ALN Courses


Climate Change Adaptation Fundamentals

This 4-week course has been designed to help professionals working across multiple disciplines bring a climate change adaptation lens to their current and future projects.

It’s structured in four modules, that cover:

  • what the current climate change situation is, including the latest science on climate trends and scenarios;
  • why climate change matters to professionals and planners, in terms of risk and impact;
  • what we can do about it, through examples and methods of adaptation, and;
  • how to bring adaptation tools, data and processes into your work, with a practice project.

At the end of the course, participants will understand basic climate change science, scenarios, and projected impacts and risks in British Columbia, and be able to identify data and tools required to plan an adaptation project.


Find this course at Pressbooks, OER Commons or weADAPT.

Financial Impact of Climate Change

This four-week course introduces participants to the financial risks and impacts associated with climate change. Participants will explore a range of risk pathways that link climate and economic systems, including financial impacts associated with:

  • physical risks related to direct and indirect exposure to climate hazards in the value chain;
  • transition risks arising from abrupt transitions to a low-carbon economy;
  • civil liability and litigation risks;
  • systemic risks transmitted throughout the economy;

Upon completion of the course, participants will have a foundational understanding of the relationship between climate change and the economy. Participants will develop their ability to identify exposure and vulnerability to climate-related financial risks within their own organizations—critical groundwork for effective planning and decision-making for mitigation and adaptation.

As an introductory course, this course is suited to those with little or no previous experience in climate-related finance or economics. However, a basic understanding of climate science is presumed.

Find this course at Pressbooks, OER Commons or weADAPT.

Natural Asset Management

This course is designed to help local government staff, professionals in multiple disciplines who work with them, and people involved with community organizations, understand the fast-emerging field of natural asset management.

At the end of the course, participants will understand:

  • What natural asset management is, why it matters, and what conditions enable or hinder it
  • How natural asset management is relevant in your own disciplines or community contexts
  • What you may be able to do differently as a result of knowing more about natural asset management
  • Where you can get additional information on natural asset management

Find this course at Pressbooks, OER Commons or weADAPT.

Climate Change Perspective for Project Management

Climate change is one of the biggest risks facing governments, businesses, societies and ecosystems around the world. Project managers, through their effective direction of complex projects, occupy a critical role in the successful transition to a resilient, low-carbon world. This course is designed to prepare professionals with project management responsibilities to add a climate change lens to their projects.

The course is suitable for individuals in management roles and above who have significant project management responsibilities. “Projects” could include examples as diverse as infrastructure development, deployment of new technology, ecosystem restoration, or public engagement campaign, for example. The course will attract a diversity of professionals who enjoy multidisciplinary learning environments. Familiarity with general climate change issues and science is recommended.

The course will be delivered in a blended synchronous/asynchronous mode. Each module will run for a week with the expectation that participants complete readings, contribute to discussion forums or other exercises Monday to Thursday, in preparation for a synchronous session Friday afternoon. This session will be recorded for those who cannot attend. Guest speakers and case study practice will enrich the course. Each week participants can expect to spend about two to three hours across all activities.

Find this course at Pressbooks, OER Commons or weADAPT.

Intro to Climate Policy for Climate Adaptation Professionals

This four-week, fully online, asynchronous course will inform participants about climate adaptation policy in Canada and BC. It will allow them to consider how climate policy from international to local levels informs their professional functions and day to day activities on the job. The course will cover, among other things, the basics of environmental policy, differences between climate mitigation and climate adaptation policy, overviews of key policy actors and tools, and policy gaps.

It will also consider, in detail, examples of current policy-driven climate adaptation measures in specific areas from engineering to agriculture to hydrology and beyond.

The course format will include short video lecture content, interviews with national to local experts, discussions and activities, resources and readings to respond to, and a final capstone activity.

Find this course at Pressbooks, OER Commons or weADAPT.

Indigenous Knowledges & Perspectives on Climate Adaptation

This course invites learners into deeper thinking, reflection and content pertaining to Indigenous perspectives in climate adaptation and mitigation. Ultimately, this course provides a space for you to consider how and where Indigenous leadership can not only restore better-practice across social and political landscapes, but also heal relationships with our shared planet for future generations to come.

The course was designed by a team of Indigenous knowledge holders, Indigenous and non-Indigenous subject matter experts, and instructional designers. No single course can cover the multiplicity of Indigenous perspectives, knowledge, voices, and cultural practices, so our aspirational goal for those who engage in this course, is that this will serve as a solid foundation from which to do more learning. Learning, of course, is the first step. But learning is only useful when it is translated into practice, and we hope that this course will encourage decolonized approaches to climate adaptation and climate action more generally.

Throughout the course there are hyperlinks to other excellent resources that elaborate further on specific ideas or concerns and suggested activities that we hope will deepen and extend the learning through practice and reflection. We also had the great privilege of interviewing five Indigenous knowledge keepers who generously shared their perspectives, wisdom, and expertise. The work of climate mitigation and environmental planning not only requires us to think our way into long-term solutions, but also asks us to feel our way into how we rethink values of respect, consent, dignity and care amongst all relations across our shared planet. The voices presented in this course represent vast and comprehensive knowledge expertise within the field of climate mitigation. They also represent and embody the teachings specific to their own specific lands, waters and territories. It is an honour and a privilege to include them as our teachers in this course and to centre their knowledge within the fields of climate mitigation and environmental futurity.

Find this course at Pressbooks, OER Commons or weADAPT.


Green Infrastructure in Urban Centres: Policy, Design and Practice

Green infrastructure and related nature-based solutions are gaining widespread support as effective components of healthy city building as well as climate adaptation strategies. The course provides an overview of how GI systems work, the ecosystem services they can provide, and how they can be employed effectively.

The course has four parts that together provide a substantive overview of the current green infrastructure policy, design, and practice and the associated challenges and opportunities.

  • Part One – The Grey to Green Transition explores the reasons that motivate cities, suburbs, and towns to adopt and expand GI systems, identifies the different types of GI and the multitude of benefits associated with them, and showcases successful employment of specific GI strategies.
  • Part Two – Design and Implementation discusses the principles and practices behind successful GI design and implementation, identifies targets and guidelines used to regulate GI implementation, and considers the data needed to inform GI design and implementation decisions, and potential sources for the relevant data.
  • Part Three– Policy and Governance focuses on the policies, institutions, and systems that govern and drive green infrastructure employment in cities around the world, highlights specific tools and regulations for GI, and compares and contrasts GI policies and governance.
  • Part Four – Planning for Green Cities reviews recent advances and most innovative examples of GI design, science, and practice.  This section showcases bold views of what GI will offer cities in the future and how these progressive visions might be realized.

Find this course at Pressbooks, OER Commons or weADAPT.

Strategic Dialogue and Engagement for Climate Adaptation

Professionals working across public, private and community sectors are facing complex questions about how to prepare for and adapt to the unavoidable impacts of a changing climate. In the context of a growing climate emergency, how do we engage internal and external stakeholders, build lasting collaborative partnerships, and embed climate adaptation strategies into organizational priorities, when professional silos, scarce resources and competing demands can pose potent obstacles to the change that is urgently needed?

This course will provide you with skills to overcome barriers to action, mobilize knowledge and data effectively, and work across silos in genuine interdisciplinary and collaborative practice. You’ll learn how to lead or participate in community engagement, without triggering fear and overwhelming others; practise critical self-awareness and self-reflection; and consider equity-based and decolonizing approaches.

This course is designed for professionals looking to advance the intersecting work of climate action and adaptation, including planners, engineers, elected officials and community leaders. You will leave with practical and relevant skills to lead, accelerate and participate in the essential work of climate adaptation in your organization and community.

Find this course at Pressbooks, OER Commons or weADAPT.


Introduction to Climate and Ecological Models for Forest Adaptation

Climate change is a major threat to the capacity of forest ecosystems to provide ecological, economic and social services. Climate modelling tools for forest and ecological applications are becoming increasingly available for forest managers and local authorities to understand the potential effects of climate change and to develop regionally specific adaptation and mitigation strategies. It is crucial to nurture future professionals with the knowledge and skills to use new modelling tools and interpret model predictions in forest and ecological planning and management practices and develop adaptive strategies to maintain and improve the resilience and productivity of forest ecosystems under a rapidly changing climate.

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 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 skills and techniques to, 1) use climatic models to generate spatial climate data; 2) understand niche-based ecological models; and 3) interpret and apply model output to forest management practice.

The course is designed for forest professionals who are interested in professional forestry and forest adaptation to climate change.

Find this course at Pressbooks, OER Commons or weADAPT.

Food and Water Security

Food security is one of the most pressing dilemmas of our time. Around the globe, approximately 2 billion people experience some form of food deprivation each day. One in ten people suffers from some form of food insecurity in Canada. This has led scholars to question why food insecurity exists in an ostensibly food secure country. The literature on food security and climate change has also grown exponentially over the past several decades in large part as a response to world events such as the Green Revolution and other forms of industrial agricultural development since the 1970s. Despite the advances in research and technology, we still possess inadequate knowledge of the dynamics causing the onset of food insecurity, and significant disagreement persists among scholars concerning the best way to ameliorate food insecurity.

Drawing upon the food security literature and current events in the media, this survey course will encourage learners to build a new understanding of food security, water shortages in agricultural production, and climate change challenges in agriculture. We will introduce policy tools and case studies illustrating the effects that climate change has on agriculture which will be useful and applicable to individual cross-disciplinary learning.

Find this course at Pressbooks,  OER Commons or weADAPT.


Ecosystems for the Future

How often have you heard in the past five years the expression “I have never seen a ….fire/flood/drought/rainstorm/insect infestation/sea level rise…of this magnitude, ever.”? The world’s climate is out of balance, and in this state, is driving ecosystem changes that few of us have seen in our lifetimes. What is the scale of these changes now and into the future? How will this affect the way you work and live? How can we adapt? The practice of ecological restoration can point the way to positive actions at the ground level.

This online learning session will bring into focus the practice of restoration of ecosystems at the local and regional level in British Columbia through a series of presentations delivered by faculty from UVic’s School of Environmental Studies, First Nations speakers and Elders, and professionals whose work intersects with ecology in diverse ways. We start by rooting our introduction in Indigenous perspectives on how the local ecosystems are changing. We discuss basic principles and practices of ecological restoration on the ground. We then explore the complexity of British Columbia’s biodiversity, basic drivers of change in ecosystems, and the challenges they present in different types of ecosystems. We look at how climate change models help us understand what the future scale of change might be, and we finish up by discussing how ecological restoration principles can apply to different disciplines.

Find this course at Pressbooks, OER Commons or weADAPT.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Adaptation Learning Network Final Report Copyright © 2022 by Dr. Robin Cox is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book