Practitioner Profile (Dave Berman): “Building Trust with Community Members”

  • Tanya M. HowardEmail author
  • Theodore R. Alter
  • Paloma Z. Frumento
  • Lyndal J. Thompson


What drives engagement practitioners to persevere in the face of intractable issues? In many cases, it is passion. Dave Berman exemplifies a passionate practitioner. He believes that good science is essential to good community engagement. This unwavering commitment propels him through difficult situations in his work on feral horses, rabbits and cats. He first learnt about feral horses as a young man, developing a long-lasting affection for them. This led him to research their impacts and use this science to liaise between horse conservationists and pest management organisations, two groups that often have opposing goals. Although it is not always easy, Dave finds creative ways to communicate scientific knowledge to landholders and community members so they can find common ground. Dave views this as useful, applied work. Ultimately, Dave defines success as bringing science to the table so communities can co-create goals and solutions that make a real impact.


  1. Dobbie, W. R., Berman D. McK., & Braysher, M. L. (1993). Managing vertebrate pests: Feral horses. PDF book. Accessed December 11, 2017.
  2. SkyVisuals. (2013, February 5). Brumby: Horse Run Wild. YouTube video file. Accessed December 11, 2017.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tanya M. Howard
    • 1
  • Theodore R. Alter
    • 2
  • Paloma Z. Frumento
    • 2
  • Lyndal J. Thompson
    • 3
  1. 1.Australian Centre for Agriculture and LawUniversity of New EnglandArmidaleAustralia
  2. 2.Center for Economic and Community DevelopmentPennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  3. 3.Department of Education and TrainingUniversity of New EnglandCanberraAustralia

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