Loading
Alison Logo

Diploma in Ecology Studies Free Course

certifcate icon
  • Description
  • Outcome
  • Certification
  • The free online course Diploma in Ecology Studies provides information on 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. 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 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 free 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.

  • 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;
    - Explain the principles and challenges of conservation preserve design.

  • All Alison courses are free to study. To successfully complete a course you must score 80% or higher in each course assessments. Upon successful completion of a course, you can choose to make your achievement formal by purchasing an official Alison Diploma, Certificate or PDF.

    Having an official Alison document is a great way to share your success. Plus it’s:

    • Ideal for including in CVs, job applications and portfolios
    • An indication of your ability to learn and achieve high results
    • An incentive to continue to empower yourself through learning
    • A tangible way of supporting the Alison mission to empower people everywhere through education.

Modules List( 15 )
  • DIPLOMA IN ECOLOGY STUDIES
  • Diploma in Ecology Studies - Course Resource Documents
  • Module 1: Introduction to Ecology and Biogeography
    • Learning Outcomes
    • The Scope of Ecology
    • Biogeography and Diversity
    • Population Growth and Extinction Risk
    • Lesson Summary
  • Module 2: Introduction to Terrestrial and Aquatic Biomes
    • Learning Outcomes
    • Characteristics of Terrestrial Biomes
    • Characteristics of Aquatic Biomes
    • Ecosystem Decline
    • Lesson Summary
  • Module 3: The Effects of Global Climate Change
    • Learning Outcomes.
    • Climate Change
    • Ecology and the Environment
    • Biodiversity and Climate Change
    • Lesson Summary
  • Module 4: Patterns of Population Distribution
    • Learning Outcomes
    • Population Demography
    • Life Histories and Population Growth
    • Environmental limits to Population Growth
    • Lesson Summary
  • Module 5: Regulation and Dynamics of Population Growth
    • Learning Outcomes
    • Population Dynamics and Regulation
    • Human Population Growth
    • Population Dynamics
    • Lesson Summary
  • Module 6: Relationships between Species
    • Learning Outcomes
    • Species Relationships
    • Community Ecology
    • Behavioral Biology
    • Lesson Summary
  • Module 7: Diploma in Ecology Studies - First Assessment
    • Diploma in Ecology Studies First Assessment
  • Module 8: Ecology of Ecosystems
    • Learning Outcomes
    • Ecosystem Structures
    • Ecosystem Tipping points
    • ecosystem ecology
    • Lesson Summary
  • Module 9: Energy Flow Through Ecosystems
    • Learning Outcomes
    • Ecosystem Energy
    • Energy Flow Models
    • Ecosystem Energy and Matter
    • Lesson Summary
  • Module 10: Biogeochemical Cycles
    • Learning Outcomes
    • Hydrologic and Carbon Cycles
    • Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Sulphur Cycles
    • Global Ecology Cycles
    • Lesson Summary
  • Module 11: Biodiversity Crisis
    • Learning Outcomes
    • Types of Biodiversity
    • Biodiversity Change
    • Recent Extinctions
    • Lesson Summary
  • Module 12: The Importance of Biodiversity
    • Learning Outcomes
    • Biodiversity and Human Life
    • Threats to Biodiversity
    • Factors Affecting Biodiversity
    • Lesson Summary
  • Module 13: Preserving Biodiversity
    • Learning Outcomes
    • Measuring Biodiversity
    • Conservation in Preserves
    • Island Biogeography and Metapopulations
    • Lesson Summary
  • Module 14: Diploma in Ecology Studies - Second Assessment
    • Diploma in Ecology Studies Second Assessment
  • END OF COURSE ASSESSMENT
  • Module 15: Diploma in Ecology Studies - Final Assessment
    • Diploma in Ecology Studies Final Assessment
Topics List ( 5 )
Module 1: Introduction to Ecology and Biogeography
This module covers the four levels of biological organization - organismal, population, community, and ecosystem. The main factors in relation to study of the interactions of living things with their environment are also covered. Other factors covered include biogeography, the study of the geographic distribution of living things and the abiotic factors that affect their distribution.
Topics List ( 5 )
Module 2: Introduction to Terrestrial and Aquatic Biomes
In this module the main focus is on the eight major terrestrial biomes: tropical wet forests, savannas, subtropical deserts, chaparral, temperate grasslands, temperate forests, boreal forests, and Arctic tundra and aquatic ecosystems which include both saltwater and freshwater biomes. The module explains the various characteristics of each biome as well as the different kinds of organisms which are adapted to the conditions found in each.
Topics List ( 5 )
Module 3: The Effects of Global Climate Change
Module 3 covers both the natural causes of changes in climate, and their effects and current modern-day climate change and its association with the increased melting of glaciers and polar ice sheets, resulting in an increase in sea level. The effect of industrialization, destructive harvesting, overfishing and how this affects plant and animal systems is also covered.
Topics List ( 5 )
Module 4: Patterns of Population Distribution
This module covers the patterns of population distribution and how these patterns evolve through natural selection, so that they allow species to adapt to their environment to obtain the resources they need to successfully reproduce. The main factors in relation to the environmental limits to population growth are also covered, such as resources and the carrying capacity of its environment.
Topics List ( 5 )
Module 5: Regulation and Dynamics of Population Growth
In this module the main focus is on the regulation and dynamics of population growth in relation to the capacity of a habitat in wild animal populations. The module also explains the various characteristics and implications of unchecked human population growth and how humanity affect the carrying capacity of a habitat.
Topics List ( 5 )
Module 6: Relationships between Species
This module covers the relationships between species, such as how species may form symbiotic relationships and community structure. The module also focuses on how environmental and genetic factors shape behaviour including mating systems, imprinting and methods of communication. The movement and migration patterns of animal species are also covered.
Topics List ( 1 )
Module 7: Diploma in Ecology Studies - First Assessment
You must score 80% or more to pass this assessment.
Topics List ( 5 )
Module 8: Ecology of Ecosystems
This module covers the different types of ecosystems and their environments with a focus on how different ways of modelling ecosystems are necessary to understand how environmental disturbances will affect ecosystem structure and dynamics. The main factors in relation to conceptual models, analytical models and simulation models are explained, to show the general relationships between organisms, the flow of materials, linear food chains and holistic food webs.
Topics List ( 5 )
Module 9: Energy Flow Through Ecosystems
In this module the main focus is on energy acquisition in an ecosystem and the way energy is transferred between trophic levels as it flows from the bottom to the top of the food web. The module also explains the modelling of ecosystem energy and how ecological pyramids provide vital information about ecosystem structure.
Topics List ( 5 )
Module 10: Biogeochemical Cycles
Module 10 covers how mineral nutrients are cycled through ecosystems and their environment, focusing on the interconnected cycles of water, carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulphur. The module also focuses on how human activities have caused major disturbances to these cycles, through activities, such as pollution and oil spills, which have damaged ecosystems, potentially causing global climate change.
Topics List ( 5 )
Module 11: Biodiversity Crisis
This module explains how biodiversity exists at multiple levels of organization and is measured in different ways, and how these measurements include numbers of species, genetic diversity, chemical diversity, and ecosystem diversity. The module also explains the five mass extinctions observable in the fossil record, and how recent extinctions recorded in written history and are used as one method for estimating contemporary extinction rates. The other method utilises measures of habitat loss and species-area relationships.
Topics List ( 5 )
Module 12: The Importance of Biodiversity
In this module the main focus is on how humans use many compounds that were first discovered or derived from living organisms as medicines. The core threats to biodiversity are also covered, such as human population growth and unsustainable resource use. How habitat loss occurs through deforestation, damming of rivers, and other activities and how overharvesting is a threat particularly to aquatic species. The module also explains how climate change is forcing species range changes that may lead to extinction.
Topics List ( 5 )
Module 13: Preserving Biodiversity
Module 13 covers the legislative framework for biodiversity protection and the cataloguing of the planet’s biodiversity using methods such as DNA barcoding and information processing. The module also focuses on how conservation preserves are a major tool in biodiversity protection and how the science of island biogeography has informed the optimal design of preserves. The reintroduction of keystone species to restore ecosystems to previous biodiversity levels and the more active role zoos are taking in conservation are also covered.
Topics List ( 1 )
Module 14: Diploma in Ecology Studies - Second Assessment
You must score 80% or more to pass this assessment.
Topics List ( 1 )
Module 15: Diploma in Ecology Studies - Final Assessment
You must score 80% or more to pass this assessment.
Course Features
  • Duration

    6-10 Hours

  • Publisher

    OpenStax College

  • Video

    Yes

  • Audio

    Yes

  • Assessment

    Yes

  • Certification

    Yes

  • Price

    Free

  • Reward

    250 Pts

  • Responsive

    No

Reviews and Rate
This course has no reviews yet.
Tags