Workshop Guide: Using Facilitation Techniques to Integrate Ecosystem Services into Coastal Management Decisions

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Estuarine systems are areas of immense ecological importance and provide numerous social, economic, and environmental benefits. The strong link between healthy habitats and these benefits requires incorporating the concerns of both nature and people into coastal management. An ecosystem services approach to coastal management and stewardship is defined by consideration of those benefits that flow from nature to people. As coastal managers increasingly attempt to fully characterize and communicate how natural systems affect the people who live near, work in, depend on, and care about the habitats they manage, ecosystem services considerations are progressively more important to address. Incorporating ecosystem services into management aims to result in an intact and resilient ecosystem that takes multiple beneficiary groups’ needs into consideration. This guide is targeted at coastal resource managers and practitioners who are actively thinking about how to more deliberately incorporate ecosystem services into their coastal decision-making processes.






Mason, Sara, Rachel Karasik and Lydia Olander (2019). Workshop Guide: Using Facilitation Techniques to Integrate Ecosystem Services into Coastal Management Decisions. Retrieved from



Sara Mason

Senior Policy Associate

Sara Mason joined the Ecosystem Services Program at the Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability as a policy associate after graduating from Duke with a master’s degree in environmental management. Her work focuses on the interdisciplinary nature of biodiversity conservation and how that can be leveraged to engage the public and policy makers in conservation efforts. Prior to joining the Nicholas Institute, Sara worked in ecological field research and endangered animal rehabilitation.


Lydia Olander

Adjunct Professor in the Environmental Sciences and Policy Division

Lydia Olander is a program director at the Nicholas Institute for Energy Environment & Sustainability at Duke University and adjunct professor at the Nicholas School of the Environment. She works on improving evidence-based policy and accelerating implementation of climate resilience, nature-based solutions, natural capital accounting, and environmental markets. She leads the National Ecosystem Services Partnership and sits on Duke’s Climate Commitment action team. She recently spent two years with the Biden administration at the Council on Environmental Quality as Director of Nature based Resilience and before that spent five years on the Environmental Advisory Board for the US Army Corps of Engineers. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and widely published researcher. Prior to joining the Nicholas Institute, she spent a year as an AAAS Congressional Science and Technology Fellow working with Senator Joseph Lieberman on environmental and energy issues. She was a college scholar at Cornell University and earned her Master of Forest Science from Yale University and Ph.D. from Stanford University.

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