California Department of Fish and Wildlife

2014 California Department of Fish and Wildlife Climate College

CDFW Climate College

The CDFW Climate College is intended to provide foundational knowledge for all staff and partners on climate change science and its impacts to fish, wildlife, and habitats, with the ultimate goal of effectively incorporating projected climate impacts into the state’s resource planning, management, and project activities.

In spring 2014 CDFW held the second iteration of its Climate College, focusing on the state’s marine resources. The course described California’s unique challenges and opportunities in managing its 1,100 miles of coastline, bays/estuaries, and marine protected areas under climate impacts. The course also featured case studies to show examples of responses to climate impacts. Lecture topics covered atmospheric changes, physical oceanic changes, sea level rise, ecosystem responses, and conservation planning.

Through this course and other efforts, the Department is working to demonstrate California’s leadership in addressing climate impacts as well as managing natural resources through diverse input and coordination with similar efforts at the federal and local levels.

Course Materials

The 2014 Climate College consisted of a 7-part lecture series that took place from February through June.  Below is an archived list of course topics and speakers, with class recordings. This course was part of a training certification program for CDFW staff, yet available to anyone interested.

Opening Class: February 10, 2014, 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Subject: Climate Science and Policy (PDF)
This lecture includes introductions by Secretary for Resources John Laird and CDFW Director Chuck Bonham.

Location: State Resources Building, First Floor Auditorium, 1416 Ninth Street, Sacramento, CA


  • John Laird, Secretary for Natural Resources
  • Chuck Bonham, Director, CDFW
  • Catherine Kuhlman, Executive Director, California Ocean Protection Council
  • Kurt Malchow, Climate Change Advisor, CDFW


Class #2: March 10, 2014, 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Subject: Climate impacts on California’s marine waters (PDF)

Location: NOAA/NMFS Southwest Fisheries Science Center, 110 Shaffer Road, Santa Cruz, CA 95060


  • Nate Mantua, NOAA/Southwest Fisheries Science Center


Class #3: April 3, 2014, 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Subject: Climate Change Impacts: Winds / Upwelling and California Current/Counter Currents (PDF)

Location: Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Pacific Forum, 7700 Sandholdt Rd, Moss Landing, CA


  • Arthur Miller, Ph.D., Research Oceanographer. Scripps Institution of Oceanography
  • Francisco Chavez, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute


Class #4: April 21, 2014, 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Subject: Climate Change Impacts: Hypoxia and Ocean Acidification (PDF)

Location: CDFW San Diego Field Office and Laboratory, 3883 Ruffin Road San Diego, CA


  • Lisa Levin, Ph.D., Professor, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
  • Gretchen Hofmann, Ph.D., Professor, University of California, Santa Barbara


Class #5: May 13, 2014, 10:00 a.m. - Noon

Subject: Climate Change Impacts: Sea Level Rise and Extreme Wind and Storm Events (PDF)

Location: State Resources Building, 1416 9th Street, Conference Room 1131, Sacramento, CA


  • Tom Suchanek, Ph.D. - Scientist Emeritus and Climate Science Coordinator, USGS


Class #6: June 5, 2014 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Subject: Climate Change Impacts to Pelagic Ecosystems (PDF)

Location: Sonoma County Water Agency, 404 Aviation Blvd., Santa Rosa, CA


  • Bill Sydeman, Ph.D., President and Senior Scientist, Farallon Institute
  • Bill Peterson, Ph.D., Oceanographer, NOAA Fisheries Service


Class #7: June 26, 2014 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Subject: Climate Adaptation Case Studies

Location: State Resources Building, 1416 Ninth Street, 11th Floor (Conference Room 1131), Sacramento, CA


  • Liz Whiteman, Ph.D., Program Director, California Ocean Science Trust
  • Debbie Aseltine-Neilson, Senior Environmental Scientist, CDFW
  • Materials

    Please check this web page for future updates.

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    Archive: 2012-13 Climate College

    In support of CDFW’s Science Institute initiative, the Fish and Wildlife Strategic Vision and the upcoming strategic vision process, the CDFW Climate Science Program provided the first of its kind lecture series on climate change as it relates to the mission of CDFW. The CDFW Climate College was designed to cover the fundamentals of climate science and provide tools and resources necessary to empower participants to better incorporate climate change into their professional responsibilities.