13. April 2016 From Knowledge about the Ocean to Sustainable Solutions

Internationally renowned marine scientists provide a knowledge base in a new online course

More than two thirds of our planet is covered with water. The ocean thus plays a decisive role in the human experience. The climate system of the Earth is greatly influenced by the ocean and its resources, such as a rich supply of food which also provides a livelihood for billions of people. But the ocean is also threatened. Its acidity is increasing, and it is being misused as a garbage dump.


The consequences of this human intervention are not well predictable for this, the largest cohesive ecosystem on earth. Marine scientists from Kiel are campaigning increasingly for science-based solutions for sustainable protection of the ocean. Toward this end, transferring their insights to society is of major importance. In this ten-week massive open online course (MOOC) “One Planet – One Ocean: From Science to Solutions“, world-renown marine scientists from the Cluster of Excellence “The Future Ocean”, the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Kiel University and the International Ocean Institute (IOI) provide information about interactions and interdependencies in the ocean and discuss possible solutions toward sustainable use of the ocean.

The lecture series is open to everyone. The main target groups are students, teachers, public and local administration staff working in the marine sciences but also all other interested citizens. Registration is already open for anyone who would like to know more about the world’s ocean. The course has been recorded in English, subtitles in other languages (currently German, Portuguese and Chinese) will be available. There are no fees for the course.

"Interactions and interdependencies in the ocean are complex. With our open online course we want to offer worldwide free access to knowledge about marine science and reach as many people as possible,” says Prof. Martin Visbeck, Speaker of the Cluster of Excellence “The Future Ocean” and oceanographer at GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel. “Science is the most important basis for the commitment of every individual to campaign for the sustainable use and protection of our blue planet.”

The Ocean MOOC covers a variety of topics including ocean change, coastal protection, sea level rise, the threat from human activity such as CO2 emissions, overfishing, marine pollution as well as international governance toward the protection and the sustainable use of the ocean. The team of lecturers includes natural scientists, economists, legal experts and philosophers who contribute to a comprehensive view on the ocean and the services it provides to humanity. Among the 19 instructors are Prof. Mojib Latif and Prof. Ulf Riebesell from GEOMAR, Prof. Martin Visbeck, Speaker of the Cluster of Excellence “The Future Ocean”, Dr. Awni Behnam from the International Ocean Institute (IOI), Prof. Nele Matz-Lück from the Walther-Schücking-Institute for International Law (WSI), Prof. Martin Quaas from the Department of Economics and Prof. Athanasios Vafeidis from the Institute of Geosciences at Kiel University.

The ten-week lecture series runs from May 25 to July 3, 2016. Each week course participants will investigate a clearly defined issue. Each unit includes a 10-minute video, quiz questions, comprehensive accompanying material and interactive tasks.

Impressive images, powerful animations and lectures from, in part, unusual locations such as a research ship, allow the participants to plunge into the ocean scientifically as well as emotionally. There will also be regular live-chats with the researchers as well as the chance to network and interact with the other course participants in the course discussion forum. The course was developed in cooperation with the NGO SDSN (Sustainable Development Solutions Networks), an initiative that has many educational programs related to sustainability on offer on the SDSNedu online platform.

“We have developed a variety of offers which are meant to connect the participants with us and with each other. We also want to contribute to the formation of an international community which will advocate marine protection and stay informed after the course. To this end we are linking to existing online resources and citizen science projects,” says Dr. Avan Antia, lecturer in charge of the new Ocean MOOC “One Planet – One Ocean: From Science to Solutions“ of the Cluster of Excellence “The Future Ocean”.

Register at www.oceanmooc.org or directly at the SDSN website www.sdsnedu.org.

www.ocean-mooc.org (Website of the Ocean MOOC)
www.futureocean.org (Cluster of Excellence “The Future Ocean”)
www.geomar.de (GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel)
www.uni-kiel.de (Kiel University)
www.ioinst.org (International Ocean Institute)
www.unsdsn.org (SDSN Association)


PD Dr. Avan Antia, Head of the Integrated School of Ocean Sciences (ISOS), Cluster of Excellence “The Future Ocean”, Telephone +49 (431) 880-2685, aantia@uv.uni-kiel.de

Friederike Balzereit, Public Relations, Cluster of Excellence, “The Future Ocean“, Telephone +49 (431) 880-3032, fbalzereit@uv.uni-kiel.de

Background information
The Ocean MOOC is coordinated by the Cluster of Excellence "The Future Ocean“ and is a joint project of the Cluster of Excellence “The Future Ocean”, GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Kiel University (CAU) and the International Ocean Institute (IOI). The Ocean MOOC was produced in cooperation with the SDSN Association. The SDSN (Sustainable Development Solutions Network) is an independent non-profit-organization which produces educational programs on the complex topic of sustainable development which are freely available on its education platform SDSNedu to all interested people around the world. The Ocean MOOC of the marine science partners from Kiel and Malta is the first one to explicitly deal with the ocean and sustainable solution approaches for its protection.

Press material

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Professor Colin Devey and Dr. Morelia Urlaub in the Lithothek of the GEOMAR at the film shooting for the online course about the ocean and its meaning for humans.
Foto: Future Ocean

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Professor Martin Visbeck belongs to the 19 marine scientists who want to contribute to a better understanding of the ocean in the new online course “One Planet – One Ocean: From Science to Solutions“.
Foto: Future Ocean