Topic outline

  • Welcome to Riparian Restoration to Promote Climate Change Resilience (RPCCR).

    Welcome to the Riparian Restoration to Promote Climate Change Resilience (RPCCR) online course, an innovative web-based tool - funded by the Appalachian Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC) and developed by researchers from the U.S. Forest Service and the University of Massachusetts – RPCCR is allowing managers to rapidly identify high-priority riparian targets for restoration to make more resilient in preparation for changes in future climate.

    Course Registration

    The course contents are visible without logging in. However, you will need to register here on the Landscape Partnership Learning Network in order to:

    • Receive your Certificate of Completion
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    • Access your Dashboard

    Certificate of Completion

    After completing the activities in this course, you can download the optional Certificate of Completion. Simply click the course name next to the certificate icon. You must be logged in to access the certificate.

    The RPCCR tool identifies vulnerable stream and riverbanks that lack tree cover and shade in coldwater stream habitats. By locating the best spots to plant trees in riparian zones, resource managers can provide shade that limits the amount of solar radiation heating the water and reduces the impacts from climate change. This well-established management strategy will benefit high-elevation, cold-water aquatic communities.

    Course Description

    This course will explain the science behind the development of the tool, demonstrate to users how-to use the web map application, provide examples of how this information can be used to make management decisions, and guide users through an interactive exercise using the data in a case study activity.

    This course consists of an introduction and 6 additional modules. Participants should complete the modules in sequential order. If, after reviewing the prerequisites for a module, a participant feels that they already have an understanding of the information, they can proceed to the next module. For example, if you already are familiar with the RPCCR report but have not yet used the tool, you can skip to Module 2.

    In Modules 2-4, two different levels of instruction are provided. The first level is known as the manager level. The focus is to provide an understanding of how to use the tool and to answer questions related to conservation management. Participants will not perform additional analysis; rather they will focus on the thought process behind the analysis. The second level, known as the technical level, focuses on showing participants how-to use the tool and the actual process of completing analysis using additional software and data to strategically plan conservation actions.

    Course Objectives

    Upon completion of this course:

    • Participants will develop an understanding of what the RPCCR is.
    • Participants will also develop a good understanding of the science behind the tools and their appropriate use.
    • Users will be able to utilize RPCCR available on the Appalachian LCC portal to identify riparian corridors for restoration.
    • Users will be able to apply information from a case study to develop a strategy for utilizing the tools as part of a decision management process to answer questions regarding priority resources with the organization’s area of responsibility.
    • Facilitate creative thinking to enhance the utilization of the tools to answer questions for the strategic delivery of conservation activities.

    Course Requirements

    Participants will complete readings, view instructional videos, complete a review quiz at the end of the course, and provide feedback regarding the course.

    Technical Requirements

    You will need the ability to play videos with sound, as well as download documents to view course materials.

    ArcGIS is needed for participants who plan to complete the technical level of Module 4. Alternative GIS software can be used, however, directions are providing using ArcGIS. Manager level users can complete the course using their internet browser of choice.

  • Course Prerequisites

    Decorative icon for Course Prerequisites

    There are no prerequisites to take this course. However, within the course, participants should complete the Modules in order as they build upon information in the previous modules.

    Prerequisites are covered at the beginning of each module. In addition, participants may wish to review the documents below.

  • Module 1: The Science behind RPCCR

    Prerequisite

    Before completing this module you should review the information in the Course Introduction module. No experience with the RPCCR tool is necessary.

    Objective

    The objective of this exercise is to explain the need to address climate change effects and explain the science behind the RPCCR tool development.

    Overview

    Among a host of other critical ecosystem functions, intact riparian forests can help to reduce vulnerability of coldwater stream habitats to warming regional temperatures. Restoring and conserving these forests can therefore be an important part of regional and landscape-scale conservation plans, but managers need science and decision-support tools to help determine when these actions will be most effective. The Riparian Prioritization for Climate Change Resilience (RPCCR), a web-based decision support tool, was developed to quickly and easily identify, based on current riparian cover and predicted vulnerability to air temperature warming, sites that are priority candidates for riparian restoration and conservation.

    Within this module, you will first watch a video presentation which discusses the science behind the RPCCR tool and how this tool meets the needs of managers to identify areas where conservation actions will be most effective. The module will finish with a brief summary of the important points.


    • In the following video, Jessica Rhodes, Appalachian LCC GIS Analyst, explains the science behind the RPCCR tool and discusses the need for the tool by managers to identify the most effective areas for conservation.

      Cover image RPCCR Mod 1 and 2


    • Now that you have viewed the instructional video and completed the hands-on activity, we are going to review the information that was covered.

      Decorative icon for review session

  • Module 2: How to Use RPCCR

    Prerequisite

    Prior to starting this module, you should complete Module 1 and be familiar with the report from the “Riparian Prioritization and Status Assessment for Climate Change Resilience of Coldwater Stream Habitats within the Appalachian and Northeastern Regions” research project.

    Objective

    The objective of this exercise is to familiarize you with the RPCCR and to assist each participant in utilizing the tool for a set of user-defined parameters.

    Overview

    Within this module, you will first watch a video presentation which provides a detailed overview of how to use the RPCCR tool and the data layers currently available. The next step will be to complete a hands-on activity to complete an analysis for a watershed. The module will finish with a brief summary of the important points.


    • In the following video, Jessica Rhodes, Appalachian LCC GIS Analyst, explains how managers and researchers can tailor the decision support tool to their own specific needs and priority areas and resources.

      Cover image RPCCR How To Video


    • Manager Level will focus on using the information contained within the web application only. We will discuss the different data layers that are available and features of the web application. No experience with GIS software is needed to complete this level.

      Cover image RPCCR How To Manager


    • Technical Level will cover the same material as the Manager Level, but it will also provide a section for downloading the data and using the data within the ArcGIS platform. If you choose the Technical Level, you should have some experience using ArcGIS software.

      Cover image RPCCR How To Technical


    • Now that you have viewed the instructional video and completed the hands-on activity, we are going to review the information that was covered.

      Decorative icon for review session

  • Module 3: Decision Support Tool Using Case Study Examples

    Prerequisite

    Prior to starting this module, you should complete Modules 1 and 2 of this course. You should be familiar with using the Riparian Restoration Prioritization for Climate Change Resilience (RPCCR) online tool.

    Objective

    The objective of this module is to provide several case study examples for utilizing the Riparian Restoration Prioritization for Climate Change Resilience (RPCCR) online tool as part of a decision management process to answer questions regarding priority resources with the organization’s area of responsibility. 

    Overview

    Within this module, you will watch a video presentation which provides several case study examples of how RPCCR output can be used to aid in decisions related to conservation management. After watching the video, participants should review the brief summary information. The case study scenarios provided are examples of how output from RPCCR can be used and integrated with other data sources to refine priorities and strategically plan for conservation management. Participants should be able to use these examples to facilitate creative thinking in applying the RPCCR output to their own data in different geographic areas.


    • In the following video, Jessica Rhodes, Appalachian LCC GIS Analyst, discusses several case study examples which utilize output from RPCCR.

      Cover image RPCCR Case Study video


    • Now that you have viewed the instructional video and completed the hands-on activity, we are going to review the information that was covered.

      Decorative icon for review session

  • Module 4: Case Study Activity

    Prerequisite

    Prior to starting this module, you should complete Modules 1, 2, and 3 of this course. You should be familiar with the RPCCR online tool and be comfortable running the analysis for your area of interest.

    Objective

    Users will apply information from a case study to develop a strategy for utilizing the tools as part of a decision management process to answer questions regarding priority resources within the organization’s area of responsibility. The final objective is to facilitate creative thinking to enhance the utilization of the tools to answer questions for the strategic delivery of conservation activities.

    Overview

    In Module 3, we discussed several case study examples of how the RPCCR can be used to identify and prioritizes areas for conservation based on organizational priorities and needs.  In this module, users will walk through a case study example using the directions that are provided. Complete instructions for this activity are available for download from the course materials.

    There are two levels for this activity.

    For both levels, the question you are trying to answer ("Where are the highest priority riparian corridors within a watershed, which if riparian vegetation is restored, will provide the most efficient way of increasing aquatic connectivity and provide for habitat more resilient to impacts of increasing temperatures resulting from climate change?") is stated at the beginning of the directions. A list of potential data layers is also provided. The next section provides a potential solution for answering the stated question. You can use additional data layers or incorporate different data layers you have available. The goal of this exercise is to get you thinking of the many different ways the data from RPCCR can be used in conjunction with other data layers and resources.


    • Manager Level will utilize the same data as that in the Technical Level, however, you will not perform the analysis. The analysis on the data layers has already been completed and the results uploaded to the Appalachian LCC Conservation Planning Atlas (https://applcc.databasin.org/). The original data layers, as well as the intermediate layers, have been incorporated into a web map. The instructions for the activity will explain what the different layers are and discuss how they can be used to answer the question. No experience with GIS software is needed to complete this level.

      Cover image RPCCR Case Study Managers


    • Technical Level will cover the same material as the Manager Level, but it will also provide a section for downloading the data and using the data within the ArcGIS platform. If you choose the Technical Level, you should have some experience using ArcGIS software.

      Cover image RPCCR Case Study Technical Users


    • The data for this activity is for Pennsylvania; however, the analysis could be performed in other states where data is available. You will need to extract the data from each file before it can be used in ArcGIS.

      Decorative Data icon

  • Assessment Quiz

    This quiz is intended to assess your comprehension of the material covered in Modules 1-4 of this course.

    You will need a score of 60% to pass.

    There are a total of 10 questions. Once you have answered all of the questions, you will be able to review your answers before submitting them. After you submit your answers, your results will be displayed.

    You may take the test as many times as necessary to receive the minimum score required. 

  • Participant Feedback

    Thank you for participating in this online course. It is very important to us that the online courses we provide are beneficial to course participants. A link is provided below to a brief course assessment survey. We value your feedback and will use your responses to improve on future online offerings of this course.

    If you have any questions regarding the course evaluation or prefer to provide feedback in person, please don't hesitate to email me at jessica_rhodes@fws.gov.

  • Certificate of Completion

    Course certificate imageOnce you have completed the activities in this course, you can download the optional Certificate of Completion. The Certificate will display the name you used to create your account.

    You must be logged in to access the certificate.