Environmental Science Courses

Climate Change Mitigation in Developing Countries

Climate Change Mitigation in Developing Countries is a free online course offered by the University of Cape Town in South Africa. The class can be beneficial for climate change practitioners, social services providers who deal with immigration and migration and anyone with a general interest in the subject. There are no prerequisites or work experience requirements for the class; however, having some previous knowledge of climate change will be beneficial for students.

Taught entirely online, Climate Change Mitigation in Developing Countries is self-paced and can be completed according to a schedule that fits each student’s needs. The entire class requires roughly 19 hours of study time to complete. As a guideline, the instructor recommends completing the course over a six-week period and investing roughly one to three hours to the coursework weekly. Students who require a certificate of completion can receive one by paying a fee. Financial aid is available for those with demonstrated need.

Climate Change Mitigation in Developing Countries is presented through a series of video modules. Readings and quizzes accompany each module and help to deepen students’ understanding of the course material while assessing how well they have mastered key concepts. The class begins with Complexity of Climate Change Mitigation, where students learn how climate change and development are interrelated. During the second unit, Mandating and Co-production of Knowledge, students will learn how interventions to address climate change can be introduced in developing areas. The third module, Mitigation Action Research and Modelling, reviews how migration patterns are modeled and predicted. With the fourth and fifth modules, Minding the Mitigation Gap and Responding to Mitigation Challenges, students will learn how governments can take steps to address climate change when first-line interventions prove unsuccessful. Finally, Bridges to Domestic and International Policy introduces how public policy relates to migration and climate change.

Act on Climate: Steps to Individual, Community, and Political Action

Act on Climate: Steps to Individual, Community, and Political Action is a free online public policy course offered by the University of Michigan in the United States. The entry-level course is intended for anyone with an interest in what steps can be taken to address the climate crisis. There are no work experience or educational prerequisites for enrollment.

Broken down into seven modules, Act on Climate: Steps to Individual, Community, and Political Action lasts for seven weeks. Students should expect to spend about two to four hours each week watching the video lectures, participating in online discussions and completing supplemental readings and assignments. Those who receive passing grades on all coursework will successfully complete the course. A certificate of completion is available for a fee.

The first modules of Act on Climate: Steps to Individual, Community, and Political Action review ways that individuals and communities impact the climate by discussing food, energy and transformation. Then the course moves onto the Built Environment module, which discusses urban design theories that seek to address climate change. At the end of the course, each student will develop their own Climate Action Plan, outlining concrete individual and community actions that they can take to positively impact the planet.

Global Warming I: The Science and Modeling of Climate Change

Global Warming I: The Science and Modeling of Climate Change is an introductory course offered through the Department of Geophysical Sciences at the University of Chicago in the United States. The 12-week course teaches students how modeling and statistical software can be used to observe, monitor and predict climate change. Every week, students are given a number of practical exercises to complete and a quiz to take. Topics covered in the course include greenhouse gases, the structure of the atmosphere, weather, feedbacks, the carbon cycle, human impact on the climate and climate change mitigation.

The Changing Arctic

The Changing Arctic is an online course offered by the Department of Botany at National Research Tomsk State University in Russia. The 5-week course is taught in English and gives students insight into how the Arctic is changing due to climate change and what impact these changes will have on the rest of the world. Topics covered include what is the arctic?, changing landforms, permafrost and its effects, snow and ice, land-atmosphere linkages, living in cold lands, living in cold waters and the global community and the arctic. Each week, students are given one or two writing assignments to complete after watching the course videos.

Our Earth: Its Climate, History, and Processes

Our Earth: Its Climate, History, and Processes is an online course offered by the School of Earth, Atmospheric & Environmental Sciences at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom. An entry-level course taught in English with Chinese subtitles, the class lasts for five weeks and is broken into five units: Building Blocks of Earth’s Climate System, Formation, Evolution, and Processes of the Solid Earth; Water in Earth’s Climate System: Oceans, Atmosphere, and Cryosphere; Life, and its Effect on Earth’s Climate System and Build Your Own Earth and Conclusion. Each week, students are given an assessment to complete after finishing the video lectures and assigned readings.

Our Earth’s Future

Our Earth’s Future is an online course offered by the American Museum of Natural History in the United States. Taught in English over 5 weeks, the course examines what is in store for the Earth and proceeds through five units: Climate Change Is Happening: See It; It All Comes Down to the Ocean; Climate Change is Happening: Model It; Living with Climate Change and Mitigate, Adapt, or Suffer? The course material is presented in the form of videos and readings, and students are given one graded assignment to complete each week. Students should expect to spend 1 to 3 hours on the coursework on a weekly basis.

Modeling Climate Change

Modeling Climate Change is an online course offered by the University of Chicago in the United States. The purpose of the course is to help students with no previous experience in climate change modeling learn the basic principles of the science and then progress into more advanced applications. Course content draws from physics, biology, earth science, atmospheric science, chemistry and economics. All instruction is given in English.

To be successful in Modeling Climate Change, students will need to have some background in climate change science, as the class assumes that participants have an intermediate level amount of knowledge about the class. The course lasts for 8 weeks and requires 3 to 5 hours of study per week for successful completion. There is no fee to register for the course or to complete any of the instructional modules; however, students who require a verified certificate of completion will need to pay a fee to cover the cost of printing and shipping the certificate.

Climate Change: The Science

Climate Change: The Science is an online course offered by the University of British Columbia in Canada. This introductory course taught in English provides a broad overview of the science behind climate change. At the end of the course, students will be able to confidently explain the scientific proof that climate change is real and learn how to independently evaluate studies and scientific evidence that seeks to prove and disprove climate change.

To complete all of the assignments and view the course videos for Climate Change: The Science, students will need to spend approximately 2 to 5 hours per week studying. The class lasts for seven weeks and includes a variety of assignments and activities to deepen students’ understanding of the course material. There is no fee to sign up for or take the course, and students do not require any previous knowledge or experience in climate change to be successful in the class. Students who require a verified certificate of completion will be assessed an administrative fee to cover costs.

Introduction to Water and Climate

Introduction to Water and Climate is an online course offered by the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. The purpose of the course is to teach students how climate change and the availability of water pose challenges for populations around the world. Students will learn about the global water cycle and how mankind has adapted to changes in water availability and climate conditions over the last 50 years. In addition, students will learn about the driving forces behind climate change and discover how engineering is helping to improve environmental protection.

Taught through a series of videos and readings in English, Introduction to Water and Climate lasts for 7 weeks. This intensive course requires approximately six to eight hours of study per week. Although the class is an introduction to the topic, students will need some previous knowledge of environmental studies to be successful in this intermediate-level course. The class is offered for free. Those who need a verified certificate of completion for their records will need to pay an administrative fee.