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Open Education by Blackboard

Coasts and Communities

University of Massachusetts Boston via Open Education by Blackboard

This course may be unavailable.


Environmental problems do not recognize geographic or disciplinary boundaries. In order to develop sustainable solutions to environmental challenges we must incorporate the natural and social sciences and also deeply engage local communities. Through the lens of coastal systems and the human communities dependent upon them, we will explore how coupled human-natural systems interact. Participants will be introduced to fundamental concepts in coastal environmental science and will learn how to collect and evaluate data to solve real-world local environmental problems.

Introduction to Coastal Environmental Science Lab

Unique to this course is the infusion of real environmental scientists who will introduce you to their work in the coastal environments of Massachusetts and guide you in lab and field activities to help you apply in practice concepts from a broad array of topics introduced in the course.

The course is free as a non-credit open course. The course may be taken for credit by registering through UMass Boston (details below).


The course is best suited for high school seniors and learners with an undergraduate level understanding of environmental science, but is open to everyone interested in the field.


For a sample of topics explored in the course, explore this map with video lectures from the Fall 2013 offering of the course, grouped in five main topics:

  1. The Natural History of Your Place
  2. The Human History of Your Place
  3. How Healthy is Your Living Environment?
  4. How Can We Adapt to Climate Change?
  5. How Can We Scale from Local to Global to Local?



Week 1               Topic The Natural History of Your Place Lab Sampling Biodiversity Week 2 Topic The Human History of Your Place Lab EcoBeaker Week 3 Topic How Healthy and Resilient is Your Environment? Lab Watersheds and Topographic Maps Week 4 Topic Global Change and Variation Lab The Rock Cycle Week 5 Topic How Can We Scale from Local to Global to Local? Lab Weather Week 6 Topic How Can We Respond and Adapt to Changes? Lab Energy

Taught by

Dr. Robyn Hannigan and Dr. Anamarija Frankic


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