Mountains 101 Course Reviews

Mountains 101 is a free online course offered by the University of Alberta through Coursera.

Mountains 101 Course Reviews
Mountains 101 Course Reviews

The course is taught by Zac Robinson, a professor of geology and physical geography.

The course is designed to provide a comprehensive introduction to mountain studies, covering topics such as mountain formation, geology, climate, ecology, and human impacts on mountain environments. The course also explores the cultural and historical significance of mountains, as well as the economic and recreational opportunities they provide.

Throughout the course, students will learn about the different types of mountains, including fold mountains, volcanic mountains, and plateaus. They will also explore the processes that shape mountains, such as erosion, glaciation, and tectonic activity.

The course is comprised of 12 modules, each of which includes video lectures, reading materials, and quizzes. The course is self-paced, meaning that students can complete it at their own speed, and there are no prerequisites for enrollment.

By the end of the course, students will have gained a deeper understanding of mountain systems and the ways in which they shape the world around us. They will also be equipped with the tools to critically evaluate the complex social, economic, and environmental issues associated with mountain regions.

Course Content:

Mountains 101 by Zac Robinson on Coursera is a comprehensive course that is divided into 12 modules. Each module contains several video lectures, reading materials, and quizzes. The number of lectures in each module may vary, but students can expect an average of 4-6 lectures per module. Here are the 12 modules:

  1. Introduction to Mountains
  2. Mountain Formation
  3. Mountain Geology
  4. Mountain Climate
  5. Mountain Water
  6. Mountain Hazards
  7. Mountain Ecology
  8. Mountain Biodiversity
  9. Mountain Peoples and Cultures
  10. Mountain Economies and Development
  11. Mountain Recreation and Tourism
  12. Mountain Futures

Each module covers a different aspect of mountain studies, providing students with a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter. From the geological processes that shape mountains to the cultural and economic impacts they have, Mountains 101 offers a broad range of insights into the world of mountains.


The Mountains 101 course by Zac Robinson on Coursera has generally received positive reviews from previous students. The course is well-designed and provides comprehensive coverage of mountain studies, including topics such as mountain formation, geology, climate, ecology, and human impacts on mountain environments. The course is also suitable for students with varying levels of knowledge and experience.

One of the main strengths of the course is the engaging and informative lectures provided by Zac Robinson. These lectures are supplemented by a wide range of additional resources, including readings, quizzes, and discussion forums. The course is also self-paced, allowing students to work through the material at their own speed, and there are no prerequisites for enrollment.

In general, students have appreciated the thoroughness of the course and the high level of support provided by the instructor and the course team. The course has been praised for its clear explanations, interesting examples, and the use of real-world case studies to illustrate key concepts.

Overall, the Mountains 101 course on Coursera is a well-designed and informative introduction to the world of mountain studies, and it has been well-received by students who have taken it.

At the time, the course has an average rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars based on over 2,408 ratings.

What you'll learn:

After completing the Mountains 101 course by Zac Robinson on Coursera, students can expect to develop a range of skills related to the study of mountains. These skills may include:

  1. Understanding of mountain geology: Students will have a solid understanding of the geological processes that shape mountain landscapes.

  2. Knowledge of mountain climate: Students will have a good grasp of how mountain environments influence climate and how climate change affects mountains.

  3. Awareness of mountain hazards: Students will be able to identify and evaluate the various natural hazards associated with mountain environments, including landslides, avalanches, and glacial outburst floods.

  4. Understanding of mountain ecology: Students will be familiar with the unique ecosystems found in mountain environments and the ecological processes that sustain them.

  5. Knowledge of mountain cultures and communities: Students will have a basic understanding of the diverse cultures and communities that call mountain environments home.

  6. Awareness of mountain tourism and recreation: Students will be familiar with the economic and social impacts of mountain tourism and recreation.

Overall, the Mountains 101 course on Coursera provides students with a broad and in-depth understanding of the complex and dynamic world of mountain studies, and equips them with the knowledge and skills needed to engage with this fascinating field.


Zac Robinson is a well-known expert in the field of mountain studies. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Northern British Columbia in Canada, where he conducts research and teaches courses related to mountain environments and sustainable development.

Dr. Robinson has a diverse background in mountain studies, with a PhD in Geography from the University of British Columbia, and experience working in mountain regions around the world. He has conducted extensive research on topics such as mountain tourism, climate change, and natural hazards, and has published numerous articles and book chapters on these subjects.

Dr. Robinson is also highly active in the mountain studies community, serving as an editor for several academic journals and a board member for organizations such as the International Mountain Society and the Mountain Research Initiative. He is a sought-after speaker and has delivered lectures and keynote addresses at conferences and events around the world.

Overall, Dr. Robinson is a highly respected and accomplished expert in the field of mountain studies, with a deep and broad knowledge of the complex and dynamic relationships between mountain environments and society. His expertise is reflected in the quality of the Mountains 101 course on Coursera, which provides students with a comprehensive and engaging introduction to this fascinating field.


The requirements for the Mountains 101 course by Zac Robinson on Coursera are as follows:

  1. Internet access: Students will need a reliable internet connection in order to access the course materials and participate in online discussions.

  2. Basic computer skills: Students should have a basic level of proficiency with computer applications, such as web browsers and office software.

  3. English language proficiency: The course is taught in English, so students should have a good understanding of the language in order to fully participate in the course.

  4. Time commitment: The course consists of approximately 12 hours of video lectures, as well as quizzes, assignments, and discussion forums. Students should plan to devote several hours each week to completing these activities.

  5. Motivation and interest: Finally, students should have a genuine interest in mountain environments and a desire to learn more about the challenges and opportunities associated with these unique and dynamic regions.

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