Our world is changing fast ? we are experiencing pressure from climate change, growing demands for finite resources, biodiversity loss and the extinction of many plants and animals. introduces you to subjects from the natural sciences, social sciences and technology to develop your understanding of environmental issues and sustainability concerns. It shows how people are seeking positive solutions to environmental challenges where you live, in the Arctic, Africa, the Amazon and China. You do not need any prior environmental knowledge to study this key introductory OU level 1 module, just an interest in the future of our planet.
is an innovative module covering the biology and diversity of whole organisms from an evolutionary perspective. Interactions between diverse examples of cooperating and/or competing organisms, including predators and prey, are explored along with their changing environments. Various plants, animals and fungi are used to illustrate how adaptation in the physiology and behaviour of organisms contributes to survival. An important component is an investigative strand, in which you will undertake real and virtual experiments. Through this study and investigative combination, you will develop practical and analytical skills using at-home and on-screen interactive experiments to generate and analyse your own unique data sets.
Chemistry is fundamental in our lives and this module explores chemistry in the context of the natural world, from its role in the environment, in both aqueous and atmospheric systems, to that in plants and animals, in proteins and metabolism. This online module, which includes experimental work, builds on key concepts in inorganic, physical and organic chemistry, exploring the subtle interplay between molecular structure, chemical reactivity and their practical consequences. Application of this chemistry is considered, with topics ranging from materials, industrial and environmental catalysis and pollution control, to diagnostic and therapeutic medicine, as well as strategies for the synthesis and structural determination of organic molecules.
explores the fascinating and diverse world of cells, from single-celled micro-organisms to the specialised cells that form complex tissues in plants and animals. It develops the key aspects of cell and molecular biology introduced in (S111), (S112) and (SDK100). It explores the origins of cells and the generation of cell diversity, as well as the common features of cellular structure and function ? how they obtain energy, synthesise new molecules, communicate, proliferate and survive. There is an emphasis on the fundamental importance of cell biology in modern science, particularly in relation to cell technologies and health.
In this free course, Why are nonhuman animals victims of harm? you will investigate why nonhuman animals tend to be overlooked as victims of violence. The course explores some of the social processes and structures that victimise other animals, such as ‘livestock’ farming. The course also highlights some of the environmental harms related to ‘livestock’ farming. You will learn about how harms are perpetuated by language and imagery, as well as how language and imagery can be used to oppose and resist harms against nonhuman animals.
This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open University course DD311 Crime, harm and the state
Study in the social sciences – and criminology in particular – inevitably touches on sensitive and emotive topics that may be difficult and upsetting. This course explores harms against nonhuman animals that you may find difficult to work with, including images of nonhuman animals in confinement.
The extreme challenges of life in the polar regions require the animals who make their habitat there to make many adaptations. This free course, Animals at the extremes: Polar biology, explores the polar climate and how animals like reindeer, polar bears, penguins, sea life and even humans manage to survive there. It looks at the adaptations to physiological proceses, the environmental effects on diet, activity and fecundity, and contrasts the strategies of aquatic and land-based animals in surviving in this extreme habitat.
Mammals come in a bewildering variety of shapes and sizes, and yet all species have some characteristics in common. These similarities justify the inclusion of all such diverse types within the single taxonomic group (or class) called the Mammalia. This free course, Introducing mammals, offers a starting point for the study of mammals. It will establish their rich diversity, while highlighting the common features that define the group.
There is a fascinating world of nature all around us which we can see if we know how to look for it. Wherever you live, be it in a city or the countryside, you will find areas that support a range of wildlife. This free course, Neighbourhood nature, will provide you with basic scientific and observational skills so that you can go into your local neighbourhood to discover the animals and plants in open spaces. You will learn how to observe, identify and record the wildlife around you, building up a picture of a small part of your local environment.