GeoBiology Applications and Deadlines

Course dates: June 10–July 18, 2016 
Eastern Sierra Nevada
Mono Lake
Los Angeles (Cal State Fullerton/USC)
USC Wrigley Institute on Catalina Island

Download the course flier in PDF format.

Applications for the 2016 International GeoBiology Course are no longer being accepted.



Participants should be relatively experienced in their scientific field. Basic knowledge of chemistry and biology are prerequisites for successful participation. The course requires complete student involvement in all aspects of the program for the full duration of the course. The field trips planned for this year will involve rigorous physical exertion, both slogging through hypersaline waters and trudging up mountains. We ask all applicants to be aware that this course involves fieldwork and the inherent potential dangers.

Expectations of Participants

As a students in GeoBiology 2016, you will be expected to:

  • Be proficient in English. The course will be taught in English and proficiency is essential.
  • Participate in lectures and seminars and encourage discussion
  • Formulate geobiological problems and search for solutions to them
  • Carefully plan, conduct and document experiments
  • Report regularly on progress in your lab
  • Become familiar with geobiology research literature and with the Internet as a research tool
  • Read recommended chapters of books and original research papers
  • Summarize your research and present your results at the final course symposium


The admission process is competitive. A maximum of 20 participants are admitted on the basis of academic or teaching records, demonstrated interest and ability in research and/or teaching, originality, recommendations and career goals as they relate to the course objectives. All applications are reviewed by a committee that seeks an international group of elite participants. Notification of acceptance and further information will be sent to all applicants by mid-March.

Application Procedure

Complete the application and send to the Geobiology Course Coordinator (see address below). If you need a financial statement for assistance with foreign travel, include it with the application. Applications are due February 12, 2016.

In addition to the application and financial form, include a two-page curriculum vitae and two letters of recommendation. Each letter of recommendation should be completed by someone who can evaluate:

  • Your professional experience.
  • Your commitment to geobiology.
  • Your scientific abilities in terms of creativity, imagination, curiosity, initiative and skills.
  • Your potential for success in applying GeoBiology 2016 to your professional career.
  • Your references should not include any faculty members who are teaching GeoBiology 2016.

Foreign participants will require a visitor visa for participation in GeoBiology 2016 and will have to sign a "health insurance memo of understanding." You will be responsible for getting your own visa. If you are accepted, we will send you the forms and formal invitation letter that are required for a U.S. visa application will be mailed to accepted applicants. You will need to apply for the visa at the US embassy in your country.

Costs and Financial Aid

Tuition for GeoBiology 2016 is $4000 and covers all field trip expenses and room and board. We expect students to discuss this financial obligation with their advisors, home departments and/or institutions to secure funds that can be applied toward tuition.

Financial aid for GeoBiology 2016 is available based on need. We encourage applications for aid, and we assure applicants that an aid request will not influence our review of an application for the summer course.

Travel arrangements to and from GeoBiology 2016 are the responsibility of student participants. The course begins and ends in Los Angeles, CA.


Accident and health insurance are the responsibility of the participants, and you must provide proof of appropriate insurance coverage. The organizers accept no liability.

Student credit

Participants will receive a certificate of attendance. Upon request, the organizers will certify the successful completion of the course, offer an opinion as to the credit value of the program, and suggest an appropriate grade if requested to do so. It is the student's responsibility to validate these credits at his or her home institution. Students may copy and distribute their certificates as necessary; institutions desiring authentication may contact the organizers.

For further information, please contact:

Geobiology Course Coordinator, Ann Close
Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies
University of Southern California
3454 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles, California 90089-0153
phone: 213-740-6780
fax: 213-740-6720