Climate Action & COVID-19 Recovery — Practical Resilience Steps for Rural Communities Online/Video Conference Course

People working in a greenhouse, wearing face masks
Greenhouse work in the time of COVID-19

Hours for Learning Activity:

3 learning hours

Date and Time:

Tuesday, September 22, 2020, 2:00pm to Thursday, October 8, 2020, 3:00pm

Shepherding, organizing and sustaining climate action in rural communities can be a challenge at any time. To be sure, this is essential work with lots of rewards, but the challenges are undeniable. Now, with many rural communities facing COVID-19 health and economic disruptions, uncertainty about how to carry on business and community life safely, and looming budget cuts, we have heard rural climate leaders wondering how they can be part of a forward-thinking response that also addresses climate change.

Rural areas face their own challenges and bring their own strengths to the efforts to recover, rebuild, reimagine and become more resilient. Rural economies were the hardest hit by the 2008 recession and the slowest to recover. In many places, the compounding forces of race, poverty, and geographic isolation hit hard and could also be seen in the immediate and looming threats of climate change, even before the coronavirus pandemic put health, economic, and racial disparities in the spotlight.

This course will help you make climate and resiliency action integral to community recovery even if your town seems too small to make much of an impact or to take the reins; even if there is a lot of competition for time, attention and funds; and even if no one seems to know (or agree on) what to do next. With a focus on what we call “practical resilience,” this course will help you determine how your community can use its resources to prepare for, respond and withstand the twin challenges of COVID-19 and climate change, and at the same time build a better place to live for all of your residents.

In this course, you will:

  • Learn practical ways to understand your community’s systems, map resources, and identify opportunities.

  • Learn proven approaches for building awareness and participation, designing community climate and resilience solutions, and taking action together, including ways to work with political division, resistance or inertia.

  • Access templates and examples from other small towns and rural communities for taking action on common leverage points including local food systems, health care and access, active transportation and recreation, community cohesiveness, and energy self-sufficiency.

  • Learn from peers in other communities about engaging rural communities in resilience solutions.



Civic groups • Business & economic development leaders • Concerned residents • Elected officials • Conservation organizations • Community organizers • Environmental educators and EE organizations • Extension & community development professionals • High school and college students • Community health groups • COVID response organizers • Climate action leaders • Consultants



Michele Archie, Harbinger principal and co-author of Climate Choices: How Should We Meet the Challenges of a Warming Planet? and the accompanying facilitator guide. Michele has long experience with engagement and action in rural communities across the U.S. and has recently worked with rural communities and researchers on community-driven COVID-19 responses. See her LinkedIn profile.



Four weekly sessions:

Thursdays - Sept. 17-Oct. 8, 2020

11 a.m.-12 p.m. PT/2-3 p.m. ET 


Sessions available for replay in case you need to miss a session or want to review.

$340 early registration discount through Aug. 31, $425 regular course fee.

Discounts for multiple participants from the same organization:

  • $290 each for 2-4 participants
  • $250 each for 5 or more

How to Register:

Learn more and register at

$340 early registration discount through Aug. 31, $425 regular course fee.

Discounts for multiple participants from the same organization:

  • $290 each for 2-4 participants
  • $250 each for 5 or more



Contact Email:

Contact Name:

Michele Archie

Contact Phone: