All-Day Workshop

Saving Seas
Resolving Conflict and Finding Solutions in the Marine Realm

Cape Cod Museum of Natural History ~ 869 Route 6A, Brewster, MA

Saturday, April 8, 2006, 8:30 to 4:30
$25 for museum member/ $30 for non-members, includes lunch with advance reservation.
RSVP: 508-896-3867 ext. 129 or

About the Workshop ~ Schedule ~ Keynote Speakers ~ Workshop Instructors ~ Saving Seas Seminars

About the Workshop

This workshop is part of Saving Seas, a seminar series aimed at understanding and moving beyond conflict in the marine realm to promote healthy communities and healthy ecosystems. Like all Saving Seas sessions, the April 8th workshop is open to anyone concerned about the future of the marine environment and maritime communities. Keynote speakers will discuss innovative programs that are breaking down barriers and fostering creative solutions. Workshop sessions will offer participants a choice of two areas of focus: education and policy.

Education thread: Educators of all types will gain content, skills, and ideas for exploring marine issues and teaching conflict resolution and leadership skills. Professional development points (PDPs) available for Massachusetts teachers; contact us for details.

Policy thread: Anyone interested in marine issues can explore the origins of conflict in the marine realm, exchange ideas and perspectives, and gain practical skills for resolving disagreement and finding solutions.

Workshop instructors Mary Skelton Roberts and Tora Johnson will lead breakout sessions aimed at providing interactive discussion and practical skills. Keynote speaker Dr. Madeleine Hall-Arber is MIT Sea Grant College Program’s marine anthropologist and manager of The Center for Marine Social Sciences. Keynote speaker John Williamson is a fisherman, a fishing community activist, and was been a member of the New England Fisheries Management Council for nine years and served as chairman of the Council’s Research Steering Committee. He is chair of the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council and a co-founder of the Marine Resource Education Program.

In addition to the April 8th Saturday workshop, Saving Seas seminars take place at the museum on alternate Tuesdays, with experts on all sides taking on the most controversial marine issues of the day. Upcoming panels will discuss the hotly debated herring mid-water trawl fishery, Navy sonar testing and its impacts on whales, oil and gas exploration on Georges Bank, and the international clash over whaling.

The Saving Seas program is made possible by generous support and assistance from the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Interaction Institute for Social Change, and Framingham State College Division of Graduate and Continuing Education. Additional participation and assistance comes from a wide variety of fisheries organizations, environmental organizations, government agencies, and individuals. We are very grateful for their continued support.

Back to Top

Workshop Schedule

Saturday, April 8th

8:30-9:00 Registration, coffee, & doughnuts

9:00-9:15 Welcome

9:10-9:50 Keynote Address

10:00-12:30 Morning Workshop Sessions:


education thread

Tomorrow’s Leaders:
Tools & ideas for teaching facilitation & collaboration

Mary Skelton Roberts, Senior Mediator

A renowned professional facilitator offers activities and content aimed at helping teachers incorporate leadership and collaboration skills in social studies and science curriculum.

policy thread

Lines in the Sand:
Understanding & resolving conflict in the marine realm

Tora Johnson, Saving Seas Instructor

New perspectives on conflict and collaboration in marine policy, with activities and discussions about implications, solutions, and moving forward


12:30-12:50 Lunch & schmooze

12:50-1:30 Keynote Address

1:40- 4:10 Afternoon Workshop Sessions:


education thread

Lines in the Sand:
Content & activities on marine conflict & resolution

Tora Johnson, Saving Seas Instructor

Resources and ideas for cross-curricular activities on disputes in the marine realm, including a discussion of framework standards and a brainstorming session.

policy thread

Leadership for New Directions
Mary Skelton Roberts, Senior Mediator

A renowned expert on facilitation and conflict resolution offers practical leadership skills and new tools for overcoming conflict in marine issues.


4:15-4:30 Wrap-up & good-bye

Back to Top

Keynote Speakers for the April 8th Workshop

Dr. Madeleine Hall-Arber is MIT Sea Grant College Program’s marine anthropologist and manager of The Center for Marine Social Sciences. Her research explores the human, social, and political aspects of marine-related issues. With more than 25 years of experience working with fishing communities, Dr. Hall-Arber is an expert on how New England's ports cope with and communicate about the changes they face in their economy, culture, and political landscape. She spearheaded a major study of New England's fishing communities, work that culminated in 2001 with a sweeping, comprehensive report profiling eleven subregions in New England with details of 38 fishing communities. Dr. Hall-Arber is currently working on two collaborative projects to help fishermen and fishing communities take the next step in assuring an on-going collection of socio-economic information. She also hosts FISHFOLK, an active listserve that offers a forum for lively and candid exchange of ideas about fisheries and fishing communities from all sides of the political spectrum. Also a talented ceramic artist, Dr. Hall-Arber makes exquisite jewelry depicting marine creatures.

John Williamson is a fisherman, a fishing community activist, and was been a member of the New England Fisheries Management Council for nine years and served as chairman of the Council’s Research Steering Committee. He is chair of the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council. Through his work on the Council and in a series of grant-funded projects, Mr. Williamson has worked with fishermen and members of the scientific community to develop collaborative research programs. He was a driving force behind the development of the Marine Resource Education Program, an innovative initiative, now four years old, that brings fishermen, policy-makers, environmentalists, and scientists together for intensive education sessions and dialogue. Mr. Williamson's talk on April 8th will look at MREP’s successes, challenges and future direction.

Back to Top

Instructors for April 8th Workshop

Mary Skelton Roberts is a senior mediator, facilitator and organizational effectiveness consultant in private practice. She has over 14 years of progressive experience working in the United States and internationally. She convenes, facilitates, and mediates public policy, environmental, and commercial disputes involving multiple parties and highly complex issues. Examples of projects include: mediation of inter-jurisdictional disputes arising from the clean-up and removal of chemical material; facilitation of dialogues to develop national policy for relocating communities situated on contaminated waste sites; facilitation among aquaculture farmers about the sustainable uses of waters; mediation of disputes arising from the privatization of Britain’s railway system; dialogues to develop national guidance on marine mammal rehabilitation facility standards; process design for a 1,600-plaintiff lawsuit involving donor organs and tissues; facilitation of dialogues among members of the U.S. House of Representatives to improve bipartisan collaboration; and mediation of numerous private and commercial disputes.

Ms. Skelton Roberts also provides strategic planning and training to organizations looking to improve their internal capacity or interested in enhancing their negotiation skills. Clients include, Hewlett Packard, InterSystems, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, DenPlan, and the Fiscal Monetary Board in England.

Ms. Skelton Roberts has taught several negotiation courses at the University of Bowie, the Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution, and other organizations for the past five years. She is currently senior faculty for the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution in London, England, where she serves as lead trainer for their international mediation training programs. Ms. Skelton Roberts has a Master’s degree from MIT and earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California.

Tora Johnson, Saving Seas instructor, has more than a decade of experience teaching maritime, environmental, and geographic information studies at the college level, serving on the faculty of University of Maine at Machias, College of the Atlantic, Cape Cod Community College, and Massachusetts Maritime Academy. Her current human ecological research focuses on conflict, resolution, and solutions in marine environmental issues. Ms. Johnson's non-fiction book, Entanglements: The Intertwined Fates of Whales and Fishermen (University Press of Florida), was published in 2005 to wide acclaim for its literary merit and fresh, balanced perspective on the debate over whale entanglement in fishing gear. She is also a member of an artistic collaborative through the Spoleto Festival USA, working with coastal African-American communities in the southeastern U.S. who are struggling to maintain their hold on land and culture in a changing landscape.

Ms. Johnson was the marine reporter for the Martha’s Vineyard Times from 1998 to 2000, and she has published the Guide to Freshwater Animals without Backbones (with Arlene De Strulle; The Catskill Center, 1997). She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Oregon and a master’s degree in human ecology from College of the Atlantic in Maine. She also holds a U.S. Coast Guard captain’s license to operate vessels up to 100 gross tons and has extensive experience at sea, serving as crew, fisherman, and educator in the waters of New England, the Pacific Northwest, and Alaska.

Back to Top