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Alumni Spotlight

Brian Manwaring, US Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution

Brian ManwaringWorking as a Program Manager at the United States Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution managing the Water Resource Sector, Brian Manwaring coordinates multi-stakeholder planning and conflict resolution processes involving river basin management, riparian ecosystem restoration, wetlands, coastal zones, national marine sanctuaries, and fisheries. He feels working for the institute is very rewarding because he is able to provide services that are beneficial to the public and have national implications. And because his position occupies a very unique niche within the field of environmental conflict resolution, this allows his work with the institute to provide leadership in the field and contribute services in an impartial and independent manner. 

Brian graduated from the University of Denver in 2006 with a Master of Arts through the Conflict Resolution Institute. He finds that the substantive issues and practical conflict resolution skills that he learned through the program have been instrumental in his work. At the same time, the valuable guidance and professional experience of the DU faculty helped him to clarify and prepare for his career aspirations within the field. His internship with CH2M HILL, a multi-national environmental consulting firm for which he subsequently worked for five years, provided him with the opportunity to begin experimenting with some of the conflict resolution skills that he learned at DU. This experienced helped him clarify his goals and validate his desire to pursue a career in the field of environmental conflict resolution.

Taking into consideration the reality that the environmental conflict resolution field has relatively few practitioners and is widely perceived as a difficult market to penetrate, Brian affirms that a strong internship is as essential as a broad education in environmental issues and conflict resolution as applied to environmental disputes. He believes that the maturing and evolving field of environmental conflict resolution will require "new" players who are formally trained through programs such as the Conflict Resolution Institute at the University of Denver.

Although a career in this field can be difficult to get started on, he is confident that anyone interested in a career in the field of environmental conflict resolution can achieve their long-term goals through flexibility and reaffirmation of one's motivations. He has found that individuals working in the field are more than willing to lend a hand to someone trying to enter the field. And by writing emails, making phone calls, and attending conferences, one can establish networks with professionals in the field who will assist them in their career path.