Thematic Network on Local-Scale Planning, Climate Change and Resilience


The aim of this Thematic Network is to explore how communities confront climate change, including assessment of governance structures around climate adaptation or processes dealing with it, and how they seek to adapt to emerging challenges arising from increases in temperature and more extreme weather events. Research will facilitate a better understanding of local expertise and highlight, in particular, the value a community planning perspective brings to discourse on climate resilience. It will shed light on local government decision dynamics around motivational factors and extent of planning for climate resilience.

The TN aims to work collaboratively with local actors and key stakeholders to identify current and future environmental challenges, and to scope how research through the TN can assist communities increase their resilience to the impacts of climate variability, be it through the co-development of policy approaches, on-the-ground action implementation, research capacity and/ or knowledge mobilization, for example. One of the distinctive aspects of this TN is that it will work within and across scales from larger urban centres to small communities, including attention to Indigenous forms of community planning for climate resilience.


  • Videoconference - Thematic Network Partners Meeting (early Dec 2022)
  • Graduate Seminar on Climate Change and Resilience in the North (online, November 28, 2022, 8-10:30am (MST)):
    • co-hosted/ organized by University of Alberta (Canada) and the University of Alaska Anchorage (USA)/ National University of Mongolia (MONGOLIA)
    • See attached for program
    • Presentations (PDFs of presentations to be added in December):
      • Eectiveness of sustainability policies in Ulaanbaatar and the measurement of well-being in the Ger Districts 
      • The Implementation of Community-based Natural Resources Management (CBNRM) at Hustai National Park, Mongolia
      • How do we move from talk to action? Bolstering community resilience through health-focused climate adaptation
      • The importance of local-led climate adaptation in Yukon Communities: Mobilizing enablers and addressing barriers through a shift in governance 
    • Contact Jeff Birchall ( for Zoom link to attend.


  • Birchall, SJ., Kehler, S, Bonnett, N. (2022). Fostering resilience and adapting to climate change in the Canadian North: Implications for infrastructure in the proposed Canadian Northern Corridor. Canadian Northern Corridor Special Series, School of Public Policy Publications, University of Calgary.
  • Van Asshe, K., Birchall, SJ., Gruezmacher, M. (2022). Arctic and northern community governance: The need for local planning and design as resilience strategy. Land Use Policy.
  • Lede E, Pearce T, Furgal C, Sidle R, Ashford G and Ford J. (2021). The role of multiple stressors in adaptation to climate change in the Canadian Arctic. Regional Environmental Change.
  • Nuttall, M. (2021). Arctic ecology, Indigenous peoples and environmental governance, in David Thomas (ed.) Arctic Ecology. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, pp. 409-422.
  • Emanuelsen K, Pearce T, Oakes J, Harper S and Ford J. (2020). Sewing and Inuit women’s health in the Canadian Arctic. Social Science & Medicine.
  • Chen, W., Van Assche, K. A. M., Hynes, S., Bekkby, T., Christie, H. C., & Gundersen, H. (2020). Ecosystem accounting's potential to support coastal and marine governance. Marine Policy112, 103758.
  • Naylor A, Ford J, Pearce T and Van Alstine J. (2020). Conceptualizing climate vulnerability in complex adaptive systems. One Earth. DOI: 10.1016/j.oneear.2020.04.011
  • Pearce T, Ford J and Fawcett D (2020). Climate Change and implications for the proposed Canadian Northern Corridor. University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy, 13(21): 39.
  • Canosa I, Ford J, McDowell G, Jones J and Pearce T. (2020). Progress in climate change adaptation in the Arctic. Environmental Research Letters.
  • Worden E, Pearce T, Gruben M, Ross D, Kowana C and Loseto L. (2020). Social-ecological changes and implications for understanding the declining beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas) harvest in Aklavik, NT. Arctic Science.
  • Pettit-Wade H, Pearce T, Kuptana D, Gallagher C, Scharffenberg K, Lea E, Hussey N and Loseto L. (2020). Inuit observations of a Tunicata bloom unusual for the Amundsen Gulf, western Canadian Arctic. Arctic Science.
  • Johnson N, Pearce T, Breton-Honeyman K, Etiendem DN and Loseto L. (2020). Knowledge co-production and co-management of Arctic wildlife. Arctic Science, 6: 124-126.
  • Nuttall, M. (2020). Water, ice and climate change in Northwest Greenland’ WIREs Water 7(3):
  • Nuttall, M., Flora, J., & Andersen, A.O. (2020). Towards community-based narwhal conservation in Greenland. Science 370 (6515), 1:
  • Nuttall, M. & Callaghan, T.V. (2020). Preface, in Mark Nuttall and Terry V. Callaghan (eds.) The Arctic: environment, people, policy. London and New York: Routledge (book re-published in the Routledge Library Editions: Ecology series, with new Preface).
  • Loseto L, Breton-Honeyman K, Etiendem DN, Johnson N, Pearce T, Allen J, Amos A, Arqviq J, Baak E, Belanger E, Bourdages M, Brammer JR, Fawcett D, Gerin-Lajoie J, Gilbert G, Hansen-Craik K, Loring E, Perrin A and Slavitch M. (2020). Indigenous participation in peer review publications and the editorial process: reflections from a workshop. Arctic Science.
  • Pearce T and Myers E (2020). Nunamin Illihakvia: learning from the land, Ulukhaktok, NT, Canada. Alternatives Journal. 44(1): 5-47. 
  • Ford J, King N, Galappaththi E, Pearce T, McDowell G and Harper S (2020). The resilience of Indigenous peoples to environmental change. One Earth. DOI: 10.1016/j.oneear.2020.05.014 
  • Boezeman, D., Donkers, H., Birchall, SJ. (2019). Coastal managed retreat: New branch on the climate adaptation tree. Geografie.
  • MacDonald, S., Birchall, SJ. (2019). Climate change resilience in the Canadian Arctic: The need for collaboration in the face of a changing landscape. Canadian Geographer, 1-5.
  • Ford J, Clarke D, Pearce T, Berrang-Ford L, Copland L, Dawson J, Mark N and Harper S. (2019). Changing access to ice, land, and water in Arctic communities. Nature Climate Change, NCLIM-18091686B
  • Shields, R. Ruiz, F, Schonach, P. (2019). Beyond Melt Indigenous Lifeways in a Fading Cryosphere.’ with. Journal of Northern Studies, Special Issue. 13(2), 7-15.
  • Shields, R. (2019). The Illocutionary Force of Inuit Ice Vocabularies. Journal of Northern Studies, Special Issue.13(2), 93-107.
  • Nuttall, M. (2019). Icy, watery, liquescent: sensing and feeling climate change on Northwest Greenland’s coast. Journal of Northern Studies 14(2): 71-91.
  • Dodds, K.& Nuttall, M. (2019). The Arctic: what everyone needs to know. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 272.
  • Dodds, K., & Nuttall, M. (2019). Geo-assembling narratives of sustainability in Greenland, in Ulrik Pram Gad and Jeppe Strandsberg (eds.) The Politics of Sustainability in the Arctic: reconfiguring identity, space, and time. London and New York: Routledge, pp. 224-241.
  • Nuttall, M. (2019). Ice and the depths of the ocean: probing Greenland’s Melville Bay during the Cold War, in Stephen Bocking and Daniel Heidt (eds.) Cold Science: environmental knowledge in the North American Arctic during the Cold War. London and New York, pp. 23-41.
  • Nuttall, M. (2019). Sea ice, climate and resources: the changing nature of hunting along Greenland’s northwest coast, in Astrid B. Stensrud and Thomas Hylland Eriksen (eds). Climate, Capitalism and Communities: an anthropology of environmental overheating. London: Pluto Press, pp. 57-75. 
  • Nuttall, M. (2019). Greenland matters: in the crosscurrents of Arctic change, in Robert R. Corell, Jong Deog Kim, Yoon Hyung Kim, Arild Moe, Charles E. Morrison, David L. VanderZwaag and Oran R. Young (eds.) The Arctic in World Affairs: A North Pacific Dialogue on Global-Arctic Interactions—the Arctic moves from periphery to centre. Busan: Korea Maritime Institute & Honolulu: East-West Centre, pp. 89-107.
  • Bonnett, N., Birchall, SJ. (2020). Coastal communities in the Circumpolar North and the need for sustainable climate adaptation approaches. Marine Policy.
  • Timothy Heleniak (Nordregio) - Polar Peoples in the Future: Projections of the Arctic Populations. Working PaperExecutive Summary

  • Special Section on Land-sea interactions and coastal development, in Marine Policy. See the volume here. Thematic Network member contributions include: 1. Schluter et al.: Land-sea interactions and coastal development: An evolutionary governance perspective: 2. van Assche et al.: Governance and the coastal condition: Towards new modes of observation, adaptation and integration, 3. Birchall: Coastal climate adaptation planning and evolutionary governance: Insights from Homer, Alaska
  • Birchall, SJ. (2019). Coastal climate adaptation planning and evolutionary governance: Insights from Alaska. Marine Policy, Land and Sea Interaction Special Issue.
  • Birchall, SJ, Bonnett, N. (2019). Local-scale climate change stressors and policy response: The case of Homer, Alaska. Environmental Planning and Management.
  • Birchall, SJ., Bonnett, N. (2019). Thinning sea ice and thawing permafrost: Climate change adaptation planning in Nome, Alaska. Environmental Hazards.

Other Information

Thematic Network Cross-links


University of Alberta, Faculty of Science media release: New international network on climate change led by UAlberta scientist

Jeff Birchall, Lead of the UArctic Thematic Network on Local-Scale Planning, Climate Change and Resilience