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Beyond Planning Tools: Experiential Learning in Climate Adaptation Planning and Practices


Kristen M. Schmitt
Patricia R. Butler-Leopold
P. Danielle Shannon
Courtney L. Peterson



Publication type:

Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Primary Station(s):

Northern Research Station




In the past decade, several dedicated tools have been developed to help natural resources professionals integrate climate science into their planning and implementation; however, it is unclear how often these tools lead to on-the-ground climate adaptation. Here, we describe a training approach that we developed to help managers effectively plan to execute intentional, climate-informed actions. This training approach was developed through the Climate Change Response Framework (CCRF) and uses active and focused work time and peer-to-peer interaction to overcome observed barriers to using adaptation planning tools. We evaluate the effectiveness of this approach by examining participant evaluations and outlining the progress of natural resources projects that have participated in our trainings. We outline a case study that describes how this training approach can lead to place and context-based climate-informed action. Finally, we describe best practices based on our experience for engaging natural resources professionals and helping them increase their comfort with climate-informed planning.


Schmitt, Kristen M.; Ontl, Todd A.; Handler, Stephen D.; Janowiak, Maria K.; Brandt, Leslie A.; Butler-Leopold, Patricia R.; Shannon, P. Danielle; Peterson, Courtney L.; Swanston, Christopher W. 2021. Beyond Planning Tools: Experiential Learning in Climate Adaptation Planning and Practices. Climate. 9(5): 76. 16 p.


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