Online course from EPA: Particle Pollution and Your Patients’ Health

EPA teamed up with CDC to develop and accredit a new course designed for healthcare professionals called Particle Pollution and Your Patients’ Health. The course provides tools to help patients understand how particle pollution affects their health and how to effectively use the EPA Air Quality Index. EPA scientists who conduct research and risk assessments on the health effects of particle pollution contributed their expertise to developing the course.

Course Objectives

Upon completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Explain what size particles are the greatest health concern and where and when they are a problem.
  • Identify how particle pollution exposure affects the cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
  • Identify how particle pollution exposure can affect the general population.
  • Identify how particle pollution exposure affects patients with cardiovascular or respiratory disease.
  • Explain the purpose and use of the Air Quality Index for advising patients how to protect their health.
  • Discuss methods to reduce exposure during high particle pollution events.
  • Address typical patient questions and clinical scenarios relating to particle pollution exposure.

Continuing Education

CME activities with Joint Providers: This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education through the joint providership of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is accredited by the (ACCME®) to provide medical education for physicians. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention designates this enduring material for a maximum of (1.25) AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.

CNE:  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is accredited as a provider of Continuing Nursing Education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

This activity provides (1.2) contact hours.

CEU:  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is authorized by IACET to offer (0.1) CEUs for this program.

For more information about CE credits for this course, visit

Cornell Launches Free Climate Change Course Online — September 11-October 1, 2017

FREE Climate Change Science, Communication, and Action Online Course
Course Dates: September 11-October 1, 2017
Registration Link:

You will learn about basic climate change science, impacts, communication strategies, and actions. You will participate in weekly online discussions and complete short quizzes and compete a final project in which you apply what you have learned to your work (e.g., develop a short plan for an educational program). Plan on an average of 3-4 hours a week of work during the course. We encourage you to form a team of colleagues or friends to take the course together. Course Delivery. Course material will be delivered via video lecture and readings. Course participants may complete assignments alone or with other students. You can access course lectures and readings at any time during the course, but we encourage you to keep up with the assignments for any one week. This course will use the learning management software Canvas for all videos, readings, assignments, and discussions. We will use a closed Facebook group as an optional discussion platform where course instructors and participants can post resources, pose questions, and “meet” others with similar interests.

Benefits to the Learner You will learn about climate change science, communication, and action from experts and apply this knowledge to local climate action projects. You will also have the opportunity to share your ideas and projects with other participants and learn from each other. You can use the materials for proposal writing, program development, and to enhance your career.

Cooperative Extension Educators, Master Volunteers, state and local government, land trusts and other non-profits, Cornell students and staff, and others interested in an introduction to climate change science and how to communicate effectively about this important topic.

Cost: Free

Achievement Certificate awarded to those who complete course weekly assignments. Expert certificate awarded to those who complete weekly assignments and final project.

Course Objectives.
Participants will:

  1. Increase their understanding of the basics of climate change science and communication and action strategies.
  2. Make new connections and share resources as part of an online network of Extension educators, master volunteers, university students and employees, and other professionals, volunteers, and interested individuals.
  3. Enhance climate-related education and actions with youth, students, private land-owners, gardeners, master volunteers, municipal officials, colleagues, and others.

New MOOC from UNEP: Wicked Problems, Dynamic Solutions The Ecosystem Approach and Systems Thinking

The United Nations Environmental Programme has developed a new MOOC entitled “Wicked Problems, Dynamic Solutions The Ecosystem Approach and Systems Thinking.”

It begins on September 12, 2016 and runs for six weeks (seven for the advanced certificate). The cost is free. Here’s more from the course web site:

About this course

We live in a complex and dynamic world. Many problems we face today involve interdependent structures, multiple actors, and are at least partly the result of past actions. Such problems are extremely difficult to tackle and conventional solutions have very often led to unintended consequences.

A systems thinking approach focuses on systems as a whole: how the parts interrelate and how interconnections create emerging patterns. Systems thinking tools allow us to map and explore dynamic complexity. With a better understanding of systems, we can identify leverage points that lead to desired outcomes and avoid unintended consequences. Environmental problems are often described as “wicked problems” to highlight their complexity and the difficulties they entail. Finding answers to current crises such as fisheries collapse, climate change, biodiversity loss, infectious diseases, and inequitable access to resources will be amongst the greatest challenges of our time. The ecosystem approach applies systems thinking to gain a better understanding of how ecosystems function. It can help us identify potential solutions to a myriad of problems inspired in part by the complex dynamics of ecosystems themselves.


  • The first MOOC focusing on the ecosystem approach and systems thinking
  • Case studies from around the world
  • Expert faculty and distinguished visiting lecturers
  • Open to all without restrictions
  • Develop an extensive global network with other students and professionals from around the world
  • FREE of charge, including access to all course material on a 24-hour online platform

What will you gain in this course?

  • a well-developed knowledge of the basic features of ecosystems, the ecosystem approach and systems thinking from an interdisciplinary perspective
  • an understanding of the distinction between reductionist and holistic thinking
  • the ability to apply critical systems thinking
  • enhanced knowledge of the inter-relationships between ecosystems and human systems:
    • critical ecosystem functions and services,
    • threats, drivers and direct and indirect impacts to human well-being and development, and
    • opportunities for the wider application of the ecosystem approach and systems thinking in other sectors
  • specific awareness of case studies selected from representative ecosystems and related global issues, demonstrating the benefits and challenges of integrated approaches for ecosystem management and beyond
  • the necessary basis for designing creative solutions to ecosystem management and governance problems

Course Options

Foundations: 40 hours of learning introducing the student to the basic concepts of the ecosystem and systems thinking approaches. This track consists of 10 modules geared towards university students, policymakers, managers and professionals who require an overview of the topic in order to integrate the concepts of the MOOC into their professions.

Advanced Certificate: 10 additional hours consisting of a final assignment for those who want to acquire more in-depth knowledge, insights and skills relating to the applicability of the ecosystem approach in their respective areas of specialization, in the larger framework of the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.

Students can obtain a certificate of participation after the completion of the Foundations component of the course, and may elect to take their studies further to obtain an Advanced Certificate.

Get schooled in rare-earth metals

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Critical Materials Institute and Iowa State University are offering a unique educational opportunity to get an in-depth overview of the rare-earth metals in a senior and graduate level course offered online spring semester 2016.

The rare earths make up only a small part of the broad field of materials science, but are the subject of intense interest as their use in energy technologies and consumer electronics create increased global demand.

“Rare earths were never considered mainstream materials science, but today they dominate a lot of big conversations—scientific, environmental, economic,” said Critical Materials Institute researcher and Iowa State University Distinguished Professor Vitalij Pecharsky, who will be teaching the course. “And yet there is little in the way of them as a specific topic of instruction like this class.  I don’t believe anything like it is offered anywhere else in the U.S.”

The three-credit engineering course, MSE 457-557, covers nearly every topic related to rare-earth metals, including minerals, ores, extraction, separation, metal preparation and purification;  crystal structures, phase transformations, polymorphism, and thermochemical properties; chemical properties; and physical properties: mechanical, elastic, and magnetic.

The course is a revival of and based upon a two-credit course taught at Iowa State for over 30 years by Karl Gschneidner, Jr., a long-time rare-earth metals expert at Ames Laboratory and Iowa State, and now the Chief Research Officer at the Critical Materials Institute.

“With the Critical Materials Institute, Ames Laboratory, and Iowa State University’s long-standing reputations in rare-earth metals and materials science, it makes natural sense to offer this course here,” said Pecharsky.

“Educational opportunities are a fundamental part of Ames Laboratory’s and the Critical Material Institute’s outreach,” said CMI Director Alex King. “The future of rare-earth sciences will depend on the bright minds we’re able to reach and teach now.”

For a full discussion of the course, see the Critical Materials Institute’s webinar

The class is open to all through Iowa State’s Online and Distance Learning program. For enrollment and tuition information, contact the Office of Admissions at Iowa State University, and

The Critical Materials Institute is a Department of Energy Innovation Hub led by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory. CMI seeks ways to eliminate and reduce reliance on rare-earth metals and other materials critical to the success of clean energy technologies.

Ames Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science national laboratory operated by Iowa State University. Ames Laboratory creates innovative materials, technologies and energy solutions. We use our expertise, unique capabilities and interdisciplinary collaborations to solve global problems.

Ames Laboratory is supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy. The Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit

GC3 Safer Chemistry Training for Businesses

This training is comprised of webinars, ranging from introductory talks to more advanced lessons in specific tools and applications of green chemistry, as well as supplemental reading materials to expand upon the presentations. It is suitable for any business audience, such as purchasers trying to understand new corporate sustainability initiatives, technical assistance providers, formulators who need a grounding in toxicology, or even students seeking careers in green chemistry.

Three free online courses to help you learn more about circular economy

Read the full story in The Guardian.

Whether you’re totally new to the idea, a sustainability professional or intrigued by Cradle to Cradle principles, these online courses can enrich your understanding.

Federal Energy Management Program e-Course: Water Management Basics

This eTraining core course provides learners with a concise introduction to comprehensive water management, including the key topic areas of basic water management terminology, the history of federal water mandates, current Executive Order (E.O.) 13693 provisions, best practices associated with comprehensive water management, and proven water conservation financing mechanisms and strategies.

The three-module course offers a thorough overview of water management in the federal context:

  • Module One: Introduction to Federal Water Management
  • Module Two: Introduction to Comprehensive Water Management
  • Module Three: Financing and Launching Water Management Projects.

Learning Objectives

After completing this foundational course, learners will be able to:

  • Identify new E. O. 13693 water efficiency provisions in six key areas
  • Recognize water types and terminology, definitions, and applications
  • Initiate comprehensive water management planning
  • Consider their financing options to launch and pay for water management projects.