Representing more than 6,000 mediators in the United States and Canada, the Association for Conflict Resolution announced last Friday it has selected John Jostes to receive its 2013 Sharon M. Pickett Award for Environmental Protection through Conflict Resolution.
The award recognizes "significant and important" contributions to environmental protection for a project or over the length of one's career. It will be presented at ACR's annual conference in Minneapolis next month.
The Sharon M. Pickett Award was established in honor of Pickett, who served as editor of ACResolution from 2000-07. In addition to serving as a family mediator and trainer, she worked as a communication specialist for many environmental NGOs. Her clients included the Center for International Environmental Law, the Sierra Club, Physicians for Social Responsibility, the Union of Concerned Scientists, Ozone Action, the Clean Air Task Force, the Alliance to End Childhood Lead Poisoning, the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association and others.
Jostes was the City of Santa Barbara's first environmental analyst in the mid-1970s and went on to found Interface Planning and Counseling Corporation, a consulting firm specializing in environmental planning and public policy issues in Southern California. He first began mediating environmental and land use issues in 1981 and later attended MIT and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where he received a master's degree in pPublic administration with an emphasis in public dispute resolution.
Jostes has been active in ACR's Environmental and Public Policy Section serving as national co-chair for three years and assisting with conference planning for nearly a decade.
"As mediators, a great deal of our work takes place behind the scenes," Jostes said. "The Pickett Award really validates my efforts over the years to help people be at their best when dealing with difficult and challenging situations."
Jostes specializes in resolving complex, science-intensive environmental disputes between organizations, governments and communities.
"I know the people who have received this award in the past, like Frank Dukes, Marcelle DuPraw and Alice Shorett, and it is truly an honor to be in their company with this award," he said.
Jostes' accomplishments at the national level include facilitating break-out groups at the White House Conference on Cooperative Conservation in 2005, and leading the facilitation team that helped federal and state agencies, tribes, water districts and NGOs sign the $626 million Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Plan. At the local level, he recently helped the Milpas Action Task Force to regain its productivity in addressing the impacts of homelessness in Santa Barbara's Milpas area.
Jostes teaches courses in environmental negotiation and leadership at UCSB's Bren School. He is also a senior advisor to RESOLVE, a Washington, D.C., collaborative think tank specializing in resource, health and public policy issues at the national level.