Teaching Simulations

Whalebones:Balancing National Priorities, Local Culture, and Private Interests. Designed by Andrew Quarles, Jennifer Wendel, and Kirk Emerson, this award-winning instructional simulation focusses on collaborative engagement of multiple stakeholders, entitled  It can be accessed and downloaded here: https://www.maxwell.syr.edu/parcc/eparcc/simulations/Whalebones__Balancing_National_Priorities,_Local_Culture_and_Private_Interests/

This simulation creates an opportunity for learners to engage in a realistic multi-party scenario that requires conflict resolution skills and collaborative management strategies to work with federal regulators, university experts, and community stakeholders around the disposition of whalebones from the beaching of an endangered whale, the North Atlantic Right Whale.  

Negotiating Science and Policy in Collaborative Hydropower Licensing designed by Nicola Ulibarri and Kirk Emerson this instructional simulation focusses on the role of science and technical information in multi-party collaboration, It won first place in Syracuse University's E-PARCC 2016 competition for the best teaching simulation and can be downloaded at:  https://www.maxwell.syr.edu/parcc/eparcc/simulations/Negotiating_Science_and_Policy_in_Collaborative_Hydropower_Licensing/

This simulation highlights the role of technical and scientific information in environmental negotiations. It uses the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) integrated process for licensing hydropower facilities to introduce students to multiparty negotiation and collaboration in a complex environmental decision-making setting. Participants learn how to seek their interests through advocating for specific studies that can provide credible information on the impacts of dam operations; how to work with other stakeholders to negotiate the best-informed set of management conditions for the new license using uncertain—but best available—science; and how science and politics interact to influence collaboratively-reached decisions. 

Trouble in Tortuga! A Role-playing Simluation Game for Teaching Environmental Conflict Resolution written by Kirk Emerson, Hal Movius and Robert Merideth, Udall Center for Studies  in Public Policy, The University of Arizona, August 1999.  Updated 2021.

This simulation provides an opportunity to explore the substantive issues and complex dynamics involved in rangeland conflict and problem solving. It can be used in a variety of settings, be it in standard classrooms or community workshops scheduled during a 90 minute class (with prior homework) or a multi-day session. Seven roles are developed in addition to that of the facilitator with shared and confidential background information and instructions for each. The publication provides further background information and reflections on its use with actual stakeholders who took on different roles and enacted the simulation over a couple of days during a conference.