Ohio State Offers 3 New Free Online Courses on Environmental Science

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Anyone with access to the Internet, any time, anywhere, can take a series of free online introductory courses in environmental science at The Ohio State University.

Three new Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are available for anyone interested in learning more about Earth’s environment and sustainability. The courses are part of the Introduction to Environmental Science series offered by the Canvas Network.

The first course in the series, Earth’s Environment: Soil, Water, and Air, introduces students to environmental science, environmental literacy and the scientific process.

The series’ second course, Energy and Earth: Fossil Fuels, Alternative, and Renewable Energy, explores human energy production and use and their impact on the environment, human health and Earth’s ecosystems.

The third course, Life on Earth: Biomes, Climates, Ecology, and Evolution, looks at the vast diversity of life on Earth.

Brian Lower, associate professor in Ohio State’s School of Environment and Natural Resources (SENR), leads the courses’ team of instructors. SENR is part of the university’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

The new series is being made available to students across the globe at no charge through Canvas, which, according to its website, works “to promote openness and innovation in education.” It does that by assimilating courses from colleges, universities and organizations to create open-access educational experiences.

“These courses have the potential to reach a variety of learners, and we hope that the material helps students reach their educational or career goals,” Lower said.

Designers from Ohio State’s Office of Distance Education and eLearning (ODEE) helped develop the new series. ODEE has collaborated with SENR over the past three years to develop several online courses for Ohio State undergraduate students, including Sustainability Metrics; Introduction to Rural Sociology; Introduction to Environmental Science; and Introduction to Forestry, Fisheries and Wildlife.

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