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Training for Grasslands Conservation Practitioners

Climate Change and Climate Adaptation Training for Grasslands Conservation Practitioners

North American grasslands are a regional priority of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). The South Central CASC, in partnership with the US FWS Science Applications Program, the Northwest CASC, the North Central CASC, and the Midwest CASC, implemented a training series for grasslands conservation practitioners that begin in May 2022 with a series of webinars and culminated in an in-person workshop in January 2023. Through this training series, we introduce practitioners to the science of climate change, explore the impacts, and discuss adaptation options available.

Following is an outline of materials and recordings from this training series for review and continued use by practitioners.

US Fish and Wildlife Press:
Working Together to Respond to and Prepare for a Changing Climate

The primary focus for this training is the shortgrass, tallgrass, and mixed-grass prairies of Interior Regions (IR) 5 and 7. However, much of the training is relevant across the grassland habitats in the U.S. (IR 1 –7) and Canada and may even be relevant to other grassland habitats in the Western U.S. (IR 8-10). 

Virtual Trainings and Webinars

Introduction to the Basics of Climate Change
Provided as a self-paced, online climate course designed for grasslands managers.
Click here to access course video playlist.

Overview of Climate Change Impacts to Grasslands Ecology
Webinar held June 13, 2022.
Click here to access the session recording.

Understanding and Using Future Projections for Landcover Changes
Webinar held July 20th 2022.
Click here to access the session recording.

Understanding and Using Future Projections for Trust Species
Webinar held August 31st 2022.
Click here to access the session recording.

In-person Climate Adaptation Workshop

This event was held in January 2023. A list of speakers’ bios can be found here.

How to Use the Climate Toolbox
Imtiaz Rangwala and Katherine Hegewisch

Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments
Benjamin Zukerberg

Supplemental material:
Vulnerability Assessment Supplemental Worksheet

Using Grassland Carbon to Finance Real Estate Conservation
Brad Cory

Scenario-based climate change adaptation that strategically resists, accepts, and directs human-caused ecological trajectories in grasslands
Gregor Schuurman

Role Playing Activity: Planning for the Future
Emma Kuster


Elise Elliot-Smith, USGS Northwest Climate Adaptation Science Center (CASC), Training Specialist, eelliott-smith@usgs.gov (Main Point of Contact)

Sean Finn, FWS IR5/7 Science Applications, Science Coordinator, sean_finn@fws.gov, 208-426-2697 

Emma Kuster, University of Oklahoma and South Central CASC, Assistant University Director, emmakuster@ou.edu 

Dr. Christy Miller Hesed, University of Colorado and North Central CASC, Research Coordinator, christine.hesed@colorado.edu 

Dr. John Carlson, FWS IR5/7 Science Applications, Grasslands Conservation Coordinator, john_carlson@fws.gov 

Press related to this event can be found here.