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?
Learn about novel sensing tools that make use of nanotechnology to screen, detect and monitor various events in personal or professional life. Together, we will lay the groundwork for infinite innovative applications, starting from diagnosis and treatments of diseases, continuing with quality control of goods and environmental aspects, and ending with monitoring security issues.
How did life emerge on Earth? How have life and Earth co-evolved through geological time? Is life elsewhere in the universe? Take a look through the 4-billion-year history of life on Earth through the lens of the modern Tree of Life.
This course will introduce the student to contemporary Systems Biology focused on mammalian cells, their constituents and their functions. Biology is moving from molecular to modular. As our knowledge of our genome and gene expression deepens and we develop lists of molecules (proteins, lipids, ions) involved in cellular processes, we need to understand how these molecules interact with each other to form modules that act as discrete functional systems. These systems underlie core subcellular processes such as signal transduction, transcription, motility and electrical excitability. In turn these processes come together to exhibit cellular behaviors such as secretion, proliferation and action potentials.
Our Earth’s Future is about the science of climate change and how to talk about it. You will learn from scientists in the fields of climatology, oceanography, Earth science, and anthropology who study how climate change is affecting people, populations, and ways of life. Explore the multiple lines of evidence for the human-induced climate change that is happening today, and consider what that means for the future of our planet. At the end of this course you will be able to understand key scientific principles, identify and address misconceptions, and contribute confidently to conversations about climate change.
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.
This class provides a series of Python programming exercises intended to explore the use of numerical modeling in the Earth system and climate sciences. The scientific background for these models is presented in a companion class, Global Warming I: The Science and Modeling of Climate Change. This class assumes that you are new to Python programming (and this is indeed a great way to learn Python!), but that you will be able to pick up an elementary knowledge of Python syntax from another class or from on-line tutorials.
Nanotechnology and nanosensors are broad, interdisciplinary areas that encompass (bio)chemistry, physics, biology, materials science, electrical engineering and more. The present course will provide a survey on some of the fundamental principles behind nanotechnology and nanomaterials and their vital role in novel sensing properties and applications. The course will discuss interesting interdisciplinary scientific and engineering knowledge at the nanoscale to understand fundamental physical differences at the nanosensors.
Hello everyone! Welcome to advanced neurobiology! Neuroscience is a wonderful branch of science on how our brain perceives the external world, how our brain thinks, how our brain responds to the outside of the world, and how during disease or aging the neuronal connections deteriorate. We’re trying to understand the molecular, cellular nature and the circuitry arrangement of how nervous system works.
An introduction to dynamical modeling techniques used in contemporary Systems Biology research. We take a case-based approach to teach contemporary mathematical modeling techniques. The course is appropriate for advanced undergraduates and beginning graduate students. Lectures provide biological background and describe the development of both classical mathematical models and more recent representations of biological processes. The course will be useful for students who plan to use experimental techniques as their approach in the laboratory and employ computational modeling as a tool to draw deeper understanding of experiments.
Are you concerned about climate change? Would you like to learn how to address and respond to this challenge? If so, this course is for you. Act on Climate: Steps to Individual, Community, and Political Action is intended to help learners understand, address and respond to climate change as individuals and in partnership with their communities and political leaders.
L'ambition du cours est de confronter ses participants aux enjeux techniques, économiques, sociaux et environnementaux du XXIe siècle. Ces enjeux sont par nature très fortement couplés et complexes. Ils exigent une approche interdisciplinaire, afin d’adopter un vrai questionnement, au delà des préjugés et des idées reçues.
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).