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The Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science, Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Midwest Climate Adaptation Science Center, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin, and the USDA Northern Forests Climate Hub are offering a wildlife habitat-focused version of the Adaptation Planning and Practices online course for land managers and professionals.

This unique opportunity provides hands-on training in considering climate change information and identifying adaptation actions relevant to wildlife habitat management and conservation. 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, three discussion sessions, with independent work time occurring between sessions.

Course information will focus on terrestrial wildlife management, including population management as well as habitat management. We will give preference to project teams from the Midwest and Northeast US, but applicants from other regions should apply and may be accepted if space allows. 

Through this course, participants will be able to:

  • Identify locally-important climate change impacts, challenges, and opportunities
  • Develop specific actions to help wildlife adapt 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

The registration period has closed for this course. 

We ask that each participant or project team brings a real-world project of their own to use a focus throughout the 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.

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 hour). Download the syllabus for more detailed information about the course schedule, format, and time commitment. 

Session 1  (week of Feb. 28) — Course Introduction; Defining Project Goals and Objectives. Discussion session. Introduce the project to a small group.

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

Session 3  — Evaluating Management Challenges and Opportunities. Check-in with instructors: Each project schedules a short meeting with course instructors (optional).

BREAK WEEK (No session, independent work time) .

Session 4  — Identifying Adaptation Strategies, Approaches, and Tactics. Discussion session (recap Step 2 and Step 3)

Session 5  — Monitoring and Evaluating Effectiveness. Check-in with instructors.  

Session 6  — Climate Change Communication. Discussion session (recapping Step 4 and Step 5).

Session 7 (week of April 18) — Course Participants present Adaptation Plans (5 min presentations).

The Wildlife Society will allow 10 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) in Category 1 of the Certified Wildlife Biologist Renewal and Professional Development Certificate Program for completion of this course.

Contact Stephen with any questions.

Additional materials
Co-hosts and collaborators

Course instructors will include: Stephen Handler, Patricia Leopold, and Steve Harriss (NIACS), Olivia LeDee and Marta Lyons (Midwest Climate Adaptation Science Center), Christopher Hoving (Michigan DNR), and Ben Zuckerberg (University of Wisconsin-Madison). Please contact Stephen Handler with questions or concerns.