Mountains 101
list 12 sequences
assignment Level : Introductive
chat_bubble_outline Language : English
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Key information

credit_card Free access
verified_user Fee-based Certificate
timer 60 hours in total

About the content

Mountains 101­­ is a broad and integrated overview of the mountain world. This 12-lesson course covers an interdisciplinary field of study focusing on the physical, biological, and human dimensions of mountain places in Alberta, Canada, and around the world. Specifically, we'll study the geological origins of mountains, how they’re built-up and worn-down over time; we’ll learn about their importance for biodiversity and water cycles, globally and locally; we’ll explore their cultural significance to societies around the globe, and how that relationship has evolved over time; and we’ll learn how mountains are used, how they’re protected, and how today they’re experiencing rapid change in a warming climate. At the end of each lesson, Mountains 101 will also provide learners with some smart tricks -- Tech Tips -- to safely enjoy time in the high alpine environment: from how to pick the best footwear for hiking to making smart decisions in avalanche terrain. We’ll be delivering your online lessons from valley bottoms to mountaintops, from museums and labs, to alpine huts and other spectacular alpine sites, and we’ll do so with the help of a whole host of experts. We invite you to join us for this online adventure! The mountains are calling...

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Syllabus

  • Week 1 - Lesson 1: Why Mountains Matter
    In this introductory lesson, you will learn why mountain environments are relevant to people all around the globe. We’ll also define just what a “mountain” is in order to show why it is useful to think about mountains from various perspectives. TechTip: Your f...
  • Week 2 - Lesson 2: Origins
    In Lesson 2, we discuss why mountains are located where they are. How did they get there? We’ll explore the physical origins of mountains, theories of mountain building, and how our changing ideas about mountains and their genesis have shaped our engagement wi...
  • Week 3 - Lesson 3: Climate
    Mountains influence climate and weather at both global and local scales. In Lesson 3, we will examine how elevation affects atmospheric processes, and discuss an ecological manifestation of mountain climate: the alpine tree line. TechTip: What goes in your pac...
  • Week 4 - Lesson 4: Bodies at Altitude
    Lesson 4 explores some of the physiological responses that allow humans to visit higher altitudes, as well as the unique genetic adaptations that permit long-time exposure to the world’s high places. TechTip: Stay found – preparation
  • Week 5 - Lesson 5: Water Towers
    Lesson 5 focuses on mountain hydrology. We'll discuss the ways that water moves through the mountain landscape, how water shapes and changes mountain landscapes, and we'll introduce some hazards associated with water, such as glacial lake outburst floods. Tech...
  • Week 6 - Lesson 6: Glaciers
    Lesson 6 focuses exclusively on glaciers, their physical composition and processes, how they form and move, and how they modify the landscape. We’ll also examine how our changing understandings of glaciers have shaped the ways people have engaged with mountain...
  • Week 7 - Lesson 7: Imagination
    In Lesson 7, we examine some of the ways people have imagined mountains throughout time, and try to place those ideas and attitudes in their respective cultural contexts. Appreciating the diversity of views – their reception in oral traditions, art, literature...
  • Week 8 - Lesson 8: Hazards
    Mountain hazards are the focus of Lesson 8, specifically snow avalanches, landslides, and volcanoes. We will examine the physical processes that lead to instability in mountain landscapes and consider how risks associated with hazards can be managed. TechTip: ...
  • Week 9 - Lesson 9: Mountain Biodiversity and Adaptations of Plants
    In this Lesson 9, we discuss the ecological and evolutionary processes that account for the remarkable biodiversity of species living in mountain environments. Then, we explore some of the unique adaptations that plants have for coping with extreme conditions,...
  • Week 10 - Lesson 10: Animal Adaptations
    Animals living in mountains have evolved morphological, behavioural, and physiological adaptations to survive under extreme conditions. In Lesson 10, we will focus on how several species deal with the cold and conclude with a peek at the adaptations of fish li...
  • Week 11 - Lesson 11: Use and Preservation
    How are mountains used? How are they preserved? In Lesson 11, we examine the often conflicting demands of using mountains, and preserving and managing the integrity of mountain environments, cultures and economies. TechTip: Go softly – mountain ethics
  • Week 12 - Lesson 12: Future Mountains
    In Lesson 12, we will look forward and consider some possible future scenarios for mountains. How is our changing climate affecting these places? What are the indicators of change? What lessons can we learn from the past and present to inform decisions for tom...
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Instructors

Zac Robinson
Associate Professor
Physical Education & Recreation

David Hik
Professor
Biological Sciences

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Content designer

University of Alberta
UAlberta is considered among the world’s leading public research- and teaching-intensive universities. As one of Canada’s top universities, we’re known for excellence across the humanities, sciences, creative arts, business, engineering and health sciences.
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Platform

Coursera

Coursera is a digital company offering massive open online course founded by computer teachers Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller Stanford University, located in Mountain View, California. 

Coursera works with top universities and organizations to make some of their courses available online, and offers courses in many subjects, including: physics, engineering, humanities, medicine, biology, social sciences, mathematics, business, computer science, digital marketing, data science, and other subjects.

Reviews
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Best review

Great diversity of topics. Awesome collaboration between professionals in the scientific community. Fully appreciate the knowledge and inspiration acquired throughout the course. Thank you!

Published on February 24, 2018
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on the February 24, 2018
starstarstarstarstar

Great diversity of topics. Awesome collaboration between professionals in the scientific community. Fully appreciate the knowledge and inspiration acquired throughout the course. Thank you!

on the February 23, 2018
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Absolutely fantastic! Brilliantly diverse, and with spectacular images, videos, animations and interviews, this course has reaffirmed my appreciation for mountains, strengthened my knowledge of the environment, and has brought me academic joy. Well done!

on the January 30, 2018
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and Justin course. However, a lot of what was being covered with redundant. You can easily learn the stuff covered in the course on a camping trip or from a mountain climber.

on the January 27, 2018
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Really good content and very interesting. The tech tips are a little vapid for the average outdoors person, but a good try to add something different.My favorite was the module on altitudes effects and adaptations on humans

on the January 12, 2018
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This online Mountain 101 course is awsome! A great platform and excellent explanations on all of the topics covered. This is a perfect way to motivate people that are in love with the amazing outdoor nature and life to get going and learn on it! I highly recommand this course to everyone!