Programs of Operation

IEDS operates in four key areas with synergies developing between each of these areas to develop our brand recognition as a leader in research and practice.

Case development is now widely respected as an effective pedagogic technique and also of great value in corporate and governmental benchmarking. Leveraging UVM’s existing relationship with Vermont Law School and Champlain College as well as partners worldwide we are developing a series of case studies for pedagogic use. The goal of the case compendia program is to document innovative approaches to environmental diplomacy as well as learning from particular failures in process. Cases are in turn be used in our educational programs in the classroom and online alongside academic publications.

The location of the institute at a major land grant university provides ample opportunities for bridging teaching opportunities with fieldwork and problem-solving. In the planning tradition of charrettes, coupled with the emerging genre of service learning, the institute aims to develop a program where experiencing the dynamics of a conflict will help students and professionals alike and also provide a revenue base for the financial viability of the institute. UVM Continuing Education assists with the planning and administration of these learning modules which are offered in partnership with existing certificate and degree programs.

Working with an existing network of mediators and in partnership with regional centers for mediation and conflict resolution, the institute provides a forum for understanding the value added by mediating disputes. The process of mediation can also be an opportunity develop models which can be applied in other conflicts. IEDS is committed to using modern analytical tools such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and simulation software to inform the mediation process and thereby achieve more sustainable outcomes.

We also offer mediation services on a non-profit basis under the University of Vermont's 501-C3 status. Please email for questions regarding mediation services.

Basic research can be coupled with applied problem- solving through the emerging field of participatory action research. Environmental conflict resolution provides an opportunity to engage in a program of research that brings together a wide range of disciplines. The institute provides an opportunity for researchers across UVM and our partners to engage in research proposals that provide empirical support for our work while also serving the communities where we operate. The University of Vermont's  Community Participatory Action Research network also provides opportunities for collaboration in this arena.