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A Beginner's Guide to Environmental Science: Wicked Problems and Possible Solutions

Delve into the complex and challenging environmental issues that we face today, and how we can manage or even solve them.

1,958 enrolled on this course

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Learn how environmental management can help address issues that impact us all

Environmental issues affect every human being, and are a truly global concern. This four-week course, presented by CQUniversity, gives a comprehensive introduction not only to the current problems and threats to the environment but also to possible solutions and effective environmental management.

Understand the science underpinning environmental issues

You’ll start by learning about the nature of environmental science, resources, the basis of the world’s ecosystem, and the concept of the triple bottom line for sustainability.

With this strong foundational knowledge, you’ll be able to look at the other issues raised over the course. Not only will you understand them, but you’ll also see how to manage them and what solutions are possible.

Explore the wicked problems facing environmental management

The term ‘wicked problems’ comes from the field of planning and policy. It refers to issues that are difficult or seemingly impossible to solve. For the rest of this course, you’ll be taking a close look at the wicked problems that sustainability and environmentalism are currently facing.

You’ll unpack global climate change, generation of waste, fossil fuel consumption, and, perhaps most challenging of all, the impact of the human population explosion. You’ll also get to explore potential solutions, such as renewable energy sources, and how environmental impacts can be lessened with effective management.

Learn from environmental science experts

CQUniversity is a hub of scientific research and meaningful projects that better the lives of all Australians. This ethos and the University’s strong academic history (as well as the world-renowned lead educator) make it the ideal place to learn about environmental issues and ways to deal with them.

What topics will you cover?

This course provides an in-depth introduction to:

  • Environmental issues
  • Renewable energy sources
  • Conservation and environmental management
  • Wicked problems in environmental management

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

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

  • Identify fundamental concepts in environmental science
  • Explore the wicked problem of human demography and the ecological footprint we leave
  • Investigate our earth's atmosphere and global climate change
  • Compare types of waste and learn behavioural changes can help to reduce your impact on the environment.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone interested in learning the basics of environmental science, including the issues facing the environment and what the human race can do to help.

Who will you learn with?

My career is focused on using isotopes and tree rings to study the movement of natural and human materials across the Earth's surface and between the biosphere, atmosphere and geosphere.

Who developed the course?

Central Queensland University

CQUniversity is Australia’s leading regional university.

Our courses are designed alongside industry and many include hands-on, practical learning experiences and project-based learning. Our commitment to making real-world knowledge and skills accessible to all has seen us being awarded global recognition. We are ranked among the top 2% of Universities in the world.

  • Established

  • Location

    Rockhampton, Australia
  • World ranking

    Top 500Source: QS World University Rankings 2020

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  • Access to this course
  • Access to ALL eligible short courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Tests to boost your learning
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Buy this course


One-off payment

Unlock your expertise

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Tests to boost your learning
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Join with limited access


Try before you buy

  • Limited access to course content for 4 weeks

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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