Practice Area Modules

Alberta's Adaptation Resilience Training (ART)

Building on your foundational understanding of climate change, the second part of ART’s program includes Practice Area modules, which explore how core climate change concepts apply to a specific sector. Each module contains a recorded workshop presentation by experts, the slide decks and a list of additional resources.

Watershed Management

This module provides an in-depth look at how watersheds are impacted by a changing climate and what can be done to adapt.

Divided into three sessions, the module explores:

  • Watershed hazards in a changing climate.
  • Understanding risk in relation to watersheds.
  • managing risks through engineered infrastructure and non-structural, nature based solutions

Throughout, case studies from Alberta are used to help illustrate concepts.

Module Presentation:

Key Terms: watershed, flooding, ice jam, return period, modelling flood mapping, structural adaptation, nature-based solutions 

Download: Slide deck presentation

Download: Additional Resources

Module Presenters:         

John Van Der Eerden, M.Eng., P.Eng., Vice-President – Water Resources, Associated Engineering 

John has over 30 years of experience in project management, analysis, and design on a variety of water resource projects, including hydrology, watershed management, urban drainage, stormwater management, flood control, dyking and drainage, and river engineering. John’s background includes all project phases from planning and analysis, through design, construction, and commissioning.  John was a co-author of the Dike Design and Construction Guide, Best Management Practices for BC, and he is a Provincial Director of the Canadian Water Resources Association and sits on the National Executive Board.

Kristen Andersen, P.Biol., PWS, CPESC, Senior Environmental Scientist, Associated Engineering

Kristen is a wetland scientist, restoration ecologist and certified professional in erosion control with over 20 years of experience in consulting. She specializes in wetland assessment, wetland construction and design, riparian and slope stabilization, as well as natural resource inventories, impact assessments and regulatory approvals. Teaching is one of Kristen’s passions. She has taught wetland courses at the University of Alberta for the past 10 years including a course in wetland assessment and a course in wetland restoration and construction.  She also teaches stream bank restoration workshops for Associated Engineering. 


This module walks through a risk assessment of infrastructure vulnerability, with focus on buildings, roads and bridges, using the Public Infrastructure Engineering Vulnerability Committee (PIEVC) Protocol.

The module provides background on the PIEVC Protocol and how the protocol can inform infrastructure planning, design, operation and management.

Module Presentation:

Key Terms: infrastructure assessment methods, infrastructure management, climate parameter trigger/threshold, asset management, cumulative/combination impact 

Download: Slide deck presentation

Download: Additional Resources

Module Presenters:     

Jeff O’Driscoll, P.Eng., Division Manager – Infrastructure, Associated Engineering 

Jeff is a leader in assessing climate change vulnerability of infrastructure and recently obtained the designation of Infrastructure Resiliency Professional (IRP) from Engineers Canada. Jeff is a Civil Engineer with over 25 years’ experience in municipal engineering management, project development and planning, design and construction. In 2007, Jeff completed the first pilot project utilizing the PIEVC Protocol Climate Risk Assessment Process developed by Engineers Canada for the City of Portage la Prairie Waterworks Infrastructure. The project tested the risk assessment methodology and offered improvements that were adopted in later versions of the tool. Since this time, Jeff has worked across Canada and internationally on climate change risk assessment projects including many knowledge transfer workshops and advisory services.


This module discusses how climate change is impacting agriculture production and business, including potential risk and adaptation strategies that can be implemented in the sector. 

The module highlights the importance of having meaningful conversations and identifying opportunities for adaptation through collaboration along the value chain, to focus on building resilience and sustaining the agricultural industry into the future.

Module Presentation:

Key Terms: frost-free period/season, plant hardiness zones, soil moisture index, extended heat waves, management methods, crop suitability

Download: Slide deck presentation

Download: Additional Resources

Module Presenters:     

Elaine Wheaton,  Adjunct Professor at the University of Saskatchewan, Research Emeritus, Saskatchewan Research Council, Farmer

Elaine is a climate scientist and Adjunct Professor at the University of Saskatchewan in the Geography and Planning Department, School of Environment and Sustainability, and Global Institute for Water Security. She is also a Researcher Emeritus with the Saskatchewan Research Council. Her areas of expertise are climate change, impacts, adaptation, hazards, risks and vulnerability with a focus on the water and agriculture sectors. Elaine has international research experience in several countries, including those in South and Central America, Asia, and Europe. Her awards include the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize certificate for substantial contributions to the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Wolbeer Award for water resources research, Emeritus Researcher and Distinguished Scientist appointments at the Saskatchewan Research Council, and the YWCA Science and Technology award. She is widely published in refereed science journals and the author of the award-winning book, “But it’s a Dry Cold! Weathering the Canadian Prairies.”

Melanie Pioresky, P.Ag. Reclamation and Restoration Specialist

Melanie has been a Professional Agrologist since 1998 after getting her bachelor of Agricultural Sciences. She began her career as a rangeland ecologist and a horticulturalist in central BC. At Associated, she works with agricultural producers in BC’s Agricultural Land Reserve on projects that require understanding land capability and how to mitigate impacts to agricultural production. She is the Reclamation and Restoration Specialist specializing in the beneficial use of organics, including using wood residuals, sludge and biosolids as beneficial soil amendments in compliance with provincial and federal regulations. She is the Climate Change Awareness representative for our Vernon operation, discussing potential climate issues, mitigations and adaptations  on projects.

Dr. Dave Sauchyn, PhD., Climate Science, Prairie Adaptation Research Collaborative (PARC) at the University of Regina

Dave is Director of the Prairie Adaptation Research Collaborative at the University of Regina and Professor of Geography and Environmental Studies. His expertise and interests are 1) how knowledge of the climate and hydrology of the past millennium can inform our understanding of future climate and water supplies, and 2) planned adaption to minimize the adverse impacts of climate change. Dave has given more than 450 invited presentations and co-authored about 150 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters, including as Coordinating Lead Author of the Prairie Provinces chapter in the current and previous national assessments of climate change.

Crystal MacKay, Loft 32

Crystal is a pioneer and proven leader in connecting consumers, farmers and food system partners.  She is a passionate advocate for collaboration and earning trust in food and farming in Canada with many award-winning results. Crystal served as the founding CEO of the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity, Farm & Food Care, and most recently her own company, Loft32.  She has delivered impactful presentations and workshops about food and farming to over 1000 audiences and conducted over 500 media interviews.  Crystal is proud of her farm girl roots and track record for connecting food system partners with each other and with consumers.

Community Planning

This module introduces how to plan and implement strategies for building climate change resilience within communities.

Key frameworks and standards that are commonly used in risk-informed discussions will be presented, including:

  • Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
  • Climate Resilience Express.

Key factors to consider when developing policy for increasing resilience over the long-term, such as stakeholder support, cost, and residual risks are also discussed.

Module Presentation:

Key Terms: resilience planning, systems thinking, framework, disaster risk reduction, multi-jurisdictional, resilience action

Download: Slide deck presentation

Download: Additional Resources

Module Presenters:     

Dana Woodworth, M.Sc., MBA, B.Sc. (Applied), ICD.D, National Practice Lead – Community Resilience, Associated Engineering  

Dana is an experienced executive with over 35 years of private sector, federal and provincial government leadership. Dana employs applied systems thinking and skillfully integrates his understanding of strategic issues with very strong analytical skills to arrive at achievable, suitable solutions. He has significant knowledge and experience leading and providing public safety and community resiliency advice to inter-agency teams spanning the private sector and government. He has a proven track record of successfully building and leading teams tasked with difficult missions in high-risk, time-sensitive settings. Dana is trained and practiced in the facilitation of strategic planning for groups.

Jeff Zukiwsky, RPP, Director, Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience, All One Sky Foundation 

Jeff is a professional planner specializing in climate adaptation and resilience. For over a decade, he has worked with governments, businesses, and other organizations on climate change adaptation planning projects. At the community level, Jeff has supported over 40 municipalities in Canada to develop and implement strategies to reduce climate risk and vulnerability and take advantage of climate change opportunities. In Alberta, he led the development of Climate Resilience Express – a strategic climate adaptation planning process piloted with 14 Alberta municipalities.