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Free Online Course on Citizen Science: From Soil to Sky

The University of Dundee is offering free online course on Citizen Science: From Soil to Sky. This course has been created for anyone interested in the environment.

In this four week course, applicants will learn how to understand your soil and explore global environmental soil issues by becoming a citizen scientist. This course will start on February 11, 2019.

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Course At Glance

Length: 4 weeks
Effort: 4 hours/week
Subject: Citizen Science: From Soil to Sky
Institution: University of Dundee and Future learn
Languages: English
Price: Free
Certificate Available: Yes
Session: Course starts on February 11, 2019

Providers’ Details

The University of Dundee is internationally recognized for the quality of its teaching and research and has a core mission to transform lives across society.

About This Course

Where can you find all sorts of useful and important information about your environment? You might be surprised to know it’s beneath your feet, in the soil. On this course you will discover interesting things about your own soil and become part of the new GROW Citizen Observatory European-wide community.

Why Take This Course?

Students will collaborate with other growers and scientists to discover the impact global soil practices have on major issues like the environment and food growing.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, you’ll be able to…

  • Describe the type of soil you have, including details such as soil texture and stone content
  • Explore how soil health influences plant growth and the environment
  • Compare different approaches to growing food, and how these impact soil health and plant productivity
  • Apply knowledge of your own growing space to how it connects to the wider landscape and global soil trends
  • Describe key characteristics of your growing site, such as canopy cover and land cover
  • Explore how you can become a citizen scientist to monitor and improve soil health


This course has been created for anyone interested in the environment. You don’t need any special experience but it might be of interest to small farmers, community and urban growers, gardeners, land managers and allotment growers, and teachers in environment-related subjects.


Dr Naomi van der Velden

Dr Naomi van der Velden is a plant ecologist with a passion for plant communities, which I enjoy applying to food growing.

Dr Drew Hemment

Dr Drew Hemment is a passionate about the incredible things that can happen when people come together to make change.

How To Join This Course

  • Go to the course website link
  • Sign Up At FutureLearn
  • Select a course and Join
  • Once a course has started, applicant will be able to access the course material
  • After the start date, students will be able to access the course by following the Go To Course link on My Courses page.
  • Applicants can buy, to show that they have completed a FutureLearn course.
  • On some FutureLearn courses, learners will be able to pay to take an exam to qualify for a Statement of Attainment. (These are university-branded, printed certificates that provide proof of learning on the course topic(s)).

Apply Now