CoP26 sparks launch of climate course

09 November 2021

CQUniversity Australia has launched a short course that aims to educate students on climate science.

Course developer' Senior Lecturer of Environmental Science Dr Nathan Brooks-English' said the new course would provide participants with a strong understanding of climate science.

"The recent focus on climate change and environmental issues driven by CoP26 in Glasgow made us realise that there's really a need for accessible short courses that emphasise how environmental science can help us understand and resolve those issues'" Dr Brooks-English explained.

"Climate science isn't something you do or don't believe in' it's something you either understand or you don't.

"We're hoping that this course will help people understand the basic science behind the pressing environmental issues of today (population' climate change and waste) and help them communicate their understanding more effectively."

Titled A Beginner's Guide to Environmental Science: Wicked Problems and Possible Solutions' the course has been launched in partnership with FutureLearn to coincide with the CoP26 summit in Glasgow.

"There are lots of people who ignore environmental issues not because they're too hard to solve' but they think it's beyond their grasp to even understand it'" Dr Brooks-English explained.

"What we've done here is provide a course that's accessible to your nan or your friend or anyone who is curious about how things work' and we've applied a 'beginner's guide' approach to the topic.

"You don't have to undertake an undergraduate degree to understand the cause effect and solutions to environmental issues' but you also can't just learn from social media. This course is the Goldilock's zone between 'I did my research on social networks' and a university degree."

Deb Friel' from CQUniversity's Learning Design and Innovation team' said anyone with an interest in understanding environmental science and an internet connection anywhere in the world could enrol in the course.

"The course is being promoted for CoP26 until December 2023 to 16 million students on FutureLearn and the market. We already have more than 370 students enrolled'" Ms Friel said.

"A student who takes this course will get a basic understanding of some of the core concepts in environmental science (thermodynamics made easy and solar radiation and greenhouse gases broken down to easily understandable bits).

"In addition' there's a focus on quantitative estimation that's really useful for tackling environmental issues as well as how we communicate effectively with non-scientists about our environment."

Students receive free access to the course content but a $64 (AUD) fee is required to complete the course.

The short course is available via: