Adaptation Learning Network: Project Updates


The Adaptation Learning Network: Inspiring Climate Action (ALN) is a 3-year project initiated in January 2019 and led by Dr. Robin Cox of the Resilience by Design Lab. The project, funded by Natural Resources Canada BRACE and the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, is now well into its mandate, with significant progress on many fronts. It is time to share with the RRU community how things are coming along!

The ALN project connects several BC universities and many BC professional associations and is focused on building an active community of interest-and-practice around climate change adaptation. Follow us on Twitter and Linkedin for frequent news and project updates and sign up for our monthly newsletter.

In 2019, we undertook extensive community-building with many BC professional associations, and gathered information through a gap analysis, on what working professionals “need to know” regarding their role and professional responsibilities vis-à-vis climate change adaptation.

Our focus in 2020 has been on:

  • supporting RRU and our community of six BC post-secondary institutions in the design and development of many courses on climate change adaptation topics for working professionals;
  • developing a unique climate adaptation competency framework to assist working professionals in charting career pathways in this rapidly advancing niche of professionals working in climate adaptation; and
  • initiating an additional contract with Natural Resources Canada and the BC Ministry of Advanced Education, Training and Skills, to undertake a micro-credentials plan. In 2021 we will begin working with BCcampus to explore how best to align ALN courses with accreditation requirements of BC professional associations, as a demonstration of micro-credential alignment with both industry requirements and the climate adaptation competency framework.

In collaboration with RRU’s Professional and Continuing Studies (PCS), and through the support of CTET, RRU successfully developed and delivered two courses in early 2020 (Climate Change Adaptation Fundamentals, and Natural Assets Management). These courses are now running every few months creating a unique niche for PCS in climate change education and training. Check out the next offerings on these courses if you are interested in advancing your own understanding of climate change adaptation. 

These RRU PCS courses have become the basis for:

  • supporting a community of accredited professionals with relevant training opportunities on climate change adaptation;
  • advancing RRU experience on how best to develop, deliver and amplify Creative Commons-licensed course materials; and
  • navigating the use of many different learning management systems and post-secondary cultures to design and deliver continuing studies courses. For example, Ecosystems for the Future was recently delivered through the University of Victoria, as part of ALN’s approach to involving multiple BC post-secondary institutions in this RRU-led initiative.

An additional 2 courses from RRU (The Economic Impact of Climate Change and Project Management for a Changing Climate) plus six courses from UNBC, UBC, SFU and VIU will be offered in 2021, on topics that include climate policy, green infrastructure in urban centres, wildfire risk assessment, and civic engagement for climate adaptation.

The ALN project has helped to inform key topics and themes for the new RRU Master of Arts in Climate Action Leadership (MACAL) which will launch in 2021. Our recent series of interviews with climate change experts highlights emerging career opportunities in climate action leadership, to spark community interest in both ALN courses and the new MACAL program.