Events & Media

Visiting Lecturer Receives National Environmental Protection Award
John Jostes recognized for "significant and important" contributions to environmental protection

Sept. 3, 2013

John Jostes

Santa Barbara, CA — Bren visiting lecturer John Jostes, who teaches Organizations and Environmental Leadership (ESM 280) and Environmental Negotiation (ESM 283), has been selected to receive the 2013 Sharon M. Pickett Award for Environmental Protection through Conflict Resolution. The award is presented by the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR), which represents more than 6,000 mediators in the United States and Canada, to recognize "significant and important contributions to environmental protection for a project or over the length of one's career." The award will be presented at ACR's annual conference in Minneapolis next month. 

The Sharon M. Pickett Award was established to honor the family mediator and trainer who worked as a communication specialist for many environmental NGOs and served as editor of ACR's magazine, ACResolution from 2000–2007.

"The Bren School offers congratulations to John for receiving this important national award, which is all the more impressive because it came from his peers," said Bren School dean, Steve Gaines. "John provides Bren students with indispensable knowledge and skills, and in that, he reflects the tremendous value he and other practitioners bring to the Bren School curriculum. John and our other visitors bring the 'from the trenches" perspective that ensures the school remains fresh, vibrant, and relevant."

John C. Jostes

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 Masters in public administration with an emphasis in public dispute resolution.

Jostes specializes in resolving complex, science-intensive environmental disputes between organizations, governments, and communities. He has spent the past three years as national co-chair of ACR's Environmental and Public Policy Section and has assisted with conference planning for nearly a decade.

"As mediators, a great deal of our work takes place behind the scenes," Jostes said upon learning of his selection. "The Pickett Award validates my efforts over the years to help people be at their best when dealing with difficult and challenging situations. I know the people who have received this award in the past, and it is truly an honor to be in their company."

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 regain its productivity in addressing the impacts of homelessness in Santa Barbara's Milpas area.

Jostes is also a Senior Advisor to RESOLVE, a Washington DC collaborative think tank specializing in resource, health and public policy issues at the national level.