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NCMA Training Courses

Algal Culturing Techniques Course

COVID-19 UPDATE: Our SINCEREST APOLOGIES! We have cancelled the 2020 Algal Culturing Techniques Course.

This course is designed to teach the students the basics of culturing phytoplankton from sterile technique to the basics of growth media and everything in between. In addition, there will be learning sessions on use of automated optical microscopy and molecular techniques for identification, 100's of liter scale mass culturing, and other useful bits of information for embarking on a long career of growing phytoplankton.

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Taxonomic Identification of Harmful Algae in U.S. Marine Waters

COVID-19 UPDATE: Our SINCEREST APOLOGIES! We have cancelled the 2020 Taxonomic Identification of Harmful Algae in U.S. Marine Waters Course.

Effective monitoring and management of harmful algal blooms (HABs) relies on accurate and timely identification of the species involved. The classic method of detection is microscopic examination for HA species based on morphological characteristics. The rapidly expanding harmful algae taxonomy field, retirement of many ‘classical’ taxonomists, lack of dedicated U. S. harmful algae taxonomic and identification training programs, and increased use of non-traditional methods of harmful algae identification all contribute to an increasing need for comprehensive training for U.S. harmful algae managers, scientists and technicians.This course will provide expert training and a certificate of proficiency in harmful algae identification, based on light microscopy, andprovide familiarity with alternate identification technologies.

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Course information

Algal Culturing Techniques Course

COVID-19 UPDATE:Our SINCEREST APOLOGIES! We have cancelled the 2020 Algal Culturing Course.

The Provasoli-Guillard National Center for Marine Algae and Microbiota (NCMA) will offer its annual Algal Culturing Techniques Course again in spring of 2021 with dates to be determined,so please check back often.

The course will be held at the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences Research and Education campus in East Boothbay, Maine. Kindly note we will offer a single course instead of two shorter workshops.

For a better feel of the topics to be covered, please click here for an example syllabus.

The fee for this workshop is $3,500 and includes:

  • Course tuition
  • Materials including a laboratory manual
  • Lodging at the Bigelow Laboratory Graham Shimmield Residence Hall
  • Continental breakfast, coffee breaks and lunch each day (the residence has a community kitchen for evening meals and there are a range of local restaurants)
  • Course participation certificate

The course will be taught by experienced algal researchers at the NCMA and other special guest instructors as appropriate.

Instructors

  • Mike Preston, PhD., Research Associate, NCMA
  • Joan Blachette, Associate Algal Curator, NCMA
  • Mark Hurd, Associate Algal Curator, NCMA
  • Kristin Heidenreich, Assistant Algal Curator, NCMA
  • Mike Lomas, PhD., NCMA Director
  • Peter Countway, PhD., NCMA Associate Director for Algae and Protozoa

Please click the link below to complete the online course application, which includes emergency contact information and media release forms. Once we receive your forms, a course payment invoice will be sent to you at the email you provide. Payment must be completed online by credit card (preferred), or, if you prefer, mail your check payable to Bigelow Laboratory to the NCMA, 60 Bigelow Drive, East Boothbay, ME 04544. The application form and payment are both required to successfully register for the course. You will receive a confirmation email within two weeks of your successful registration. Space is limited and is filled on a first come first served basis. We do expect the course to fill quickly.

Course Application

Financial assistance for graduate students that are members of the Phycological Society of America is available through the Hannah T. Croasdale Fellowship program.

Taxonomic Identification of Harmful Algae in U.S. Marine Waters

COVID-19 UPDATE:Our SINCEREST APOLOGIES! We have cancelled the 2020 Taxonomic Identification of Harmful Algae in U.S. Marine Waters Course.

The Provasoli-Guillard National Center for Marine Algae and Microbiota (NCMA) is planning to offer the 5th U.S. training course on the identification of harmful algae in the U.S. marine waters in the summer of 2021. The dates for the course have not been decided, so please check back often.

The course will be held at the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences Research and Education campus in East Boothbay, ME. The course is designed for current local, state and federal government employees and academics involved in all aspects of harmful algal bloom (HAB) monitoring, research, and management. The course is a tuition-based course. The tuition for this year’s course is $3,500 per student and includes course materials, housing, and meals but not travel. The application process is fully competitive and not all applicants will be selected to participate. It is anticipated that this course will be offered run frequently, perhaps every year if there is sufficient demand, and so there will be future opportunities to take advantage of this training program.

Background and Course Content:

Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) have negative impacts on human and environmental health and result in significant economic losses and are thus monitored and managed by local, state and federal agencies and studied by academic researchers. Regardless of the stakeholder agency all have a common need for accurate and timely identification of HAB related organisms to the species level.

The classic ‘gold-standard’ method of HAB detection is microscopic examination for HA species based on morphological characters. However, there is an increasing need for comprehensive training in HAB identification for U.S. HAB managers, scientists and technicians due to the following:

  • rapidly expanding HAB taxonomy field
  • retirement of many ‘classical’ taxonomists
  • lack of dedicated U. S. HAB taxonomic training programs
  • increased use of more rapid, but less direct non-traditional (i.e. optical, molecular and hybrid) methods of HAB identification

With the goal of developing and teaching a certified, recurring, and classical harmful algae taxonomy and identification course, instructors will provide the theoretical and hands-on training needed to effectively and accurately identify HAB Species. The course will draw upon the recognized scientific and teaching expertise of the established taxonomists involved.

The program will consist of pre-course preparatory reading material and a 10-day course which will cover the following topics:

  • identifying Bacillariophyceae, Dinophyceae, Prymnesiophyceae, Raphidophyceae, Dictyochophyceae and marine Cyanophyceae
  • collection techniques
  • statistical considerations
  • specialized lectures on newer HAB identification and quantification methodologies

Course content will consist of:

  • training material handouts
  • lectures
  • hands on demonstrations with live and preserved species
  • demonstrations of methods for collection
  • treatment of samples
  • enumeration
  • culturing techniques

Many harmful algae species are either in the Provasoli-Guillard National Center for Marine Algae and Microbiota or available from the instructors. Over 60 HAB species will be demonstrated with many morphologically similar species for comparison and differentiation. Harmful algae species will include only those found in US marine waters. Certificates of proficiency will be provided for successful completion of the course and final examination. Students will be encouraged to continue their learning and ongoing networking between fellow students and Instructors facilitated through a course dedicated listserve.

Application Process:

Those interested in applying should click on the link below to complete the application form. The submission deadline for the 2021 course will be April 15th, 2021. Applicants will be notified by May 15th 2021 of the status of their application. Any further application/notification dates will be posted soon.

Course Application

Instructors

  • Celia Vilac, PhD, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
  • Michael Parsons, Professor, Florida Gulf Coast University
  • Ian Probert, PhD, Station Biologique de Roscoff
  • Mike Lomas, PhD, Director of the National Center for Marine Algae and Microbiota (NCMA) at Bigelow Laboratory
  • Peter Countway, PhD, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences

Course Content Consultants:

  • Rita Horner, Professor Emerita, School of Oceanography, University of Washington
  • Karen Steidinger, PhD,Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
  • Carmelo Tomas,Professor Emeritus, Center for Marine Science, University of North Carolina at Wilmington
  • Cynthia Heil, PhD, Director of the Mote Marine Laboratory Red Tide Institute

Thank you for your interest in the Taxonomic Identification of Harmful Algae in U.S. Marine Waters.