Decision Analysis for Climate Change


Target Audience:

Natural resource managers who are tasked with understanding climate change climate change
Climate change includes both global warming driven by human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases and the resulting large-scale shifts in weather patterns. Though there have been previous periods of climatic change, since the mid-20th century humans have had an unprecedented impact on Earth's climate system and caused change on a global scale.

Learn more about climate change
impacts and using this knowledge while making decisions.

Summary and Objectives:

The uncertainty inherent in evaluating climate impacts often impedes action. This online course provides participants with skills to address climate change impacts when making decisions about natural resource management. It highlights principles from "Informing Decisions in a Changing Climate," a 2009 National Research Council report. Videos show techniques in structured decision making and adaptive management and discuss how climate change affects each step in the processes. Participants work in teams on actual decision problems. As the teams use similar techniques on their different decision problems, participants observe multiple examples of on-the-ground application. Instructors work with teams to build expertise in climate change impacts and decision analysis. Teams develop a final report and presentation on their decision problem. This course and the entire structured decision making curriculum at the National Conservation Training Center are developed in partnership with staff from the U.S. Geological Survey.

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand how to frame choices to effectively integrate climate change concerns.
  • Engage with a team on real-life decisions addressing climate impacts.
  • Articulate the concept of stationarity and appreciate the significance of its absence in planning to address climate change.
  • Learn how to classify and incorporate different types of uncertainty about system change.
  • Compare modes of learning about system change and understand when and how to use different approaches.
  • Structure a climate change adaptation decision using adaptive management.
Course Short Name
Course Type
Course Category
Training Tuition Cost
40 hours
Training Credit Hours
Semester Hours

Questions and Registration


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