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
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.