Adaptation Strategies and Approaches

The Northern Institute of Applied Science has led the development of adaptation strategies and approaches for a variety of natural resource topics, which can be used with the Adaptation Workbook.

These “menus” provide topical lists of adaptation actions that not only help you move from broad ideas to specific actions, but also express the adaptation intent of your actions. Although menu items can be applied in various combinations to achieve desired outcomes, not all items on the menu will work together or work in every ecosystem. Land managers can use these resources to select appropriate actions based on their unique project location and goals.

About the Adaptation Strategies and Approaches

More details about the development of these menus can be found in Forest Adaptation Resources: Climate Change Tools and Approaches for Land Managers.

The adaptation strategies and approaches can provide:

  • A full spectrum of possible adaptation actions that can help sustain healthy ecosystems and achieve management goals in response to climate change
  • Opportunity to inspire thinking and spur brainstorming for adaptation planning
  • A menu of adaptation actions from which managers select actions best suited to their specific management goals and objectives
  • A platform for discussing climate change related topics and adaptation methods
  • Examples of tactics that could potentially be used to implement an approach, recognizing that specific tactics will be designed by the land manager.


The adaptation strategies and approaches do not:

  • Make recommendations or set guidelines for management decisions. It is up to the land manager to decide how this information is used.
  • Express preference for any strategies or approaches within an ecosystem type, location, or situation. Rather, a combination of location-specific factors and manager expertise is needed to inform the selection of any strategy or approach.

Adaptation tools for a variety of voices in natural resources management

Over the years our resources have grown to meet the interest and needs of land managers from a variety of sectors and disciplines. Due to great partnerships and collaborations these climate adaptation resources are available to be used in the Adaptation Workbook decision-support framework. 

Each menu builds upon the climate adaptation concepts of resistance, resilience, and transition, described by Millar et al. (2007). Watch this presentation to learn more (30 min). 

Contact our team for more information.

Adaptation Resources for Other Regions

Our resources were designed in the Midwest and Northeast U.S., and are a product of a synthesis of academic literature and widespread input from the management community. However, these tools may be useful in other regions as well. Adaptation actions for other regions are also available through the USDA Forest Service Climate Change Resource Center.

The Adaptation Workbook can be used by any user across the United States or internationally using relevant adaptation strategies.

Learn more about the Adaptation Workbook