Presentation of the course

This graph shows the different modules and case studies of the online course.

Presentation of the course

The resource “adaptation to climate change and sea level rise in coastal zones – a global perspective” addresses the increasing problems that coastal zones experience, faced with the impacts in climate change, and in particular the rise in sea level, in addition to to an increase in sea and air temperatures, in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, progressing ocean acidification and, in high latitudes, the diminishing winter ice cover.

Confronted with those impacts, countries and coastal communities have to adapt, through technological means, through modified practices adapting to a changing environment, through reforms in the management and occupation patterns of the coastal territory. The vulnerability, adaptation capacity and resilience of coastal communities varies as function of the geographical context, the socio-economic, demographic or institutional characteristics of those communities.

The online resource will present an interdisciplinary perspective on adaptation across different coastal areas in the world. The first module (this one) is a general introduction to the resource and also contains an interview with C. Lincoln, former environment minister of Quebec. The modules two and three constitute the theoretical part of the resource, which will contain all the scientific fundamentals necessary to the understanding of the impacts of climate change on the coastal zone and of the different approaches, strategies and tools of adaptation, as well as to gain and understanding of the conceptual framework around the related notions of adaptation, vulnerability and resilience. In the fourth module, several case studies from different parts of the world will be presented, which stem from the work of different research groups. These case studies serve as an illustration, and application, of the concepts introduced in the two previous modules.

The material of the resource consists in illustrated texts written by the main and co-authors presented further down. In addition, you will find numerous interviews with various stakeholders in coastal adaptation, from scientists to planners, decision-makers and ordinary citizen. At the end of chapters two and three, a MCQ type quiz will allow you to test your knowledge about the preceding material. For students enrolled in the course, this quiz will constitute the first part of the evaluation. The second part of the evaluation is a session paper on a subject related to the impacts or adaptation to climate change in coastal areas that is tbd with the teaching staff. The session paper is ideally elaborated in small groups (2-3 students), or individually. Subjects can be inspired by the case studies in module 4.

The learning resource is self-sufficient, in the sense that in can be used by a student on his or her own (except for the feed-back needed for the second part of the evaluation). It can also be used as part of a larger educative program, on climate change, coastal zones integrated management or territorial planning.

This online resource is aimed at student at masters level. It will also be of interest to decision-makers and various stakeholders implicated in the management of the coastal zone and in adaptation to climate change. The resource can also be used for teacher’s education, at post-secondary level, for example for colleges or CEGEP.

The objective we want to achieve through this resource is, besides, transmitting our knowledge on climate change, its impact on coastal zones and adaptation, to convey the importance of developing a larger, systemic, interdisciplinary, intersectorial and international vision of the question of climate change impacts and adaptation in coastal zones in order to arrive at workable, sustainable and inclusive solutions.