Climate Academy Develops Climate Adaptation Skills

By Mark Hofberg

Coastal Wetlands Coastal wetlands like this marsh in Parker River National Wildlife Refuge in Massachusetts are vulnerable to projected changes in sea level. The Climate Academy is designed to help managers understand and adapt to these change.
Image Credit: Kelly Fike, USFWS

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) has opened registration for the 2015 Climate Academy — a five month online training course designed to teach the fundamentals of climate science, provide tools for planning and adaptation, and increase climate communication skills among scientists and managers.

The Academy was developed through the collaborative effort of a several state and federal agencies and non-profit organizations, including The Wildlife Society. TWS had a key role in initiating the course and continues to help plan and coordinate it every year with seven other organizations.

“This course offers an outstanding professional development opportunity for our members and all natural resource professionals,” says Keith Norris, Assistant Director of Government Affairs for TWS. “Participants develop a broader understanding of how climate change is impacting our wildlife and natural resources and what tools they can use to plan appropriately for these impacts.”

The course boasts 10 bimonthly webinars and discussions led by expert scientists and managers from February to June. Participants finish the course in July by completing a final project designed to connect the lessons learned with their professional responsibilities. One final project is selected by course organizers for publication TWS’s member magazine, The Wildlife Professional.

A tuition fee of $200 is waived for FWS, National Park Service, or Bureau of Land Management employees. The course is compatible with groups, and group rates may be available. The registration deadline is December 15, 2014, with a limited number of slots available.

TWS members who participate in the course receive Continuing Education Units (CEUs) that apply to TWS’s professional certification programs. Up to 40 total CEUs can be accumulated for the Certified Wildlife Biologist® renewal certification and/or the Professional Development Certification. Two college credits are also available to anyone who completes the Academy.

For registration questions, contact Becky Edgar or Jill Del Vecchio at FWS. For content questions, contact Ashley Fortune Isham, also at FWS. Register by December 15 at training.fws.gov for Climate Academy, course number ALC3193.