University of Alberta

Mountains 101

Taught in English

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75,662 already enrolled

Course

Gain insight into a topic and learn the fundamentals

Zac Robinson
David Hik

Instructors: Zac Robinson

Top Instructor

4.9

(2,481 reviews)

18 hours to complete
3 weeks at 6 hours a week
Flexible schedule
Learn at your own pace

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12 quizzes

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There are 12 modules in this course

In this introductory lesson, you will learn why mountain environments are relevant to people all around the globe. We’ll also define just what a “mountain” is in order to show why it is useful to think about mountains from various perspectives. TechTip: Your feet are your vehicle

What's included

4 videos3 readings1 quiz

In Lesson 2, we discuss why mountains are located where they are. How did they get there? We’ll explore the physical origins of mountains, theories of mountain building, and how our changing ideas about mountains and their genesis have shaped our engagement with them. TechTip: Dress for success

What's included

5 videos2 readings1 quiz

Mountains influence climate and weather at both global and local scales. In Lesson 3, we will examine how elevation affects atmospheric processes, and discuss an ecological manifestation of mountain climate: the alpine tree line. TechTip: What goes in your pack?

What's included

4 videos2 readings1 quiz

Lesson 4 explores some of the physiological responses that allow humans to visit higher altitudes, as well as the unique genetic adaptations that permit long-time exposure to the world’s high places. TechTip: Stay found – preparation

What's included

4 videos2 readings1 quiz

Lesson 5 focuses on mountain hydrology. We'll discuss the ways that water moves through the mountain landscape, how water shapes and changes mountain landscapes, and we'll introduce some hazards associated with water, such as glacial lake outburst floods. TechTip: Stay found – in the field

What's included

5 videos2 readings1 quiz

Lesson 6 focuses exclusively on glaciers, their physical composition and processes, how they form and move, and how they modify the landscape. We’ll also examine how our changing understandings of glaciers have shaped the ways people have engaged with mountain landscapes over the past few centuries. TechTip: Stay safe – from falling

What's included

5 videos2 readings1 quiz

In Lesson 7, we examine some of the ways people have imagined mountains throughout time, and try to place those ideas and attitudes in their respective cultural contexts. Appreciating the diversity of views – their reception in oral traditions, art, literature, architecture, and other cultural forms – gives us some context for the more dominant ways we think about and celebrate mountains today. TechTip: Stay safe – winter challenges

What's included

3 videos2 readings1 quiz

Mountain hazards are the focus of Lesson 8, specifically snow avalanches, landslides, and volcanoes. We will examine the physical processes that lead to instability in mountain landscapes and consider how risks associated with hazards can be managed. TechTip: Stay safe – avalanche safety (know before you go)

What's included

4 videos2 readings1 quiz

In this Lesson 9, we discuss the ecological and evolutionary processes that account for the remarkable biodiversity of species living in mountain environments. Then, we explore some of the unique adaptations that plants have for coping with extreme conditions, including cold, intense solar radiation, and short growing seasons. TechTip: Go farther – camping

What's included

6 videos1 reading1 quiz

Animals living in mountains have evolved morphological, behavioural, and physiological adaptations to survive under extreme conditions. In Lesson 10, we will focus on how several species deal with the cold and conclude with a peek at the adaptations of fish living in mountain lakes. TechTip: Go farther – cooking

What's included

4 videos1 reading1 quiz

How are mountains used? How are they preserved? In Lesson 11, we examine the often conflicting demands of using mountains, and preserving and managing the integrity of mountain environments, cultures and economies. TechTip: Go softly – mountain ethics

What's included

4 videos2 readings1 quiz

In Lesson 12, we will look forward and consider some possible future scenarios for mountains. How is our changing climate affecting these places? What are the indicators of change? What lessons can we learn from the past and present to inform decisions for tomorrow?

What's included

3 videos1 reading1 quiz

Instructors

Instructor ratings
4.9 (804 ratings)
Zac Robinson

Top Instructor

University of Alberta
1 Course75,662 learners
David Hik

Top Instructor

University of Alberta
1 Course75,662 learners

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