Adaptation Workbook

Posted on: 2/06/2017 - Updated on: 12/26/2023

Posted by

Stephen Handler


The Adaptation Workbook is a new web-based tool for land management and conservation and part of the Climate Change Response Framework. The Adaptation Workbook enables natural resource professionals to consider the potential effects of climate change on forests and to then design actions that can help reduce risk and increase the ability to cope with changing conditions. It provides a flexible process that accommodates a wide variety of geographic locations, scales, ecosystems, land uses, management goals, and ownership types.

The Adaptation Workbook is a structured process to consider the potential effects of climate change and design land management and conservation actions that can help prepare for changing conditions. The process is completely flexible to accommodate a wide variety of geographic locations, ownership types, ecosystems and land uses, management goals, and project sizes. 

The Workbook consists of 5 sections:

  1. Define goals and objectives
  2. Assess climate impacts and vulnerabilities
  3. Evaluate objectives considering climate impacts
  4. Identify adaptation approaches and tactics for implementation
  5. Monitor the effectiveness of implemented actions

Why was it created?

More and more information is becoming available on climate change projections and potential impacts on natural resources and agriculture. Unfortunately, most of this information doesn't seem applicable because many land owners and managers are unsure how climate change might actually apply at the scales that are relevant to their work. The Adaptation Workbook was created to bridge this gap. It provides users with a flexible, logical process to consider climate change information and design customized management actions that can help achieve their management objectives.

The Adaptation Workbook was created by the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science, and this process is described in Forest Adaptation Resources: Climate change tools and approaches for land managers, 2nd Edition. Complete information about the Workbook and the Climate Change Response Framework is available in that publication. The Workbook is also available for agriculture, which is described in Adaptation Resources for Agriculture: Responding to Climate Variability and Change in the Midwest and Northeast.


The Adaptation Workbook can be used by a diverse range of people working in forestry, natural resources, and agriculture, including biologists, foresters, planners, soil conservationists, and consultants. The Workbook is designed primarily for professionals, but motivated landowners will also be able to use it. People with clear management goals and knowledge about their local ecosystems can use the Workbook, whether they are making management decisions for individual parcels or across a broad landscape.


Stephen Handler

Managing Organizations

The Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science (NIACS) has been designed as a collaborative effort among the Forest Service, universities, and forest industry to provide information on managing forests for climate change adaptation, enhanced carbon sequestration, and sustainable production of bioenergy and materials.