USC Maymester Courses


Join us for our 4‑week Maymester Programs on Catalina Island

Note: For students enrolled full time at USC (the courses are part of the spring semester for units and tuition). Regular transportation to island is provided by USC boat at no cost—students may return to the mainland on weekends if needed.

2016 Maymester Courses:

BISC 431L: Aquatic Microbiology (Professor John Heidelberg, (4 units).  May 16-June 10

Many people are aware that microbes can be harmful to humans, but few realize that microbes and their interactions (with each other and with other organisms) are essential for human life. Sample marine and terrestrial microbial communities on and around Catalina Island and learn what microbes live in the oceans, how they function, and how their presence and activity affect climate and ecosystem function.


BISC 457L: Methods in Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography (ProfessorWiebke Ziebis, (4 units).  May 16-June 10

This field-based course is designed to introduce you to laboratory and field skills in Marine Biology and Oceanography.  You’ll pair scientific methodology in the context of global environmental issues (human impacts on coastal environments, watershed interactions, future challenges).  You’ll build on your previous educational experiences and get focused training in interdisciplinary science methodology, writing and oral presentations. The class emphasizes interdisciplinary approaches and teamwork to learn a better understanding of the complexities of understanding ocean function and implementing ecosystem management strategies in a real landscape.