All Things Microbial Group

Resources

Sequence data base in support of Pepe-Ranney et al., 2011, "Cyanobacterial Construction of Hot Spring Siliceous Stromatolites in Yellowstone National Park." (Data)

List of Classes

McBride Honors Program

HNRS 202 - Comparative Political and Economic Systems

3 Credit Hours

This is a Colorado School of Mines McBride Program Honors Course. In this course we explore the main strands of the literature in comparative politics and how it can be applied to some of the most important problems of politics and development today. The goal is to reveal the underlying assumptions and historical perspectives framing the debates and evaluate the options and choices for policymakers. This course considers comparative politics, economics and science policy and how these topics merge to formulate solutions and address the needs of humanity.

McBride Honors Program

HNRS 420 - Science, Technology and Ethics

3 Credit Hours

This is a Colorado School of Mines McBride Program Honors Course. In this course we explore the history of science; what science is and does; how technology is conceptualized, developed and implemented to change our world; and how both the science and technology processes affect human behavior. The ethical implications for what is possible with advancements in both science and technology are extremely important to consider for the greater health of our societies and our world. The goal of this course is to better understand long term ethical implications of decisions based on the implementation of both new scientific discoveries and the technology that results from them. This course considers science--from any number of fields, technology development, science policy and how these topics merge to formulate solutions and address the needs of humanity.

CEEN 302 - Introduction to Environmental Engineering II

3 Credit Hours

Second semester introductory level to environmental science and engineering. Topics covered include: fundamentals in atmospheric systems, air pollution control, solid waste management, hazardous waste management, waste minimization, pollution prevention, role and responsibilities of public institutions and private organizations in environmental management (relative to air, solid and hazardous waste). Additional topics covered include: history of environmental law and regulation (air and soil), major sources and concerns of air and soil pollution, soil science concepts, air science concepts, mass and energy balances (air and soil), environmental quality of air and soil (physical, chemical and microbiological parameters), air and soil toxicology and risk assessment.

ESGN / BELS 498 - Introduction to Geobiology

3 Credit Hours

Geobiology is the study of the interactions between Earth and life on the planet over time from the ancient to the modern. It is a subject that crosses many disciplines and lies at the forefront of where some of the hottest research in science occurs. Geobiology includes everything from the search for the basic principles of how life evolved on Earth; how the Earth evolved in response to life; how life 'signatures' are revealed in the rock record, and are those signatures revealed and detectable today in the DNA sequence stored in every living thing; how the atmosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere have left their own signatures on life as they have evolved. Like other interdisciplinary fields, geobiology is understood through the interactions of different kinds of research, a primary one being environmental microbiology (geomicrobiology), and in the era of genomics, amazing things are being revealed.

CEEN 573 - Reclamation of Disturbed Lands

3 Credit Hours

This course will be an introduction to the natural and anthropogenic characteristics associated with reclamation processes of disturbed lands in the environment. The class will focus more on the technical aspects of the reclamation process, e.g., microbial processes. Examination of reclamation methods including recontouring, erosion control, soil preparation, plant establishment, seed mixtures, nursery stock, and wildlife habitat rehabilitation are considered. Practitioners in the field talk on their experiences. The class will also discuss the political, social, economic and ethical implications of things that we are considering. We will be particularly considering things that pertain to life-in all of its forms. Expect to engage in diverse conversations pertaining to land, reclamation / remediation techniques, life in the Western US and relevant environmental concerns. This course is a policy course and will likely leave few stones unturned. The course is discussion based, and is never the same twice.

CEEN 560 - Molecular Microbial Ecology and the Environment

3 Credit Hours

The course begins with an introduction to environmental microbiology that include topics of diversity, biochemical processes and adaptations, and molecular phylogeny. The course then moves to applications of recombinant DNA technology to the development of enzymes and organisms used for environmentally friendly industrial purposes. Topics include genetic engineering technology, biocatalysis of industrial processes by extremozymes, dye synthesis, biodegradation of natural and anthropogenic aromatic compounds, biosynthesis of polymers and fuels, and agricultural biotechnology. Prerequisites: introductory microbiology and organic chemistry or consent of the instructor.

CEEN 595 - Introduction to Environmental Analysis

3 Credit Hours

This course will be an introduction to the natural and anthropogenic characteristics and processes of the environment. The class will focus more on the technical aspects of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Environmental Assessment (EA) processes required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1970. We will also discuss the political, social, economic and ethical implications of things that we are considering. We will be particularly considering things that pertain to life-in all of its forms. Expect to engage in diverse conversations pertaining to life in the Western US and relevant environmental concerns. This course is a policy course and will likely leave few stones unturned. The course is discussion based, and is never the same twice.

CEEN 561 - Environmental Biotechnology (Geomicrobiology)

3 Credit Hours

This graduate-level course explores the interface between the microbial and geological worlds. This has become an important interface in recent years as we seek to determine how microbes 'weather' rocks; how oil and natural gas form in the subsurface; how are signs of life, 'biosignatures,' incorporated in the rock record?; and how do microorganisms in both the modern and ancient affect their geochemical environments and vice versa. We will particularly focus on modes of microbial metabolism that are sustained by inorganic redox reactions, and their relevance to Early Life, Life in the Deep Biosphere, and Life in Extreme Environments (including Astrobiology). We will also investigate known mechanisms of microbial mineral dissolution and biomineralization. These topics are addressed in lecture format, small-group exercises, and in-depth discussion of current literature. Active class participation is expected for all students. Graduate level course: for Geosciences, Engineering, Chemistry and Biology students. At least some undergraduate background in chemistry, microbiology and geochemistry is strongly suggested; ESGN 586 is a prerequisite.

International Geobiology Course - John Spear and Frank Corsetti (USC) Co-Directors, 2010 - 2013

  • University of Southern California, Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies
  • Catalina Island, California
  • Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado
  • 5 Week Summer Course, Intense Learning Environment
  • Course Web Page

This course offers intensive interactions between the fields of biology and earth sciences on an advanced level. Over a period of five weeks, the participants will be exposed to an in-depth treatment of how biology interacts with the environment and how these interactions have shaped the evolution of the earth. Participants will get hands-on experience on modern research methods in geobiology and participate in small research groups solving current questions relevant to the field.

Understanding geobiology will open new insights into the history of life on earth and possibly suggest approaches to discovering life on other planets. The purpose of the course is to provide an overview of the many facets of the exciting field of geobiology by bringing together various aspects of a number of environmental sciences. Since a major goal of the course is to initiate contacts between scientific disciplines that are not usually combined, it encourages a rapprochement between various areas of microbiology, geochemistry, earth systems sciences and geology and treats them with an evolutionary outlook. It encourages interactions between students and instructors in a uniquely informal setting.

The course provides interdisciplinary training for a new generation of scientists. It is our expectation that the gathering of biologists, geochemists and geologists will promote the development of collaborations between established investigators and young scientists to solve important problems in geobiology. The development of a common "geobiological language" that the course will facilitate is essential for progress in this field at all levels. Our most important goal is to train students to identify geobiological topics of interest, pose challenging research questions and explore ways to approach them.

"Albert's waiting in the sun, on a field American, for the cause of some inflated form of hit and run..."
Counting Crows, Einstein on the Beach