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Explore our natural ecosystems with online ecology courses

With the climate crisis intensifying, natural ecosystems are being placed under increasing strain.

A healthy ecosystem is one that is sustainable. This means that it can maintain its structure and function despite external stresses and changes. Healthy ecosystems help us to alleviate natural disasters like flooding, aid the protection of endangered species, protect vulnerable coastlines and much more.

Good ecosystem health is vital for our planet to sustain life and the study of ecology can help us to better understand how to support and protect our global ecosystems.

What is ecology?

Ecology can be described as the scientific study of how living things react with the environment (or ecosystem) they live in.

Ecology draws research from many areas of scientific study but there are three main areas that ecology uses to better understand these interactions:

Conservation Ecology – Concerned with how the natural world is affected by the presence of man, an example of this type of ecology would be the study of specific areas of conservation that are created to protect certain ecologies.

Human Ecology – With a focus on death and birth patterns, resource consumption, conservations efforts and humans’ effect on plant and animal life, human ecology focuses solely on how humans impact the atmosphere and planet.

Urban Ecology – A mix of conservation and human ecology. This is the study of life in urban settings. It looks at how cities and urban areas manage their resources and concerns itself with the decay and growth cycles in these environments.

Explore our ecosystems

FutureLearn’s free online ecology courses allow you to study the science of these areas of ecology as you identify what ecosystems are, the role they play in balancing the environment, and what we can do to protect them.

These courses will be ideal for anyone currently working – or looking to work – with the environment, or people concerned about how we can best defend the natural systems we all rely on.

They’re also useful learning resources for professionals working in the biology, ecology or environmental science industries, students looking to pursue a career in the sciences or anyone who wants to learn more about building a sustainable existence on this planet.

Discover ecological diversity and understand how our global ecosystem is functioning under strain. If you’re concerned about your impact on the environment, an online ecology course can empower you with the skills to make a difference.

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