New Training Courses in Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning to be Offered

July 21, 2014

Tim Lucas, 919-613-8084,

DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke Environmental Leadership (DEL) Executive Education program is partnering with the Battelle Memorial Institute to launch a new series of training courses on coastal and marine spatial planning (CMSP).

The short courses, which typically run for four days, are designed to provide environmental professionals with practical, hands-on training in how to use CMSP-aided mapping as a decision-making tool to manage coastal and ocean areas more effectively by balancing competing demands on the areas’ shared resources.

Courses, customized to regional concerns and audiences, will be offered at sites across the United States. An online course is also being developed.

“Coastal managers today face increasing pressure to juggle the needs of many different stakeholders while preserving the health of the ecosystems they manage,” said Sherri Nevius, assistant dean of executive education and distance learning at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment. “Demands on an ecosystem may include offshore energy development, environmental protection, commercial fishing, shipping and transportation, recreation, research and conservation, and many other uses.

“Our colleagues at Battelle, with funding from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, have developed a high-quality curriculum that pulls together best practices from around the globe to help managers map solutions to these challenges and devise effective and equitable resource management strategies,” Nevius said.

Battelle launched its CMSP-Advancement Training Program for coastal managers last year in selected regions around the United States. The course includes instruction in stakeholder identification; resource and resource-use mapping; identification of outside factors and emergent and future uses; crafting regulatory language; plan implementation; and other key aspects of CMSP.

Due to the success of the initial courses, Battelle is partnering with DEL to offer the training to an even wider audience.

“This course has been hugely successful in the regions we’ve visited, and participants are using lessons from the course in their jobs as professional coastal managers. We’re excited to partner with the DEL Program, which brings decades of experience in training environmental professionals,” said Battelle program manager Leslie-Ann McGee, a former director of the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management who helped develop the course’s curriculum with other members of the Battelle team.

“We envision that the Nicholas School’s strengths in marine science and geographic information systems (GIS) mapping will further enhance the innovative practical skills currently taught in Battelle’s curriculum,” Nevius said. “DEL is pleased to team with Battelle to provide coastal decision makers with the most up-to-date, comprehensive training available.”

For more information about the CMSP-Advancement Training Program or to request training in your region, go to or contact Allison Besch, executive education coordinator at DEL, at or (919) 613-8700.