This course will give you ideas and tools to help you write impact assessments so they are more effective and more transparent for your audiences, and are (to some extent) faster and cheaper for you.
Environmental impact assessment—like all technical writing—constantly uses reasoning to reach conclusions. That process is called “argument”—meaning assembling a series of reasons, leading to conclusions, targeted for a specific audience. We address two sets of tools. The first provides principles and practices for creating clearer arguments relevant to the different phases of the IA process. The second shows tools for bringing the steps of argument into the written text of your documents.

The workshop shows how written IA documents contain common errors in their arguments and weaknesses in their writing. Participants practice assembling evidence and reasons for several different kinds of argument found in IAs. We practice several steps, and introduce some computer-based tools, that show how to bring those improved arguments into technical report writing. We discuss how several organizations implemented these steps in their IA practice. At the end, participants will have a revised approach to planning, preparing and writing technical reports and IAs that they can use on the job.
Level: Intermediate
Prerequisites: Previous participation in preparing and writing IA documents
Language: English
Duration: 2 days (14-15 May)
Price: US$475
Min/Max: 10-24
Instructor(s): Glenn Brown, Independent Consultant and Associate Faculty, Royal Roads University (Canada)
Special Note:

Individual laptops are not required but are useful.


Dr. Glenn Brown is an ecologist, environmental manager, and educator with over 25 years’ experience working in Canada, United States, Central America, West Africa, Southeast Asia, China, and Mongolia. Based in Vancouver, Canada, he teaches courses in Ecosystem Science and Management and Analytical Thinking and Communications in the Masters of Environment and Management program at Royal Roads University, where he received the university’s Outstanding Teaching award. He is also an independent consultant.

Glenn has worked on projects involving impact assessment, mineral exploration, oil and gas development, rehabilitation of degraded land, ecotourism and economic development, parks and protected areas, science and environmental education, endangered and invasive species, and ecosystem services. He has worked in arctic, temperate, and tropical habitats. As a teacher and trainer, he has designed curriculum and taught university students, working professionals, teachers, ecotourism tour guides, and rural villagers. As a consultant, he works with industry, government, and NGO clients. He was also employed in the environment department of a mineral exploration company and as the executive director of a science education NGO. His most recent work is with ecosystem services and with applications of organized reasoning to impact assessment.