Science & Public Lands

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In this course you will develop an appreciation for the use of science in understanding the complex relationship between human health and natural environments. Topics include the scientific method, best practices for interpreting scientific reports, and identifying possible sources of bias.





This course explains why human health and natural environments is a popular research topic, and provides you with knowledge and strategies for interpreting scientific information. As new research findings in this field are published, new information is shared through various channels, such as social media, news outlets, newspapers, academic reports, policy documents, etc. This course will help you recognize whether the information being shared is factual, unbiased, and objective. Being a wise consumer of scientific information is an important skill in a media environment where some sources of information are not regulated for honesty and accuracy.

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Course Schedule

This course is self-paced to allow you greater flexibility. You are free to move at your own speed, and you decide the order and progression in which you move through the course. You can also revisit and review sections in greater depth as needed.

Elements of the course:

  • Supplemental resources
  • Informal assessment quizzes
  • Final assessment

Following the course, you will complete an assessment which requires you to demonstrate your understanding of key course concepts. Upon successful completion of the assessment you will be awarded an electronic certificate of completion.

Course Chapters

  • Why are We Learning about Science?
  • Historical Basis
  • The Scientific Method
  • Bias
  • Confounding Variables
  • Sources of Scientific Information
  • Best Practices for Reading and Using Scientific Information
  • Recognizing Good and Bad Scientific Information

After completing this course, learners should be able to:

  • Recgonize factors that influence the integrity of scientific information.
  • Describe the scientific method and its role in minimizing bias.
  • Critically examine sources of scientific information.
  • Recognize the role science can play in parks and public lands settings.

Recommended Background

Science & Public Lands is geared towards park and recreation professionals and students in park, recreation, public health, and related disciplines. No prior knowledge is required to take this course. This course is recommended to be completed fifth in this series.


Aside from an internet connection, what resources will I need for the course?

No additional resources are required for this course.

Will I get a certificate after completing the course?

Yes! All courses include a final assessment to evaluate your understanding of key course concepts. A certificate of completion will be offered to you if you complete the assessment with a score of 80% or higher.

Why should I take this course?

Each Eppley e-course is designed collaboratively among experienced instructional designers, subject matter experts, and our partner organizations and institutions. The course curriculum includes current information and best practices in the field, and it is recognized by national leaders in parks, recreation, and land management. Not only will this course benefit your career by expanding your knowledge base, but it will also enhance your application and problem-solving skills.

For more frequently asked questions, please visit our Help Center.


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