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Pre-Conference Workshop


"Translating Research into Policy: How to Participate Effectively in the Policy Process"

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

2:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Location: Pew Conference Center, 901 E Street NW

Registration Fee: $90

Registration is Now Closed




This workshop, co-sponsored by the National Council for Science and the Environment and Antioch University New England, is designed to strengthen the ability of scientists and applied academicians to engage effectively in the public policy process. In particular, this workshop will focus on expanding the skills and strengthening the impact of participants in this year’s National Conference on Science, Policy and the Environment, which focuses on improving the scientific basis of environmental decisionmaking with respect to the critical nexus of environment and security.
There is a wealth of useful research conducted by scientists and others in higher education institutions which could and should inform public policy debates across the nation and internationally. But scientists and policymakers generally operate within different frameworks. They communicate in different ways in terms of both type and extent of information required for drawing conclusions. They work under different timeframes. And, they have different constituencies. Delivering a scientific research paper to an audience of peers is a very different exercise than providing usable, understandable information to policy makers. These differences mean that public policy discussions are not as rich as they should be and much scientific expertise remains untapped.
This workshop will demystify the policy-making process and build scientists’ capacity to make communicating about their work relevant, useful, and used in the policy arena. Workshop faculty, experienced in policy-making and policy advocacy, will provide training in how to communicate effectively across the academic/policymaker divide. The workshop will present a primer on how the public policy-making process works, where the opportunities exist for injecting scientific expertise into this process, and how scientists can frame their expertise in ways that policymakers can understand, respond to and incorporate into public policymaking.
Workshop Overview:
Pre-Conference Workshop
Translating Research into Policy: How to Participate Effectively in the Policy Process
2:00 p.m.

Workshop Overview/Introductions

 Welcome & Introduction of Faculty –Michael Simpson, Chair, Department of Environmental Studies, Antioch University New England (AUNE)
Overview of Workshop Agenda/Goals – Abigail Abrash Walton, Conservation
        Psychology Institute Faculty, AUNE
2:15 p.m.

Why Scientists Matter in the Policy Process

 The Case for Engaged Scientists and Researchers – David Blockstein, PhD
       Executive Secretary, Council of Environmental Deans and Directors; Senior Scientist, National Council for Science and the Environment
Understanding the Policy Process & Why Policymakers Need You – Carolyn
 Bartholomew, Visiting Professor, AUNE
Facilitated Discussion: Abigail Abrash Walton


3:00 p.m.

Coffee/Tea Service
3:15 p.m.

Effective Engagement with the Policy Process

Getting on the Same Page: How to Communicate Your Expertise – Carolyn Bartholomew
Networking with the Policy-making Domain & Identifying Opportunities for Engagement – David Blockstein & Abigail Abrash Walton
Putting it into Action: Role Play Scenario
4:45 p.m.



Facilitated Faculty & Participant Closing Comments – Abigail Abrash Walton

Workshop Organizers:


Carolyn Bartholomew

Carolyn Bartholomew is Visiting Professor at Antioch University New England and a consultant to non-profit organizations on strategy, policy, government relations, and advocacy.  She is also a Commissioner and former Chair and Vice-Chair of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.  Ms. Bartholomew worked at senior levels in the U.S. Congress for 17 years, serving as long-term Counsel, Legislative Director, and most recently, Chief of Staff, to former Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi. She also served as a Professional Staff Member on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Previously, she was a legislative assistant to then-U.S. Representative Bill Richardson. Carolyn serves as a Director of the Kaiser Aluminum Corporation and on the boards of the non-profit organizations the Polaris Project and Asia Catalyst. She received her B.A. from the University of Minnesota, an M.A. in anthropology from Duke University, and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.  She is a member of the State Bar of California.
Abigail Abrash Walton
Abigail Abrash Walton has worked in the arenas of advocacy & change leadership at the international, national, state and local level for more than two decades. She is the founder and principal of ActionWorks, a consulting firm focusing on issue & policy research, communications, and strategic planning.  Her previous leadership includes service as program director for the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rightsand New Hampshire Citizens Alliance.  She has testified before both houses of the U.S. Congress, and the Massachusetts and New Hampshire legislatures, trained dozens of others to engage in policy advocacy, and organized and served as spokesperson for several major coalition campaigns. She is faculty for Antioch University New England’s Conservation Psychology Institute and has also been a faculty member in AUNE’s Department of Environmental Studies where she has taught courses in leadership, political economy & sustainability, and environmental justice. It is also where she founded the department’s award-winning Advocacy Clinic that has worked on behalf of external pro bono community partners in the areas of environmental protection and sustainability, social justice, and corporate social responsibility.  She also created and manages AUNE’s U.S. Congressional Progressive Caucus Fellowship, now in its sixth year.  Abigail’s publications include “Conservation through Different Lenses: Reflection, Responsibility and the Politics of Participation in Conservation Advocacy,” in the journal Environmental Management, “The Victims of Indonesia’s Pursuit of Progress,” a New York Times opinion piece, "The Amungme, Kamoro and Freeport: How Indigenous Papuans Have Resisted the World's Largest Gold and Copper Mine," in Blackwell Publishing’s The Globalization Reader, and "Let Freedom Ring: Recharging and Consolidating 'Inside the Beltway' Activism," which appears in Feminist Approaches to Social Movements, Community, and PowerShe also has served as a commentator for The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The New York Times, National Public Radio, and "The News Hour with Jim Lehrer."  Abigail holds a M.Sc. in Political Theory from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania.  She also served as a Visiting Fellow in the Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School.

David Blockstein
Senior Scientist and Director of Education, NCSE

David E. Blockstein, Ph.D. is Senior Scientist with the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE). Dr. Blockstein joined the organization in 1990 and served as its first Executive Director until 1993. Dr. Blockstein also serves as Executive Secretary of the Council of Environmental Deans and Directors (CEDD). CEDD, formed in 2001, is the professional organization for the nation's deans of colleges of environment and natural resources and directors of institutes for environmental studies.

As the 1987-88 Congressional Science Fellow of the American Institute of Biological Sciences and American Society of Zoology, Dr. Blockstein worked with the House of Representatives Environment Subcommittee of the Science Committee to prepare the National Biological Diversity Conservation and Environmental Research Act. Dr. Blockstein has a B.S. in wildlife ecology from the University of Wisconsin and a M.S. and Ph.D. in ecology from the University of Minnesota. He has conducted research on conservation of tropical pigeons and doves and on population and community ecology of forest birds. He is the author of the Birds of North America account of the extinct Passenger Pigeon. Dr. Blockstein is the founding chair of the Ornithological Council, an association of North America's professional societies that provide scientific information about birds to policymakers and represents the interests of ornithologists in Washington, DC.

Dr. Blockstein has worked on a wide range of policy issues including increasing the representation of minorities in science, mechanisms to improve the linkage between science and decisionmaking on environmental issues and electronic processes to communicate scientific information on the environment. He has delivered more than 50 public lectures and more than 20 scientific papers and is a frequent contributor to both technical and popular literature about science and environmental policy. He serves on or has served on committees for scientific and conservation organizations including: American Association for the Advancement of Science; American Institute of Biological Sciences; American Chemical Society; American Society of Zoologists; Society for Conservation Biology; American Ornithologists' Union; Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters; University of Minnesota College of Biological Sciences; American Bird Conservancy; World Conservation Union (IUCN); Commission on Education and Communication; Project Learning Tree/World Wildlife Fund; Aldo Leopold Foundation; National Foundation for Environmental Education; and the Environmental Education Coalition.




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