Anthropocene Learning

This page features short online courses that might be of interest to you and your networks (also, occasionally, courses that combine online with place-based learning). Many are free, others relatively low cost. If you know of courses that are open to anyone with an interest in environmental or climate change or the Anthropocene, use the Contact Form to let us know.

Making Sense of Climate Science Denial

This free online course from the University of Queensland explores why there is controversy and debate about climate change.

“Learn to make sense of the science and to respond to climate change denial. In public discussions, climate change is a highly controversial topic. However, in the scientific community, there is little controversy with 97% of climate scientists concluding humans are causing global warming. Why the gap between the public and scientists? What are the psychological and social drivers of the rejection of the scientific consensus? How has climate denial influenced public perceptions and attitudes towards climate change?” The course began on 17th April but is still open to enroll.

FutureLearn Nature & Environment courses

There are several different free online courses running at any time of the year. Head over to FutureLearn and browse the Nature & Environment category and others that grab your fancy. Courses coming up in June, July & August 2018 include:

Climate Change: the Science (University of Exeter): starting 4th June, running for 4 weeks. Covers: Feedback; Evidence; Impacts; Future. 

Come Rain or Shine: Understanding the Weather (Reading University): starting 18th June, running for 3 weeks. Covers: Introduction to high and low pressure systems; Weather and climate differences; Depressions and anticyclones; Where does weather come from and why does it rain? Air masses and types of rain; Measuring the weather; Global controls on weather; Global atmospheric circulation; Other weather systems: Monsoons, Tropical cyclones and El Niño/La Niña.

Unleash Your Potential: Sustainable Futures (University of Bristol): starting 25th June, running for 4 weeks. Covers: Happiness and purpose; Responsibility, purpose and foresight; How different individuals and organisations take different roles; Making a difference at the local and regional level; Making a difference at the global level; Understanding the challenges and obstacles those ‘making a difference’ face; Approaches to personal self reflection on the path to ‘make a difference.’

Climate Change: Solutions (University of Exeter): starting 2nd July, running for 4 weeks. Covers: Climate action; Life on land; Life beneath water; Sustainable cities and communities. 

Soils: Introducing the World Beneath Our Feet (Lancaster University): starting 2nd July, running for 4 weeks. Covers: What is soil made of? Why are soil microbes so important? How does the rise and fall of civilisations depend on soils? How is climate change impacting on soils?

Climate Change: Tipping Points and Society (University of Exeter): starting 30th July, running for 2 weeks. Covers: Tipping points in the natural world; Tipping points in the human world.

Learn About Weather (University of Exeter): starting 6th August, running for 4 weeks. Covers: Large-scale processes that lead to our weather; Air masses and their characteristics; How to interpret a weather (synoptic) chart; Clouds and what they can indicate; Weather and climate for gardeners; Weather for photographers; Hazardous weather for walkers. 

Valuing Nature: Should We Put a Price on Ecosystems? (University of Exeter): starting 13th August, running for 2 weeks. Covers: Putting a monetary value on nature; Ecosystem services in action. 

The Earth in My Pocket: an Introduction to Geology (Open University): starting 13th August, running for 4 weeks. Covers: Identifying igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks; The rock cycle; Plate tectonics; Sources of metals and some of their uses in everyday life; The origins, exploration and uses of oil; Environmental impacts of using the Earth’s resources; Some methods of mitigating environmental issues.

The Stories We Live By

This free online course from Arran Stibbe, Reader in Ecological Linguistics at the University of Gloucestershire, and a team of volunteers from the International Ecolinguistics Association explores the rich field of ecolinguistics.

The social and ecological issues that humanity currently faces are so severe that they call into question the fundamental stories that societies are based on. Ecolinguistics provides tools for revealing the stories we live by, questioning them from an ecological perspective, and contributing to the search for new stories. The course examines a wide range of texts from advertisements, lifestyle magazines and economics textbooks to surfing guides, Native American sayings and Japanese animation. In each case, the question is whether the stories that underlie texts encourage us to care about people and the ecosystems that life depends on.

You can work through the nine parts of the course at your own pace, and register any time to access discussion groups, tuition, and additional materials and apply for the certificate.