• Purdue logo
  • Future Problem Solving logo
  • GERI logo

Desertification: Problems and Solutions

What happens when fertile earth degrades? Discover the complex problem of desertification and consider potential solutions.

Desertification: Problems and Solutions
  • Duration4 weeks
  • Weekly study3 hours
  • LearnFree
  • Extra BenefitsFrom $44Find out more

Get an introduction to desertification and other related environmental issues

Desertification is when previously healthy or fertile land degrades and becomes desert. But how does this happen? And why is it a major issue for our world?

Get answers with this course introducing desertification and related issues including soil depletion, dust bowls, dust storms and global warming.

Not only will you understand the process of desertification, you will also use critical thinking and creative problem-solving to address the causes and consequences of desertification, applying the 6-step ‘FPS model’.

What topics will you cover?

  • Research global issues surrounding desertification, including global warming, soil depletion, dust bowls, and environmental degradation

  • Use the 6-step Future Problem Solving model to identify challenges, generate and evaluate solutions, and develop an action plan for reversing desertification

  • Use the 4 Cs of learning and innovation to brainstorm potential solutions related to desertification: creativity, critical thinking/problem-solving, communication, collaboration

When would you like to start?

Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts. Find out more

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Identify causes and consequences of desertification around the globe
  • Apply the 6-step Future Problem Solving (FPS) model to identify challenges, generate and evaluate solutions, and develop an action plan
  • Demonstrate the 4 Cs of learning and innovation--creativity, critical thinking/problem solving, communication, and collaboration--to generate potential solutions to desertification

Who is the course for?

This course is for anyone interested in ecological and environmental issues and for those who wish to improve their problem solving skills.

Who will you learn with?

Clinical Asst. Professor and Assoc. Director of the Gifted Education Research & Resource Institute (GER2I) at Purdue University with over 17 years in K-12 public schools as a teacher and counselor

I am the Executive Director of Future Problem Solving Program International (FPSPI). My background is in advanced curriculum strategies and high level learning! I love studying the future!

Elizabeth is the Program Director for Future Problem Solving Program International. Previously, she taught middle school for nine years and studied archaeology before entering the classroom.

Who developed the course?

Purdue University

One of the four best public universities in the US, Purdue delivers an engaging learning experience and a world-class degree.

Future Problem Solving

FPS provides competitive and non-competitive components for today’s curriculum via a six-step model which teaches critical and creative thinking, problem solving, and decision making.

Gifted Education Resource Institute (GERI)

The Gifted Education Resource Institute (GERI) is an innovative center dedicated to the discovery, study, and development of human potential.

Join this course

Start this course for free, upgrade for extra benefits, or buy Unlimited to access this course and hundreds of other short courses for a year.


Join free and you will get:

  • Access to this course for 6 weeks


Upgrade this course and you will get:

  • Access to this course for as long as it’s on FutureLearn
  • A print and digital Certificate of Achievement once you’re eligible

Unlimited (New!)
$259.99 for one year

Buy Unlimited and you will get:

  • Access to this course, and hundreds of other FutureLearn short courses and tests for a year
  • A printable digital Certificate of Achievement on all short courses once you’re eligible
  • The freedom to keep access to any course you've achieved a digital Certificate of Achievement on, for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn
  • The flexibility to complete your choice of short courses in your own time within the year
Find out more about upgrades or Unlimited.