Kirk Emerson


Kirk Emerson, PhD, AICP             

Professor of Practice in Collaborative Governance  School of Government and Public Policy      University of Arizona

To contact Kirk Emerson at the University of Arizona:
Phone  520-621-3315
Fax      520-621-5051
Mail      Social Sciences Bldg  Rm 306
            Tucson, AZ  85721
Kirk Emerson & Associates provides environmental collaboration and conflict resolution services including process consultation and design, conflict assessment and diagnostics, facilitation and mediation, training and evaluation.

To contact Kirk Emerson & Associates:
Phone  520-690-5970    


Kirk Emerson has had a longstanding career in environmental conflict resolution and collaborative problem solving. Her recent research and practice have focused on collaborative governance and climate change, border security and natural resources.

Kirk was the founding director of the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution at the Morris K. and Stewart L. Udall Foundation (1998 – 2008). Previously, she coordinated the environmental conflict resolution program at The University of Arizona’s Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy, where she directed applied research on conflicts around water resources, endangered species, and western range issues. Kirk started mediating land use and environmental disputes in the 1990s, after working as a professional planner and administrator for eight years at the Bucks County Planning Commission in Pennsylvania.

Emerson was appointed Professor of Practice in Collaborative Governance in the School of Government and Public Policy at the University of Arizona in November 2011. In addition to her research and classroom teaching, she is developing a new Graduate Certificate in Collaborative Governance.

Emerson serves on the Working Board of the National Institute for Civil Discourse.
She is a Research Associate at The University of Arizona’s Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy and the Institute of the Environment. She is also a Faculty Associate at the Program for the Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration (PARCC), Maxwell School, Syracuse University.

Emerson is a member of the National Roster of Environmental Dispute Resolution and Consensus Building Professionals and a planner certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners.

An Integrative Framework for Collaborative Governance by Kirk Emerson, Tina Nabatchi and Steve Balogh may be downloaded at
UNCG Guide to Collaborative Competencies by Kirk Emerson and Steve Smutko released in 2011 can be purchased at
A Report on Interagency Border Cooperation was issued October 2010 and may be downloaded here.