IARC launches a free Arctic climate change course

Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time, and no place is experiencing more extreme impacts than the Arctic. The International Arctic Research Center is making it easy for people globally to gain a basic understanding of climate change issues in the circumpolar North through a new massive open online course.  

The MOOC, Climate Change in Arctic Environments, is free, with the option to pay for a certificate of completion. Enrollees will learn from leading scientists and experts about modern climate science and the impacts of change across atmospheric, marine, terrestrial and human systems.  

“We hope this resource will be useful in a variety of settings, from teachers using individual videos for science or humanities classes to policymakers or reporters needing background knowledge for decision making or stories,” said Mike DeLue, science communicator at IARC’s Alaska Climate Adaptation Science Center and the project coordinator for the MOOC.  

Well-known climate scientists Rick Thoman and John Walsh, both from IARC and the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy, shaped the course by bringing together over 30 experts from across the Arctic. 

The course is divided into a series of eight- to 10-minute videos that provide an overview of the state of Arctic climate change as it relates to topics such as sea ice, glaciers, fish, birds, Indigenous knowledge, international policy and more. 

Paid participants gain permanent access to the course and can proceed at their own pace. Those accessing the course for free have four weeks after they register to take the course or download the videos. 

This MOOC is part of AlaskaX, free online courses from world-renowned experts within UAF that allow students to study anywhere and at any time. 

Topics covered

  • Atmospheric systems
    • Temperature
    • Precipitation
    • Snow
    • Storms
    • Extreme events
    • Air quality
    • Climate modeling
  • Marine systems
    • Ocean temperature, salinity
    • Ocean currents
    • Sea ice
    • Marine food webs
    • Fish
    • Marine mammals
    • Algal blooms
    • Ocean acidification
  • Terrestrial systems
    • Permafrost
    • Terrestrial snow cover
    • Glaciers
    • Vegetation
    • Wildlife
    • Riverine fish
    • Terrestrial mammals
    • Birds
    • Terrestrial ecosystems
    • Future changes
  • Human systems
    • Indigenous management in the Arctic
    • Subsistence
    • Infrastructure
    • Tribal adaptation
    • Policy 
    • Vulnerability
    • Arctic community monitoring 
    • Communicating about climate change

*All topics are around the Arctic and climate change

Our partners

  • UAF International Arctic Research Center
    • Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy
    • Alaska Climate Adaptation Science Center
    • Scenarios Network for Alaska + Arctic Planning
    • Center for Arctic Policy Studies
    • Alaska Arctic Observatory and Knowledge Hub
  • UAF eCampus 
  • UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
  • UAF Geophysical Institute
  • UAF Institute of Arctic Biology
  • UAF Homeland Security and Emergency Management
  • UAF Center of Arctic Security and Resilience
  • Owl Ridge Natural Resource Consultants 
  • Alaska Ocean Observing System
  • US fish and Wildlife Service, Alaska Region
  • Inuit Circumpolar Council
  • University of Bergen and Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research
  • National Weather Service, Alaska Region 

To support future efforts like this MOOC, consider giving to our new fund, Alaska Climate Research Makes a Difference. Donations help our scientists bring trusted climate change information to public venues.