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Fire ecology free course icon Level

Science, Maths & Technology 

Fire ecology

This course explores the role of fire as a natural disturbance in ecosystems. It introduces the concept of a fire regime and its influence on the type and distribution of organisms that occur in fire prone ecosystems. It also looks at some of the adaptations of plants that have evolved in these ecosystems and how animals either avoid or exploit the consequences of fire as a natural disturbance. Finally it examines how fire can increase biodiversity by generating a mosaic of habitats within an ecosystem and briefly addresses some of the consequences of climate change and global warming on the intensity and frequency of fires.

Free course
4 hrs
Creative commons image Icon Natalie Oxford on Twitter under Creative Commons BY 4.0 license
Grenfell: a site of contempt article icon

Society, Politics & Law 

Grenfell: a site of contempt

A decision to save £293,000 led to the loss of 72 lives and some former residents of Grenfell Tower are still struggling to get the help they need. 

Article
Creative commons image Icon Duncan C on Flickr under Creative Commons BY-NC 4.0 license
Grenfell Tower Timeline: Was the disaster inevitable? article icon

Society, Politics & Law 

Grenfell Tower Timeline: Was the disaster inevitable?

A total of 72 lives were lost in the Grenfell disaster and anger has grown amongst local residents towards their council.

Article
Creative commons image Icon Natalie Oxford on Twitter under Creative Commons BY 4.0 license

TV, Radio & Events 

The Fires that Foretold Grenfell

A haunting story of five fires that foretold the Grenfell disaster, told by those directly involved.

TV Programme
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: Charlie Hamilton James
I Bought A Rainforest - Episode 3 video icon

Nature & Environment 

I Bought A Rainforest - Episode 3

Nine months on and the project has hit rock-bottom. Charlie has to decide what to do next. In our clips, the forest catches fire - and Charlie uses a halluciogenic brew to get a clearer head.

Video
5 mins
Creative commons image Icon Two Wings under Creative Commons BY 4.0 license
OpenLearn Live: 18th August 2016 video icon

Health, Sports & Psychology 

OpenLearn Live: 18th August 2016

What's the stuff that gymnasts put on their hands? How is Australia helping Japan identify the dead of the Second World War? How is Park Hill changing? Learning and research from across the day.

Video
5 mins
Creative commons image Icon John Sutton under Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 license
OpenLearn Live: 11th April 2016 article icon

History & The Arts 

OpenLearn Live: 11th April 2016

The cricket ground razed by the Suffragettes. Then more free learning across the day.

Article
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: The Open University 2010
Fire and Ice audio icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Fire and Ice

How are volcanoes created? And how can scientists re-construct eruptions from many thousands of years ago? On a field trip to Iceland, Dr Dave McGarvie visits a range of volcanoes. These include Askja, a particularly spectacular and active volcano in Iceland’s remote interior, and the valley where astronauts once trained to land on the Moon. Dave is joined by scientists from Iceland, the USA and Open University PhD student Anne Forbes as they explore exciting lava formations that have never been reported before.

Audio
15 mins
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: The Open University 2009
Earth's physical resources: extracting coal and oil audio icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Earth's physical resources: extracting coal and oil

Most people throw coal on the fire and put petrol in their cars without really thinking about it. But, looking at sediment deposits can reveal what type of environments created our coal and oil hundreds of millions of years ago. The five video tracks in this album examine the role of geology in determining the global distribution and availability of these valuable resources. They look at the formation of coal and how to mine it safely, the extraction of crude oil from the Athabasca oil sands and Colorado oil shale, and how we discovered reservoirs of oil in Jurassic rocks under the North Sea. This material forms part of S278, Earth's physical resources: origin, use and environmental impact.

Audio
30 mins
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: The Open University
The invisible fire extinguisher video icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

The invisible fire extinguisher

Discover the secret of the invisible fire extinguisher. This video shows you how to fight fire with baking soda and vinegar

Video
5 mins
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: BBC
Lenny's Britain - A Labour of Laughs article icon

TV, Radio & Events 

Lenny's Britain - A Labour of Laughs

How do we use humour in the workplace? We now work longer hours than any other country in Western Europe, so are we using a particular type of humour to cope?

Article
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: Production team
Rough Science 6 Colorado: Safety Video Diaries: Jonathan Hare video icon

TV, Radio & Events 

Rough Science 6 Colorado: Safety Video Diaries: Jonathan Hare

Exclusive video extra in which Jonathan Hare talks about the challenge for the Safety programme, from the sixth BBC/OU TV series Rough Science, based in Colorado

Video
5 mins
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