Cal-Adapt is California’s official go-to source for downscaled climate data. Most people interact with Cal-Adapt through the website, but Cal-Adapt also features an API which can be used to query and download data through programming languages.
The workshop included hands-on exercises using R Notebooks, which require some very basic experience with R. Participants (especially beginners) were encouraged to use RStudio Cloud (free account is fine), which runs RStudio in a browser. A RStudio Cloud project with everything you need was shared before the workshop. Alternately, participants had the option to complete the exercises using RStudio Desktop (setup instructions to be provided). Familiarity with climate data and Cal-Adapt is helpful but not required.