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Get a Hands-on Introduction to Marine Microbiology


A single drop of seawater can hold millions of microbes, and understanding the diversity of these tiny organisms can help us protect ocean ecosystems. Get a hands-on introduction to marine microbes and to the lab techniques scientists use to study them.

We will learn about the different types of marine microbes and the characteristics that allow them to survive in different environments. Then students will practice laboratory techniques that marine scientists and microbiologists use every day, including proper sterile technique and how to cultivate ocean microbes. We will collect field samples and use DNA sequencing and bioinformatics to discover and identify microbe species. The class will immerse students in the scientific process as they formulate questions, collect data and write up their findings. Students will learn about careers in marine microbiology and cultivate important skills for becoming a scientist, including writing and science communication.

What You Will Learn

  • Learn to identify the major categories of microbial life
  • Become familiar with the roles of various microbes in the ocean ecosystem
  • Collect and grow microbial species in a laboratory setting
  • Learn to understand and interpret DNA sequence data and what it can tell us about a microbial community
  • Gain an understanding of how to formulate scientific questions and hypotheses and how to begin investigating them

Note: During the first week of Junior Academy, this class is shortened to four days because of the Fourth of July holiday. 

Return to the Sally Ride Science Junior Academy website here.

Course Number: SIO-90026
Credit: 0.00 unit(s)