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Cornell U, U Queensland Partner on Shark MOOC

Cornell University and the University of Queensland have partnered to offer, via edX, a new massive open online course (MOOC) about sharks.

Launching June 28 during Discovery Channel's Shark Week, Sharks! Global Biodiversity, Biology and Conservation will offer "a deep dive into the secret lives of these incredible sea creatures, giving learners the chance to track movements of a wild shark, observe shark habitats and behavior and dig deep into the fossil record."

Designed to explore the evolution and biology of sharks in an effort to help students decide if the animals truly should be feared or not, the free course will feature insights from global shark experts and new research and technologies.

"An explosion of new research and technologies, such as satellite tagging and CT scanning, are helping researchers advance our knowledge of sharks at an unprecedented rate," said William Bemis, Cornell Professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and co-instructor of the online course, in a prepared statement. "The technology has been integrated so much that you can now follow some sharks on Twitter."

"Working in partnership with Cornell University professors, we present the latest in shark science to educate on what is largely a misunderstood or misrepresented species," said Ian Tibbetts, University of Queensland associate professor of biology and course co-instructor, in a news release. "Given the news hype about shark sightings, you'd be forgiven for thinking that shark populations are on the increase, but in actual fact some shark populations are declining, and likely destined for extinction."

More information is available at

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at [email protected].

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