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This content is taken from the University of York's online course, Tackling Environmental Challenges for a Sustainable Future. Join the course to learn more.
Scene of a wind farm backed by mountains

Welcome to our course

How this all works

Over the next four weeks we will be exploring the important theme of our environment - how it is studied and how our research at the University of York is helping to develop sustainable solutions to environmental problems. We will consider a range of topics and explore glaciers and ice sheets, protecting our oceans, development issues and energy. We will present you with films and articles, plus thought-provoking questions and discussion for you to consider with the course team and your fellow learners. There is also a short test if you want to gain validation for what you have learned.

We hope that a wide range of people do this course. Some of you may have studied the subject before, but some of you will be new to it. Through a range of articles, videos and access to further resources you can learn at whatever level suits you best.

Using FutureLearn

If this is the first time you have used FutureLearn, Welcome! You may find it useful to read the FAQ guide. You may also like to read this FutureLearn blog post even if you have used FutureLearn before, which explains about the in-course navigation. We also recommend reading six tips and tools for social learning on FutureLearn to get the most out of the interactive and social learning features of this course.

We hope you engage in discussions and comment on course materials which is an essential part of the learning experience. When contributing it is important that you follow the FutureLearn code of conduct and are respectful of your fellow learners.

You can also use the tools to ‘like’ the posts of others if you agree with what is being said or if you have found something particularly interesting or add your comments to an existing post if you want to develop those ideas further.

You can also click to filter the comments on a step to only see:

  • Comments by people you are following
  • The most-liked comments
  • Your own comments

Follow others

To get the most out of the course, we would strongly suggest that you follow Doctor David Rippin who is lead educator on this course. To see David’s comments in your activity feed or when using the ‘following’ filter in discussions, visit his FutureLearn profile and click “follow”.

As the course progresses, you will meet other colleagues and so suggest you follow Karen Parkhill, Eleanor Jew, Bryce Stewart and Brett Sallach who are co-Educators on the course and will also be providing insights.

In addition, you can also follow Ariana Escalante and Lucy McMahon who will act as Mentors throughout the course, replying and commenting on your posts alongside the Educators.

You can also follow other learners to quickly see their comments and contributions to the discussion. To do this click the ‘Follow’ button next to their name (on their profile page).

Engage on social media

We have a hashtag – #FLYorkEnvironment – which you are more than welcome to use on social media to talk about the course and to find others who are talking about it too!

Evidence your learning

For anyone wishing to gain validation of their engagement with the course, details on requirements to be eligible for those at the completion of the course can be found within FutureLearn’s Guidance of Certificates and Statements. It’s worth building this into your study model at the very start, so do think about this as we enter the first week.

You may also like to consider FutureLearn’s Unlimited opportunity, which offers unlimited access to hundreds of courses each year.

Let’s get started

We are going to start with an introduction to glaciers and ice sheets….so let’s get started. When you have finished, please ‘Mark as complete’ below, and move on by pressing ‘Next’ - it’s a good habit to get into as your progress through the course so you can measure your progress and work towards final statements and certificates.

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This article is from the free online course:

Tackling Environmental Challenges for a Sustainable Future

University of York