In this course, featuring many researchers at the University of Zurich, you will learn about the amazing diversity of biological organisms in the world around us. You will discover the field of "biodiversity science", experience the countless forms that biodiversity takes, look at the values and importance of this diversity, understand the processes that create and maintain diversity, and hear about how biodiversity is distributed across the Earth. You will also experience how biodiversity is threatened, and what conservation, management, and individual actions can do for its protection. Having been equipped with such knowledge through the course, we encourage you to take action, however small, to positively influence the future of biodiversity, and thereby become a Biodiversity Ambassador.
This course is unique in several respects:
- The video lectures are presented by many of the biodiversity scientists at the University of Zurich, with each of them speaking about their own area of expertise, and the general area in which this resides.
- It covers topics ranging from quite conceptual to very applied, and from natural to social sciences.
- Video lectures vary in their depth and technical content, so there is something to challenge even more advanced learners.
- Assessments are designed to test core knowledge.
- There are two novel peer assignments, in which you will get feedback from peers about your submission. This will create for you a more interactive experience than otherwise.
- The final course module and its peer assignment encourages you to become a "Biodiversity Ambassador" -- someone who speaks out on behalf of biodiversity.
- We encourage and facilitate building of a community and to pair up with other participants to become active Biodiversity Ambassadors together.
TOPICS OF THE 8 MODULES OF THIS MOOC
Module 1: What is biodiversity? What facets of diversity can we observe?
Module 2: How does evolution work? How do you interpret evolutionary trees? How are species described and classified? Why are there sometimes different classifications for a group of organisms?
Module 3: Biodiversity in our diets. This includes an exercise in which you will look at the diversity in your diet and classify it.
Module 4: Ecological patterns and processes: how do you find out which species are where, what spatial patterns can be observed, remote sensing of functional diversity.
Module 5: Why is biodiversity important? Values of biodiversity. Description of the Ecosystem services framework.
Module 6: History of life on Earth. The current climate change ("global warming"). What is the "Great Acceleration"? Global change in general and how it affects amphibians and the Arctic. How do scientists make predictions about the future of species?
Module 7: Some ways in which humans are helping biodiversity: Conservation of nature in protected areas, politics, sustainable (green) business, conservation actions to save species and restore habitats, and researching biodiversity with the help of natural history collections and citizen science.
Module 8: What can you do to help biodiversity and mitigate climate change? How can you be a Biodiversity Ambassador?
Conçu conjointement par le think-tank Ecolo-Ethik et ESCP Europe, ce MOOC se propose de vous aider à dépasser les idées reçues sur l’écologie, dans le souci d’une démarche ouverte et multiple. A ce titre, de grands experts reconnus interviendront pour illustrer, approfondir et enrichir les différentes thématiques.
In this course you will learn how evolution works. You will develop an understanding of evolutionary processes and their formative power. You will see how evolution has shaped biodiversity, and continuously influences our daily life. Evolution impacts human endeavors as varied as medicine, agriculture, psychology, economy, and culture. It is the major unifying principle for biology and a fundamental natural law.
The course presents an overview of the theory behind biological diversity evolution and dynamics and of methods for diversity calculation and estimation. We will become familiar with the major alpha, beta, and gamma diversity estimation techniques.
Mountains 101 is a broad and integrated overview of the mountain world. This 12-lesson course covers an interdisciplinary field of study focusing on the physical, biological, and human dimensions of mountain places in Alberta, Canada, and around the world.
Learn the science and policies that drive sustainable development and how leaders can work to achieve UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. This course introduces the origin and key concepts of sustainability and how to apply those to sustainable development practice.
MOOCs – Massive Open Online Courses – enable students around the world to take university courses online. This guide, by the instructors of edX’s most successful MOOC in 2013-2014, Principles of Written English (based on both enrollments and rate of completion), advises current and future students how to get the most out of their online study, covering areas such as what types of courses are offered and who offers them, what resources students need, how to register, how to work effectively with other students, how to interact with professors and staff, and how to handle assignments. This second edition offers a new chapter on how to stay motivated. This book is suitable for both native and non-native speakers of English, and is applicable to MOOC classes on any subject (and indeed, for just about any type of online study).