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Microbes in the Wild: Environmental Microbiology Lab - EEB 401

2 Credits

Meets: August 16-28, 2021, but you will enroll for fall term credit*.

Location: U-M Biological Station

Instructor: Melissa Duhaime

TO ENROLL, complete the UMBS Application and register on Wolverine Access for EEB 401 for the Fall 2021 semester. 

Requirements: with EEB 447, satisfies PitE Practical Experience.

Note: A fall term advanced lab course in Ann Arbor, EEB 447, will follow this 2-week field course. EEB 447 will focus on the analysis of student projects developed at UMBS. These two courses are designed to be taken in sequence, but if needed can be taken independently.

*You will live at the Biological Station for the duration of the extension course. Your room and board is covered by UMBS scholarships.

Course Description

This project-based course extension will emulate how scientists study environmental microbes in the context of real-world sustainability issues in Northern Michigan.

Working with local partners (wastershed councils, managers, citizen science groups), you will contend with real world issues. Simultaneously, you will master the microbiological concepts and skills needed for field sample collection and rigorous analysis.

Week 1: Hypothesis development and study design.
Week 2: Two nights on Lake Michigan in a fully equipped research schooner, learning sampling technique, navigation, and the science of regional ecosystem monitoring. Then, completion of your custom research project.

You will master:

  • field sampling techniques for the collection of microbes and their viruses in both the water column and sediment,
  • fluorescent microscopy of microbes and viruses, development of enrichment cultures targeting specific microbial metabolisms,
  • isolation of environmental microbes and viruses, nucleic acids extractions, and concepts of community genomics (actual analysis to be performed in fall term on campus).

Students spreading plates at the Biological Station. So. Many. Plates.