Steven Courtney

Steven Courtney

Steven Courtney

Email Address


Position or Title Director of Collaborative Science

Professional Biography I have a unique practice, using science as a tool to foster communication and negotiation between parties. Science is a safe common ground where different perspectives can be explored respectfully and impartially. As a PhD level scientist (with over 60 publications) I help technical experts communicate effectively with decision-makers and interest groups. At the same time, my extensive experience with controversial environmental issues (Spotted owls, Headwaters, Salmon, Everglades, Columbia, Missouri, Sacramento and Rio Grande Rivers, etc.) means that I am aware of the constraints and concerns of managers and stake-holders. To quote Patrick Moynihan, "everyone is entitled to their own opinion - but no-one is entitled to their own facts". I have recruited 1000 independent scientists to form a network committed to impartial evaluation. The members include Nobel laureates, National Academy members, and also practicing professionals who have experience with real-world applications. Through peer review, scientific analyses and investigations, and advisory panels, I have set up numerous processes designed to allow dialog and negotiation between parties.My mediation style is structured but informal - that is I believe that clearly designed and articulated processes are important. However these should not be intimidating to non-scientists. I emphasize respect for differing opinions, and use humor (together with my English accent) as a tool to keep meetings cordial.

Address Line 1 1255 NW 21st , suite 275

City Washington

State District of Columbia

Zip 22204

Phone 202-965-6382

Small Business No

GSA Schedule Provider Yes

Federal Employee No

Native Dispute Resolution Network No

Total Cases Last 10 Years 90

ECR Services Provided

Joint Fact Finding/Neutral EvaluationScientific Peer review facilitation2027
Facilitation of Collaboration or Conflict Resolution EffortLarge Scale Conservation Planning (Nevada)2015
Process DesignLarge Scale Conservation Planning (Nevada)2015
Strategic Planning for Collaboration or Conflict Resolution EffortLarge Scale Conservation Planning (Nevada)2015
Public Engagement/Public InputFracking2015
Policy DialoguesEcosystem Services and Adaptive management2013
Regulatory NegotiationsHeadwaters negotiations2008
Mediation/Assisted NegotiationSpotted Owl Mediation2007

Case Experience by Subject Matter

Environmental Planning (e.g., NEPA, Forest plans, travel mgmt., resource mgmt.)Large Scale Conservation Planning (Nevada)2015
Resource ManagementLarge Scale Conservation Planning (Nevada)2015
Public lands issues Including use and AccessLarge Scale Conservation Planning (Nevada)2015
MiningLarge Scale Conservation Planning (Nevada)2015
Oil and Gas ProductionFracking2015
Ecosystem ManagementEcosystem Services and Adaptive management2013
Wildlife IssuesWolf management2011
Forest and Timber IssuesHeadwaters negotiations2008
Watershed Management and/or PlanningHeadwaters negotiations2008
Endangered Species and/or Critical HabitatSpotted Owl Mediation2007
Wetlands and/or EstuariesEverglades management2005

Type of Public Decision

PlanningLarge Scale Conservation Planning (Nevada)2015
Policy developmentEcosystem Services and Adaptive management2013
License and permit issuanceHeadwaters negotiations2008
Implementation/monitoring agreementsEverglades management2005
Siting and ConstructionColumbia River Channel Deepening2001
Compliance and enforcement actionNoodling in Missouri

Case Size

Cases involving more than 60 participantsLarge Scale Conservation Planning (Nevada)2015
Cases involving 15 to 60 participantsSpotted Owl Mediation2007
Cases involving more than 3 but less than 15 participantsNoodling in Missouri

Case Jurisdiction/Scale

National or regionally significant casesScientific Peer review facilitation2027
Multi-jurisdictionalLarge Scale Conservation Planning (Nevada)2015
Large landscape scaleLarge Scale Conservation Planning (Nevada)2015
StateWolf management2011
InteragencyColumbia River Channel Deepening2001
Tribal governmentColumbia River Channel Deepening2001
Local/communityNoodling in Missouri

Process Support Services

Meeting Support
Support ServiceCaseYear
Engagement of technical experts/third party science advisorsScientific Peer review facilitation2027
Logistical and administrative support (organizing logistics for meetings, notetaking, etc.)Large Scale Conservation Planning (Nevada)2015
Experience in a team of multiple ECR ProfessionalsFracking2015
Collaborative Technologies
Collaborative TechnologyCaseYear
Engagement/Communication Tools (e.g., polling tools, social media, collaborative document production, video conferencing, webinars, ideation tools)Scientific Peer review facilitation2027
Project Websites (static, interactive, portals, etc.)Headwaters negotiations2008
Evaluation and Monitoring Tools (e.g., electronic survey tools, dashboards)Spotted Owl Mediation2007

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