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Health and Environmental Effects Research

GED Decision Science Expert To Present at EPA Conference

John F. Carriger, a postdoctoral ecologist at the NHEERL Gulf Ecology Division (GED) Biological Effects and Population Response Branch, will present a poster entitled “Eliciting stakeholder values for coral reef management tasks in the Guánica Bay watershed, Puerto Rico” at EPA’s 2011 Community Involvement Training Conference in Arlington, VA, July 19-21, 2011. The poster describes a value-focused thinking approach to designing constructive workshops for understanding stakeholder concerns. Understanding community concerns and perceptions is necessary for building better decision strategies to support sustainable communities. The conference brings together EPA personnel who engage and communicate with communities through valuation workshops, outreach, and education efforts. Included in the sessions are topics on reducing hijacking of meetings by cantankerous participants, developing effective forums for stakeholder input, and communicating risk following environmental disasters. At the conference, Dr. Carriger will meet EPA community involvement practitioners and combine their best practices, lessons, and experiences with his knowledge of structured decisionmaking methods. Ultimately, Dr. Carriger and Patricia Bradley of the NHEERL Atlantic Ecology Division Monitoring and Assessment Branch will build and test protocols to elicit stakeholder values for watershed management options to protect coral reefs in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Dr. Bradley leads EPA’s coral reef valuation and outreach efforts and has worked with Dr. Carriger since his arrival at GED in 2010.

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