December 2017 Webcast - Exploring Local Group Capacity for Watershed Restoration: A Systems Thinking Perspective

We will talk with Jeremy Solin, who works with ThinkWater in Wisconsin, and Eric Olson, the Director of the UW Extension Lakes, as well as our moderator, Lisa Brush of the Stewardship Network.

"Where you find lakes, you will also find lake organizations. Largely composed of shoreland home and cabin owners, lake associations and lake districts often fuel and lead efforts to protect lakes and restore water quality. The Wisconsin Lakes Partnership has developed a forty-year track record of providing state funding and assistance to aid lake groups in their efforts. This past year, researchers and Wisconsin DNR staff stepped back to use system thinking tools provided by the ThinkWater School to reexamine the Lakes Partnership model and consider new educational tools to increase the effectiveness of local partners.

This presentation will give a short overview of the ThinkWater approach to wicked problem solving, including the online system mapping tool, Kingfisher. We will also highlight some of the specific capacity development tools that UW Extension is creating using ThinkWater to facilitate on the ground success in protecting and restoring lakes."


Jeremy Solin: Jeremy is implementing ThinkWater in Wisconsin and supporting it nationally. ThinkWater is a national movement of educators, students, managers, stewards, scientists, and citizens who think and care deeply about water. They know that future water security and sustainability starts with deeper learning, understanding, and caring, and that true understanding and behavior change requires more than new information. That's where systems thinking comes in. ThinkWater has generated a host of resources including online trainings, concepts and paradigms, instructional materials, software, and a community forum for water thinkers. ThinkWater is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under Agreement No. 20115113031148.In Wisconsin, we are developing the foundations of a long-term program and piloting programs for implementation in other states and regions across the country. Jeremy's primary efforts include establishing the Wisconsin Water Thinkers Network and developing ThinkWater School for community leaders. In addition, he works with partners to provide training and support to integrate systems thinking into their education and outreach programs and organizations.

Eric Olson: Eric is the Director of UW Extension Lakes, a statewide outreach program based in the College of Natural Resources at UW Stevens Point. Since the early 1970s, UW Extension Lakes has supported lake associations and districts through a free quarterly newsletter, an annual Lakes Partnership Convention, a guide to forming and operating lake organizations, and one on one consultations with lake stakeholders. UW Extension Lakes is prioritizing capacity building for lake organizations in coming years. They have been working with researchers at the UW Extension Center for Land Use Education to create a capacity measuring tool and are presently working with lake leaders from around the state to create and share specific activities that move groups up the capacity ladder.

Lisa Brush is the Executive Director of The Stewardship Network. Lisa has worked in the environmental field in Michigan for the last fifteen years. She is currently the Executive Director of the Stewardship Network and has been involved with the Network since its inception more than 10 years ago. She has a wealth of experience helping non-scientific people understand scientific issues. For over nine years, as she has built and coordinated The Stewardship Network, she has emphasized effective and meaningful stakeholder involvement in developing and implementing all aspects of this program. She has a M.S. in Natural Resources from the University of Michigan and a B.A. (Science in Society) from Wesleyan University.

Webcast Date: 
Wednesday, December 13, 2017 - 12:00pm
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