Yukon College to offer certificate in climate change policy

Yukon College will be offering a new certificate in climate change policy beginning in September 2017.

Yukon College will be offering a new certificate in climate change policy beginning in September 2017.

The one-year program is aimed at mid-career professionals with an interest in climate change, though it’s available to anyone with a bachelor’s or master’s degree.

The program is part-time and will be offered online, except for a two-week field course in the spring of 2018.

“I guess we are hoping to support an education that (helps) people come out with a more solid foundation to react to the climate change challenges,” said Katrine Frese, the program coordinator.

The program will include four online courses, with two offered in each of the fall and winter semesters.

The first will teach the basics of climate change science, while the second will focus on climate change policies from the international to the local level.

The third will look at strategies for climate change mitigation and adaptation, including case studies from northern climates, and the fourth will focus on leadership and how to successfully implement climate change policy.

The field course will be a chance for students to see the impacts of climate change in the North first-hand, and to discuss the issues with Yukon First Nation communities.

“We really want to show students the effects of climate change in a northern landscape in the field,” Frese said. “We also want to discuss immediate policy issues with communities and governments.”

Frese said a wide range of professionals could benefit from this program, including those working in education, energy policy, urban planning, food security and marketing.

“I think everybody who has to deal with climate change also will need to deal in future with this policy aspect.”

Frese said the Yukon is an ideal place for a program like this, because northerners are already dealing with the impacts of climate change, and because it will give students a chance to learn about Indigenous worldviews from First Nation elders.

She said she hopes students will register from across Canada, and maybe even the circumpolar North.

If the program is successful, she’d like to see it become a full master’s degree in the future.

Tuition for the program will total $8,850. There are 25 spots available, and the college will begin accepting applications in February 2017.

The college will also be holding the first of several information sessions about the program on Jan. 10, 2017 from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. in room C1530 of the Ayamdigut campus in Whitehorse. There will also be a web link available for those who want to participate remotely.

Contact Maura Forrest at maura.forrest@yukon-news.com

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