Welcome to the "Adapting to Climate Change: A Short Course for Land Managers." In this online package you will find video lectures, interactive quizzes, literature citations, and links to further information about climate and implications of climate change for management of national forests and grasslands. Course materials are grouped under three headings: physical climate information and climate-change background, ecological responses to climate, and management options in the face of changing climates.
When brainstorming the development of this course, we vowed to remain faithful to the primary goal of the Climate Change Resource Center (CCRC) Web site, the host and sponsor for the project. That goal is to communicate current science relevant to the most pressing questions faced by forest managers. To this end, we decided to experiment with a novel format in preparation of this course: an intensive event with scientists and resource managers participating together in the development and review of the course material. We began by inviting a small group of prominent natural-resource scientists from the federal agencies and universities together and a group of forward-thinking U.S. Forest Service resource managers from ranger districts to Washington office levels. The course development project would culminate with a 2-1/2 day retreat at the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest in the central Oregon Cascades.
To prepare for this retreat and the videotaping it entailed, we chose from the participants a set of speakers and a group of responders. In dialog, we developed a list of relevant topics for the course, and then the speakers developed lectures to address these topics. Cloistered at the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest in July 2008, speakers gave rehearsal talks before the full participant audience, which subsequently showered speakers with critiques aimed to improve relevance, clarity, and accessibility of the lectures. During this rehearsal phase, we also developed discussion questions offered by the managers. We hope these represent questions that might also come to your minds as you listen to the lectures. After this round of technical, scientific, and policy critiques, presenters retreated to revise talks for final presentation. On the final day, we videotaped the revised lectures and discussion questions before the same savvy audience.
Subsequent to the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest retreat, continuing critique, review, and revision of the videotaped lectures ensued, the final products being what you will find here.
We invite you to listen to the lectures, ponder the questions, use the quizzes as a vehicle to cement key ideas from the lectures, and visit the CCRC to delve into literature cited for indepth investigation of topics. The information shared here represents the beginning of what we trust will be increasing maturity of ideas over time. We invite you into the dialog on both the science and its application in resource management. You may contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our sincere hope is that you will find here useful information for the present, clearly articulated, that helps you to steward our forests and rangelands courageously in the face of the many uncertainties and challenges that changing climates bring to your jobs.
Enjoy! Michael Furniss, Connie Millar, Dave Peterson, Linda Joyce, Ron Neilson, Jessica Halofsky, and Becky Kerns, editors