Dr. Stephen Mayfield, Professor of Molecular Biology at
University of California San Diego

Anew online course in algae basics has just been made available by Coursera for anyone interested in learning the fundamentals of algae. The Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), Introduction to Algae, was produced at the University of San Diego and is being taught by Drs. Steve Mayfield of UCSD and Ira “Ike” Levine, University of Southern Maine.

The course was created by the Algae Technology Educational Consortium and UC San Diego (UCSD) with funding from the Algae Foundation, the National Renewable Energy Lab, and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Designed as a course friendly to beginners and enthusiasts in the field, algae are introduced as an extremely diverse group of organisms that can be found in almost every ecosystem on the planet, and they play an essential role for life on earth. They are little bio-factories that use the process of photosynthesis to create chemical compounds that we can utilize for food, feed, medicine, and even energy.

Ira “Ike” Levine, Professor, Natural and Applied Sciences,
University of Southern Maine

Introduction to Algae will cover what algae are, why they are important, and why we are interested in them for both their environmental benefit, as well as their use for products.

Students will also explore the vast diversity of algae including the characteristics and applications of some of the main types of algae that are in commercial use today. They will learn about algal ecology and how interactions with environment, including pests and predators, affect algal productivity.

The five-week class will examine the processes of algae bio-manufacturing including production processes, as well as some of the products, benefits, and challenges that impact our ability to make commercially viable products from algae.

To enroll: https://www.coursera.org/learn/algae

For more info contact Ira “Ike” Levine at ilevine@maine.edu