Our previous Organized Reasoning workshops were well received in Vancouver, Victoria, Whitehorse, Calgary and Yellowknife. Similar workshops have been given to staff at several government agencies. We want to provide our members with access to these tools as long as there is interest, so we are presenting one more in Vancouver and making a list of people who might be interested in workshops in other cities.

Vancouver September 28 & 29: Environmental impact assessment constantly uses reasoning to reach conclusions. That process is called ‘argument’—not meaning ‘quarrel,’ but meaning a series of reasons, leading to conclusions, targeted for a specific audience. Most professionals are not formally trained in organized reasoning. Therefore they do not know there are many techniques of argument that organize ideas and help an audience better understand the reasoning in written presentations. Assessments are complex documents and using the tools of argument can make them easier for audiences to understand. And easier for authors to write!

This two-day workshop will introduce guidelines for organized reasoning. These guidelines apply to all professional technical writing, but this workshop specifically targets the challenges of environmental assessment. The workshop addresses both principles of clear arguments and how to best present them in written reports. It points out the components that make up arguments and identifies common weak points in EIA documents. It shows how to address the three commonest goals of argument (supporting facts, evaluations and recommendations) and where each fits within the EIA process. We address how to analyze someone else’s argument, how to build a counter-argument, and how to identify common errors that people often make. We also show how to bring better argument into technical report writing at the scale of the paragraph and of the overall report. The workshop includes opportunities for discussion and practice and provides breaks for refreshment. You’ll receive a handout documenting the main ideas. Lunch is not provided. Participants will be limited to 16 people.

Dates: This is a two-day workshop August 28 & 29 2016

Time: Registration and coffee 8:30; Workshop 9 am to 4:30 pm.

Cost:   $280 members, $300 non-members. (Membership is $45 for 3 years)

Location: SFU Harbour Centre 515 West Hastings St. Vancouver. Xerox Conference Room 1500

Registration and further information: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/organized-reasoning-and-environmental-assessment-two-day-workshop-tickets-26712499806

Other Cities: If you might be interested in attending a one or two-day organized reasoning workshop in your area, email Jeff Matheson, President of IAIA-WNC at jeff@capstoneenvironmental.ca so we can identify where other workshops would be useful.

Workshop Leader: Dr. Glenn Brown has over 25 years experience as an ecologist and educator specializing in environmental management. He has worked on environmental projects for industry, government and non-governmental organizations in Canada and other countries. He teaches courses on Ecosystem Science and Management and on Analytical Thinking and Communications in the Master’s program in Environment and Management at Royal Roads University in British Columbia and works as an independent consultant.