This class levels its focus on the microbial world in soils and how it relates to plant productivity through research projects and hands-on discovery exercises. A deep understanding will be developed of how microbial life controls nutrient cycles in the ecosystem and how microbial community structure influences the productivity of other organisms in the environment. Students will become very comfortable with sample collection and processing, microscopic techniques, cultural, physiological and immunological methods and nucleic acid-based analysis used to study the microbial world that surrounds us. By taking this class students will develop skills to design research projects and increase their understanding of the use of statistical methods.
This class does not satisfy the 400-level seminar course requirement.