New program supports recent grads with jobs tackling climate change

Adaptation Resilience Training is open to Alberta post-secondary graduates from 2018–20.

This spring’s economic chaos can be blamed on COVID-19, but the pandemic also revealed many ways that the system was brittle to begin with. We now have a unique opportunity to rebuild a more resilient society, and a new program will help put new grads to work doing just that.

The Adaptation Resilience Training is an opportunity for Alberta graduates from 2018, 2019 or 2020 to complete a paid internship helping businesses, governments and non-profits become more resilient and adaptable. Applications are open now.

“The hardest step in an individual’s career path is often getting the first position,” said Robert Summers, academic director for the University of Alberta’s Sustainability Council, which administers the program.

“It is important in normal times, but with the COVID-19 crisis and the impacts that has had on opportunities for students and recent graduates, it is even more important today.”

The training is designed to help Alberta prepare for the impacts of a changing climate. This century, we can expect more frequent and more extreme weather, causing flooding, droughts and wildfires. And that means major work must be done to ready our infrastructure, energy systems, food security and more.

Fortunately, these transformative changes will also make Alberta more resilient to future pandemics and economic shocks.

A successful template for launching careers

The program builds on the template set by Sustainability Scholars, a summer internship that places master’s and PhD students with Edmonton-area partners to solve real-world sustainability challenges.

“When a member of the government learned about our Sustainability Scholars program, they reached out to see if we could partner on a similar initiative at the provincial level,” said Summers.

Many scholars have gone on to find permanent employment with their partner organizations, including people like Nirwair Singh Bajwa, a sustainability analyst at Stantec, and Marni Devlin Moses with the City of Edmonton.

Summers hopes that the Adaptation Resilience Training will be a similar launchpad for many talented graduates looking to start a career in climate or sustainability fields.

“I hope that years from now, they can look back on this position and feel that it was a great first step for their successful career that followed,” said Summers.

Should you apply?

  • Participants will gain professional experience conducting research, engaging with stakeholders, processing data, writing reports and memoranda.
  • Host organizations include businesses, governments and non-profits involved in water management, essential infrastructure, community planning and agriculture.
  • Graduates of any accredited Alberta post-secondary institution are eligible if they graduated (or will graduate) between May 2018 and November 2020.
  • Postings are available in locations across the province, including Calgary, Camrose, Drayton Valley, Edmonton, Lethbridge, Okotoks and Olds–of course, many positions will be working remotely too.

To learn more about the program and to see how to apply, visit the Adaptation Resilience Training webpage.

The Adaptation Resilience Training is a cost-shared initiative supported by Natural Resources Canada’s Building Regional Adaptation Capacity and Expertise (BRACE) Program and Alberta Environment and Parks.

The program is administered by the University of Alberta’s Sustainability Council and Career Centre.



University of Alberta — Sustainability

Meet the students and academics who are discovering solutions to our climate and sustainability challenges. Writing from Edmonton-Amiskwacîwâskahikan, Canada.