Authors: Hornung, J; Wytrykush, C; Haekel, G; Charette, T; Trites, M


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Hornung, J, Wytrykush, C, Haekel, G, Charette, T & Trites, M 2011, 'Knowledge transfer process – wetland reclamation research in the Alberta oil sands', in AB Fourie, M Tibbett & A Beersing (eds), Mine Closure 2011: Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Mine Closure, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 573-580,

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To inform a comprehensive revision of the Guideline for Wetland Establishment on Reclaimed Oil Sand Leases document, as produced by the Cumulative Environmental Management Association, a knowledge transfer was initiated in 2008 to capture several years of wetland research results. Subject matter experts, consisting of professors and researchers from academic institutions, were asked to participate in a multi-year process to review, interpret and synthesise results on marsh (open water wetland) reclamation and research in the oil sands region. To best capture the research findings to date, and to ensure that the results of the knowledge transfer could be applied directly to oil sands reclamation, a question-specific approach was adopted where four direct questions were asked of the expert groups. Mine reclamation specific results will be incorporated into the next Wetland Guidelines manual, while a comprehensive treatment of the knowledge transfer results is expected to be published in a peer reviewed journal shortly afterwards. The task group gleaned several integral methodological characteristics of this approach if it is to be utilised: the directors of the process need an intimate understanding of the subject matter and preferably a relationship with the subject matter experts. Financial resources are significant, while time allocation from the task group is even more significant. Buy-in from the subject matter experts through legitimisation and incentives (beyond stipends) are essential, and should be continually reinforced to ensure continued success. Specific knowledge relation tools, such as conceptual diagrams and fuzzy cognitive mapping, are excellent assets and should be explored and utilised where possible in the knowledge transfer process.

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