Free Online Certification in Ecology | Alison

Diploma in Ecology Studies

Learn more about ecological processes and how plants and animals interact with each other and their environment.

Environmental Studies
Free Course
Learn more about ecological processes and how plants and animals interact with each other and their environment.





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Learn about the principles and practices ecology in conservation, natural resource management, forestry, agriculture and fisheries, as well as the role human interactions play in today's changing world by studying the course Diploma in Ecology Studies. 

The course begins by introducing you to the four levels of biological organization - organismal, population, community, and ecosystem. You will then learn about aspects of biogeography, such as the geographic distribution of living things and the abiotic factors that affect their distribution. The course also focuses on the eight major terrestrial biomes: tropical wet forests, savannas, subtropical deserts, temperate grasslands, temperate forests, boreal forests, Arctic tundra and aquatic ecosystems. It explains their various characteristics and the effects of industrialization, destructive harvesting and over-fishing has on them. The course also covers how environmental disturbances affect ecosystem structure and dynamics. The main factors in relation to conceptual models, analytical models and simulation models are explained. You will learn how mineral nutrients are cycled through ecosystems and their environment, focusing on the interconnected cycles of water, carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulphur. The core threats to biodiversity are also covered, such as human population growth and unsustainable resource use, as well as how habitat loss occurs through deforestation, damming of rivers, and other activities. Finally, you will learn about the legislative framework for biodiversity protection and the cataloging of the planet’s biodiversity using methods such as DNA barcoding and information processing. You will also learn how the science of island biogeography has informed the optimal design and layout of conservation preserves and how they are used for biodiversity protection.

This Diploma course will be of great interest to professionals working in the ecology, environment and conservation sectors, and to any learner who would like to learn more about understanding ecosystems and the environment, including concepts of population and community ecology, biodiversity and sustainability.

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Module 1: Introduction to Ecology and Biogeography

Module 2: Introduction to Terrestrial and Aquatic Biomes

Module 4: Patterns of Population Distribution

Module 5: Regulation and Dynamics of Population Growth

Module 6: Relationships between Species

Module 8: Ecology of Ecosystems

Module 9: Energy Flow Through Ecosystems

Module 10: Biogeochemical Cycles

Module 11: Biodiversity Crisis

Module 12: The Importance of Biodiversity

Module 13: Preserving Biodiversity

Module 7: Diploma in Ecology Studies - First Assessment

Module 15: Diploma in Ecology Studies - Final Assessment

Module 14: Diploma in Ecology Studies - Second Assessment

Module 3: The Effects of Global Climate Change

Learning Outcomes

Having completed this diploma course you will be able to: - Define ecology and the four levels of ecological research; - Distinguish between abiotic and biotic components of the environment; - Recognize the relationship between components of the environment; - Define global climate change; - Explain the effects of the Industrial Revolution on atmospheric carbon dioxide levels; - List the three natural factors affecting long-term global climate; - List two or more greenhouse gases and describe their role in the greenhouse effect; - Explain how ecologists measure population size and density; - List the three different patterns of population distribution; - Relate population growth and age structure to economic development; - Define the long-term implications of unchecked human population growth; - Explain the predator-prey cycle; - Define the competitive exclusion principle; - Explain community structure and succession; - List the basic types of ecosystems on Earth; - Explain the methods that ecologists use to study ecosystem structure and dynamics; - Explain trophic levels and how ecological pyramids are used to model them; - Define biodiversity; - Define ecosystem services; - Identify significant threats to biodiversity; - Explain the effects of habitat loss, exotic species, and hunting on biodiversity; - Explain the legislative framework for conservation; - and explain the principles and challenges of conservation preserve design.


All Alison courses are free to enrol, study and complete. To successfully complete this Diploma course and become an Alison Graduate, you need to achieve 80% or higher in each course assessment. Once you have completed this Diploma course, you have the option to acquire an official Diploma, which is a great way to share your achievement with the world. Your Alison Diploma is:

Ideal for sharing with potential employers - include it in your CV, professional social media profiles and job applications
An indication of your commitment to continuously learn, upskill and achieve high results
An incentive for you to continue empowering yourself through lifelong learning

Alison offers 3 types of Diplomas for completed Diploma courses:

Digital Diploma - a downloadable Diploma in PDF format, immediately available to you when you complete your purchase
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