Did you know that you can track some sharks’ movements on Twitter? Or that the scales on their skin have influenced the way humans design boats, planes, and even swim suits? Or that sharks have more senses than humans?
In this biology course, you will learn how scientists study sharks. You will join researchers on location in labs, aquariums, and oceans across the globe to learn about the biodiversity, biology, and conservation of sharks, rays, and chimaeras.
In this activity‑rich course, you’ll track movements of a wild shark, observe shark habitats and behavior, and dig deep into the fossil record. You will also examine topics in the functional anatomy, sensory biology, reproduction, behavior, and ecology of many of the 1,200 living species.
This is an exciting time to be a shark biologist. An explosion of new research methods and technologies are leading to a surprising world of discovery. We’ll introduce new, as well as traditional techniques, for classifying sharks, understanding behavior, and unraveling the mysteries of shark evolution. You’ll be invited to explore global shark populations and consider shark-human interactions and their impacts on history and culture.
You’ll be rewarded by your ability to see virtually any animal with new eyes. Practice thinking like a biologist while honing critical skills that can lead to broader observations about the ongoing history of life on Earth.
Week 1: The Big Picture - Biodiversity and Evolution
Week 2: Miracles of Evolution - Functional Morphology and Physiology
Week 3: Thinking Like a Shark - Brains and Behavior
Week 4: Sharks in the World - Human Interactions, Ecology, and Conservation
MOOCs stand for Massive Open Online Courses. These arefree online courses from universities around the world (eg. StanfordHarvardMIT) offered to anyone with an internet connection.
How do I register?
To register for a course, click on "Go to Class" button on the course page. This will take you to the providers website where you can register for the course.
How do these MOOCs or free online courses work?
MOOCs are designed for an online audience, teaching primarily through short (5-20 min.) pre recorded video lectures, that you watch on weekly schedule when convenient for you. They also have student discussion forums, homework/assignments, and online quizzes or exams.
Dr Michael Whitecompleted this course, spending 13 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
The most awesome course imaginable! Excellent videos, understandable information, even in the more complex topics. Willie is superb. So many interesting interviews with cutting edge researchers and colleagues. Take the plunge and meet these ancient marine creatures :)
Hailey Meinencompleted this course, spending 1 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.
Really interesting material. Not too difficult, and can be done with minimal engagement and still get good information. Lots of good resources and excellent videos. Highly recommend for those interested in marine biology in general or sharks in particular.