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 workshops in Edmonton and three other cities, and making a list of people who might be interested in other locations.

Edmonton February 14 & 15 2017: 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 but is available on site. Participants will be limited to 16 people.

Dates: This is a two-day workshop February 14 & 15 2017

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

Cost:   $349 members, $379 non-members. (Membership is $45 for 3 years)

Location: Evergreen Room, Lister Centre, U of Alberta, 87th Ave and 116th St., Edmonton

Registration and further information: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/using-organized-reasoning-to-improve-environmental-assessment-tickets-31269975338

Other Cities: Due to requests, we are planning workshops in Whitehorse, Winnipeg and Quesnel in the first half of 2017. Contact us for more information. If you might be interested in attending an organized reasoning workshop in a different 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. More info about him at www.glennbrown.ca