Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Training for Professional Planners

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Adaptation and Resilience Training

NEW DATE! TRAINING SESSIONS begin Tuesday, November 30, 2021!

Modules 1 and 2 are full – registration closed. The course will be offered again in March 2022.

Module 3 – only a few seats left!

The Ontario Professional Planners Institute (OPPI) secured funding through Natural Resource Canada’s Building Regional Adaptation Capacity and Expertise (BRACE) program, aimed at developing a customized training program in collaboration with the Climate Risk Institute, Risk Sciences International, and Dillon Consulting Limited. The training program is a first of its kind in Ontario, bringing together current knowledge informed by the deep experience of practitioners in the field, and supported by an Advisory Committee of academic, municipal, private sector, and Indigenous members. The training has gone through preliminary pilots with students and Planners across Ontario. New training sessions are now available!

The training team is pleased to announce a new training session will begin on Tuesday, November 30, 2021, and will consist of two, 2.5-hour sessions each week for three (3) consecutive weeks.

Registration is still open for Module 3.

MODULES 1 and 2 are FULL – Registration is closed.

Click here to register!

MODULEDate and TimeLead Trainers
Module 1: Climate Science and Adaptation
Part 1: Tuesday, November 30, 2021
10:00 am -12:30 pm (EST)
Part 2: Wednesday, December 1, 2021
10:00 am – 12:30 pm (EST)
Glenn Milner, P.Eng, MCC., Climate Risk Institute
Anna Zaytseva, B.A. (Hons), M.Sc, Climate Risk Institute
Module 2: Climate Policy
Part 1: Tuesday, December 7, 2021 
10:00 am -12:30 pm (EST) 
Part 2: Wednesday, December 8, 2021 
10:00 am – 12:30 pm (EST) 
Paul Cobb, B. Eng, Climate Risk Institute
Merrilees Willemse, MCIP RPP, Dillon Consulting
Only a few seats left!
Module 3: Communication and Collaboration
Part 1: Tuesday, December 14, 2021, 
10:00 am -12:30 pm (EST) 
Part 2: Wednesday, December 15, 2021
10:00 am – 12:30 pm (EST) 
Heather Swan, P.Eng, MCIP, RPP, PMP., Dillon Consulting
Zahra Jaffer, MES, Planner, Dillon Consulting

Module #1 reviews the fundamentals of climate change science and data, impacts in Ontario, risk assessment and adaptation planning. Module #2 covers climate and planning policy, reviewing requirements and opportunities around climate change adaptation. Lastly, Module #3 provides tools and strategies to support communication and collaboration around climate change impacts and adaptation planning.

All modules are facilitated by experts, feature case studies and interactive exercises, and include participant manuals with additional resources and references. 


  • Individual modules: $140.00 each (plus applicable taxes)
  • All three modules: $385.00 (plus applicable taxes)

Completion of all three modules represents 18 hours of CPL credits.

Meet the trainers!

Heather Swan, BScEng, MPl, MCIP, RPP, PEng, PMP, Dillon Consulting

Heather Swan is a Partner with Dillon, a professional engineer and registered professional planner. Since beginning her career 19 years ago, her focus has included consultation/engagement, Environmental Assessments, impact assessment, infrastructure planning, land use planning and Traditional Knowledge/Traditional Land Use Planning. Through this work she has worked with Indigenous communities in Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia.  She has had the privilege of working closely with the Indigenous Community staff, community members including Elders and youth, and Chief and Council. 

She has presented at OPPI conferences since 2013 and earlier this year co-wrote a Blog Post with Stephanie Burnham titled “Planning’s relationship with Indigenous Communities: Planning Policy and Slow Progress in Changing Times”.  She also previously participated in the CIP Indigenous Community Planning Committee and the OPPI Indigenous Planning Perspectives Taskforce.  

Glenn Milner, P.Eng, MCC, Climate Risk Institute

Glenn is the Engineering and Climate Risk Lead at the Climate Risk Institute. Over the past 10 years, he has worked on climate risk and adaptation initiatives across Ontario, Canada and the United States. His work extends across infrastructure, ecosystems, stormwater, agriculture, transportation and supporting government in adaptation policies. Glenn has led training sessions on applying climate data for engineering, planning and decision making, and has convened thousands of stakeholders in discussing vulnerabilities and risks, planning, and scaling action through partnerships. 

His strong belief in translating complex research into accessible information is reflected in his accomplishments, such as: developing a climate risk assessment framework for infrastructure systems among 17 Ontario municipalities; creating a risk assessment tool and guidebook to incorporate climate change within Ontario’s drinking water source protection program; leading a flood resilience assessment of all high priority assets owned and managed by Infrastructure Ontario; and spearheading the first ecosystem-centric vulnerability assessment in Canada. When not poring over the latest climate risk assessments and adaptation best practices, you can find him running along the shores of Lake Ontario or singing a cappella around Toronto 

Zahra Jaffer, MES, Planner, Dillon Consulting

Zahra Jaffer is a planner and communications designer with broad experience in environmental sustainability and planning related projects, including development of sustainability policies and planning frameworks that involve resilience, sustainable design, public realm enhancement and integration of natural environment considerations into development planning. She also specializes in public engagement and information design to translate complex concepts for a public audience. Zahra has worked with clients across a range of sectors, including not-for profit, government, industry, and private business and is proficient in visual communications software including Adobe Creative Suite, Sketch Up, and Geographical Information Systems (GIS). She is a certified ENVISION Sustainability Professional, and sits on OPPI’s Southwest Ontario District Committee’s Kitchener-Waterloo Chapter.

Paul Cobb, B.Eng, Project Manager, Climate Risk Institute

Paul is a Project Manager with the Climate Risk Institute. An engineer by training, he has dedicated his career to finding and implementing climate change solutions. Paul has supported climate mitigation and adaptation work across Ontario and Canada for close to 20 years, including a recent role as a regional advisor for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Partners for Climate Protection Program. Paul has led Climate Change Risk Assessments at the local, provincial and territorial levels.  He lives and works and is raising his kids in beautiful Northern Ontario.

Merrilees Willemse, MCIP RPP, Dillon Consulting

Merrilees is a Planner and Associate at Dillon. Her work is focused on bringing communities, agencies and stakeholders together to address major urban issues facing cities in Canada. She works in policy, transportation, energy, environmental planning, consultation and engagement. Much of Merrilees’ work involves the design and facilitation of conversations focused on the cross section of the environment, growth, community development and policy. Discussions and research related to climate change and climate action are central to all of her projects. Merrilees has worked in small, medium and large municipalities across Canada and understands that range of perspectives that different communities face when addressing climate change. Merrilees has taught courses at York University and is involved in leading Dillon’s engagement and facilitation team.  

Anna Zaytseva, B.A. (Hons), M.Sc, Climate Risk Institute

Anna is an Advisory and Technical Services Liaison of the Climate Risk Institute. She is passionate about sustainable development, climate change adaptation and risk assessment. Her experience includes working on place-based projects studying key drivers of change, modelling alternative future scenarios and researching impacts of climate change and weather extremes on the agricultural sector. Anna has 10 years of experience working with weather, climate and geospatial data in a variety of settings, including government and academia. She is proficient in geospatial and statistical modeling software and has in-depth knowledge of spatial analysis technologies. At the Climate Risk Institute Anna provides support on a number of projects and tools including Climate Change Hazards Information Portal (CRI’s in-house climate data and projections tool), the Ontario Regional Adaptation Collaborative, and Ontario’s Provincial Climate Change Risk Assessment.