- ET
Online at and in virtual meeting rooms (Zoom platform)

The Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science and USDA Northern Forests Climate Hub are offering the Adaptation Planning and Practices training as an online course for natural resources professionals seeking to manage forests for carbon.

This unique climate adaptation training opportunity is focused on carbon objectives in conservation, stewardship, and forest management. This course is designed to support participants in evaluating site-level climate change vulnerabilities and helps participants identify adaptation actions that can support their unique forest carbon management, conservation, and stewardship goals. Learn more about carbon sequestration, storage, how to integrate carbon considerations into forest management, and the synergies between adaptation and mitigation actions in this course. Participants will receive coaching and feedback while using the Adaptation Workbook to develop their own real-world climate adaptation project.

The course consists of seven weekly web sessions, and two participant-led discussion sessions with work time occurring between sessions. Throughout this course, projects will have the opportunity to meet with course leads for project-specific coaching. 

This course will have a special regional focus on forest ecosystems in the Midwest and Northeast. 

Through this course, participants will be able to:

  • Identify locally-important climate change impacts, challenges, and opportunities
  • Develop specific actions to adapt forests to changing conditions
  • Use the Adaptation Workbook to create their own “climate-informed” projects
  • Better communicate with stakeholders about key climate change impacts, challenges, and opportunities
  • Access post-training support from NIACS staff during project planning and implementation


Application Process

We ask that each participant brings real-world projects of their very own to use as examples as a way to get the most from this course. Ideally, projects are relevant to your work, such as a management plan or another effort that you're currently working on. During the course, you will consider how climate change could affect your project area and your management goals, and determine what adaptation options you have available. At the end of the course,  you will have a custom-built adaptation plan ready for implementation.

There are no registration fees thanks to support from the US Forest Service and the USDA Northern Forests Climate Hub.

Applications will be evaluated to ensure that participants have a project appropriate for the course. To apply, fill out the application form below and upload a completed Step 1 worksheet. Please note, this course will have a special regional focus on forest ecosystems in the Midwest and Northeast. 

Register for this course

Download the Step 1 worksheet. Upload this form at registration

Course Agenda

We will record a weekly lecture Mondays at 2-3pm ET (optional live attendance). We will also host periodic required live discussion sessions (1-1.25hr). Participants will be able to choose from 4 potential times for discussion sessions  (Tuesday or Wednesday morning or afternoon). 

Session 1  (week of March 21) — Course Introduction; Defining Project Goals and Objectives. Discussion session. Introduce the project to a small group.

Session 2  — Understanding and Evaluating Climate Change Vulnerabilities - carbon. Optional discussion session on climate resources and tools.

Session 3  — Understanding and Evaluating Climate Change Vulnerabilities - ecosystems

Session 4  — Evaluating Management Challenges and Opportunities. Check-in with instructors: Each project schedules a short meeting with course instructors (optional).

Session 5  — Identifying Adaptation Strategies, Approaches, and Tactics. Discussion session (recap Step 2 and Step 3)

Session 6  — Monitoring and Evaluating Effectiveness. Check-in with instructors.  

Session 7  — Climate Change Communication. Discussion session (recapping Step 4 and Step 5).

Session 8 (week of May 11) — Course Participants present Adaptation Plans (5 min presentations).

Continuing education credits will be requested for each course from the International Society of Arboriculture and the Society of American Foresters *(21 credits).

Download the Step 1 worksheet. Upload this form at registration

Contact Todd with any questions.

Co-hosts and collaborators

Please contact Todd Ontl with questions or concerns.