EarthLab Lunch & Learn: Collaborating Across Difference

EarthLab Lunch & Learn Series: Collaborating Across Difference

Join EarthLab for lunch and conversation about the skills needed to collaborate across diverse fields and communities.

Co-sponsored by: Center for Global Studies, JSIS, Center for Health and the Global Environment, Urban@UW, Washington Sea Grant, William D. Ruckelshaus Center

Every month, two or more individuals from different backgrounds will share lessons from their collaborative relationship. Such partnerships might include artists collaborating with scientists, researchers collaborating with community members, academics collaborating with practitioners, and researchers collaborating across wide disciplinary divides, such as the sciences and humanities. Speakers will reflect on challenges and opportunities in their collaboration, specific awareness and skills they have developed in order to collaborate, and recommendations for others attempting similar feats. Each event will last two hours. The first hour will consist of a 20-30 minute panel discussion followed by audience Q&A and socializing. The second hour will be an opportunity for students to meet with the panelists and learn from those who are a few steps ahead about how to become collaborative boundary-crossers. We are kicking off the series December 10th with a member of the EarthLab community. We hope to see you there!

December 10th: A Generosity of Spirit: Bridging academic and management norms to create the Social Science for the Salish Sea research agenda

When: Tuesday, December 10 | 12:30-2:30 p.m.
Where: Fisheries (FSH) 106

Presented by Sara Jo Breslow, Social Science Lead for EarthLab and Leah Kintner, Ecosystem Recovery Manager for the Puget Sound Partnership.

In the past year, the Social Science for the Salish Sea project convened 40 researchers and practitioners from academic, governmental, non-profit and Indigenous organizations in Washington and British Columbia to scope an action-oriented research agenda to inform ecosystem recovery of our region. The project connected researchers and practitioners with different national, cultural, institutional and disciplinary backgrounds as well as different specialized languages, epistemologies, areas of interest, and workplace norms. Coming together to communicate and agree on a collective research agenda required time, patience, flexibility, expansive thinking, and a generosity of spirit. As co-leads, Breslow and Kintner had many conversations where they grappled with different expectations for the project as an academic and a practitioner. Where academics tend to prioritize new ideas, accuracy, and nuance, practitioners are often required to prioritize mandates, timeliness, and ease of communication. They had to find a balance, deciding what they were willing to forego in order to keep working on the project together while also learning that they both contributed expertise and original ideas as well as grappled in practical ways with real-world problems. Breslow and Kintner worked through their differences in order to facilitate the crafting of a research agenda that could both reflect academic and practitioner priorities and leverage support for environmental social science in the region.

Lunch & Learn RSVP