Michigan Geomicrobiology Lab

EARTH 112: Life in Extreme Environments (1 credit minicourse)
Life inhabits nearly every environment on Earth, from boiling hot springs to the bottom of the ocean to freezing subglacial lakes.  This course surveys the bizarre life forms that call these environments home, explores adaptations to extreme physical and chemical conditions, and highlights biotechnological resources from extreme life. Offered Winter 2012 and every other fall thereafter (even years).

EARTH/ENVIRON 175: The Microbial World (4 credits)
This course examines how microorganisms shape the world around us, both throughout the Earth's history and today.  Major topics include the origin and evolution of life, the interplay between microbes and the environment, roles of microbes in global warming, and applications of microbiology in biotechnology and energy.  Intended for non-science majors. Offered every Winter (click here for a tentative syllabus).

EARTH 202: Introductory Environmental Science in the Rockies (4 credits)
This course, taught at the Camp Davis Rocky Mountain Field Station in Jackson Hole, WY, introduces students to environmental science in the Rocky Mountains.  The objective of the course is to understand through observation and hands-on experience how natural and human processes cause environmental change. Students learn the principles of the physical sciences, including aspects of earth, atmosphere, and biogeographical sciences, while experiencing the grandeur of the west.

EARTH 313: Geobiology (4 credits)
This course willl address several core geobiological themes in two very different worlds, the microbial world and the vertebrate world. Themes include the coevolution of the biosphere and geosphere, major evolutionary innovations and events, diversity of life and metabolism, biomechanics, and biogeography. Offered every other Fall (even years).

EARTH 513: Geomicrobiology (3 credits)
This course investigates how and why microorganisms (primarily bacteria and archaea) drive geochemical processes.  Emphasis is placed on the integration of cellular physiology/metabolism with cycling and transformation of elements.  Topics include microbe-mineral interactions; roles of microbes in the cyling of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, sulfur, and metals; and critical evaluation of molecular biogeochemical approaches. Offered every other Fall (odd years).

EARTH 523: Microbial Community Omics (2 credits)
This course will focus on emerging "omics" approaches (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics) to studying microorganisms and their interactions with various environments.  It will cover both conceptual and analytical aspects of microbial genome science through lecture and laboratory exercises.  Lab exercises will focus on utilization of high-performance computing to analyze real datasets. Offered starting Fall 2014.