Scarcely a day passes when we don’t hear or read about a new impact of climate change on the environment. Conservancy scientists, practitioners, and managers now find themselves wrestling with how to best adapt our conservation work to a changing climate. Not long ago, many environmental and conservation organizations were reluctant to focus on adaptation over concerns that they would risk drawing attention away from mitigation efforts. This is no longer the case. There is an enormous amount of attention now being paid to adaptation as evidenced by a proliferation of web sites, scientific publications, books, and conferences that address the topic. At the same time, knowledge about impact assessments and adaptation, especially ecosystem‐based adaptation, is highly variable across The Nature Conservancy, and even in the best staffed programs, this is a difficult field with which to stay up‐to‐date. This primer is intended to provide all Conservancy staff with an introduction to climate impacts and ecosystem‐based adaptation, a review of basic definitions, updates on new conservation planning approaches that incorporate adaptation, tools and resources to assist in impact analyses and strategy identification, an overview of ecosystem‐based adaptation in the policy arena, and summary information on adaptation approaches.