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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Ecology: Ecosystem Dynamics and Conservation by American Museum of Natural History

2,678 ratings
727 reviews

About the Course

This course is an introduction to ecology and ecosystem dynamics using a systems thinking lens. Through a case study on Mozambique's Gorongosa National Park, learners will explore how scientists study ecosystems, and investigate the complex array of factors that inform management efforts. At the end of the course, learners will be able to grapple with real-world conservation questions, such as whether an ecosystem can recover from anthropogenic disruption and what role humans can, and should, play in that recovery....

Top reviews

Jun 1, 2019

This was particularly in-depth on the sciences of ecology, and having it based around a particular conservation project made it easier to follow each progressive lecture and concept that was explored.

Jan 3, 2021

One of the best course, I have ever taken. The materials is not hard to follow and the in-depth explanation gives you a proper new perspective which is still open to debate due to conservation topic

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51 - 75 of 731 Reviews for Ecology: Ecosystem Dynamics and Conservation

By Leyla Y

May 11, 2020

This course changed the way I thought about ecosystems entirely and enabled for me to completely embrace the systems thinking idea. It was also very enjoyable and led me to realize my interest in ecology and also modelling ecological systems. It was very interesting to learn about how ecosystems can be approached differently and how the butterfly effect has a very significant place in ecosystem dynamics. Additionally, the way the concepts were given in readings followed by videos enforcing the ideas into the specific scenario made the learning more permanent.

By Karis D

May 6, 2020

Excellent foundational course in ecology with a fascinating case study component. I am an ecologist by training, and found this to be a great "refresher" course on ecological concepts and theorems. I especially enjoyed the closing lectures on biocultural conservation and sustainability--many ecology texts neglect the human component rather than emphasize it! I would strongly recommend this course to anyone seeking a basic understanding of ecological principles, or with a general curiosity about natural interactions.

By B J

Jan 9, 2021

I enjoyed the course it covered a lot of material from the basics to application. The lecturers were engaging and additional readings were informative. I worked in a reserve in E. Africa in the 70s so the political history and impact was interesting as something similar occured where I was. My only criticism, and I suspect this is only me, I wrote in long hand !! most of the readings and one lecture b/c they would not print - it took many additional hours - which, I guess shows my interest in the course.

By Paulette W

Nov 22, 2020

This course was very exciting for me. At first i really didn't know which course to do, but i saw this Ecology course and decided to try it. I have no regrets. I love the environment and this study has opened my eyes to so much that we humans tend to ignore. The lectures made each lecture simple and interesting for me thus making my course even more excited. I would definitely recommend this to all who has a passion for a balance in the use or our biodiversity and all ecosystems and the world at large.

By Rick B

Mar 10, 2021

Excellent course!

Dr. Ana Porzecanski is an awesome instructor and her dedication and interest in this work was obvious during her lectures.

The expertise of Dr.'s Robert Pringle, Eleanor Sterling, Corina Tarnita and others was on display and it was compelling. Paola Boulay's Gorongosa Lion Restoration video was fascinating. And the real time case study of Gorongosa, relevant examples, graphics and professional videos all made this course easily accessible and fun! Powerful content.

Thank you!

By Zach S

May 5, 2020

Informative and well paced. I was apprehensive at first of how focused this course would be on Gorongoza, but the use of a single ecosystem as the reference point for all discussion topics really helped to paint a more complete picture of what needs to be considered in conservation efforts. The lectures were well presented and the wealth of additional resources for those who are curious was greatly appreciated. I was so engaged I finished it early and I never finish schoolwork early :P

By Carol P

Dec 22, 2020

I really enjoyed the course. It is so well sub-divided, which allows equal emphasis on each module and each topic. Examples have been provided wherever necessary that helps support the argument and enables to understand the situation better. The videos are very informative and the professors have explained the models and the hypothesis clearly. For a student like me who wishes to choose Restoration Ecology as a career, this course is a great start. Thank you to the AMNH and HHMI.

By Nicholas F

Jun 10, 2020

This was such a fun and informative course that reinvigorated my love for conservation science and ecology! I'm now fascinated with Gorongosa NP, as well as the two professors from Princeton that study there. I highly recommend this for any conservation professionals or students looking for a course to refresh your knowledge of ecology, while learning about patterns and processes that underlie this field of study as well as strategies for being effective in this field.

By Daniel J

May 6, 2020

Se pueden aprender aspectos muy importantes para entender la dinámica de distintas especies dentro de un ecosistema. Asimismo, cómo cada parte (seres vivos y elementos climáticos) está interrelacionada y debe ser conservada. Una de las partes más valiosas se encuentra en las semanas finales, donde se evalúa la participación del humano en los procesos de conservación y que en efecto es posible establecer una relación de beneficio mutuo entre ambas partes.

By Miahuatl K

Oct 4, 2020

I took Ecology and Evolutionary Biology introduction class at UCLA as an undergraduate about three years ago and this class was a quick effective review and summary that also added new and important information I had yet to learn. The years and images were very enjoyable and made it better to digest, understand, and visualize. The combination of lecture, video, and articles was a great approach. The quiz questions were all appropriately challenging.


Sep 9, 2021

G​ood overview of the concepts of ecology and conservation, their complicated natures, and how all parts of ecosystems (including humans) are intrinsically linked and even small changes can have significant and even unexpected cascading effects on the rest of the system. Liked the specific examples from Gorongosa and other scientific studies. Only complaint is that it is starting to become a little out of date as the latest info is from 2016/2017.

By Tejas K G

Jul 16, 2020

Was a nice course and I get to learn much more new new points on biodiversity conservation and the changes which are occurring in our surrounding. Random methods and experiments which we can do to to study what Are changes occurring is biodiversity due to our activities. And thank you To ecology : system dynamics and conservation team. Also thank you to coursera to provide such a great cause to us.

Thank you 😊.

By Shah M A R

Sep 15, 2020

This was not the first time I have attended a class in this format .I really enjoy the whole time and wondered how effective it would be. It was very effective and therefore I would definitely be interested in attending other classes in Ecology. The instructor was very knowlegeable and provided a wealth of information about the ecology topics . Also the readings,quiz material and others are very good enough.

By Erick C S

Dec 20, 2020

Amazing course, I especially liked the lectures included from 2015, and the video about keystone species was on another level, so interesting and so crystal clear. If you're thinking about giving this course a shot, go for it!

I joined this course expecting it to be good, but at the end I was so engaged that I'll gladly continue learning more about the subject, and I have a different vision about this world.


Jul 1, 2020

I realy like the course. I love Ecology and I think this course is very simple and easy for everyone to understand the foundations of ecology and conservation. I liked that they structured the course in the form of a case study. I didn't know Gorongosa National Park, such a beautiful park, and I found the project developed on the site very interesting. Then I recommend the course to other people.

By Lucia S

Oct 4, 2019

I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to learn from such knowledgeable and commited researchers and educators about ecosystems since I believe it is the most necessary knowledge to aquire right now in order to understand and save ourselves from ourselves. This course is extraordinary and if I could of course I would buy the certificate. I hope I can get it later if it is possible for you.

By Aukse J

Jun 11, 2020

I really enjoyed the course and learnt a lot! I found that the reading times for me were not quite accurate, I don't consider myself a slow reader, but each paper took around 20-30mins to get through, therefore each lesson took much longer than the suggested time. It's just something to keep in mind, either way I highly recommend it if you want to find out more about Ecology and ecosystems.

By Sarha K

Sep 10, 2021

I come from a completely irrelevant background in the sense that I had essentially 0 insight and knowledge on ecology, ecosystems, and conservation efforts; I wasn't sure whether I would be able to follow along or if I would gain anything, but I feel I have learned so much. This course has really opened up an area of interest for me and was presented in a very palatable way.

By Matej B

Apr 2, 2020

Very well structured course, the main distinctive features - heavy use of real world scenario of conservation in Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique which showcases many of the theoretical concepts explained; lectures by established experts from best universities; systems thinking lens; first-seat look into how conservation science works in practice. Strongly recommended!

By Milena H R

Apr 3, 2020

Este curso brinda una visión integral de cómo afrontar las problemáticas ambientales y da a entender la importancia de un enfoque claro para iniciar una investigación y cómo el mismo proceso puede modificar las necesidades y los retos.

Muy motivador ver el trabajo en la reserva de Gorongoza y todo el camino que han recorrido. Esto mismo lo hace un curso con aplicación.

By Ianina O

Mar 24, 2021

I'm amazed by the clarity and depth of these lectures. It's mind blowing how the vision about what we need to change, clears out. Our approach and decision making is key to achieve a more sustainable way of life for this planet.

But then again the saying: "it's in its nature" becomes self-explanatory when we wonder why we struggle so hard to get there, right?

By Заплитный И Д

May 26, 2019

Thank you very much for your hard but so fruitful work. For me, as a political scientist, it was extremely interesting to learn about various aspects of the formation, management and preservation of the environment, to get acquainted with the various theories and views of scientists-practitioners on such urgent and disturbing problems. From Russia with love.

By Shinad K

May 16, 2020

I am a post graduate in zoology especially on the field of biodiversity conservation and management, so I am very interested in ecology and conservation of biodiversity. So, for that this course is an excellent one for people to get ideas about ecology and their conservation strategies. We can earn from the organisms level or species level to the biosphere.

By José

Jun 7, 2020

i would like to state how much i enjoyed this course, and how motivating i found it. I believe it's very well organized and complete, meeting many key ecological concepts and taking into account the human roll in conservation, which is becoming more and more important. Many thanks and congratulations to the team behind this course, you did a great job!


By Micaela R

Aug 6, 2019

As an environmental manager, there weren't many new topics for me, but I did learn more details and acquired richness to knowledge I already had. I did, though, learn a lot about conservation efforts and system thinking. This is an amazing course, clear enough for beginners and rich enough for experienced environmentalists/ecologists to enjoy both alike.