GEO Courses

Learn Geology online from top institutions

Mountains 101 “University of Alberta”

Mountains 101­­ is a broad and integrated overview of the mountain world. This 12-lesson course covers an interdisciplinary field of study focusing on the physical, biological, and human dimensions of mountain places in Alberta, Canada, and around the world. Specifically, we’ll study the geological origins of mountains, how they’re built-up and worn-down over time; we’ll learn about their importance for biodiversity and water cycles, globally and locally; we’ll explore their cultural significance to societies around the globe, and how that relationship has evolved over time; and we’ll learn how mountains are used, how they’re protected, and how today they’re experiencing rapid change in a warming climate.

Enroll “Starts Nov 06”

Big History – From the Big Bang until Today “University of Amsterdam”

Welcome to this Big History course! In this course, renowned scientists and scholars from the University of Amsterdam and beyond will take you on a journey from the Big Bang until today while addressing key questions in their fields. After completing this journey you will have developed a better understanding of how you and everything around you became the way they are today. You will also have gained an understanding of the underlying mechanisms that have helped shape the history of everything and how they wil help shape the future. Last but not least, you will have developed the skill to use this knowledge to put smaller subjects into a bigger perspective with the aid of the little big history approach, which can help you develop some new ideas on these smaller subjects.

Enroll “Starts Nov 06”

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The Dynamic Earth: A Course for Educators “American Museum of Natural History”

The AMNH course The Dynamic Earth: A Course for Educators provides students with an overview of the origin and evolution of the Earth. Informed by the recently released Next Generation Science Standards, this course examines geological time scales, radiometric dating, and how scientists “read the rocks.” We will explore dramatic changes in the Earth over the last 4 billion years, including how the evolution of life on Earth has affected its atmosphere. In addition to looking at geology on a global scale, participants will take to their own backyards to explore and share their local geologic history. Course participants will bring their understanding of the dynamic Earth – along with content resources, discussion questions, and assignments – into their own teaching.

Enroll “Starts Oct30”

The Science of the Solar System “Caltech”

Learn about the science behind the current exploration of the solar system in this free class. Use principles from physics, chemistry, biology, and geology to understand the latest from Mars, comprehend the outer solar system, ponder planets outside our solar system, and search for habitability in our neighborhood and beyond. This course is generally taught at an advanced level assuming a prior knowledge of undergraduate math and physics, but the majority of the concepts and lectures can be understood without these prerequisites. The quizzes and final exam are designed to make you think critically about the material you have learned rather than to simply make you memorize facts. The class is expected to be challenging but rewarding.

Enroll “Starts Jan 01”

Planet Earth. and You! “University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign”

Earthquakes, volcanoes, mountain building, ice ages, landslides, floods, life evolution, plate motions—all of these phenomena have interacted over the vast expanses of deep time to sculpt the dynamic planet that we live on today. Planet Earth presents an overview of several aspects of our home, from a geological perspective. We begin with earthquakes—what they are, what causes them, what effects they have, and what we can do about them. We will emphasize that plate tectonics—the grand unifying theory of geology—explains how the map of our planet’s surface has changed radically over geologic time, and why present-day geologic activity—including a variety of devastating natural disasters such as earthquakes—occur where they do. We consider volcanoes, types of eruptions, and typical rocks found there. Finally, we will delve into the processes that produce the energy and mineral resources that modern society depends on, to help understand the context of the environment and sustainability challenges that we will face in the future.

Enroll “Starts Oct 30”

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