- Course type: Self-paced
- Available Lessons: 183
- Average Lesson Length: 8 min
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Watch a preview:chapter 1 / lesson 1What is Environmental Science? - Definition and Scope of the Field
Course SummaryIf you'd like to learn more about environmental science, take this fun course and earn an Introduction to Environmental Science certificate. Your certificate can be used to fulfill continuing education requirements or demonstrate our skills and knowledge to potential employers.
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Course Practice TestCheck your knowledge of this course with a 50-question practice test.
- Comprehensive test covering all topics
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About This Course
Watch short and fun video lessons that bring essential science concepts to life as you earn an Environmental Science Certificate in about two weeks. The engaging lessons in this course teach you about evolving ecosystems, geological and biological science, land resources and renewable resources. Find out about human impacts on the environment and examine concepts like environmental sustainability and environmental ethics.
Who's This For?
Outdoor enthusiasts, educators, agribusiness professionals, lobbyists and anyone concerned with environmental issues will find this course to be useful.
No prerequisites are needed for this course.
Benefits of the Certificate
This course can give you mastery of environmental topics that could be useful in both your professional and personal life. For example, you can:
- Incorporate the knowledge you acquire in this course into your social interactions
- Use it to select volunteer activities related to this field
- Add this certificate to your online profile or resume to demonstrate your skills in environmental science
- Show potential and current employers your desire to continue your education throughout your career
Environmental Science Program Breakdown
Introduction to Environmental Science
Examine major environmental science movements, and distinguish between preservation and conservation. Outline the steps for scientific evaluation of environmental problems, and learn how the scientific method is used to address these problems.
Discuss ecosystems, habitats and ecological niches then explain the connection between biodiversity and ecosystem stability. Describe the steps in the nitrogen and carbon cycles and learn about food chains, energy flow, greenhouse gases and global warming.
Interaction Among Organisms in the Ecosystem
Explore interspecific competition, predator/prey interactions and symbiotic relationships. Take a look at population density, carrying capacity, introduced and invasive species, and conservation biology.
Assess various biomes and their primary productivity. Discuss ecological succession, including succession in freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems. Analyze the Theory of Evolution, natural selection and adaptation.
Atmospheric Science and the Environment
Understand the internal and external forces that shape Earth's surface and how solar energy affects the earth's temperature. Look at factors that determine a region's climate and describe the five main greenhouse gases. Discuss the ozone layer, air pollution and global climate change.
Identify how glaciers are formed and what effects groundwater has on land surfaces. Explore the rock cycle, continental drift theory and causes for tectonic plate movement. Discuss mineral consumption and extraction, soil composition and soil conservation.
Assess factors that determine species richness and examine biological diversity of oceans, forests and deserts. Describe extinction, habitat destruction, invasive species and over-exploitation. Define conservation biology, ecology restoration and the Endangered Species Act.
Pollution of Freshwater Resources
Explore the water cycle, cycles of matter, water properties and water resource issues. Discuss the effects of aquifer depletion on water resources and identify pros and cons for dams and reservoirs. Describe types of water pollution, treatment methods and the Clean Water Act.
Compare private and federal land ownership and identify examples of sustainable forest management. Examine uses for rangelands and how they're protected then discuss national parks, wilderness areas and differing views on management of federal public lands.
Population and the Environment
Explain factors that affect human population size and summarize the history of population growth. Discuss economic inequality, demographic transition and population distribution. Distinguish between overpopulation and overconsumption.
Food and Agricultural Resources
Differentiate between over-nutrition and under-nutrition, define food insecurity and examine industrialized and subsistence agriculture. Discuss the benefits of genetic engineering and benefits and problems associated with pesticides.
Solid and Hazardous Waste
Discuss types of solid waste and methods for reducing waste. Identify two types of hazardous waste and discuss legislation associated with hazardous waste.
Human Impact on the Environment
Describe deforestation and IPAT and impacts of the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions on the environment. List examples of industrial ecology and discuss pollution and human causes of eutrophication.
Assess pros and cons of solar panels, biomass, wind energy, hydropower and geothermal energy. Distinguish between energy conservation and energy efficiency.
Compare energy consumption in developed and developing countries. Assess environmental problems associated with coal mining and oil and gas use. Discuss hydraulic fracturing and risks of using nuclear energy.
Discuss applications for environmental sustainability and identify human behaviors that threaten it. Describe sustainable development and sustainable consumption.
Environmental Risk Analysis
Identify four types of environmental health and explore threats against it. Discuss disease-causing agents, environmental toxicants and emerging diseases. Describe how risk assessment is used to manage health threats.
Ethical and Political Processes of the Environment
Assess environmental world views and what impact human values and ethics have on solving environmental problems. Explore environmental justice and legislation related to the environment along with future concerns.
Earning College Credit
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