The complexities of building a climate-ready workforce

Most of the talk we hear about climate change focuses on mitigation – cutting carbon emissions to reduce greenhouse gases. But we also need to know how to do adaptation – taking action to minimize the impact of things like wildfires, sea level rise, heat domes and severe storms.

The problem is that nobody's been teaching adaptation, leaving a critical gap in the ability of our workforce to research, plan, build, pay for, measure and lead adaptation projects. That's what Vivian Forssman and Dr. Robin Cox set out to change, with the Adaptation Learning Network.

Yet figuring out how to do that in a world where issues from COVID to JEDI were disrupting higher ed wouldn't be easy.

In hindsight, this was possibly the most critical and difficult, but also the most affirming project I've done. Because working on a project focused on climate change in these times of craziness is a huge boost that provides energy to get you through, even when sometimes the deliverables seem absurd and too difficult to overcome. Working in the climate change space is a huge motivator.