Climate Camp

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San Francisco, February 25 – 29, 2008

What is Climate Camp?

Climate change is the most pressing environmental challenge we have ever faced. Addressing the causes of climate change (mitigation) may be daunting but everyone knows what it will entail. Yet in most cases people are uncertain about how to respond to or prepare for the effects of climate change (adaptation).

Climate Camp is a five day program to help conservation practioners, resource managers and others grappling with what to do about climate change develop a plan. Over the five days, Climate Campers will learn climate change basics, interact with experts and peers to develop project plans, and in the end share projects and develop resource networks to support your work forward in this field.

Day One: Learning

A full day plenary which offers a “Climate Change Primer”, giving particpants an overiew of climate change science, policy, communications and adaptation/preparedness.

Days Two, Three and Four: Doing

These days are spent developing projects that test and implement adaptation strategies, support efforts on mitigation, or both. This is done in working groups based on common themes. Generally you will work with colleagues who are interested in common ecosystem or habitat types. This year, the habitat types that will be covered are:

  • Temperate and Polar Marine
  • Tropical Marine
  • Freshwater
  • Montane
  • Mediterranean Scrublands / Grasslands
  • Temperate Forest
  • Tropical Forest

Day Five: Sharing

Participants from the various working groups will be given the opportunity to present their projects to fellow campers, as well as to funders, who will also be in attendance at climate camp. Ideally this means that some projects will not only be designed at Climate Camp but can leave with funding for implementation.


Climate Camp is a weeklong workshop that aims to have all particpants leave with a plan as to how they will incorporate climate change into their work. In order to do this, we split the week into three stages: learning, doing, and sharing.

To view the agenda for each day, please use the navigation bar above.

Day One – Learning

A full day plenary which offers a “Climate Change Primer”, giving particpants an overiew of climate change science, policy, communications and adaptation/preparedness.
View the detailed agenda for Monday

Days Two, Three and Four- Doing

These days are spent developing projects that test and implement adaptation strategies, support efforts on mitigation, or both. This is done in working groups based on common themes. Generally you will work with colleagues who are interested in common ecosystem or habitat types.
View the detailed agenda for Tuesday
View the detailed agenda for Wednesday
View the detailed agenda for Thursday

Day Five- Sharing

Participants from the various working groups will be given the opportunity to present their projects to fellow campers, as well as to funders, who will also be in attendance at climate camp. Ideally this means that some projects will not only be designed at Climate Camp but can leave with funding for implementation.

View the detailed agenda for Friday

WWF Climate Change Programme, in conjunction with Climate Friendly™, will be offsetting the carbon emissions you produced by attending this conference. WWF has chosen Climate Friendly™ because it supports projects that qualify under the highest international criteria of the Clean Development Mechanism under the Kyoto Protocol and the WWF-supported Gold Standard. This means that when you offset your carbon, you not only neutralize your global warming impact, you also directly support clean technologies that double as sustainable development projects for local communities in developing countries.


Climate Science Basics

The foundation of climate change science is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Established in 1988 by two bodies of the United Nations (UN): the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the UN’s Environment Program the United Nations, the IPCC is the world’s leading authority on climate change. The IPCC objectively and openly assesses scientific information to understand the risk of climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation.

The IPCC meets regularly to provide independent assessments and advice on climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and reduction. The IPCC forms its assessments from existing information, and does not conduct original research.

To date, four Assessment Reports have been published, the most recent report was published in 2007. There are three parts of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report including:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Climate Change Site offers comprehensive information on the issue of climate change in a way that is accessible and meaningful to all parts of society – communities, individuals, business, states and localities, and governments.

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has a comprehensive website that details how it is helping society understand, plan for, and respond to climate variability and change. This is achieved through the development and delivery of climate information services, the implementation of a global observing system, and focused research and modeling to understand key climate processes. The NOAA climate mission is an end-to-end endeavor focused on providing a predictive understanding of the global climate system so the public can incorporate the information and products into their decisions.

NOAA is a key participating agency in the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) as well as other significant international, national, and regional activities.

NOAA’s climate programs are focused on three themes:

NOAA’s operational climate program monitors and forecasts short-term climate fluctuations and provides information on the effects climate patterns can have on the nation.

NOAA’s Climate Program Office manages competitive grant programs, leads NOAA climate international, education and outreach activities, and coordinates climate activities across NOAA.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) plays an important role in weather and climate observation and monitoring, understanding of climate processes, the development of clear, precise and user-targeted information and predictions and the provision of sector-specific climate services, including advice, tools and expertise, to meet the needs of adaptation strategies and decision-making. The following are some useful WMO and climate change resources:

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has a number of useful resources and information on climate issues.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is an international treaty that considers what can be done to reduce global warming and to cope with whatever temperature increases are inevitable. Recently, a number of nations have approved an addition to the treaty: the Kyoto Protocol, which has more powerful (and legally binding) measures. The UNFCCC secretariat supports all institutions involved in the climate change process, particularly the COP, the subsidiary bodies and their Bureau.

Tipping elements in the Earth’s climate system
Published online before print February 7, 2008, 10.1073/pnas.0705414105
PNAS | February 12, 2008 | vol. 105 | no. 6 | 1786-1793

Timothy M. Lenton*,†, Hermann Held‡, Elmar Kriegler‡,§, Jim W. Hall¶, Wolfgang Lucht‡, Stefan Rahmstorf‡, and Hans Joachim Schellnhuber†,‡,||,**

*School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, and Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, Norwich NR4 7TJ, United Kingdom; ‡Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, P.O. Box 60 12 03, 14412 Potsdam, Germany; §Department of Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890; ¶School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Newcastle University, and Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, Newcastle NE1 7RU, United Kingdom; and Environmental Change Institute, Oxford University, and Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, Oxford OX1 3QY, United Kingdom

Edited by William C. Clark, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, and approved November 21, 2007 (received for review June 8, 2007)

The term “tipping point” commonly refers to a critical threshold at which a tiny perturbation can qualitatively alter the state or development of a system. Here we introduce the term “tipping element” to describe large-scale components of the Earth system that may pass a tipping point. We critically evaluate potential policy-relevant tipping elements in the climate system under anthropogenic forcing, drawing on the pertinent literature and a recent international workshop to compile a short list, and we assess where their tipping points lie. An expert elicitation is used to help rank their sensitivity to global warming and the uncertainty about the underlying physical mechanisms. Then we explain how, in principle, early warning systems could be established to detect the proximity of some tipping points.

WWF Climate Change Resources:

WWF’s international website on How Global Warming and Climate Change work


Information on Changes in weather and climate and WWF’s report, “Extreme Weather: Does Nature Keep Up?”

General climate impacts information

Information on Impacts to Nature




Climate resilience, also known as adaptation, refers to the ability of ecosystems to withstand the effects of climate change. In order to protect ecosystems and natural resources we must also work with communities to prepare for climate change. This is necessary because the vulnerabilities of communities and ecosystems are intrinsically linked, just as is their resilience potential. Below are some of climate adaptation resources:


WWF is working to stop climate change by providing cutting-edge science, championing policies to reduce carbon emissions and mobilizing businesses to drive new and innovative solutions. With a team of dedicated experts working in more than 50 countries, we are focusing our efforts on four areas where we can have the most impact:

Climate Solutions: WWF’s Vision for 2050

Brochure: Facing the new climate – How WWF helps curb global warming

WWF/Allianz Group Report – Climate Change and Insurance: An Agenda for Action in the United States

Climate Education:

WWF’s resources, “What you can do about global warming”

WWF Climate Change Curriculum for Teachers

Witnessing Climate Change:

Climate Witness is WWF’s initiative that documents the direct experiences of people who are witnessing the impacts of climate change on their local environment.

Speakers / Counselors

Cassandra Brooke
Climate Change Adaptation Science

Dr Cassandra Brooke has worked in the climate change area for over ten years. At the UNEP Risø Centre on Energy, Climate and Sustainable Development (Denmark) her work included expert review of national communications to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, implementation of the Global Network on Energy for Sustainable Development, capacity building for carbon emissions trading, and assessment of biodiversity impacts and adaptation in conservation management. Upon returning to her home country of Australia, she worked with CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, where she focussed on integrated vulnerability and adaptation (V&A) assessment and capacity building for adaptation. Cassandra has a PhD in geography from the Environmental Change Institute of Oxford University. She is currently managing WWF Australia’s adaptation activities, and is the terrestrial expert for the WWF EpiCenter of Adaptation and Resilience. Her current interests include design of regional V&A projects, landscape connectivity, scenario planning for conservation, building social-ecological resilience, and the emerging role of NGOs in adaptation.

Claire Carlton
Climate Witness Programme

Claire Carlton has over 13 years of experience working in the environment sector specialising in biodiversity conservation and mitigation of climate change impacts.

A large part of her work has been developing mechanisms for the scientific community to work in close collaboration with the land managers in gathering data as well developing and implementing improved land management practices. Most of her work has been based in Australia working with all sectors of government, research institutions, peak conservation organisations, industry, community groups and private land managers.

She has extensive experience in developing, designing and coordinating scientific flora and fauna surveys bringing the scientists together with unskilled members of the public to collect critical base line species data.

More recently Claire has been involved in developing new opportunities for custom carbon offset projects involving research institutions, industry government and conservation groups.

Michael Case
Climate Change Research Scientist

Michael is a climate change research scientist with WWF. He joined the Climate Change team in December 2004 and is responsible for supporting WWF with climate change-related science and updates. He specializes in forest ecology and climate change impacts and hopes to increase awareness and synergy between WWF programs. Before joining WWF, Michael was a research analyst for the Western Mountain Initiative (WMI), an integration of research programs that study global change in the mountain ecosystems of the western United States. Michael has a graduate degree in Ecosystem Analysis from the University of Washington-Seattle and an undergraduate degree in Forest Management, with an emphasis in Conservation Biology and Environmental Law from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

Gary Cook
Deputy Director
ICLEI–Local Governments for Sustainability USA

Gary joined ICLEI as Deputy Director in June 2007, and manages the strategic program and the development of ICLEI’s Regional Capacity Centers, and is responsible for the coordination of alliances and partnerships at the national level.

Immediately prior to joining ICLEI, Gary was Executive Director of US Climate Action Network(USCAN), where he led a national coalition of organizations focused on global warming education and policy advocacy at both the federal and international level. He previously worked as a Staff Attorney for the Center for International Environmental Law, and as Climate Policy Director for Greenpeace USA.

Molly Cross
Climate Change Scientist
Wildlife Conservation Society

Molly is an ecologist whose research focuses on ecosystem responses to climate change and biodiversity loss. She is currently a Climate Change Scientist at the Wildlife Conservation Society, examining the impacts of climate change on wildlife habitat conservation efforts. The project’s primary goal is to bring together experts in the fields of climate change, ecology, conservation planning and land management to develop a framework for approaching climate change adaptation through on-the-ground conservation practices in the Intermountain West of North America. Molly conducted her Ph.D. at the University of California-Berkeley, measuring ecosystem responses to climate warming-induced plant species loss in a sub-alpine meadow in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.

Jonathan Gelbard
Executive Director
Conservation Value Institute

Dr. Jonathan L. Gelbard is a conservation biologist and sustainability expert with a background in communication. He is the founder and Executive Director of the Conservation Value Institute and the National Director of Sustainability for the Green Apple Festival. Dr. Gelbard holds a Ph.D. in ecology from UC Davis and a Master’s Degree in environmental management from Duke University. He has completed projects in ecology and land management with The Nature Conservancy and ranchers in New Mexico and Arizona, with agencies and environmental groups in Colorado, with academics, ranchers, and agencies in California, with consulting firms and environmental groups from Oregon to New York, and was a “counselor” at WWF’s inaugural Climate Camp. Gelbard is an accomplished ecological researcher and writer, has authored multiple scientific and non-scientific publications, and maintains the blog, “Conservation Value Notes”. He is a dynamic public speaker and his work has been the subject of articles in the San Francisco Chronicle, Sacramento Bee, Associated Press, American Museum of Natural History, and High Country News.

Lara Hansen
Chief Climate Change Scientist
Director of the EpiCenter of Climate Adaptation and Resilience Building

Dr. Lara Hansen has directed research on the biological effects of global change since 1990. Her primary focus is the redesign of conservation and conservation strategies to incorporate responses to climate change. She is the principal investigator on numerous studies designed to assess the effects of climate change and evaluate possible adaptation strategies for responding to these effects around the world.

She is the Chief Climate Change Scientist for WWF and the founding Director of the EpiCenter of Climate Adaptation and Resilience Building. Her position involves not only helping to develop the new conservaiton paradigm that includes the reality of climate change, but she works to convey the urgency to take action on climate change to a broader audience by offering testimony to the U.S. Senate, teaching at academic institutions, and speaking with media outlets.

She is the lead author/editor of a key text on the issue of natural system adaptation to climate change, Buying Time: A User’s Manual for Building Resistance and Resilience to Climate Change in Natural Systems. She is also the creator of Climate Camp and hopes you find it a productive, creative and enjoyable process.

Jennie Hoffman
Climate Adaptation Specialist – Marine

Jennie Hoffman’s focus at WWF is on developing and supporting projects that increase the resistance and resilience of marine ecosystems and the communities that depend on them to climate change. This includes the development of new projects as well as working to incorporate climate change considerations into existing conservation plans. In conjunction with other members of the EpiCenter for Climate Adaptation, Jennie works within the WWF network and in the wider conservation community to build capacity for assessing and reducing vulnerability to climate change. She welcomes communication with WWF staff and other conservation practitioners interested in discussing ways to include climate change considerations in conservation work.

Prior to coming to WWF, Jennie worked as a teacher, author, consultant, and researcher. Her research areas have included rocky intertidal and salt marsh ecology, the genotoxic effects of environmental contaminants, and most recently, the ways in which marine embryos and larvae cope with environmental stressors. She has also worked as a community garden organizer, epidemiologist, and AIDS educator.

Tim Killeen
Senior Research Scientist
Center for Applied Biodiversity Science (CABS)

Tim Killeen, Ph. D., is a conservation biologist whose research interests have evolved over the course of his career, starting with the taxonomy and ecology of grasses, to later focus on dendrology, plant community ecology, and biodiversity patterns at local and regional scales. Efforts to map biodiversity led me to acquire expertise in remote sensing and geographical information systems, which eventually included an on-going effort to document the impact of habitat conversion and climate change on biodiversity. His collaboration with colleagues from North American and European universities has advanced the understanding of forest dynamics and paleoecology of Amazonian and Andean ecosystems. His conservation efforts in Bolivia have included advising on the design of the national protected area system, fostering community based ecotourism, and training students in botany, ecology and geography. He serves on the Board of the Chiquitano Forest Conservation Foundation and the Bolivian Institute for Forest Research, while acting as a Scientific Advisor at the Noel Kempff Mercado Natural History Museum. He is the recipient of the Biodiversity Leadership Award from The Bay and Paul Foundations. He is currently a Senior Research Scientist with the Center for Applied Biodiversity Research (CABS) at Conservation International.

John Matthews
Climate Adaptation Specialist – Freshwater

After growing up in a small town in east Texas, John Matthews attended the University of Chicago, graduating with a degree in cultural anthropology in 1990. For the next twelve years, he worked in the publishing industry for a variety of companies, primarily as an editor and writer. Having seen places he knew well as a child become rapidly degraded, John decided to leave publishing and spent two years taking undergraduate biology courses, then enrolling in the ecology, evolution, and behavior PhD program at the University of Texas in 2002. Graduating in 2007, his dissertation work focused on how aquatic insects and migratory species would be impacted by climate change. During graduate school, John consulted and collaborated with a variety of researchers, agencies, NGOs, and landowners on conservation and climate change issues. John’s work with WWF focuses on developing and implementing strategies for global freshwater ecosystems to adapt and build resilience to the current period of climate shifts.

Steve McNulty
US Forest Service

Steve McNulty has served as the US Forest Service Southern Global Change Program Manager on the North Carolina State University campus in Raleigh North Carolina, since 1996. Prior to joining the Southern Global Change Program, he spent five years as a research ecologist at the Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory. He has B.S., and M.S. degrees in Natural Resources from the University of Wisconsin, and a Ph.D. in Natural Resources from the University of New Hampshire. Dr. McNulty is a landscape ecologist, with an area of focus being regional to continental scale environmental stress impacts on forest ecosystems. He served as a US Congressional Fellow in the 106th Congress, and he was the federal chair of the National Assessment of Climate Change Impacts on US Forests. Dr. McNulty is currently the US chair of the United States China Carbon Consortium, and he has authored or co-authored over 100 papers in the area of environmental stress impacts on forest ecosystems.

Terry Root
Senior Fellow-University Faculty at the Woods Institute for the Environment
Professor by Courtesy, Biological Sciences
Stanford University

President George H. Bush honored Dr. Root in 1990 with the prestigious Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation. In 1992 she was 1 of only 10 people around the world to be selected as a Pew Scholar in Conservation and the Environment and was 1 of 20 people to be chosen to be an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow in 1999. She was the co-recipient with Stephen H. Schneider of the National Wildlife Federation’s 2003 National Conservation Achievement Award and the Banksia International Award from the Australian Banksia Environmental Foundation in 2006.

Dr. Root received her Ph.D. in Biology from Princeton University in 1987. Before coming to Stanford, she was assistant and associate professor in the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan from 1987 to 2001. She has served on the National Research Council Committee on Environmental Indicators. In 1989, she became an Elective Member of the American Ornithologists Union (AOU), the largest professional ornithology society in North American. She was elected to the Governing Council of the AOU in 1993 and she became a Fellow of AOU in 1995.

Dr. Root was a Lead Author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Working Group II, Third and Fourth Assessment Reports, with responsibility for the impacts of climate change on wildlife. IPCC was co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former Vice President Al Gore.

Her awards and appointments further validate how Dr. Root’s research is helping us to understand complex real-world problems, and her important outreach to decision makers and the general public.

Dr. Root’s work has demonstrated that with only 0.8°C of warming over the last 30-45 years species around the globe are already changing dramatically: ranges moving poleward and up in elevation, events are happening earlier in the spring and later in the fall, and extinctions are beginning to occur. She and co-investigators have also used species to show that humans are indeed causing a large portion of the increase in local/regional temperatures. As the planet continues to warm, which will probably occur at an escalating rate, theory indicates that the world will likely face a mass extinction event-if the average global temperature reaches 4oC or higher than in 1990, greater than 40% of the known species could be marked for extinction. This would be caused by one species-us. Root’s current and future work will be concentrating on adaptation measures for species and on establishing triage methods that will help significantly decrease the number of extinctions.

Diane Ross-Leech
Environmental Policy

Diane Ross-Leech, a landscape architect by training, is a director within PG&E’s Environmental Policy department, where she has worked for over 20 years. She created the Environmental Stewardship Program that is responsible for developing multi-species habitat conservation plans, migratory bird protection plans, land conservation projects and other efforts that help PG&E ensure responsible stewardship of our resources. She serves on the management board of the San Francisco Bay Joint Venture, which protects and enhances wetlands and other baywide wildlife habitats, and on the board of directors of the San Francisco Bay Trail and Golden Gate Audubon.

Stephen Schneider
Melvin and Joan Lane Professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies,
Professor of Biological Sciences,
Senior Fellow in the Woods Institute for the Environment
Stanford University.

Stephen H. Schneider is the Melvin and Joan Lane Professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies, Professor of Biological Sciences, and a Senior Fellow in the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University. He served as an NCAR scientist from 1973-1996, where he co-founded the Climate Project. He focuses on climate change science, integrated assessment of ecological and economic impacts of human-induced climate change, and identifying viable climate policies and technological solutions. He has consulted for federal agencies and White House staff in six administrations. Involved with the IPCC since 1988, he is Coordinating Lead Author, WG II, Chapter 19, “Assessing Key Vulnerabilities and the Risk from Climate Change” for the Fourth Assessment Report and a core writer for the AR4 Synthesis Report. He along with four generations of IPCC authors received a collective Nobel Peace Prize for their joint efforts in 2007. Elected to the US National Academy of Sciences in 2002, Dr. Schneider received the American Association for the Advancement of Science/ Westinghouse Award for Public Understanding of Science and Technology, a MacArthur Fellowship for integrating and interpreting the results of global climate research, and the Edward T. Law Roe Award of the Society of Conservation Biology as well as sharing the National Conservation Achievement Award from the National Wildlife Federation with his spouse-collaborator, Terry Root. Founder/ editor of Climatic Change, he has authored or co-authored over 500 books, scientific papers, proceedings, legislative testimonies, edited books and chapters, reviews and editorials. Dr. Schneider counsels policy makers, corporate executives, and non-profit stakeholders about using risk management strategies in climate-policy decision-making, given the uncertainties in future projections of global climate change and related impacts. He is actively engaged in improving public understanding of science and the environment through extensive media communication and public outreach.

Anne Schrag
Climate Research Program Officer

Anne Schrag joined the staff of the WWF-Northern Great Plains Program as the Climate Research Program Officer in 2007, where she is investigating the impacts of climate change on species of conservation concern and agricultural productivity in the ecoregion. She moved to Montana in 2002, shortly after completing undergraduate degrees in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Spanish Literature at the University of Kansas. After moving to Bozeman, she worked as an ecologist for the National Park Service Inventory and Monitoring Program for four years, setting up a long-term monitoring program in the parks of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. She completed her MS at Montana State University in 2006, where she studied the impacts of climate variability on upper treeline forests in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. She spent the months between finishing her thesis and beginning her position at WWF traveling to Argentina, Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands to beef up her long-neglected Spanish skills and work as an ecologist and group leader for teenagers working on humanitarian projects. Anne is originally from the flat-as-a-pancake state of Kansas and is therefore quite familiar with the ups and downs of life on the prairie. She enjoys all things involving the outdoors, including telemark skiing, climbing, road and mountain biking, backpacking, growing tomatoes in Montana and, especially, punishing trail runs with her mixed-breed dog, Kintla.

Anton Seimon
Assistant Director, Latin America and Caribbean Program
Wildlife Conservation Society

Anton joined WCS in 2007 as Assistant Director for the Latin America and Caribbean program after working as a Research Fellow at Columbia University’s Earth Institute. At WCS he also works with Molly Cross to develop climate change initiatives within WCS global conservation programs. His research experience spans a broad range of topics including ecological response to climate change and deglaciation in tropical mountains, tornadoes and other meteorological hazards, and historical climate reconstruction from low-latitude ice cores.


Climate Camp would be impossible without the dedication, hard work, and generosity of our sponsors. We would like to thank our partners for their contributions, and recognize the work that they do to address climate change.

Hewlett Packard

Hewlett Packard (HP) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) are collaborating to combat climate change around the globe. To learn more about this partnership please visit:

NOAAs Coastal Training Program

With the significant, increasing impacts of human activity on our natural resources, it is important that everyone has the opportunity to improve their skills and knowledge to help create a more sustainable future. NOAA’s Coastal Training Program designs and delivers programs that meet these needs. We are pleased to help WWF produce Climate Camp in San Francisco.

Pacific Gas & Electric

Climate change is a critical issue for PG&E, for our customers, and for the world. We understand that the need for action is urgent and recognize the challenges that climate change presents for sensitive species and habitats in California. We are proud to host WWF’s Climate Camp conference at PG&E’s San Francisco offices to explore sustainable solutions for the future.