Scenario Planning Toward Climate Change Adaptation


Target Audience: 

Natural resource managers, conservation professionals, and planners. A basic understanding of  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
 concepts and science is recommended and may be acquired through pre-course materials. No previous exposure to Scenario Planning or any other decision support method is required.  

Summary and Objectives: 

Scenario planning is a valuable decision support method for integrating irreducible and uncontrollable uncertainties into climate change adaptation and other planning in natural resource management. This overview course will introduce the core elements of scenario planning and expose participants to a diversity of approaches and specific scenario development techniques that incorporate both qualitative and quantitative components. Participants will learn how scenario planning can be integrated into planning frameworks and be complementary with otdecision-supportport methods. This course will provide participants with the skills needed to assess the appropriateness of scenario planning for their needs, and identify the resources and expertise needed to conduct a scenario planning exercise that will meet established objectives. The course is developed in partnership with the Wildlife Conservation Society and the U.S. Geological Survey.  

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

  • Describe basic steps and appropriate uses of scenario planning. 
  • Navigate the many approaches and understand their application. 
  • Construct situation-appropriate qualitative scenarios using a few scenario development techniques. 
  • Outline considerations for moving from qualitative to quantitative scenarios. 
  • Assess objectives, goals, and strategies across multiple scenarios, and articulate basic principles for using this approach to select management options Integrate scenario planning into structured decision making processes. 
  • Develop monitoring plans and decision timelines, and determine triggers for future decisions. 
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