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Ocean Science in Action: Addressing Marine Ecosystems and Food Security

Explore how innovative marine technologies can tackle the challenges of the sustainable management of marine ecosystems

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Discover the new technologies that can aid marine resource management

Journey to the Western Indian Ocean alongside experts at the UK’s National Oceanography Centre to learn how we can measure and monitor the oceans in order to better protect them.

Explore how ocean science can contribute to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nations has declared the decade of 2021 to 2030 a Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, designed to reverse the decline in ocean health. On this course, you’ll learn what the critical challenges of sustainable development are in the framework of the Ocean Science Decade and the wider Sustainable Development Goals.

You’ll examine the latest advances in marine technologies, including marine robotics, remote sensing, and ocean modelling, exploring their use via three real-world case studies from the Western Indian Ocean.

Learn how climate change impacts ocean ecosystems

Learning via engaging digital animations and video lectures, you’ll understand how we can use earth observation satellites to inform sustainable coastal development and marine resource management.

You’ll dive into the principles behind ocean models and explore the modelled world of ocean circulation, marine ecosystems, as well as the impact of climate change on the marine environment.

Exploring the advances in marine autonomous robotic systems and their role in observing our 3D oceans, you’ll investigate how these technologies can be deployed to address the global challenges of food security and sustainable use of living marine resources.

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What topics will you cover?

  • Introduction to numerical modelling, earth observation satellites and marine robotics and how they are used to address the challenges of sustainable use of living marine resources in a range of case studies in the Western Indian Ocean.
  • The principles behind ocean models and how they can help explain the dynamics of marine ecosystems.
  • How we measure and monitor the oceans using earth observation satellites and how the information they provide can inform sustainable coastal development and marine resource management.
  • Advances in Marine Autonomous Robotic Systems and their role in observing our 3D oceans.
  • The North Kenya Banks fishery and mechanisms behind the upwelling system that makes it so productive.
  • The environmental changes responsible for the collapse of the Chokka squid fishery in South Africa, and how marine technologies can help us to understand the future dynamics of the squid population.
  • The fisheries of Somalia and what drives the world’s largest seasonal upwelling
  • Small pelagic fisheries of the Pemba Channel and their importance for food security in Tanzania.
  • The importance of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and how evidence-based environmental management can contribute to achieving them.

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.

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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...

  • Explain how we measure and monitor the oceans using numerical models, ocean robots, and earth observation satellites
  • Apply your understanding of how marine technologies are used in order to address the challenges of sustainable use of living marine resources
  • Describe climate change impacts on the marine environment
  • Identify unique features of oceanography, ecosystems and marine economy of the Western Indian Ocean
  • Summarise the foundation pillars of Food Security
  • Reflect on the importance of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • Discuss how ocean science can contribute to the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030)
  • Explore your interests in ocean science and the marine technologies used to study the ocean

Who is the course for?

This course is designed to be accessible to anyone with an interest in ocean management and conservation, the technology used to study the ocean, and the impact of climate change on the marine environment.

It would particularly appeal to people working within marine-related industries, such as fisheries, in the Western Indian Ocean, and those who study this ocean region.

Who will you learn with?

I am a global ocean modeller based at the National Oceanography Centre (UK) studying climate change impacts on marine ecosystems. Lead Educator for the Future Learn course “Ocean Science in Action”.

Who developed the course?

National Oceanography Centre

The National Oceanography Centre is an independent charity, funded by UK Research and Innovation to work on National Capability programmes, and manages on its behalf, the National Marine Equipment Pool – Europe’s largest fleet of autonomous and robotic vehicles, and two state of the art research ships RRS Discovery and RRS James Cook.


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