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Snow: What It Is and Why It Matters

Explore the science of snow – how it forms, its different types, and how it can best be used.

500 enrolled on this course

A man on a wooden sledge in the snow reaching out his arms to find his balance.

Snow: What It Is and Why It Matters

500 enrolled on this course

  • 2 weeks

  • 2 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Open level

Find out more about how to join this course

Learn all about snow from cold weather experts in Sweden

Snow can affect every aspect of life, from transport systems to business operations; that’s why it’s crucial to understand what exactly snow is, how it forms, and how we can manage it.

On this course, you’ll get a comprehensive introduction to the icy world of snow from engineering and management educators in one of the snowiest countries in the world – Sweden.

Discover the origins of snow and its different forms

Learn the fundamentals of snow, including how it is created, and why there are difference in the size and shape of snowflakes.

You’ll identify the different types of snow, and assess how different kinds of weather can transform snow and affect its fundamental properties.

Explore the world of snow with those who know it best

There are few places on Earth where daily life is as affected by snow as Scandinavia.

Learning alongside top researchers and snow experts from Luleå University of Technology, you’ll examine the different activities that can be performed on snow, how to transport things on snow, and even how to use snow as an entrepreneur.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 6 seconds What about snow? You might love it. You might hate it.

Skip to 0 minutes and 17 seconds Snow can be as light as a feather. Or, as hard as rock. Some people make a living of it. Some people live for it. There is a reason why the Nordic native people have 100 different words for snow. There is a reason why we love to talk about it. And even learn how to make a living of it. Follow one of the world’s leading snow scientists, Johan Casselgren on a journey of snow From the birth of a snowflake to its death. So what about snow?


  • Week 1

    Let's talk about snow

    • Introduction to the course

      Here you get all the information about the course that you might need.

    • What about snow

      What different activities can be done on snow and with snow? Your relation to snow, love it or hate it?

    • The creation of snow

      How snow is created and why snowflakes have different sizes and shapes.

    • How to describe snow

      How to use different words for snow in different situations.

    • New opportunities with snow

      What opportunities come with snow?

    • Snow and the climate

      We reflect on how the amount of snow and the time when the first snow comes have changed over time.

    • End of Week 1 reflection

      Summary of Week 1 and reflection.

  • Week 2

    Let's prepare for snow

    • Introduction to week 2

      In this week we will talk about how snow can affect the daily life and how different snow types will influence sporting activities, driving and other problems that can arise when it is snowing much!

    • Walking and skiing

      How strong is the snow, could you walk on it or do you need snowshoes or skis.

    • How to drive on snow

      Braking on snow and ice.

    • Problems with snow

      Snow is great but it can also cause problems. In this activity, you will get information about some of the problems that can arise.

    • Make business with snow

      What can you take with you from the course if you want to make a business idea involving snow?

    • End of course reflection

      We summarise the course and learning outcomes.

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...

  • Explore how snow is created and why the differences in grain size and shape appear.
  • Identify different snow types.
  • Evaluate how different weather will affect the snow.
  • Calculate the breaking distance for a car on snow.
  • Reflect over opportunities and problems with snow.

Who is the course for?

This course would suit those working in winter tourism and similar sectors, anyone interested in snow for leisure activities like skiing, or those involved with snow for work (eg. in transport sectors).

Who will you learn with?

I am a associated professor at Luleå university of technology. My main research topic is snow in different applications.

Instructional designer at Luleå University of Technology.

Who developed the course?

Luleå University of Technology

The Luleå University of Technology mission is to shape the future through innovative education and ground-breaking research results. Located in the arctic region, the university creates global societal benefit.

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Subscribe & save


Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Tests to boost your learning
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Buy this course

$109/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • 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

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 4 May 2024

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

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  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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