The Climate Adaptation Fellowship is a curriculum designed to give farmers, foresters, and advisors the information they need to adapt to climate change, bring climate change into their outreach programs, and talk about climate change with peers and colleagues.
The curriculum includes course outlines, teaching notes, slide decks, and activities. These materials are free to access and available at https://www.adaptationfellows.net. The curriculum has four modules, tailored for farmers and land managers in the northeastern United States. The modules focus on vegetables/small fruit, tree fruit, dairy, and forestry. “The program includes a core set of education lessons and a menu of hands-on activities, and uses a peer-to-peer learning approach to connect land managers and the advisors who work with them,” said Rachel Schattman, USDA Climate Hub research fellow and co-author of the vegetable/small fruit module. “It is responsive to the interests of participants, their skill level, and technical background. Adaptation practices presented in the curriculum (e.g. cover crops, strip tilling, high tunnels) are tailored to a sector-specific audience.”
Curriculum objectives: Raising the bar of climate literacy
The Climate Adaptation Fellowship curriculum is designed to help farmers, foresters, and service providers improve their knowledge about climate change impacts, and their ability to make good planning decisions related to climate change adaptation. It also provides resources to help participants access localized climate data, which can improve on-the-ground decision making. Lastly, the curriculum helps participants improve their climate communication skills.
A collaboratively designed curriculum
The development of the Climate Adaptation Fellowship curriculum was led by the University of Vermont Extension, in close collaboration with the USDA Northeast Climate Hub, the USDA Northern Forests Climate Hub, the University of Maine, Rutgers University, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Pennsylvania State University, the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), Manomet, and the Forest Stewards Guild. Development of the Climate Adaptation Fellowship curriculum was supported by the United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) (Award #2017-68002-26728), USDA Joint Venture Agreement 14-JV-11232306-103, the Rutgers Climate Institute, and University of Vermont Extension.
Interested in using Climate Adaptation Fellowship materials? We can help!
If you are interested in running a program using a Climate Adaptation Fellowship module, please contact us. Curriculum developers are excited to partner with you to run and evaluate such programs. We will work with you to seek funding and design a pilot that best meets the needs of your community.
The program is designed to be flexible and accommodate the interests of participants. The minimum amount of time needed to cover all core materials is 4-5 hours. These materials can be delivered in one, two, or three sessions. Program activities require time commitments between 8 hours and two years outside the classroom, depending on participant interest and available funding.
We are looking for parties interested in funding or supporting a pilot of one or more Climate Adaptation Fellowship modules. If you or your organization would like to discuss funding the Climate Adaptation Fellowship, please contact Rachel E. Schattman or Erin Lane, USDA Northeast Climate Hub.