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The Resilience Dialogues

Resilience Dialogues are conversations that occur among people with diverse perspectives who have agreed to collaborate to improve a situation that contributes to building social and ecological resilience.


Conflict is a natural component of complex collaborative science projects, with people interacting in new ways over issues for which the science can be uncertain and stakeholder values may differ. The Resilience Dialogues brings together the shared experiences of reserves in managing conflict during collaborative research projects.

The Resilience Dialogues aims to synthesize lessons learned about managing conflict in collaborative science to create a curriculum, resources, and peer-to-peer training to share knowledge and best practices. This project will increase understanding and awareness about the kinds of conflict that arise during collaborative science projects, the causes and consequences of conflict, and the timing or phases of a project when conflict is most likely.

Using the resources generated by this project, reserve staff, state agency partners, and external partners who engage in collaborative science with the National Estuarine Research Reserve System will develop skills to manage conflict and improve the outcomes of collaborative science projects.

Anticipated Benefits

  • Increased awareness across the reserve system and among its partners about the types, timing, causes, and consequences of conflict that arise during collaborative science projects.
  • Increased capacity for reserve staff and partners to apply conflict management strategies in National Estuarine Research Reserve System collaborative science projects.

Project Approach

The project team will share examples of conflict and conflict management strategies from reserve system collaborative science projects. A needs assessment will identify specific requirements for conflict management knowledge and skills based on individual reserve experiences. Reserve conflict management case studies will become part of the curriculum and resources.

The “Resilience Dialogues: Conflict Management for Collaborative Science” training will be piloted in 2018 at the National Estuarine Research Reserve System’s annual meeting. Team members will evaluate the pilot trainings to develop the final curriculum and resources for use with collaborative science projects within the reserve system.

Targeted End Users and Anticipated Products

  • Reserve staff, with a special focus on the Coastal Training Program Coordinators as facilitators, will be trained using the “Resilience Dialogues: Conflict Management in Collaborative Science” curriculum.
  • Reserve staff and others engaged in collaborative science will have access to the “Resilience Dialogues” curriculum and conflict management resources through the Wells reserve website and the National Estuarine Research Reserve System intranet.


Final Report

Project Overview

Resilience Dialogues Resources

Resilience Dialogues Training at Wells NERR October 15, 2018

NERRS Annual Meeting Activities November 8, 2018

Training Lake Superior NERR November 9, 2018

Training Grand Bay NERR October 10, 2019

Social Coast, Charleston, SC February 5, 2020

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