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This course is provided by the Northwestern University through Coursera for FREE. 

Duration: 9 weeks, 30 March to 1 June 2015

Course Objective

Paper or plastic? Local or imported food? Which is better for the environment? To answer these questions, one must take a holistic systems view using a quantitative approach known as life cycle assessment. 

Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a fundamental method for assessing the environmental impacts of products and technologies from a "cradle to grave" systems perspective. It is an essential tool for anyone who performs environmental analyses or uses the results of such analyses for decision making.  

The course will provide an introduction to LCA methods and applications. Students taking this course will emerge with a solid understanding of why an LCA systems perspective is important, basic skills for sound application of the LCA method and proper interpretation of its results, and an appreciation for the strengths and limitations of LCA in practice. The course will cover the four major steps in LCA: (1) goal and scope definition; (2) life-cycle inventory compilation; (3) life-cycle impact assessment; and (4) interpretation and management. The course will include a hands-on modeling project, which the students will perform in parallel to the lectures to reinforce learning objectives and to gain experience in LCA application. 

This course is provided by University of Queensland through eDx for FREE. 

Duration: 7 weeks, starting in April 2015

Course Objective

In public discussions, climate change is a highly controversial topic. However, in the scientific community, there is little controversy with 97% of climate scientists concluding humans are causing global warming.

  • Why the gap between the public and scientists?
  • What are the psychological and social drivers of the rejection of the scientific consensus?
  • How has climate denial influenced public perceptions and attitudes towards climate change?

This course examines the science of climate science denial.

We will look at the most common climate myths from “global warming stopped in 1998” to “global warming is caused by the sun” to “climate impacts are nothing to worry about.”

We’ll find out what lessons are to be learnt from past climate change as well as better understand how climate models predict future climate impacts. You’ll learn both the science of climate change and the techniques used to distort the science.

With every myth we debunk, you’ll learn the critical thinking needed to identify the fallacies associated with the myth. Finally, armed with all this knowledge, you’ll learn the psychology of misinformation. This will equip you to effectively respond to climate misinformation and debunk myths.

This isn’t just a climate MOOC; it’s a MOOC about how people think about climate change.

This course is provided by Rice University through eDx for FREE. 

Duration: 6 weeks, starting on 12 January 2015

Course Objective

Preparing for the AP Environmental Science exam requires a deep understanding of many different topics in environmental science as well as an understanding of the AP exam and the types of questions it asks. This course is Part 2 of our XSeries: Preparing for the AP* Environmental Science Exam and it is designed to prepare you for the AP exam. 
 
In Part 2, you will be learning about the populations that inhabit Earth.  You will learn about population dynamics, the human population and sustainability. You will also examine land and water use.  
 
As you work through this course, you will find lecture videos taught by expert AP Environmental Science teachers, practice multiple choice questions and free response questions that are similar to what you will encounter on the AP exam and tutorial videos that show you step-by-step how to solve problems.  By the end of the series, you should be ready to take on the AP exam!

This course is provided by Rice University through eDx for FREE.

Duration: 6 weeks, starting on 4 November 2014

Course Objective

Preparing for the AP Environmental Science exam requires a deep understanding of many different topics in environmental science as well as an understanding of the AP exam and the types of questions it asks. This course is Part 1 of our XSeries: Preparing for the AP* Environmental Science Exam and it is designed to prepare you for the AP exam. 
 
In Part 1, you will be learning about the living world. You will examine environmental issues, look at the history of environmental problems, discuss evolution and its link to biodiversity, climates and biomes, ecosystems and the life found there. 
 
As you work through this course, you will find lecture videos taught by expert AP Environmental Science teachers, practice multiple choice questions and free response questions that are similar to what you will encounter on the AP exam and tutorial videos that show you step-by-step how to solve problems.  By the end of the course, you should be ready to take on the AP exam!

This course is provided by Rice University through eDx for FREE.

Duration: 6 weeks, starting on 3 March 2015

Course Objective

Preparing for the AP Environmental Science exam requires a deep understanding of many different topics in environmental science as well as an understanding of the AP exam and the types of questions it asks. This course is Part 3 of our XSeries: Preparing for the AP* Environmental Science Exam and it is designed to prepare you for the AP exam. 
 
In Part 3, you will be learning about the pollution and Earth’s resources.  You will take a look at the types of pollution Earth is facing, the state of the resources and how these things affect the Earth and the human population.
 
As you work through this course, you will find lecture videos taught by expert AP Environmental Science teachers, practice multiple choice questions and free response questions that are similar to what you will encounter on the AP exam and tutorial videos that show you step-by-step how to solve problems.  By the end of the course, you should be ready to take on the AP exam!

This online course is provided by UNEP through InforMEA for FREE. 

Duration: Anytime, unlimited access.

Course Objective

This course provides an overview of the international legal framework in the fight against ozone depletion. First, it describes the threats posed to the ozone layer by the use of ozone-depleting substances and analyzes the main obligations under the Vienna Convention and the Montreal Protocol.

A brief analysis of main achievements and challenges illustrates the success in reducing the Ozone layer and the need to continue working globally to find substitutes with low global warming potential to ozone-depleting substances.

The course is laid out in 5 lessons, comprising books, videos and other external resources. Once you complete the course, you may take a quiz.

Learning Objectives 

At the end of this course, you will be able to: 

1) Describe the process that depletes the ozone layer and its threats to humankind and the environment

2) Recognize key milestone of the international legal framework regarding ozone depletion

3) Identify the main obligations and mechanism of the Vienna Convention and the Montreal Protocol

4) Recall the main achievements and challenges in the fight against ozone depletion.

This online course is provided by UNEP through InforMEA for FREE. 

Duration: Anytime, unlimited access.

Course Objective

This course on the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, which is the only UN-based intergovernmental organization established for the conservation and management of terrestrial, aquatic and avian migratory species throughout their range, is comprised of 6 units. Each unit includes training materials with links to InforMEA, relevant legal documents, websites, quizzes, additional materials and videos. At the end of the course, learners will be able to obtain a certificate of completion.

Its overall objective is to strengthen national institutions in order to ultimately contribute to facilitating conservation efforts both nationally and worldwide and the specific purpose is to guide and support the National Focal Points (NFPs) of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) and its instruments in implementing the Convention. This Course is targeted to government officials charged with the responsibility for implementing CMS and its family of instruments - both those of many years´ experience and those recently appointed.

This course has been developed under the InforMEA UNEP initiative based on the CMS/AEWA Manual for the National Focal Points for CMS and its instruments. Recommended citation: "Manual for the National Focal Points for CMS and its Instruments. 2013. UNEP/CMS Secretariat and UNEP/AEWA Secretariat, Bonn, Germany". This publication was kindly funded by the European Commission through the ENRTP* Strategic Cooperation Agreement with UNEP. *Thematic Programme for Environment and Sustainable Management of Natural Resources including Energy.

This online course is provided by UNEP through InforMEA for FREE. 

Duration: Anytime, unlimited access. 

Course Objective

The Earth's biological resources are vital to humanity's economic and social development. As a result, there is a growing recognition that biological diversity is a global asset of tremendous value to present and future generations. At the same time, the threat to species and ecosystems has never been so great as it is today. Species extinction caused by human activities continues at an alarming rate.

This course introduces you to the Convention on Biological Diversity, which is the legally binding framework for the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources.

At the end of the this course, you will be able to: 

  1. Explain the importance of biological diversity for humankind.
  2. Describe the core components and mechanisms established by the Convention. 

The course is comprised of 8 short units. Each unit includes a book with links to the InforMEA glossary and relevant documents and websites, additional materials and videos. Take the quizzes to test your knowledge after units 3, 6 and 8.

It will take you 2 and a half hours approximately to complete the course, excluding additional materials. You can manage your time as you wish; take a few units and retake the course whenever it is more convenient for you. After completing all the units and passing the quizzes with an 80% of correct responses, you will receive a certificate of completion. 

This online course is provided by UNEP through InforMEA for FREE.

Duration: Anytime, unlimited access. 

Course Objective

No country is self-sufficient in plant genetic resources; all depend on genetic diversity in crops from other countries and regions. International cooperation and open exchange of genetic resources are therefore essential for food security. 

This course introduces you to the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, the legally binding framework for the conservation and sustainable use of all plant genetic resources for food and agriculture. 

At the end on the course, you will be able to: 

  1. Explain the relationship between crop diversity and food security
  2. Describe the core components and mechanisms of the Treaty

The course is comprised of 5 short units, which include a book with links to the relevant terms of the InforMEA glossary, videos and additional reading materials. At the end of the course, you may take a quiz to test your knowledge.

It will take you around 2 hours to complete the course, excluding additional training materials. At the end of the course, you can obtain a certificate if you pass the quiz (80% of correct responses).

This online course is provided by UNEP through InforMEA for FREE. 

Duration: Anytime, unlimited access.

Course objective

Annually, international wildlife trade is diverse, ranging from live animals and plants to a vast array of wildlife products derived from them, including food products, exotic leather goods, wooden musical instruments, timber, tourist curios and medicines. Levels of exploitation of some animal and plant species are high and the trade in them, together with other factors, such as habitat loss, is capable of heavily depleting their populations and even bringing some species close to extinction. Many wildlife species in trade are not endangered, but the existence of an agreement to ensure the sustainability of the trade is important in order to safeguard these resources for the future.

This course introduces you to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which is an international agreement to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.

At the end of the this course, you will be able to:

1. Describe the core components and mechanisms established by the Convention

The course is comprised of 2 units. Each unit includes a lesson from CITES Virtual College and additional reading materials. Take the quiz to test your knowledge at the end of the course.

It will take you one hour approximately to complete the course, excluding additional materials. You can manage your time as you wish and retake the course whenever it is more convenient for you. After completing all the units and passing the quiz with an 80% of correct responses, you will receive a certificate of completion.

This course is provided by UNITAR for FREE. 

Duration: 03 Feb - 19 Dec 2014

Course Objective

With a view to avoid and minimize the environmental impacts of peacekeeping missions, DPKO and the Department of Field Support (DFS) adopted an Environmental Policy for UN Field Missions in June 2009.  Furthermore, Global Field Support Strategy was approved by Member States in 2010. While the main aim of this five year strategy is to improve operational efficiency and transform service delivery, one of its secondary aims is to reduce the in-country environmental impact of peacekeeping and special political missions.

However, despite these positive developments, recent policy analysis report, titled Greening the Blue Helmets: Environment, Natural Resources and UN Peacekeeping Operations, prepared by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) in close collaboration with DPKO and DFS, has shown that while the new policy had catalysed positive change in some peacekeeping missions – including testing and field application of resource-efficient practices, technologies and behaviours – the adoption of the policy in the field has to date been limited and ad hoc. This report further identifies opportunities for peacekeeping operations to capitalize on natural resources to contribute to stability and early peacebuilding outcomes, including employment, livelihoods, economic recovery and reconciliation.

This training course focuses on the environment and natural resource management in a post-conflict context. It is a general awareness training that targets all military, civilian and police personnel and should be completed either pre-deployment or once in-mission. Key areas of learning include minimizing the environmental impact of peacekeeping missions, improving operational efficiency from an environmental perspective and addressing environmental and natural resource challenges at field level.

This online course is offered by University of North Carolina through Coursera for FREE. 

Duration: January 12 to February 27, 2015

Course Objective

Environmental law may be the one institution standing between us and planetary exhaustion. It is also an institution that needs to be reconciled with human liberty and economic aspirations. This course considers these issues and provides a tour though existing legal regimes governing pollution, water law, endangered species, toxic substances, environmental impact analyses, and environmental risk.

This course will expose students to legal reasoning, especially from the reading of cases involving real-life environmental disputes.

This online course is provided by Lund University through Coursera for FREE. 

Duration: January 19 to February 20, 2015

Course Objective

This course will explore greening the economy on four levels – individual, business, city, and nation. We will look at the relationships between these levels and give many practical examples of the complexities and solutions across the levels. Scandinavia, a pioneering place advancing sustainability and combating climate change, is a unique starting point for learning about greening the economy. We will learn from many initiatives attempted in Scandinavia since the 1970s, which are all potentially helpful and useful for other countries and contexts.

The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics (IIIEE) at Lund University is an international centre of excellence on strategies for sustainable solutions. The IIIEE is ideally suited to understand and explain the interdisciplinary issues in green economies utilising the diverse disciplinary backgrounds of its international staff. The IIIEE has been researching and teaching on sustainability and greener economies since the 1990s and it has extensive international networks connecting with a variety of organizations.

For more information and updates about the course, please visit our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/iiieemooc

This online course is provided by University of Wisconsin-Madison through Coursera for FREE. 

Duration: November 9 to December 4, 2015

Course Objective

Climate change is having and will continue to have a dramatic impact on global public health – from natural disasters and the increased spread of infectious disease to predicted crop losses and heat waves.

This course explores the impact of anthropogenic activities on climate change and consequently public health, exposing students to the many tangible benefits to climate change mitigation.   Policies and initiatives to reduce emissions and promote sustainability have numerous co-benefits. That is, they will protect the environment while simultaneously improving global health.

In addition to providing students the underlying evidence for climate change’s impact on human health, this course will explore three primary issues where co-benefits are feasible: renewable energy, agriculture and food, urban design and active transport. Students will hear from experts across the globe, engage with the current scientific and political literature, and gain hands on experience communicating climate change and public health messages to various audiences. They will also have the opportunity to discuss course material and current events with peers across the globe.

This course will give policy and decision makers a strong foundation in the core linkages between climate and change and health, emphasizing a way forward that will have the most beneficial effects on both human health and the environment.

 

This online course is provided by University of Chicago through eDx for FREE.

Duration: 8 weeks, starts on 19 January 2015

Course Objective

Intended for non-specialists, this course starts with basic principles and builds to more complicated, realistic models of the Earth's climate.

Bringing together insights from physics, chemistry, biology, earth and atmospheric sciences -- and even some economics -- this course is geared to curious enthusiasts, allowing them to work with real climate data and simulations of the earth’s changing climate.

 
This eight-week class takes a quantitative approach to the science of global warming and will enable students to understand the greenhouse effect, the planet's carbon cycle, and how burning fossil fuel affects that cycle; and to evaluate the potential severity of humans’ impact on Earth’s climate.

This course is offered by Sustainable Development Solutions Network for FREE. 

Duration: 16 October to 15 December 2014

Course Objective

Humanity has just about run out of time to address climate change. Scientists have pointed out that a rise in mean surface temperature of 2º Celsius above pre-industrial levels will put the Earth in dangerous, uncharted territory. Yet we currently are on a path toward an increase of 4º or more this century. The last chance for action has arrived. That chance lies in Paris in December 2015. Either governments will agree to decisive action, as they have promised, or we will look back at 2015 as the year when climate sanity slipped through our fingers

 

Fortunately, solutions exist to deeply decarbonize the global energy systems, and put the world on a 2°C pathway: improvements in energy efficiency in the building, transport and industry sectors; the generation of low-carbon electricity, through a mix of renewable energies (wind, solar), nuclear, and fossil fuels with Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS); and the shift to low-carbon energy carriers in energy end-use sectors, such as electric vehicles.

 

"Climate Change Science and Negotiations" is a two-semester course, with the first semester launching in fall 2014. During the first semester, you will learn about these solutions, and how they can be applied in different national contexts, based on the results from the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP), a global initiative to show how countries can transition to a low carbon economy by 2050, and how the world can stay within the 2°C limit.

 

The second semester of the course, which will open for registration in late fall 2014, will be a dynamic online climate change negotiation. The negotiation will be  modeled on the real negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which are scheduled to reach an agreement in Paris in December 2015, at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21). The outcomes of the second semester simulated negotiations will be presented to global leaders in advance of COP21.

 

We need you to show the world how an ambitious, fair and effective global agreement on climate change can be achieved.

This online course is provided by University of Melbourne through Coursera for FREE. 

Duration: 9 weeks, 11 August to 14 October 2014

Course Objective

What is Climate Change? How should we respond to Climate Change? These questions are complex, not least because the responses available to us depend upon who is providing the answers and the particular perspective they take. The economist sees the economic challenges and opportunities of Climate Change; the scientist sees the need to describe and explain Climate Change; the policy-maker and social scientist see Climate Change as a social problem. Therefore, the first step to understanding Climate Change and what we do about it is to see how experts from different disciplines engage with the issue. The second step is to appreciate how our response to Climate Change depends upon the interplay between these different approaches.

This course offers you an introduction to different disciplinary perspectives on Climate Change to help you think about how Climate Change affects you as an individual, as a member of your local community, as a citizen of your country and as a member of the global community. We have designed the presentations, discussions, activities and assessment tasks in this course to help you understand what Climate Change is and what you – and we – should do about it.

What is Climate Change? How should we respond to Climate Change? These questions are complex, not least because the responses available to us depend upon who is providing the answers and the particular perspective they take. The economist sees the economic challenges and opportunities of Climate Change; the scientist sees the need to describe and explain Climate Change; the policy-maker and social scientist see Climate Change as a social problem. Therefore, the first step to understanding Climate Change and what we do about it is to see how experts from different disciplines engage with the issue. The second step is to appreciate how our response to Climate Change depends upon the interplay between these different approaches.

This course offers you an introduction to different disciplinary perspectives on Climate Change to help you think about how Climate Change affects you as an individual, as a member of your local community, as a citizen of your country and as a member of the global community. We have designed the presentations, discussions, activities and assessment tasks in this course to help you understand what Climate Change is and what you – and we – should do about it.

This online course is provided by University of Chicago through Coursera for FREE. 

Duration: September 29 to December 31, 2014

Course Objective

We start with basic principles governing Earth’s temperature. The class begins with the nature of heat and light, then builds the very simplest conceptual—and algebraic—model for the climate of a planet, including the greenhouse effect.

Over the following weeks, we introduce complexities of the real world to this model: how greenhouse gases are selective about what light they absorb, how the temperature structure and weather in the atmosphere set the stage for the greenhouse effect, and how feedbacks amplify it. From this point on the exercises will be based on on-line interactive models for various aspects of Earth’s climate and carbon cycle, exploring the topics described in the video lectures. 

We then turn to the carbon cycle of the Earth, how it stabilizes Earth’s climate on some time scales but destabilizes it on others. The fate of fossil fuel carbon will be determined by its integration into Earth’s ongoing natural carbon cycle.

The class concludes with a look at the human impact on Earth’s climate: why we believe it’s changing, why we believe we’re changing it, the impacts that could have, and the options we have to mitigate the situation.

This online course is provided by University of Geneva through Coursera for FREE. 

Duration: January 26 to February 28, 2015

Course Objective

Climate change has already taken place, and it will continue to do for the foreseeable future. These changes present important challenges, but also opportunities, for humanity. 

The focus of this course will be on adaptation. In other words, we will look at how each country must assess their specific vulnerabilities to climate change, and the tools at their disposal for protecting the well-being, economy, and environment of its citizens.

We will base our examples on Small Island Developing States (SIDS). In such countries economic assets and population density occur primarily in coastal areas. As such, SIDS countries are particularly vulnerable to two of the main predicted changes to occur with climate change: rising sea levels and increased intensity of storms. In some cases, the combination of rising sea levels and exceptional storms can lead to the disappearance of high quality farmlands and the destruction of wetlands and human infrastructure that provide important ecosystem services. 

At the end of this course launched by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the University of Geneva (UNIGE) in collaboration with the National Adaptation Planning Global Support Programme (NAP-GSP), you will be able to:

  1. Explain why countries will have to adapt to climate change and provide examples of what this could look like.
  2. Explain why Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are particularly vulnerable to climate change.
  3. Outline how to analyse climate risks and discuss why some countries are more vulnerable than others.
  4. Discuss how adaptation can contribute to sustainable development goals.

And last but not least, you will have the opportunity to create a network and exchange experiences and practices on the SIDS problematic and more largely on climate change adaptation topics.

This online course is provided by Nature Conservancy fore FREE. 

Duration: Anytime, unlimited access. 

Course Objective

This curriculum, consisting of three, self-paced, online courses, provides a basic level of understanding of the basics of climate change, deforestation and forest degradation, and the REDD+ concept.

Course 1 Climate Change and the Role of Forests focuses on the background information on climate change, the drivers of deforestation, and strategies for reducing deforestation and forest degradation. Course 2 REDD+ Policy covers the essential aspects of the technical, political, financial, social, and environmental issues related to REDD+. Finally, Course 3 REDD+ Implementation focuses on the basics of implementing REDD+ activities, while also educating on the topic of REDD+ policy negotiations and developing credible REDD+ activities in developing countries through basic capacity building.

You may choose to complete any of the lessons within each course; however, to receive a certificate of curriculum completion, you must complete the curriculum assessment with a minimum score of 70%. Individuals may choose to simply complete a course. Upon completion of a course, the individual will receive a record of course completion. The requirements for course completion are completing all lessons within a course.

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