Program Structure

The program requires that 4 courses be taken, each taking 2 weeks of study time. The program will take about 60 hours to complete.

Each course in this program will require approximately 15 hours of learner’s time. The program has 3 mandatory courses:

  • Climate Change Science Application in Vulnerability Assessments
    • Third offering – October 18-29, 2021
  • Climate Change Adaptive Capacity of Sustainable Forest Management
    • Third offering – November 1-12, 2021
  • Climate Change Adaptation Development and Implementation
    • Third offering – November 22-December 3, 2021

In addition students are required to take one of these course to complete the certificate:

  • Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments: Policy Implications and the Business Case for Adaptation (for those more interested in the business side)
    • Third offering – December 6-17, 2021
  • Climatic and Ecological Modelling for Adaptive Forest Applications (for those more interested in the science side)
    • Third offering – December 6-17, 2021

Each course has a theory element but focuses on applying theory and science in a management context. The use of existing case studies and lessons learned are key elements in each course.

Students can also choose to take individual courses and receive a course completion certificate. Those who complete the required 4 courses successfully will receive the program certificate.

Timeline to Completion

CVA participants have the flexibility to set their own timeline to completion, within a maximum of two years.

Course Descriptions

Climate Change Science Application in Vulnerability Assessments

This course is designed to analyze the application of climate science in the process of climate vulnerability assessments in sustainable forest management. It will explore climate change vulnerability assessment frameworks that can be applied in forest management systems. Vulnerability to climate change is the degree to which geophysical, biological, and socio-economic systems are susceptible to and unable to cope with, adverse impacts of climate change. The course is intended to provide a basis for undertaking vulnerability assessments, leading to adaptation development and planning.

Climate Change Adaptive Capacity of the Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) System

This course focuses on assessing the adaptive capacity of organizations and existing SFM systems in both day-to-day operations and long-term planning. Adaptive capacity is a crucial element of climate change vulnerability assessments and can moderate climate change impacts to reduce the climatic uncertainty and change vulnerability of an SFM system.

Climate Change Adaptation Development and Implementation

This course focuses on the development and implementation of adaptation options in sustainable forest management. This course will utilize existing case studies within forest management to discuss opportunities, challenges and barriers, management strategies, implementation, and adaptation through climate change vulnerability assessments.

Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments: Policy implications and the Business Case for Adaptation

This course is designed to prepare students to utilize climate vulnerability assessment results and adaptation options in the development of the business case for adaptation in natural resource management systems. We will look at the intersection of climate change vulnerabilities, adapting management through the implementation of adaptation, and how this is used to inform and assess the economic elements of management and planning for climate change adaptation. We will also explore policy implications that affect adaptation management and decision making in the business case for adaption.

Climatic and Ecological Modelling for Adaptive Forest Applications

This online course will introduce various climatic and ecological modeling tools, and guide the students to practical applications of scale-free climate models and niche-based ecological models used in forest and ecological, (such as birds, fish and animals), resource management to increase the resilience and viability of forest ecosystems. By the end of the course, students will master these skills and techniques:

  1. Use climatic models to generate spatial climate data
  2. Understand niche-based ecological models
  3. Interpret and apply model output to forest management practice