date_range Starts on July 6, 2015
event_note End date July 10, 2015
list 4 sequences
assignment Level : Introductive
chat_bubble_outline Language : English
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Key information

credit_card Free access
verified_user Free certificate
timer 12 hours in total

About the content

Learn about soils, the variety of life they contain and how humans impact this fragile system, with this free online course.

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Syllabus

Soils are a vital part of our planet’s functioning, but all too often we take soils for granted. In this free online course, we introduce you to soils and explore the world beneath our feet. Get an introduction to soil science Soils are a fantastically complex environment, teeming with life and supporting our most fundamental environmental processes. However, they are increasingly under threat and our soil resource is a finite one. Starting from what soil is and how soils form we will take a journey through the soil, not just learning about the basics of soil science but also about life in the soil. Then we will look at why soil is so important and investigate the topic of soil security - a topic relevant to the past and present. Finally we will learn about how and why soils are under threat both at a local and global scale. Throughout this course we will ask questions such as: What is soil made of? Why are soil microbes so important? How does the rise and fall of civilisations depend on soils? How is climate change impacting on soils? You will also get the chance to get your hands dirty with a series of activities aiming to give you practical experience of assessing soil properties and conditions. Understand soil from a physical, chemical and biological perspective By the end of this course, you will have a basic understanding of soil science from a physical, chemical and biological perspective. You will have met researchers, who will tell you about cutting-edge soil science research at Lancaster University and elsewhere, and had an insight into how some of the threats to soils could be addressed in the future. Soils are really important - in fact, 2015 is the International Year of Soils. How much do you know about the world beneath our feet? Take this just-for-fun quiz and find out…
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Instructors

  • Carly Stevens
assistant

Platform

Futurelearn

FutureLearn is a massive open online course (MOOC) learning platform founded in December 2012.

It is a company launched and wholly owned by The Open University in Milton Keynes, England. It is the first UK-led massive open online course learning platform, and as of March 2015 included 54 UK and international University partners and unlike similar platforms includes four non-university partners: the British Museum, the British Council, the British Library and the National Film and Television School.

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