Introduction to Ecology Online Course
With this Introduction course you will begin the fascinating journey into the world of ecological science.
A field of study that is increasingly important as mankind realizes the need to manage the finite resources of the planet.
Learn the varied ecosystems, their evolution and inhabitants and importantly, how they are connected and how they react to man-made intrusions.
This course is recommended as a starting point for anyone wanting to learn more about the environment.
Study this course along with environmental studies, landscape restoration, earth science or water conservation and management to obtain a well rounded knowledge of environmental matters and increase your chances for rewarding employment where you can 'make a difference.'
- To identify the components of an ecosystem and how they interact.
- Discuss the basis of the Theory of Evolution and those elements of science which influenced the theory.
- To discuss the existence of animals in the ecosystem.
- To discuss the presence of plant life in a range of ecological situations
- To discuss the ecological features of mountains, rivers and deserts.
- To discuss the ecological features of shallow water regions and coral seas.
- To discuss the ecological implications of human activities on the environment.
Get Free Info Pack
Complete the form below and we'll send you a free info pack.
Detailed Course Outline
Each course is made up a number of lessons or units. Each of these has self assessment questions, a set task (practical homework) and an assignment which you can upload online. Click below to read about each of the lessons and what you will learn.
1. Ecosystems and Populations
- Types of Ecology: Behavioural Ecology, Population Ecology, Community Ecology and Ecosystem Ecology
- Ecosystems (Energy and Nutrients)
- The Food Web: Grazing Web, Detrital Web, Energy Flow and Imbalances
- Populations: Diversity, Habitat, Niche, and Growth Rates
- Interactions in the Community: Competition, Predation, Co-evolution, Succession and Climax Communities
2. The Development of Life
- Lifespan: Average Lifespan, Evolutionary Considerations on Lifespan and Theories on the Limits of Lifespan
- Evolution: Introduction, What Evolution Means, Evidence of Organic Evolution, The Anatomical Argument, The Physiological Argument, The Paleontological Argument, The Embryological Argument, Steps in Organic Evolution, Multicellular Organisms, The Evolution of Sex, Differentiation and Integration
- The origin of Vertebrates: The Emergence of Man, Factors in Organic Evolution, Germ Cells and Variations, Natural Selection, Population Genetics, The Synthetic Theory, Speciation, Genetic Drift, Trans-specific Evolution, Present Day Evolutionary Debate, Human Evolution and Evolutionary Patterns
3. Animals, Parasites and Endangered Species
- Animals in the Ecosystem: Animals in the Human Community
- Phylum and Classes of the Animal Kingdom: Vertebrates with Backbones, Vertebrates without Backbones, Protozoa, Origins and Relationships, Body Organisation, The Gut, Symmetry, Protosomia, Coelom and Deuterostomia
- Summary of Phyla: The Parazoa, The Mesozoa, The Radiata, Phylum Coelenterata and Phylum Ctenophora
- The Acoelomate Bilateria: Phylum Platyhelminthes, Phylum Nemertina
- The Pseudocoelomates: Phylum Nematoda, Phylum Gastrotricha, Phylum Nematomorpha, Phylum Acanthocephala, Phylum Kinorhyncha, Phylum Rotifera, Phylum Priapulida, Phylum Entoprocta and Phylum Lucifera
- Eucoelomates (The Tentaculata): Phylum Phoronida, Phylum Ectoprocta and Phylum Brachiopoda
- Eucoelomates (The Trochozoa): Phylum Annelida, Phylum Sipuncula, Phylum Mollusca, Phylum Arthropoda
- Eucoelomates (The Deuterostomia): Phylum Chaetognatha, Phylum Echinodermata, Phylum Hemichordata and Phylum Chordata
- Parasites: Human Parasites and Parasitic Plants
- Endangered Species: The Causes of Extinction and Efforts for Preservation
- Case Study (Threatened Animal Species in Queensland, Australia): Birds, Mammals, Fish, Frogs, Butterflies and Reptiles
4. Fungi, Tundra, Rainforests and Marshlands
- Fungi: Introduction, Types of Fungi, The Structure of Fungi, The Reproduction of Fungi, The Physiology of Fungus, Poisoning by Fungi, The Ecology of Fungus, The Uses of Fungi, The Classification of Fungi (Oomycota, Zygomycota, Ascomycota)
- Tundra: Introduction, The Climate and Land Formation, Plant Life on the Tundra
- Rainforests: The Ecology, The Vegetation, Creatures of the Rainforest, The Canopy, The Under-storey, The Forest Floor and Clearing the Rainforest
- Marshland: Introduction, Freshwater Marshes and Saltwater Marshes
5. Mountains, Rivers and Deserts
- Mountains: The Formation of Mountains, The Importance of Mountains, Volcanoes and Erosion
- Rivers: The Formation of Rivers, Dams (Ponds), River Catchments, Urban Catchments, How can we clean up Stormwater
- Reducing Pollutants
- Other Toxicants
- Damming of Rivers
- Deserts: Wind Systems, Land Formation, Plant Adaptations to the Desert, Animal Adaptations to the Desert, Human Impacts on Deserts, The Spreading Deserts
6. Shallow Waters
- Major Natural Processes Occurring in Coastal Environments: Climatological, Physical, Biological and Mixing Processes; Factors Influencing Estuaries; The Estuary as a Nursery; Estuaries and People
- Rocky Shores: Threats to Rocky Shores and What Individuals Can Do
- Sandy Shores: Threats to the Sandy Shore
- Coral Reefs: Corals, The Composition of Coral Reefs
- Types of Coral Reefs: Fringing Reefs, Barrier Reefs and Atolls
- The Origin of Coral Reefs: Flora and Fauna on Atolls; Petroleum
7. Ecological Problems
- Global Warming: Difference Between Greenhouse Effect and Global Warming, Climate Change, A Growing Awareness, Carbon Dioxide
- International Efforts to Combat Climate Change: IPCC, UNFCCC, Kyoto Protocol, COP15 and The World Watch Institute
- The Actual and Potential Effects: Global Temperature Rise, Sea Level Rise, Impacts on Weather Systems
- Greenhouse Gases (GHG): Water Vapour, Methane, Nitrous Oxide and Fluorocarbons
- Ozone: The Ozone Layer, The Causes of Ozone Depletion, Aerosols, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Foam and Phasing out CFCs
- The Effects of Ozone Depletion: Skin Cancers, Immune System Response, Impacts on Crops and Forests and Impacts on Marine Life
- Poisons: Poisons in the Home and Other Household Poisons
- Poisons on the Farm: Pesticides, Characteristics of Pesticides and Summary of Pesticides
- Environmental and Health Impacts of Pesticides: Soil, Water Air Vegetation, Wildlife, Effects of Chemicals on Humans and Animals, Acute Poisoning, Chronic Poisoning and Different Types of Effects
- Waste Material: Rubbish Dumps or Tips, Recycling, Plastics, Gas from Landfills and Domestic Waste
When you have completed your lessons you have the option of taking the optional exam. It's ok if you don't want the exam, we still issue your Careerline Certificate.
Bachelor of Science (Zoology) (Hons), M.Phil. PhD (UTS) current.
I am currently doing my PhD in Environmental Science at the University of Technology Sydney. My research is centered around the effects of climate change on the hatchling velvet gecko population in Australia. This involves collecting wild gravid geckos and incubating their eggs under laboratory conditions. Through exposure to a variety of incubation temperature treatments, I have operationalized my investigation which aims to determine the effect of higher temperatures on hatchling geckos. I am currently in stage 3 of research, which comprises writing a thesis and developing manuscripts for publishing. Prior to my present endeavors within the scientific field, I have also successfully completed a B.Sc. degree, majoring in Zoology, (specialised field: Wildlife Management) with first-class honors and an M.Phil. Degree in Life Sciences. My passion has always been teaching and thus I have worked for seven years as a lecturer at various universities. I love helping students with their own studies.
How It Works
1. Learn Online
Get access to your course content anywhere, anytime and study at your own pace.
2. Get Help & Support
Connect with other like-minded students and get help from the teacher whenever you have a question.
3. Receive Certificate
Graduate from your course knowing that you have what it takes to reach your next step.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I pay in installments?
Yes! We offer great payment plans, however full payment up front is the cheapest. You can choose the best payment plan for you from the course page, or call us on 07 55368782 to talk to one of our course consultants for a custom plan.
Can I study from anywhere in the world?
We have many international students. Careerline's range of courses are suitable for any one, anywhere in the world.
Do I get a discount if I enroll in a second course?
Yes. You may claim a 5% fee discount when you enroll in a second course, and a further 10% off a three-course package.
Do I have to sit an Exam?
No. If you are enrolled in a Certificate course (100hrs), the exam is optional. You will be issued with a certificate which proves that you are competent in all units, if you choose not to sit the exam.
Do you have set start dates?
There are no set start dates, you may start at any time. Our courses are all self-paced. As our home page says, ‘Courses for Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime’. ‘Anytime’ includes the start time of your choice. However, we do encourage our students to submit assignments on a regular basis. Wherever possible, we suggest developing a study routine.