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This page enlists some free educational online courses that will assist laymen on their journey towards becoming more capable citizen scientists and conservationists. This list is far from complete and new courses from different online initiatives will be added when discovered. If you know about a good online course that’s not on this list, that would be useful as an educational tool from the point of view of education, please tell us about it. Contact us at

 

 

Animal Behaviour -

By The University of Melbourne

Instructors - Raoul Mulder, Mark Elgar

About the Course - Students will learn about how scientists study animal behaviour, and how behaviour is shaped by evolutionary forces of natural and sexual selection. The course uses natural history videos to help explain complex mechanisms underlying adaptation in the animal kingdom.

 

Animal Behaviour and Welfare

By The University of Edinburgh

Instructors - Natalie Waran, Fritha Langford, Heather J Bacon

About the Course - Students will learn about animal welfare and why it matters, and develop an understanding of some of the main welfare issues animals have to cope with. The course also helps students develop an insight into the emotions of dogs, cats, farmed animals, and captive wildlife.

 

Biology (General)

By Khan Academy

About the Course - The course covers topics seen in a first year college or high school biology course such as evolution and natural selection, cells and cell division, heredity and genetics, the tree of life, cellular respiration, photosynthesis, human biology, and immunology.

 

Critical Thinking in Global Challenges Today

By The University of Edinburgh

Instructors - Mayank Dutia and Celine Caquineau

About the Course - This course gives students the opportunity to practically develop and enhance their critical thinking skills in the context of important global challenges such as the disease epidemics, problems with energy, environment and climate as well as other important issues.

 

Climate Change in Four Dimensions

By The University of California, Sandiego

Instructors - Charles Kennel, Naomi Oreskes, Veerbhadran Ramanathan, Richard Somerville, David G. Victor

About the Course - Students will learn about climate science from a variety of perspectives at the intersection of the natural sciences, technology, social sciences and humanities. Students will be taught the scientific basis for human induced climate change, uncertainties and controversies in climate science, the assessment of climate impacts and adaptive management, the mitigation of emissions, the design of national policy instruments, and much more.

 

Global Warming: The Science of Climate Change 

By The University of Chicago

Instructor - David Archer

About the Course - The course will teach students about climate change and how simple climate models are designed using algebra to better understand the effects of factors such as greenhouse gases, and carbon from fossil fuels.

 

How Green is that Product? An Introduction to Life Cycle Environment Assessment

By Northwestern University

Instructors - Eric Masanet

About the Course - The course deals with life cycle assessment, a fundamental method for assessing the environmental impacts of products and technologies from a systems perspective that follows them from their creation to their end. This is an essential tool for anyone who performs environmental analysis.

 

How to Change the World

By Wesleyan University

Instructor - Michael S. Roth

About the Course- The course examines the concept of “social goods” and how they can be used to create networks of progressive change and how they can be applied to issues such as Climate Change, Sustainability, Education and Activism, Philanthropy, Social Change etc.

 

Intro to Statistics : Making Decisions Based on Data

By Stanford University

Instructor - Sebastian Thrun

About the Course - The course will teach students about statistical concepts such as visualizing data, probability, estimation, outliers and normal distribution, statistical inference and regression.

 

Introduction to Sustainability

By The University of Illinois

Instructor - Jonathan Tomkin

About the Course- The course includes the study of sustainability from an academic perspective, by focusing on key areas of sustainability theory and practice, including energy, environmental economics, policy, ethics, history, ecosystems, water, population and global change.

 

Marine Megafauna- An Introduction to Marine Science and Conservation

By Duke University

Instructor - David. W. Johnston

About the Course- The course uses real case studies of charismatic large animals in the oceans to teach students about life in the ocean, how ocean ecosystems function, how scientists study the ocean and the challenges of sustaining healthy oceans for the future. The course will also teach students to read and use real scientific papers from the open access journal PLOS ONE and to visualize real datasets produced by scientists in software such as Google Earth.

 

Moralities of Everyday Life

By Yale University

Instructor - Paul Bloom

About the Course- The course examines morality from the point of view of cognitive science, neuroscience, economics, and philosophy, using examples and case studies from research laboratories, to everyday society.

 

Statistics : The Science of Decisions

By San Jose State University

Instructors - Sean Laraway, and Ronald Rogers

About the Course - Students will learn about concepts such as introductory statistical methods, describing data, normal distribution analysis, foundations of inferential statistics, comparing means, correlation, regression and non parametric tests.

 

Sustainability in Practice

By The University of Pennsylvania

Instructors - Leslie Billhymer and Mark Alan Hughes

About the Course - Students will gain an understanding of sustainability through the point of view of a systems theory approach to connections and consequences. The course has a diverse portfolio of problems, solutions, and challenges with which the ideas presented will be explored.

 

Think Again: How to Reason and Argue

By Duke University

Instructors - Walter Sinott Armstrong and Ram Neta

About the Course - The course teaches students vital rules about how to think about a topic, how to identify, analyze and evaluate arguments by other people, and how to construct arguments of your own to help in decision making or for other purposes.

 

Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4°C Warmer Must be Avoided

By the World Bank

Instructors - Kanta Kumari Rigaud and Pablo Benitez

About the Course - This course will help students gain an understanding of the likely impacts of an increase in global mean temperature by 4°C and discusses the need for decision makers and communities to consider adaptation choices and signaling the need for urgent mitigative action.

 

What a Plant Knows (and other things you didn’t know about plants)

By Tel Aviv University

Instructor - Daniel Chamovitz and Aviva Katz

About the Course - This course introduces students to basic plant biology by exploring plant senses, biological research and the scientific method through an understanding of both classical and modern experiments in plant biology.

 

Writing in the Sciences

By Stanford University

Instructor - Kristin Sainani

About the Course - The course will train students to become more effective, efficient, at scientific writing by reviewing the principles of hands on writing, examples of good and bad writing, as well as examining issues specific to scientific writing such as authorship, peer review, the format of an original manuscript, and communicating science for a lay audience.

 

 

References/List of Websites with good free educational courses -

Coursera - https://www.coursera.org

Udacity - https://www.udacity.com

Khan Academy - https://www.khanacademy.org