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Public Participation for Technical Staff: How to Make Participation Work for You
Basic level training
Hosted by U.S. EPA, Community Involvement and Program Initiatives Branch
Community Involvement University (CIU)

What is the course overview?
This course provides an in-depth look at how to use public participation to improve site planning and key decision-making. It examines public participation through a technical prism by engaging technical staff in a dialogue on the public participation principles that work and the key communication skills that are necessary to make them work.

Who should take this course?
This course is recommended for EPA Superfund Remedial Program Managers (RPMs), On-Scene Coordinators (OSCs), and EPA-affiliated technical staff who participate in Superfund or environmental cleanup. This course is also appropriate for Superfund Community Involvement Coordinators (CICs) and public involvement staffers familiar with Superfund or environmental cleanup, who wish to understand community participation through a technical prism. There are no suggested prerequisites.

What are the course learning objectives?
Participants who complete this course will gain skills on how to:

  • Recognize the elements of meaningful public participation and overcome some of the key challenges that prevent them from achieving it;
  • Use public participation to support more effective decision making;
  • Identify the appropriate roles and activities of technical staff in making public participation working effectively with the CIC; and
  • Overcome communication challenges and improve overall communication with communities.

What are the logistics?
This one-day course uses interactive exercises and practical tips to enliven the basic theory and reinforce skills. More specifically, the course style includes lectures, interactive exercises, and case studies. Recommended course size is 10-30 participants.

Doug Sarno teaches this course. He is a civil engineer with 30 years of experience in Superfund and environmental cleanup as an engineer, policy maker, and facilitator. He has devoted much of his career to improving environmental decision-making and effectively engaging diverse groups of stakeholders in complex and controversial decisions.

Is there available background material?
Participants receive the following:

  • Reading material
  • Relevant handouts
For general information contact Tina Conley by telephone at 703-603-0696 or via e-mail at

 Upcoming Events

 No upcoming events.

Previous Events (click to view/hide)
Bullet  Live Online Class, Internet Based
  June 20, 2023 - June 21, 2023
Bullet  Live Online Class, Internet Based
  June 20, 2023 - June 21, 2023
Bullet  Fort Defiance, AZ
  April 12, 2023 - April 12, 2023
Bullet  Live Online Class, Internet Based
  August 18, 2021 - August 25, 2021
Bullet  Atlanta, GA
  May 11, 2016 - May 11, 2016
Bullet  Atlanta, GA
Postponed - Event Details
  February 16, 2016 - February 16, 2016
Bullet  Seattle, WA
  October 13, 2015 - October 13, 2015
Bullet  Seattle, WA
  June 9, 2014 - June 9, 2014
Bullet  New York, NY
  January 9, 2014 - January 9, 2014
Bullet  Arlington, VA
  July 8, 2013 - July 8, 2013
Bullet  Chicago, IL
  January 12, 2011 - January 12, 2011
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