Courses and Timeline

The CACE program is offered once a year in the Fall session (October – December). Students may register and complete all courses in one session or spread out the courses (in order of prerequisite requirements) over a 2-year time frame. Courses must be taken in sequential order, as they build on one another.

The total number of learning hours for this program is approximately 60, or an average of 6 – 8 hours per week over 8 weeks. These learning hours include reading, watching lectures, attending coffee hours, and working on assignments.

Each week, students will be given a set of video lectures to watch and readings to be completed in their own time. In addition, there will be a synchronous online “coffee hour”. This session is optional but strongly encouraged as an opportunity for students to meet the instructor, check in on their progress, get their questions answered, and network with one another. The “coffee hour” sessions are also recorded and posted afterwards.

Course 1: Climate Change at the Local Scale

Goal: Knowledge building on local aspects of climate change and climate solutions.
Duration: 2 weeks
Schedule: October 14 – November 1, 2024

Course 1 learners will use exercises adapted from the popular Citizen’s Coolkit for learning about local climate change policies and impacts, and the key role of home energy, active transportation, and urban forestry in transitioning to climate-friendly communities. They will learn new techniques for analyzing any community for its climate vulnerabilities, carbon footprint, and important practical solutions, informed by case studies from BC and beyond, and applied to local neighbourhoods where the participants live.

Course 1 Skills and Competencies

  • Explain the causes, impacts, mitigation and adaptation (CIMA Framework) for climate change at global, city, and neighbourhood scales 
  • Describe relevant policies and practices in BC and Canada regarding climate change targets and key high-impact solutions 
  • Explain the role and importance of renewable energy, active transportation, and urban forests in climate change adaptation & mitigation 
  • Apply key techniques for assessing local climate change risks, documenting climate impacts, mapping neighbourhood assets and vulnerabilities, and carbon footprint analysis

Course 2: Principles and tools for engaging communities in climate action

Goal: Capacity- and skill-building on mobilizing local communities on climate solutions.
Duration: 3 weeks
Schedule: November 11 – 22, 2024

Drawing on past research, best practices and successful pilot projects, students will become familiar with principles and techniques for effective neighbourhood-scale engagement. They will apply selected  Coolkit activities and templates on community mapping, future visioning, and developing local Climate Action Plans which prioritize actions that reduce carbon footprints and build community resilience. Participants will learn how community engagement processes and practices can reach beyond ‘the usual suspects’ and scale-up engagement of regular Canadians (homeowners and renters)  in both urban and rural communities across BC  and Canada, building adaptive capacity and delivering co-benefits such as improved social cohesion, mental and physical health, volunteerism and youth employment.

Course 2 Skills and Competencies

  • Conduct a SWOT analysis for community profiling: to assess a community’s perceptions of climate change, demographic profile, high-priority needs, and potential barriers to action 
  • Facilitate community discussions on climate change using interactive activities such as the CIMA neighbourhood tour and visualization/mapping exercises (provided in the Coolkit
  • Develop a feasible climate action plan using the SMART framework

Course 3: Implementing climate change outreach and climate action plans

Goal: Skill development in communications, recruitment, and organization required to foster individual and collective climate action plans within communities.
Duration: 3 weeks
Schedule: November 25 – December 6, 2024

This will build professional and personal capacities to work effectively in the emerging field of community engagement at the grassroots level, which is increasingly becoming an essential component in municipal and provincial climate action programs (see UBCM Climate Action Committee recommendations). This program will challenge entry-level and mid-career professionals from diverse sectors to build new or extended capacities as leaders for mobilizing local residents and stakeholders in climate-proofing homes and neighbourhoods,  bringing new skills to their work coordinating with Indigenous and non-indigenous communities, local government, utilities, local businesses and NGOs.  Students will learn from the real-world experiences of engagement experts and community champions such as city representatives, leading NGOs, Green Bloc alumni, Cool ‘Hood Champs alumni, etc. 

Course 3 Skills and Competencies

  • Develop a suitable, evidence-based program for community-based climate action training, adapting and applying best practices in their local neighbourhood 
  • Plan a reasonable project budget, timeline, and risk mitigation strategy 
  • Identify suitable project partners and how to maintain effective relationships with them over time 
  • Develop a strategy for communicating/promoting the program and recruiting participants
  • Develop a strategy for supporting, funding and motivating ongoing neighbourhood climate action

Final Assignment Week

Dates: TBD (2024 Fall)