A Framework to Identify Local Human Resource Capacity for Climate Change Adaptation Education in Developing Large Ocean States

By Shireen Fahey, Luke Verstraten and Noel Meyers.

Published by The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses

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Article: Print $US5.00
Article: Electronic $US10.00

Human vulnerability and adaptation to the impacts of climate change depends on a complex set of circumstances. Those societies most at risk include those least likely to adapt, in part due to limitations on relevant knowledge, skills and/or the capacity for educational resources. This report presents a framework to build local and regional human resource capacity for climate change adaptation education. The framework was structured on a model for approaching complex contemporary issues that are linked to multidisciplinary bodies of knowledge. It is designed to meet local needs while addressing the sustainable development goals of international and national obligations. A qualitative methodology was designed to validate a process for determining climate change education and training needs by way of a pilot study. The pilot study identified the local climate change-related knowledge, skills and expertise within tertiary institutions, government and private environmental professions. The study tested the framework and methodology within three Large Ocean States, one of them a Least Developed Country. The outcomes of the study demonstrated that the framework-based methodology provided substantive data to enable ongoing collaborative approaches to education. Key findings are that in the case of multi-dimensional, politicised and/or rapidly evolving processes or concerns, such as climate change adaptation, qualitative methodology and case studies are valuable to discern specific contexts within and among disparate societies. The findings are relevant within developing countries and states, as well as more broadly in the context of human resource capacity building through education.

Keywords: Climate Change Adaptation, Education, Human Resource Capacity, Sustainable Development, Conceptual Framework

International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses, Volume 7, Issue 1, March 2015, pp.1-11. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 671.707KB).

Dr Shireen Fahey

Associate Professor of Coastal Zone Environments, School of Science, Education and Engineering, University of the Sunshine Coast, Sippy Downs, Queensland, Australia

Shireen Fahey has over 30 years practical experience including environmental practitioner and manager, marine science researcher and science educator. Her publications include marine biodiversity, use and comparison of diverse date sets including cell ultrastructure, natural products chemistry, molecular and morphological characters for evolutionary hypotheses. Her current research focus is on climate change adaptation, coastal zone management, and tertiary-level education, in particular curriculum development for science programs. She is an associate editor of the Australasian Journal of Environmental Management (London: Taylor and Francis).

Luke Verstraten

Research associate and Honours program, School of Science and Engineering, University of the Sunshine Coast, Sippy Downs, Queensland, Australia

Luke focuses on environmental aspects of climate change adaptation. His collaborative research projects include establishing propagation methods for endangered flora, economic assessment of climate change impacts; education needs analyses to build capacity to respond to environmental and climate change issues and evaluation of land use on soil carbon stocks.

Dr. Noel Meyers

Head of School Science, Education and Engineering, School of Science, Education and Engineering, The University of the Sunshine Coast, Sippy Downs, Queensland, Australia

Professor Meyers has won acclaim as a teaching scholar, scientist, learning guide, and author. Noel is the co-author of seven books, including the text used by over 75 percent of Australian first year biology students. Among his accolades, the Queensland Univeristy of Technology (QUT)Student Guild recognised Noel as Lecturer of the Year and three times Campus Lecturer of the Year. National, International, and Institutional recognition of his work includes one of seven Australian Awards for University Teaching (2004), the Pearson-Uniserve award for Outstanding contributions to Science Students learning, and the QUT Vice Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award. Noel is a Fellow of the Higher Education Research Development Society of Australasia. Over the coming decades, Noel chooses to focus on creating programs for science education excellence, and using science and education to enhance the quality of life and economic abundance of some of the poorest peoples in the Asia Pacific Region.


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