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Are the mountains calling your name?

Author: Mike Fisher

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John Price @johnpricephotography

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If you ever felt the mountains calling your name, here’s your chance to answer.

Sign up for the University of Alberta’s online Mountains 101 course and embark on a captivating adventure into all things mountain. The best part? It’s free! The course begins January 9, 2017. It’s open to anyone on the planet with an Internet connection who has ever wanted to know more about mountains. Registration opens Nov. 1 at uab.ca/mountains.

When you register you’ll be making history. This is the world’s first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) in interdisciplinary mountain studies.

Dive in or take your time

When you’re in a classroom, you can’t just hit the pause button while someone is teaching. One of the advantages of taking this online course is that you can freeze an image or stop a lecture at your leisure. Binge watch it like a Netflix series or just take your time.

Created with the support of Parks Canada, Mountains 101 has 30 hours of course work spread across 12 lessons, similar to a normal university entry-level course. You have four months to move through the video-supported and interactive lessons. Next best part? No exams.

Experts will be your mountain guides, leading you back in time to show how mountains were formed and how they’re built up and worn down over time. You’ll learn about mountain cultures and activities, how mountains are used and how they are protected. You’ll hear from top University of Alberta researchers as well as others around the world, including a “my favourite mountain” feature where presenters provide a glimpse into terrain that inspires them. You’ll get hands-on tips and tricks, too – each lesson ends with a five-minute tech tip to aide you in real time mountain exploration.

The sky’s the limit

The planet becomes your classroom as specialists speak from valley bottoms to mountain summits, from museums and labs to alpine huts about the environs of rock, snow, water and glaciers. Explore wildlife, ecology, biodiversity, adaptability and conservation as you look down from a mountaintop or peer upwards from a glacial lake. Animation, video and other multimedia tools enliven the topics.

Given that mountains span continents, cultures and time immemorial, it’s a safe bet you’ll find something in this course that speaks to you, personally. Whether you take a solo journey or dive in with friends or family, you’ll discover a like-minded community in awe of mountains.

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