Are you the kind who runs in the same direction as soon as you see a creepy crawly rushing towards you? Or on spotting a lizard, do you look on with fascination instead of screaming with fear? If the answer is in the positive, then the online courses by Bombay Natural History Society are tailor-made for you.
BNHS, which has been doing pioneering work in nature education for many years, has introduced four online courses for nature lovers. The courses, including basic ones in Herpetology (Reptiles and Amphibians), Ornithology (Birds), Entomology (Insects) and Leadership Course in Biodiversity Conservation, are available for the duration of one year from June 2013 to May 2014. The Basic Course in Herpetology is a revised online version of the previous correspondence course. The course will include online chat sessions with subject matter experts and field trips. There will also be monthly assignments, presentations, online research reading and a final project.
For bird lovers, the syllabus of Basic Course in Ornithology includes Classification and Anatomy; Bird Adaptation; Food and Diet; Bird Migration; Bird Conservation and more. For both these courses, the qualification required is SSC, with proficiency in computer and internet, access to a digital camera and willingness to dedicate minimum two hours every day for the course work.
As the name suggests, the Leadership Course in Biodiversity Conservation, is for those who want to develop a better understanding of the biodiversity and the current scenario of conservation. Ecology, Floral Diversity, Insect Diversity, Marine Diversity, Mammalian Diversity, Issues and Environmental Concerns, are some of the subjects included in the syllabus.
The Basic Course in Entomology, is for those who wish to seek expertise in insect studies. Post-graduate students can apply for this course. Isha Pradhan, Education Officer at BNHS informed, “The response to the Ornithology and Biodiversity Conservation courses has been really good, while the seats for the other courses too are fast filling up. The applicants are from varied age-groups and belong to different cities.” She added that all the courses have been designed in a flexible format, to suit the requirements of students staying in other cities.