Thomas N. Webler

Adjunct Faculty, ES PhD Program
Department of Environmental Studies

Research Projects

Environmental Protection Agency
Co-Principal Investigator (with Linda Deegan, MBL and Jim Kremer, UCONN) (Oct. 1997-Sept. 2000).

Social and Ecological Transferability of Integrated Ecosystem Assessment Models The purpose of this project is to integrate social and biological and physical sciences in an environmental policy area. The goals of this project are: to develop integrated ecosystem assessment models that meet the needs of local policy makers and to investigate the conditions that affect their acceptance by policy makers.

National Science Foundation and the Environmental Protection Agency Partnership for Environmental Research
Principal Investigator (October 1996 – September 1998)

Factors Influencing the participation of local governmental officials in environmental policy making. Three case studies of the National Estuary Program.

This research explores the factors influencing the nature of the participation (whether or not they participated and how they participated) of local governmental officials in environmental policy making initiatives sponsored by the EPA. We examine three applications from the National Estuary Program: New Hampshire Estuaries, Casco Bay in Maine and Massachusetts Bays. Factors influencing the decision of local governmental officials to participate in national and regional policy making and implementation efforts will be examined through a direct interview protocol and responses to hypothetical policy scenarios.

National Science Foundation, Washington, DC
Principal Investigator (July 1995 – July 1997)

Evaluating Public Participation Processes by Combining Perspectives of Planners, Participants, and Normative Theory. This research inquired of people who participated in one elaborate public policy making process — the Northern Forest Lands Council process in Northern New England — what the expect and demand from a participatory process. Using these empirical data, we are drawing comparisons with our existing theory and revising the theory accordingly.

Center for Technology Assessment, Stuttgart, Germany
Funded Research (September 1994 – May 1995)

To develop a handbook for implementing and evaluating the cooperative discourse model for public participation in public policy making and to document applications of the model in the United States and in Switzerland.

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland
Interdisciplinary Project on Risk and Safety
Research Associate (June 1992 – June 1994)

Cooperative Discourse in Canton Aargau. To apply the cooperative discourse policy making model to the problem of siting a regional solid waste landfill in Aargau Canton. Project involved coordinating public participation with risk and environmental impact assessments throughout the two-year long process.

Clark University, Worcester, MA (August, 1991 – May, 1992)
(Funding: Swiss Federal Institute of Technology)
Principal Investigator: Ortwin Renn

Criteria for Public Participation. Dissertation support to develop criteria for evaluating public participation in environmental problem solving and to propose an evaluation methodology.

Clark University, Worcester, MA (August, 1991 – May, 1992)
Social amplification of risk: coding and analysis of data. (Funding: National Science Foundation).
Principal Investigators: Roger Kasperson, Ortwin Renn.

Stockholm Environmental Institute, Boston, MA (1989-1990)
Emission Factors Database. To construct the emission factor database as an energy scenario planning tool for developing countries.

Clark University, Worcester, MA (1988-1989)
(Funding: New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection).
Principal Investigator: Ortwin Renn.

The Use of Citizen Panels in America. A New Approach to Public Participation in Regional Sludge Management. This was an application of the German planning cell model to the problem of regional sludge management in Northeastern New Jersey.

Clark University, Worcester, MA (1988-1989)
(Funding: Massachusetts Department of Public Health).
Principal Investigator: Ann Aschengrau (Boston University).

PCE Dose Delivery Model. To develop and test an exposure assessment model to estimate the relative delivered dose of PCE via water distribution pipes to exposed and control populations in Upper Cape Cod.