Participants: Allyson Beall, Doug Clark, Tony Eberhardt, Herman Karl, Rick Miles,
Rick Palmer, James “Ric” Richardson, Megan Wiley Rivera (convener), Len Shabman,
Education and training in some areas of CADRe is already underway. Rick Palmer has been teaching a course in Shared Vision Planning for a number of years, and all of his course materials are available online (http://www.ce.washington.edu/%7Epalmer/CEE576.htm). This course has also been adapted to trainings for professionals. We hope to collect links to other pertinent courses on the CADRe Wiki as a resource for faculty and students.
In our group alone, three CADRe-related programs were represented: the MIT-USGS Science Impact Collaborative (MUSIC) (http://web.mit.edu/dusp/epp/music/), the Community & Regional Planning Program at the University of New Mexico (http://www.unm.edu/~crp/), and the Program on the Environment - Environmental Management Certificate Program at the University of Washington (http://depts.washington.edu/poeweb/students/gradprograms/envmgt/).
At the undergraduate level in particular, many students with a developing interest in CADRe find themselves piecing together a curriculum to prepare them for practice and/or future study. To aid these students and others, we suggest including a list of practitioners, faculty, and students who are willing to provide guidance on the Wiki. We learned in discussion that some faculty already provide this service.
A bibliography of case studies is currently available on the SVP website (http://www.sharedvisionplanning.us/) and case studies with models can also be obtained from HydroLogics (http://hydrologics.net/).
Needs and Challenges
The needs and challenges to providing effective education and training in CADRe to the people who want and need it are great, and our discussion only touched on some of them. The cross-disciplinary nature and nascent stage of CADRe as a field in particular create educational challenges at all levels. Some specific examples are summarized below.
The group voiced a need for practicing engineers and computer modelers who are or will be involved in CADRe processes to gain the skills needed to facilitate or at least participate productively in such sessions. Such training might be designed for engineers who don’t naturally have some of the characteristics of historically-successful CADRe modelers but who want to contribute to the process. For this group, short, virtual courses through professional organizations such as ASCE were deemed the most appropriate venue.
The discussion of these “CADRe-challenged” engineers raised a tangential issue: could exposure to CADRe as a field help attract and retain “CADRe-friendly” people to engineering? There is evidence that some students with an interest and aptitude for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) fields leave them if they develop the impression at the high school or undergraduate level that these fields are isolating and do not provide opportunities to help people or better the world.
There are also likely to be benefits to society at large of including well-executed CADRe courses at the undergraduate level. Arming the next generation with the ability to utilize scientific knowledge and technological tools, function effectively on interdisciplinary teams, and successfully negotiate with disparate interests can only enhance society in both foreseeable and unexpected ways— training policy-makers who understand the potential of cutting-edge science and technological tools to inform decision-making, lawyers who have a new model for negotiations of long-standing disputes, scientists who can design studies to focus on pressing societal issues.
However, if the primary goal of CADRe training and education is to better-prepare individuals who will actually practice CADRe, putting resources into the undergraduate level provides a low return on the investment when compared to working with students at the graduate level who are already interested in this area of study. In addition, in-depth training in at least one CADRe area is desirable, so exposure to CADRe should not come at the expense of a solid foundation in a specific discipline.
For established graduate programs in CADRe-related areas, finding internships/apprenticeships was identified as one of the current challenges. During the discussion with the larger group, Hal Cardwell informed us that such opportunities are available at IWR. We hope the Wiki can be used to facilitate additional connections.
The numerous challenges to establishing such programs include overcoming the “silo effect” present at most academic institutions, the additional workload for people who want to forge these relationships, and procuring the needed resources. In our group, we had examples of cases in which opportunities opened to develop radically new interdisciplinary programs (see examples above). In general, however, taking a course-by-course approach seemed more realistic to the group. We were pleased that two members of the discussion group were already planning to bring elements of CADRe into their courses.
Based on the above needs and challenges, a list of action items was developed:
- Use the Wiki as a common information source for materials, programs, course information, contacts, and internships
- Create more internship opportunities for graduate students
- Develop and post a list of the desired skill set for CADRe practitioners to guide students and others who wish to expand into this field
- Create a Best Practices Manual of CADRe techniques
- Expand SVP’s bibliography
- Develop training opportunities in cooperation with professional organizations
- Include CADRe in undergraduate courses as possible
Revised 21 Jan 2009
© 2009 Institute for Water Resources