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Applied Environmental Microbiology

A one semester course designed to introduce the student to the theory and application of environmental microbiology. The lecture and labs will introduce the concepts of ecosystems (aquatic, terrestrial and atmospheric) at the microbial level and demonstrate how they impact on higher life forms and systems. The study of aquatic systems includes the description and significance of waterborne pathogens and indicator organisms. Also included is the microbiological analysis and evaluation of water samples. Practical applications extrapolate this information to water and wastewater treatment and testing. The study of terrestrial environments includes biogeochemical cycles and energy flow within the ecosystem and the microorganisms' involvement. This information is applied to bioremediation and site reclamation. The concepts of biotechnology and its uses in assessment and clean-up of environmental problems are introduced. Aero-microbiology and its significance are also included in the course. Practical lab exercises reinforce the theoretical principles of the lecture and provide the student with methodologies used by environmental laboratories to comply with current standards and practices.