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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fort Collins, Colorado » Center for Agricultural Resources Research » Rangeland Resources & Systems Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #379195

Research Project: Adaptive Grazing Management and Decision Support to Enhance Ecosystem Services in the Western Great Plains

Location: Rangeland Resources & Systems Research

Title: Campfire conversations at the 2020 annual meeting: Insights & lessons learned from “cuss-and-discuss” rather than “chalk-and-talk”

Author
item SCHULZ, TERI - The Nature Conservancy
item Wilmer, Hailey
item YOCUM, HEATHER - University Of Colorado
item WINFORD, ERIC - University Of Idaho
item Peck, Dannele
item MONLEZUN, ANNA - Colorado State University
item SCHMALZ, HEIDI - The Nature Conservancy
item Klemm, Toni
item EPSTEIN, KATHLEEN - Montana State University
item JANSEN, VINCENT - University Of Idaho
item KELLEY, WINDY - University Of Wyoming
item BRUEGGER, RETTA - Colorado State University
item FICK, STEPHEN - Us Geological Survey (USGS)
item GAZING WOLF, JOSEPH - Arizona State University
item GRACE, JOSHUA - Arizona Department Of Environmental Quality
item MANN, REBECCA - Us Geological Survey (USGS)
item Derner, Justin

Submitted to: Rangelands
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/16/2021
Publication Date: 5/24/2021
Citation: Schulz, T.L., Wilmer, H.N., Yocum, H., Winford, E., Peck, D.E., Monlezun, A.C., Schmalz, H., Klemm, T., Epstein, K., Jansen, V., Kelley, W., Bruegger, R., Fick, S., Gazing Wolf, J., Grace, J., Mann, R., Derner, J.D. 2021. Campfire conversations at the 2020 annual meeting: Insights & lessons learned from “cuss-and-discuss” rather than “chalk-and-talk”. Rangelands. 43(3):166-172. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rala.2021.04.003.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rala.2021.04.003

Interpretive Summary: The 2020 SRM Annual Meeting planning committee allowed our team to pilot a new type of session--known as a “Campfire Conversation”--to address a growing desire among many Society members to move away from one-way modes of communication (e.g., “chalk-and-talk”) and towards multidirectional knowledge exchange (e.g., “cuss and discuss”). We engaged attendees at the 2020 SRM Annual Meeting in two World Café-style campfire sessions, where they participated in 20-minute round-table discussions about each of three topics they selected from a menu of 13 timely issues. Approximately 280 SRM meeting attendees participated in the Campfire Conversations, suggesting that a large number of SRM members at the annual meeting were attracted to the idea of a different, more interactive session format. A post-event analysis of the 13 Campfire topics and associated conversations revealed several valuable lessons for organizing successful World Café-style sessions, which could help inform similar sessions at future SRM meetings. Broader insights for SRM as an organization also emerged in the form of common themes across multiple campfire topics and conversations. Change was a common theme on the minds of many Campfire hosts and participants, including social, climatic, ecological, management and policy changes. To address these changes, participants highlighted a desire for SRM to grow as an organization by helping provide its members with a variety of resources and opportunities.

Technical Abstract: ' A new type of session was piloted at the 2020 SRM Annual Meeting, known as a “Campfire Conversation” and styled after the World Café approach. ' The Campfire Conversation session attracted 280 attendees and enabled multidirectional knowledge exchange (i.e., “cuss and discuss”), rather than one-way “chalk-and-talk.” ' Attendees participated in 20-minute facilitated round-table discussions about each of three topics they selected from a menu of 13 timely rangeland issues. ' Change was a common theme on the minds of many Campfire hosts and participants, including social, climatic, ecological, management and policy changes. ' Participants highlighted a desire for SRM to grow as an organization by enhancing members’ opportunities and resources for: multidirectional knowledge exchange among students, scientists, practitioners, and policy-makers; cross-generational mentorship; cross-disciplinary training; diverse ways of knowing; and greater inclusivity and connection to the Society. ' A post-event analysis of the Campfire Conversation sessions revealed valuable lessons for organizing successful World Café-style sessions at future SRM meetings, including the virtual 2021 annual meeting.