Climate Change Resource Center Delivers New Education Module

Interactive experience focuses on management responses to climate change

The CCRC “Responses to Climate Change” education module can help users understand how to incorporate resistance, resilience, and transition into natural resource planning and activities.
The CCRC “Responses to Climate Change” education module can help users understand how to incorporate resistance, resilience, and transition into natural resource planning and activities.

With so many challenges and options to consider, forest managers wondering, “What is the right way to respond to current and future climate change?” may need to reframe the question.

“There is no single ‘right’ way to respond to climate change,” explains the narrator in a new U.S. Forest Service Climate Change Resource Center (CCRC) education module, “and many different actions will be needed to address the challenges.” The module, “Responses to Climate Change: What You Need to Know,” provides a brief overview of resistance, resilience, and transition — approaches that can help forests adapt to climate change — and ways to incorporate these ideas into natural resource planning and activities.

Developed on behalf of CCRC by Climate Change Education Specialist Kailey Marcinkowski and Director Chris Swanston with the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science, the module contains interactive features that allow users to control their learning experience, with plenty of opportunities to explore additional information and examples of managers adapting to climate change in a variety of forests. The main material is followed by a regionally-specific activity that leads users through creation of their own adaptation plan based on real-world examples. Completing the activity will generate a personalized certificate.

“It’s really fun and challenging to express scientific information in a visually engaging way and find a balance between something easy and approachable without losing any technical accuracy,” says Marcinkowski. “Management goals are based on our needs and values, which vary around the country, so the diverse and somewhat personal aspect of management added another element to the process of developing this module.”

The module was designed to be flexible for busy professionals and others, including the general public, who wish to understand options for climate change adaptation. Among these professionals are U.S. military personnel.

“Since 2015, CCRC representatives have instructed some sessions for Department of Navy Environmental Training Courses. We do a facilitated viewing of the first module, and then talk about regional climate change observations and impacts, incorporating climate change into planning, and where to find tools and experts that can help with planning,” explains Marcinkowski. “And we’ve recently collaborated with the USDA Climate Hubs to provide climate change and adaptation training for Department of Defense Natural Resources Courses. It has been a great partnership.”

“Responses to Climate Change: What You Need to Know,” is the third in a series of education modules produced by the CCRC. The first module, “Climate Change Science and Modeling,” covers the fundamentals of climate change science, and the second, “Climate Change Effects on Forests and Grasslands,” builds on that foundation, examining climate change effects around the country. “This third new module completes the series by focusing on solutions for adapting ecosystems to climate change and solidifies the Forest Service’s commitment to a climate-informed workforce,” says Marcinkowski.

For more information, email Kailey Marcinkowski at kfmarcinkowski@fs.fed.us.

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