Conservation Writing Pro
Conservation Writing Pro
Communicate your conservation message with clarity!

Michelle Baker, PhD offers consultation and facilitation services so your entire organization can write with greater clarity.

Michelle Baker, PhD, works with organizations to solve their writing challenges. Consultation, facilitation and team leadership services can be in regard to specific documents, such as large projects that are anticipated to take a long time and to require many resources. Such services are also suitable for developing templates and guidance so documents of a particular type are consistent and adhere to regulatory requirements.

This kind of guidance can help your organization in all of the following ways:

·Determine the SWOTs of your organization’s writing processes and make recommendations for improvement.

·Create project plans including research, writing, review, and publication, with step-down plans to aid in the implementation of each stage.

·Review case studies of “what-went-wrong?” scenarios to institute procedural corrections.

·Collaborate with leadership and practitioners to develop writing guidance that conforms to regulatory requirements, professional practice, and agency standards.

Michelle employs a variety of methods in her consultation and facilitation practice. While she brings a wealth of education and experience to your organization, her most important task as a facilitator is to listen. She listens deeply to organization members and stakeholders at all levels to determine the writing challenges people face and their possible sources.

When you work with Michelle, you can expect that your voice will be heard. Michelle continually reframes and recasts the messages she hears, repeats them to you, and ensures that everyone’s concerns are captured before she continues her work.

Michelle’s methods include

·one-on-one interviews with key team members;

·small group meetings with stakeholders;

·reviews of regulatory requirements, policies & procedures, writing guidance, existing templates, and document-tracking software; and

·case studies.

Michelle’s next step as a consultant and facilitator is to learn about the best practices in your field. She reads the materials you provide and conducts thorough, extensive research in related fields to learn from researchers, professionals, and practitioners. It is important to Michelle not to assume she has the answers. Her education and experience suggest possible solutions, but they do not constitute the only possible solutions.

Only then does Michelle begin to formulate best practices for your organization, which she then works with you to determine whether, when, and how best to implement.

Finally, Michelle does not leave you with a report detailing your problems. Nor does she hand off a booklet of proposals, leaving you to move forward on your own. Instead, Michelle relies on her more-than-two decades' experience as a writing trainer to give you the tools, the skills, and the references you need to write more efficiently, more effectively, and more comfortably together as an organization.

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Major consultation and facilitation projects

(References and project details available upon request)

2017-2018. USFWS, Species Status Assessment Writing Assistance Group Team Lead. Worked with an expert group with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to identify challenges and review case studies. Led the development of writing guidance for a new Endangered Species document called Species Status Assessment Reports. Project resulted in a 200+ page Writing Promptbook with 40+ examples/case studies.

February 2016. Facilitator, USFWS, Habitat Conservation Plans. Facilitated an expert group with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service as they developed the writing guidance for Habitat Conservation Plans. Set objectives, aligned action steps with objectives, set a reasonable timeline for action steps, and obtained answers from senior leadership including solicitors regarding outstanding items. This facilitation experience capped more than a decade’s worth of efforts to complete a project that had been attempted unsuccessfully many times. The setting of and sticking to objectives proved key to keeping the work on track.

2007–ongoing. Critical Writing and Critical Thinking. Course offering at the National Conservation Training Center, Shepherdstown, WV, for Department of the Interior personnel. Initially hired as a consultant with subject matter expertise. Subsequently worked with multiple instructor teams and course coordinators to redesign the course per student feedback and management directives. As the course continues to evolve, I now serve as the instructor lead, prepping them to give personal feedback to course participants and deliver modules with confidence.