Case Studies

Case Studies

Student Case Studies

Kennecott Groundwater Remediation: Collaborative Problem Solving Builds Trust and Reduces Costs (written Spring 2013 by Lauren Carpenter DeVoe, JD 2014)  

Uinta Basin: Elevated Ozone Creates Opportunities, Not Adversaries
(written Spring 2013 by John Robinson Jr., JD 2014)

The Washington County Lands Bill and Vision Dixie Collaboration: A Management Model for Public Lands?
(written Spring 2014 by Scott Hutchins)

Conflict Assessment and Environmental Dispute Resolution Process Design Addressing Deposition of Naturally Occurring Asbestos at Swift Creek, Whatcom County, Washington (written April 2013 by Douglas Naftz, JD 2014)

Moving Forward with Indian Water Rights Settlements (written Spring 2013 by Melinda Moffitt, JD 2013)

Student Conflict Assessments 

Students taking Environmental Conflict Resolution conduct a conflict assessment based on a student-selected real-life environmental or natural resource conflict. They analyze the nature, source and history of the conflict, identify potential stakeholders and potential issues. If the conflict is, or has been, subject to a dispute resolution process, the student writes a case study identifying best practices and lessons learned, and gives suggestions of what could have been done differently and why (looking back). If the conflict is not currently, and has not been, subject to a dispute resolution process, the student designs a dispute resolution process (looking forward). Some students do a combined case study and future process design.

Students’ papers posted here include an Executive Summary. For case studies (looking back), this highlights the best practices and lessons learned. For dispute resolution process designs (looking forward), this provides a summary of the essential process components. The primary purpose of posting these assessments is to disseminate the “best practices” and “lessons learned” in each paper.


  • The assessment reports reflect the student authors’ opinions, and do not reflect the views or opinions of the University of Utah, any of its affiliated entities, or any individuals interviewed as part of the assessment.
  • Unlike a conflict or situation assessment conducted by a professional third party neutral, the students’ work does not include interviews of all stakeholder interests. While every attempt has been made to include the full range of perspectives in the analysis, it is possible that some perspectives have been omitted.
  • The assessment reports are posted as they were written by the students and therefore reflect a snapshot-in-time. Facts and perspectives can change; for ongoing conflicts, the reader is encouraged to do additional research to confirm that the situation described in the assessment remains current.
  • For questions about factual issues, the reader is encouraged to refer to underlying resource documents.