevada

The discovery of quagga mussels in Lake Mead in 2007 significantly heightened concerns about the expansion of aquatic invasive species (AIS) throughout the West.  These dime-sized mollusks quickly encrusted docks and boats, clogged pipes carrying drinking and irrigation water, and damaged machinery and disrupted operations at Hoover Dam.  In response, federal, state and local agencies in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana have intensified efforts to assess the threats from AISs to fresh waters in the Columbia Basin and to coordinate actions to prevent their spread, including public education, mandatory boat inspections, and establishment of rapid response teams.  The seminar will be held in the Lake Mead area to understand the economic and ecological impacts of quagga mussels and allow interactions with government officials and scientists engaged in control efforts.  This case study will also evaluate the multi-state strategies to prevent the spread of invasive mussels to the Columbia River basin and illustrate lessons that can be applied to controlling other aquatic nuisance plants and animals.

Program Year Wrap-Up
Dates:  June 7-8, 2012
Location:  Portland State University Campus

An Executive Seminar program tradition, the Program Year Wrap-Up session enables participants to synthesize and reflect on the lessons learned from the year’s case studies.  Participants are asked to come prepared to discuss an issue from their own work experience and apply principles learned during the year to the issue.  The ESP Advisory Board and additional PSU faculty participate in the session.   Beyond providing a cap on the learning experience, this session provides an opportunity to say farewell to friendship formed over the program year and meet participants from earlier cohorts.


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