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Dartmouth College

Introduction to Environmental Science

Dartmouth College via edX


Introduction to Environmental Science, ENVX, was first offered in early 2015.

Environmental science is the study of patterns and processes in the natural world and their modification by human activity. To understand current environmental problems, we need to consider physical, biological and chemical processes that are often the basis of those problems. This course will give you the skills necessary to address the environmental issues we are facing today by examining scientific principles and the application of those principles to natural systems. This course will survey some of the many environmental science topics at an introductory level, ultimately considering the sustainability of human activities on the planet.

Environmental impacts on Earth come from the number of people and the amount and types of resources that they use. By applying scientific principles and considering real-world examples, we will examine:

  • The field of environmental science and how to think like an environmental scientist
  • The human population and the ways in which changes in the population affect the environment
  • Agriculture, soils and the environmental implications of eating meat, vegetables, local, organic, sustainable, industrial and other types of food
  • Non-renewable fossil fuels with a focus on coal, petroleum and natural gas and the benefits and consequences of using each
  • Renewable fuels such as wind and solar and identify that even renewable “green” energy sources have impacts as well as benefits
  • Biodiversity and global change, which are the integrating units of environmental science

Education method
The course will utilize video lectures, interviews with experts, readings, discussions, multiple choice and prompted discussions and one graded quiz per week. There will also be several optional live office hours on Google Hangouts.

Completion of self-assessments, contributions to discussion and quiz scores will determine the final grade.

Taught by

Andrew J. Friedland


4.4 rating, based on 8 Class Central reviews

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  • Profile image for Sivananda Ramnath
    Sivananda Ramnath
    Introductory course, that does a very good job of introducing the field to a beginner. There is no bias, or attempt to shape the view point of the student. Instead, just the facts are presented, and explained very well. The interviews with various people in the field were great. The production value was also very high. I hope Dartmouth and professor Andy Friedland will put up a more in-depth course on the same soon.
  • A bit basic (high school level) but overall a nice introduction to the field. You should be able to finish 1 module per day if you have time, and finish the entire archived course in 1 week
  • Anonymous
    Very nice teaching the introduction of environment this topic very interested in all topics I am very very well this topic I'm interested this topic I'm very happy because I'm teaching this topic
  • Profile image for EMANUEL XAVIER BARREIRA
    Um curso seria ótimo para o meu aprendizado.

    Uma vez que eu estou seguindo um curso idêntico.

    Eu queria me aperfeiçoar mais e mais
  • Patrick E.
  • Miriam Lee

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