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Online course

Environmental Challenges: Human Impact in the Natural Environment

Complexity in nature arises from a myriad of simple interactions. How can this lead to an unpredictable dynamism?

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No access to course tests
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • Access to course tests
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Environmental Challenges: Human Impact in the Natural Environment

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This course is part of the Environmental Challenges program, which will enable you to explore how people and nature interact, and earn 10 credits from the University of Leeds.

Why join the course?

Complex patterns in ecology are not always causal and predictable. Populations have their own dynamics that can be independent of external environmental conditions. In this course we look at the way that natural systems are organised; although living systems are complex, there are also some fairly constant patterns and relationships.

This course explores three approaches to the causality and dynamics of environmental systems, and how humans are involved and affected by these systems world-wide. It also includes an introduction to correlation and the limitations of statistical testing.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 6 secondsShould humans be considered an integral part of the natural environment, or are we somehow separate from nature? Much scientific research in both the social and natural sciences has been directed at trying to tease apart the relative roles of internal dynamics from external drivers, but it's quite perplexing to make the division. Inevitably, there's a bit of both. But the important point to recognize is that there doesn't necessarily need to be a reason for everything. Sometimes, and probably quite a lot of the time, things just happen.

Skip to 0 minutes and 48 secondsI'm Professor Jon Lovett, Chair in Global Challenges at the University of Leeds. My role here is to guide you through this course. We start by exploring three basic principles-- causality, internal dynamics versus external drivers, and the mathematics of human ecology. These principles will then be applied to a case study where we consider whether non-human animals and other natural objects have legal rights similar to those given to humans. We close the course with a discussion about the mathematics of natural dynamics, calling on experts from Natural England and Pennine Prospects, we consider the impact of land management on our natural environment. I look forward to hearing your thoughts and joining your discussions on the course.

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

What will you achieve?

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

  • Explore the question of causality as it applies to vegetation and climate.
  • Discuss density-dependent population dynamics, where many individual interactions can lead to apparently chaotic fluctuations.
  • Explain mathematical rules in nature and human social systems.
  • Develop mathematical understanding of correlation and the limitations of statistical testing.

Who is the course for?

The course is suitable for anyone with a general interest in nature and environmental decision-making; no previous knowledge or experience is required.

If you are working in environmental management, or wish to learn more about it, this course is designed to support you as a professional. By completing all aspects of the course you will have achieved 14 hours of CPD time.

Endorsed by

accredited by

Who will you learn with?

Jon Lovett

Jon Lovett is Chair in Global Challenges in the School of Geography at the University of Leeds and works on institutional economics.
http://www.geog.leeds.ac.uk/people/j.lovett

Who developed the course?

As one of the UK’s largest research-based universities, the University of Leeds is a member of the prestigious Russell Group and a centre of excellence for teaching.

Accredited by The CPD Certification Service

This course has been accredited by the CPD Certification Service, which means it can be used to provide evidence of your continuing professional development.

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No access to course tests
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • Access to course tests
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Get extra benefits, upgrade this course. For $79 you’ll get:

Unlimited access

Upgrading will mean you get unlimited access to the course.

  • Take the course at your own pace
  • Refer to the material at any point in future

If you’re taking a course for free you have access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join. If you upgrade the course you have access for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn.

Access to tests

When you upgrade you’ll have access to any tests during the course.

  • Validate your learning
  • Ensure you have mastered the material
  • Qualify for a certificate

To receive a Certificate of Achievement you need to take any tests and score over 70%. You don’t get access to tests if you choose to take a course for free.

A Certificate of Achievement

Upgrading means you’ll receive a Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course.

  • Prove your success when applying for jobs or courses
  • Celebrate your hard work
  • Display on your Linkedin or CV

To receive a Certificate of Achievement you need to mark 90% of the steps on the course as complete, and score over 70% on any course tests.