Online Ecology Class and Course Summaries with Training Info

Ecology courses focus on the structures, functions and interactions of plant, animal and human life within an ecosystem. Ecology courses are offered in both completely online and hybrid formats. Some feature on-campus labs and/or field trips that require in-person participation.

Online Courses in Ecology

The following descriptions are for some of the popular ecology courses offered online.

  • Ecology Fundamentals Course: In this course, the new ecology student learns about various environments, the interaction of life in those environments and the evolutionary development that enabled life to thrive in each environment. Some courses at this introductory level also cover preservation and stewardship.
  • Ecology of World Plants Course: This type of course introduces the student to the adaptations that certain plants have made to be successful in particular environments throughout the world. Plant ecology courses also focus on the characteristics of a successful plant against competition by other plant species.
  • Management of Riparian Ecosystems Course: This upper-level course provides an overview of the diversity and structure of riparian systems. Restoration from previous misuse is explored. The student learns strategies for managing this ecosystem for a variety of activities while maintaining ecological balance.
  • Rangeland Preservation and Management Course: A course in range management is intended for the graduate student. Topics covered usually include the impact of grazing animals on natural resources and how best to protect natural habitats on public and private lands. The interaction of human beings with their physical environment is modeled with conservation as the goal.
  • Ecology of Wildfire Course: This course explores wildfire's role as a catalyst for biodiversity. Typical wildfire ecology courses are usually designed for those studying land management. Strategies for balancing human interest and land conservation are examined.
  • Environmental Agriculture Course: This course examines the relationship between organisms intended for agriculture/farming and their environments. Using sound scientific foundations, students learn how to successfully grow both livestock and crops that are most suited to and harmonious with their environments, while considering issues of ethics.
  • Algae Ecology Course: In this course, students learn about the biology of algae in different aquatic environments. They also study algae-related environmental issues like eutrophication and climate change.
  • Longleaf Pine Ecosystem Course: This course covers the history and ecology of longleaf pine ecosystems. The environmental, social and political aspects of restoration are also discussed.

Program Information

Online ecology studies are readily available at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and there are also singular classes open to professionals seeking to update their knowledge or gain specific expertise as well as anyone with an interest in ecology. Fundamentals courses are aimed at the undergraduate student, introducing concepts of ecosystems, energy flow and evolution. Specialized courses might focus on plants or riparian systems.

Ecosystem management courses may present an analysis of conservation theories and practices at the graduate level. Ecology courses are also offered online within related degree programs, such as land management or range management, covering topics like wildfire ecology. Ecology graduates enter careers as park rangers, environmental consultants, foresters, field ecologists and more.

Students who are interested in ecology can find general introductory courses online, as well as specialized classes that cover specific types of ecosystems and species.


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