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EMI Director and Staff

Program Director: Steven Yaffee (yaffee@umich.edu)

Dr. Yaffee has worked for more than twenty years on federal endangered species, public lands and ecosystem management policy and is the author of Prohibitive Policy: Implementing the Federal Endangered Species Act (MIT Press, 1982) and The Wisdom of the Spotted Owl: Policy Lessons for a New Century (Island Press, 1994). He is a co-author of Ecosystem Management in the United States: An Assessment of Current Experience (Island Press, 1996) and Making Collaboration Work: Lessons from Innovation in Natural Resource Management (Island Press, 2000). His most recent work explores ecosystem management as a conceptual framework for managing natural resources, and multi-party, collaborative problem-solving efforts as necessary elements of an ecosystem approach. From 2002-2007, Dr. Yaffee served as the second Theodore Roosevelt Professor in Ecosystem Management. Dr. Yaffee received his Ph.D. in 1979 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in environmental policy and planning. He holds a B.S. in resource planning and conservation and a M.S. in natural resource policy from The University of Michigan. Before joining the SNRE faculty, he was a faculty member at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and has been a researcher at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Conservation Foundation/World Wildlife Fund.


Associate Director: Julia Wondolleck (juliaw@umich.edu)

Dr. Wondolleck, Associate Professor of Natural Resources, is an expert in the use of dispute resolution and collaborative planning techniques in national forest management. She is the author or co-author of three books: Public Lands Conflict and Resolution: Managing National Forest Disputes (Plenum, 1988), Environmental Disputes: Community Involvement in Conflict Resolution (Island Press, 1990), and Making Collaboration Work: Lessons from Innovation in Natural Resource Management (Island Press, 2000). Recently she was a member of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Committee of Scientists charged with outlining science-based reforms in national forest planning and management. Presently, Dr. Wondolleck serves on the Ecosystem Management and Conservation Biology faculty theme group which is exploring ways to strengthen this area of study and research throughout SNRE. Her Masters and Ph.D. in environmental policy and planning are from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Senior Associate: Sheila Schueller

Dr. Schueller is an ecologist with a strong interest in the link between research, teaching, and on-the-ground management practices. As an undergraduate at Swarthmore College she participated in a course on wildlife management in Kenya. She went on to pursue graduate study in ecology at the University of Michigan, focusing on how native and non-native plants respond to a shift in their pollinators. Over several years at her study sites, the California Channel Islands, she had the opportunity to learn from practitioners in a variety of organizations, including the Catalina Island Conservancy, the Nature conservancy, the National Park Service, the Audubon Society, and the University of California Reserve System. As a graduate student she initiated an Applied Ecology seminar for graduate students to improve how they communicated and applied their research, and she served as a teaching consultant for the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching. Sheila began working with EMI in the summer of 2001. She received her Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in the spring of 2002 and continues to lecture and run field courses in ecology. Her work with EMI includes developing and testing a set of evaluation resources and workshops. These aim to help ecosystem management and community-based conservation practitioners become more adaptive and effective in their work.

Senior Associate: Todd Bryan

Todd Bryan has worked in the environmental and natural resources field for 22 years and has spent the last 10 years as a mediator, trainer and organizational consultant. Todd works with federal, state, and local agencies, tribal governments, non-profit organizations, and communities throughout the West. He specializes in developing collaborative approaches to natural resource and environmental management. He is part of an innovative training team that is helping BLM develop collaborative partnerships that integrate ecosystem management and community-based land stewardship. Todd is an adjunct assistant professor in the Graduate School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado-Denver where he teaches courses in negotiation and conflict resolution and managing conflict and change. He has also taught negotiation and mediation courses in the School of Natural Resources & Environment at the University of Michigan, where he is a third-year doctoral student. Todd's dissertation research is on the Quincy Library Group. Todd has a Master of Public Administration degree from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and MS degrees in landscape architecture and water resources management from the University of Wisconsin. Todd is the principal of ASSENT, a small mediation, training, and consulting firm in Boulder, Colorado and Ann Arbor, Michigan. He is also a Senior Mediator at The Keystone Center in Colorado.

Senior Associate: Sarah McKearnan

Sarah McKearnan received her undergraduate degree in government from Harvard University. She has spent eight years working as a professional facilitator and trainer in the environmental field. She is currently a research associate at the University of Michigan's School of Natural Resources & Environment focusing on eco-regional planning and decision making for recovery of the Pacific salmon, working with Seattle's endangered species recovery team. Sarah is completing a dual master's degree program in the Schools of Natural Resources and Environment and Public Policy. Before returning to graduate school, Sarah was a Senior Associate at Consensus Building Institute, a nonprofit organization in Massachusetts that provides mediation and facilitation services to public agencies, nonprofit organizations and industries in the United States and abroad. While at CBI, Sarah facilitated multiparty dialogues on land use, facility siting and other environmental and public policy issues. She served on the faculty of the International Programme on the Management of Sustainability, and coordinated the design of programs to train the staffs of public agencies and non-profits in consensus-building skills. She was the editor of Consensus magazine for four years; and is co-author (with Lawrence Susskind and Jennifer Thomas-Larmer) of the Consensus Building Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to Reaching Agreement (Sage Publications, 1999).

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