A Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) about sheep grazing in Iceland was launched today. The course, Sheep in the Land of Fire and Ice, is organised by the University of Iceland, the Agricultural University of Iceland, the Soil Conservation Service of Iceland and the United Nations University Land Restoration Training Programme have developed this new online course open to all on the effects of sheep grazing in Iceland. The launch event for the course takes place in Reykjavík today in Askja on Campus room 132 at 4.30 P.M.
The course is part of EdgeX, a learning platform provided by the University of Iceland through the partnership with EdX. It is in five parts discussing the cultural, historical and economic relevance of sheep grazing in Iceland, as well as current issues, initiatives and approaches. Participants will, furthermore, explore some of the theory that has shaped the application and management of grazing resources. Sheep grazing is an important economic activity in Iceland and is also an important part of Icelandic culture. However, the sustainability of sheep grazing has been questioned, because it has been linked to vegetation degradation and soil erosion. In this course you will gain an understanding of basic ecological principles that underlie sheep grazing systems, their complexity and their dynamics.
The teaching staff in this course consists of Iceland's main specialists in the field from the University of Iceland, the Agricultural University of Iceland, the Soil Conservation Service of Iceland, the Ministry for Environment and Natural Resources as well as Icelandic farmers. Academics for the Simon Fraser University in Canada are also among the teachers in this course.
The course is free for anyone interested in sheep in Iceland, and broader issues related to environmental conservation, sustainable use of resources, or the ecology of northern grazing lands. The language of the course is English and you can take the it any time, and at your own pace!
A youtube video for the course