Excerpts

"As we neared the lake, a dirty, white, late-model pickup truck appeared in my sideview mirror. It followed closely and would not pass. I felt my stomach turn uneasily as it became apparent that the truck was not trying to get somewhere, but was slowly following us. As we neared the launch, we pulled our trucks to the side of the road and stopped to ready the boat for the lake. Then the white truck gunned around the front of our truck and pulled in at an angle, blocking our way. It screeched to a stop, and a stocky man, dressed in a white, short-sleeved shirt and a pair of old khakis got out from behind the wheel. He was yelling and making his way to me as I exited the driver's side of the truck. I held out my hand to him, to shake hands and calm him down, but he ignored it and continued to shout. Then other people started to gather from a few nearby houses: a tall gaunt man in a cowboy hat; a heavyset woman with a couple of kids dressed in camouflage; some other men and women looking mad and rural. Soon a group of ten to fifteen people were clustered around our trucks, many of them yelling at us and fiercely angry. We were in an isolated area, unarmed, and did not have radio or cell phone contact. I realized I was going to have to talk my way out of this one."

— From Chapter 1 —A Personal Story




"The ability to persuade people to behave in environmentally friendly ways is at the heart of conservation. At the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, a respected older biologist commented to me, 'Scott, we already know why the salmon are declining. It isn't a biological problem. The problem is getting the people to stop overfishing, stop destroying their habitat, not stock exotic fishes that prey upon them, and leave water in the rivers. Salmon declines are a social problem.' He was right. The importance of the 'people' factor has always been crucial to conservation professionals. Anglers and hunters are convinced to follow regulations, policy makers are persuaded to protect specific rivers or forests, and granting agencies are influenced to fund particular projects. Numerous texts and articles are available to conservation professionals demonstrating methods to investigate public wants, such as how to conduct creel surveys, determine angler and hunter wants and needs, and query various segments of the populations to understand their priorities. However, a discussion of techniques for persuading people is rare in the conservation literature....Methods for persuading people have been primarily developed in the fields of psychology, politics, and marketing. Strategies to persuade are used everyday to get people to buy soap, vote for a politician, or attend a baseball game. Let us investigate some of the basic ways people are influenced and how these might be used in conservation. Remember, you do not have to use these if they make you feel uncomfortable; however, they can often dramatically increase your effectiveness."

— From Chapter 4—How to Persuade People




"According to all accounts W. T. Edmondson was an excellent boss. Technicians, whose job tenure is usually measured in months in the ecology profession, worked decades for Tommy Edmondson. In his book, The Uses of Ecology, W.T. Edmondson made the argument that technicians should be respected as seasoned researchers and paid accordingly. He made sure to praise the graduate students who had come through his lab, and give them credit for the projects they had conducted. The continuity, motivation, expertise, and high morale of employees — and of course Tommy's brilliant ecological knowledge—combined to provide fundamental breakthroughs in long-term ecological research on lakes and their communities. Tommy could manage employees. And your success as a biologist, scientist, or manager will be closely tied to your ability to mange employees as well. Effective staff are critical for project success and enhance your reputation, while poor staff can ruin your efforts. On research projects, staff time is usually the most expensive component, and in agencies, salaries are a major portion of the budget. So how do you get good people, retain them, and work well with them? In this chapter we will discuss techniques for hiring and motivating your staff. Some you might already know — others you might find surprising.

— From Chapter 8 —How to Effectively Manage Personnel

About the Book

conservation communication cascades