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PhD Dissertation Defense - Jodi Delozier

Bridging Boundaries in Stakeholder Engagement

9:00 am – 10:00 am
Hardin Hall Room: 901 South
3310 Holdrege St
Lincoln NE 68583
Additional Info: HARH
Mark Burbach,
Natural resource professionals, political leaders, and environmental organizations recognize the need for more informed and educated stakeholders to tackle today’s complex natural resource challenges. This dissertation investigates the nature of stakeholder engagement and its influence on natural resource management. The purpose of this study is to: 1) examine the attitudes that influence agricultural producers’ involvement in stakeholder engagement and community capacity building, 2) determine if boundary spanning skills can be developed through a professional development program, and 3) investigate the role of boundary spanners within a stakeholder-directed engagement process. Data was collected from interviews of Nebraska agricultural producers and natural resource professionals with experience in stakeholder engagement and from a survey of Nebraska Water Leaders Academy participants and their raters.
The first study explores the factors that enable or constrain agricultural producers’ engagement and community capacity building in Nebraska. A survey of agricultural producers was conducted identifying several barriers to producer participation. The findings also included enabling factors which may act as an incentive for more engagement by producers. The second study develops and evaluates an evidence-based boundary spanner development program for natural resource professionals. Nebraska Water Leaders Academy participants were asked to take part in a boundary spanner workshop as part of the year-long Academy and surveyed to assess their boundary spanning skills. The third study investigates boundary spanning skills evident among participants in an eighteen-month stakeholder engagement process in Nebraska. Twenty-five participant interviews were conducted covering a range of issues to determine if individuals participating in the stakeholder-directed engagement process exhibited boundary spanning skills and if so, how these skills were applied in practice.
These three research projects identify strategies that can lead to more effective and sustainable stakeholder engagement processes and highlight the challenges inherent in bringing a diverse group of individuals together to solve complex natural resource concerns.

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This event originated in School of Natural Resources.