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.

The CVA program is offered in 2 sessions each year, one in the Fall (October – December) and one in the Winter/Spring (February/April). 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.

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
    • February 13-24, 2023
  • Climate Change Adaptive Capacity of Sustainable Forest Management
    • February 27-March 10, 2023
  • Climate Change Adaptation Development and Implementation
    • March 27-April 7, 2023

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

  • Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments: Policy Implications and the Business Case for Adaptation (for those more interested in the business side)
    • April 10-21, 2023
  • Introduction to Climate and Ecological Models for Forest Adaptation (for those more interested in the science side)
    • April 10-21, 2023

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.

Courses must be taken in sequential order, as they build on one another, but may be taken individually, in different sessions within a two-year time frame, to receive the micro-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 socioeconomic systems are susceptible to and unable to cope with the 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.

Introduction to Climate and Ecological Models for Forest Adaptation

This online course will introduce various climatic and ecological modelling 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