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Biology 431L: Aquatic Microbiology

Study Environmental Microbiology on Catalina Island
Instructors: John Heidelberg and Eric Webb
Dates: May -June, 2015: 

You...on an island...getting course credit...and learning about the planet's most important organisms. Excellent! Aquatic microbiology brings together many different fields of science (microbial, ecology, biochemistry, genomics, bioinformatics, and molecular biology), and you can’t help but relate and apply what you’ve learned to the "real world".   You’ll discover how microbes affect not only your health, but also the health of our planet. It is now clear that the techniques and fundamentals of microbial ecology are imperative for understanding human health, as demonstrated by the National Institutes of Health giving the Human Microbiome Initiative nearly the same importance as to the Human Genome.

 “Aquatic Microbial Ecology, BISC 431L Spring 2014—A Catalina Maymester” will be taught as a Spring 2014 Maymester. This deep-immersion course cross-trains students to work and think in many fields, all while spending four weeks on beautiful Catalina Island at the centerpiece of the USC Wrigley Institute, the USC Wrigley Marine Science Center. Due to the marine lab’s unique setting, students will get to spend plenty of time in the field getting to know the microbial world “up close and personal”. You’ll also have an amazing amount of time with your professors!  You’ll not only be learning and conducting research with your instructors, but eating and hanging out with them as well, and you might find it much easier to ask questions  (ranging from the course to your career) over a meal. And we guarantee it will be more fun!

What to do when you’re not studying?  Snorkel in our marine reserve, kayak through secluded caverns or hike the many trails that traverse the island. We provide the equipment and the environment!  For those who may require a hit of city life on the weekends, the Wrigley Institute offers free boat transportation from Catalina to San Pedro on Friday afternoon after class ends, returning on Monday morning before classes begin.

Program Costs:

Tuition: $6,402
Lab Fee: $200
Room and Board: $1,000

Additional expenses: $1,200*

Total: $8,802








For further information on this course and to apply, contact Dr Eric Webb or Dr John Heidelberg