Postponed: 2-day Workshop Offering in Vancouver: Organized Reasoning and Environmental Assessment

This workshop has been postponed. Please stay tuned for a new date.


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 in 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.
Our previous one-day organized reasoning workshops were well received in Vancouver, Victoria, Whitehorse, Calgary and Yellowknife. Due to an interest in providing more tools of argument and time for practice, a two day workshop was created. Participants will be limited to 16 people. If there is enough interest, we will put on a second workshop.
Dates: This is a two-day workshop June 7 & 8 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, available at
Location: SFU Harbour Centre 515 West Hastings St. Vancouver. Xerox Conference Room 1500
Registration can be done here.

If you have any registration questions, please contact [email protected]

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, Canada and works as an independent consultant.