Climate Action Leadership Course

Course Description

Motivated to take your climate action advocacy and leadership to the next level? This nine-day short course – taught in the wilderness of Southeast Alaska, will give young climate activists tools, skills and understanding to become more effective climate leaders. Course topics focus on the just transition imperative, strategies for effective climate advocacy, and detailed understanding of the scientific urgency of the climate crisis. Students will receive training in climate communication, participatory approaches to community-based climate action and a detailed knowledge of the global climate negotiations, federal legislation, state-level policy development and the role of institutional actions in decarbonization pathways. 2023 programs dates are July 15-23.

Who Should Apply?

This course is designed for young people ages 18-30 who already considered themselves to be engaged climate activists and who are committed to leading action on climate change throughout their lives.

Application Process

***As of mid-April, we have a couple spots left! Prospective participants should submit their applications here as soon as possible!*** Applications are due by March 31, 2023. Decisions on admission will be announced on April 15, 2023. Tidelines Institute is committed to a diverse and inclusive learning experience and encourages applicants from historically marginalized groups to apply.

Costs: Pay What You Can

Tidelines Institute employs a “pay what you can” model to make this course both financially sustainable and accessible for all. We ask that all participants bear the cost of their own round-trip travel to Juneau, Alaska. Running this course (including transporting students from Juneau to Tidelines Institute, staff time, equipment, food, instruction, logistics and more) costs Tidelines approximately $1500 per participant. Anything below that price point, Tidelines staff must bring in through fundraising – or risk being unable to run courses of this kind. In your application, you will be asked to specify how much of this $1500 course cost you able to pay. (Answers can range from $0 to greater than $1500, and will not affect your admission to the course.)

Why climate action in the southeast Alaskan wilderness?

The unique remote setting of the campus on an island in the Southeast Alaskan wilderness allows participants to fully immerse themselves in both the natural world and with each other as they develop climate action leadership skills. Studying off-grid, harvesting food and learning practical homesteading skills in a region that is physically on the front-lines of climate change in the shadow of melting glaciers helps ensure that students will leave this course not only with skills and tools, but with a unique introspective motivation of the urgency of the climate crisis for the rest of their lives.

Inian Islands Campus

Tidelines Institute’s Inian Islands Campus is a five-acre working homestead situated on the Inian Islands Archipelago, located in S’íx Tlein (Icy Strait) in Southeast Alaska. Nestled in the Tongass National Freest, the remote campus is surrounded by designated Wilderness and is only accessible by boat. The campus is off-grid and powered by a micro-hydroelectric system. Students will eat food grown and harvested from the campus’s extensive gardens.


Dr. Aaron Strong is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at Hamilton College in upstate New York, where his research and teaching focuses on pathways for climate action and a just transition. His current projects include work on effective and just pathways for rapid deployment of renewables, climate justice issues associated with adaptation planning, the overreliance on the use of carbon offsets in the pursuit of net-zero strategies, and the challenges of accurate carbon accounting in understanding climate change feedbacks. Dr. Strong received his PhD from the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources at Stanford University and holds a Masters degree in international climate policy from Tufts University and an undergraduate degree in political science and biology from Swarthmore College. He has advised multiple state governments on the development of their climate plans and attended the international climate negotiations four times as an observer.

Dr. Zachary Brown is Co-Executive Director of the Tidelines Institute. Zach grew up surrounded by the wilderness of Southeast Alaska. With parents in the National Park Service, Zach had ample opportunity as a boy to explore the mountains and fjords of this region, experiences that gave him a lasting love of and concern for the natural world. Attending Pomona College in Southern California, Zach studied chemistry and biology. He then received his PhD in Earth System Science at Stanford University, where he studied how changing sea ice affects the marine biological communities of the polar regions. During his time at Stanford, Zach was thrilled to undertake multiple research expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic. Completing his PhD studies in spring 2014, Zach set off on a four month, 2,300-mile solo trek, hiking and paddling from Stanford to his Alaskan homeland, to spread the word about creating Inian Islands Institute, now the Tidelines Institute. Trained as a climate scientist and oceanographer, Zach is now actively involved in climate action advocacy in the state of Alaska and beyond.