Austin McInerny is a Senior Facilitator/Mediator and Natural Resource/Land-Use Planner who joined the Center in 2003. Mr. McInerny is certified by the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution as an Environmental Dispute Resolution and Consensus Building Professional and has published and lectured on collaborative planning methods. He received a Master’s Degree in Regional Planning from Cornell University in 1997 and a Bachelor's Degree in environmental studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz, in 1990. He has extensive experience developing consensus-based, stakeholder-driven, resource management/infrastructure development and review processes involving a wide range of interests. He additionally has considerable management and field experience in watershed planning, environmental assessment, regulatory compliance, habitat restoration, and use of Internet-based planning tools, including geographic information systems.
His experience includes facilitation and strategic planning for the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project, which is the largest wetland restoration effort to be undertaken on the West Coast. He has also worked as a facilitator, neutral assessor, and process designer for the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution on a number of highly contentious projects, including the Upper Klamath Basin Working Group Restoration Planning Process, Desert Tortoise Recovery Planning Situation Assessment, and the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Management Plan development effort. He has also served as facilitator and process designer for public outreach efforts associated with a wide variety of project types, including aquatic invasive species management in California; off-highway vehicle route designation for the U.S. Forest Service; expansion of the Bay Area Rapid Transit system; habitat conservation planning along the northern California coast; and recreational opportunities development in the Eastern Sierra. He has additionally managed numerous environmental compliance efforts, including development of environmental impact report/statements. Most notably, Austin's efforts on the Upper Guadalupe River Flood Protection Project for the Santa Clara Valley Water District (San Jose, California) helped secure the Association of Environmental Professionals' 2002 Outstanding Environmental Analysis Document Award.