MOOC: Reclaiming Broken Places: an Introduction to Civic Ecology

Posted by Harvard University on March 16, 2015

Reclaiming Broken Places: an Introduction to Civic Ecology
Harvard EdX/CornellX MOOC
April 10-May 22, 2015
To Register:
Instructor: Marianne Krasny
Co-instructor: Keith Tidball; Teaching Assistant: Samar Deen

Students in this free online course explore the people, places, and practices that link restoring nature with revitalizing neighborhoods. Civic ecology practices – such as community gardening, restoring streams, planting trees, and removing invasive species to restore native habitat — are a means for communities to rebuild and express resilience in places impacted by war, natural disaster, poverty, crime, and environmental degradation. Civic ecology is the study of the individual, community, and environmental outcomes of these practices, and their roles in governance and ecosystems. Participants in this interdisciplinary course learn about contemporary thinking in social-ecological systems, resilience, and nature and human and community well-being. They also contribute to a local civic ecology practice through the course service learning project.

What is a MOOC?

A MOOC is a Massive Open Online Course. All MOOCs are free and anyone can register and receive all the course lectures, readings and other resources once the course goes online April 10. You can simply access the lectures that most interest you, or you can complete the assignments and receive a Harvard EdX/CornellX certificate.

Why would you want to sign up for this MOOC?
You want to hear some positive news about people and the environment. You will learn about how people all over the world are reclaiming broken places.

You are engaged in local river or vacant lot cleanups; community gardening; tree planting; oyster, fish, or wildlife restoration; friends of parks, rivers, or cemeteries; or other activities where you care for your local environment. You want to understand the larger importance of your work and to meet people with similar interests, or simply access information that you can use to bolster grant applications.

You are curious about cutting edge research being conducted to understand the outcomes and larger implications of civic ecology practices—that is people coming together to care for their local environment and community.

You are seeking a means to get engaged in meaningful activities in your community or online. Through the course service learning project, you will contribute to a local civic ecology practice or one you discover online.

You are an environmental sciences teacher and want to incorporate current research on resilience, environmental governance, social-ecological systems, social learning, and nature and human health into your course.

You have heard the term resilience a lot lately, and you want to understand what it means from scientists who study resilience.

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