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Algae Foundation collaborates with SFCC on DOE grant

January 25, 2016
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

algaefoundationlogoThe Algae Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public about algae, its biology, ecology, cultivation and commercial potential, has been awarded a three-year grant from the Department of Energy to develop a college degree in algal biology, technology and cultivation as well as an aquaculture extension training program.

The Algae Foundation has formed the Algae Technology Educational Consortium (ATEC), a partnership between universities, community colleges, national research laboratories, and industry leaders charged with the development of a two-year college degree and the implementation of a comprehensive algal focused curriculum. The Consortium will develop novel educational programs to strengthen industry workforce capabilities, by focusing on the skills needed to support the commercialization of micro and macroalgae.

The ATEC team initiated its efforts this year at the Algae Biomass Organization’s Summit in Washington, D.C. The group includes members of the ATP3 – based at Arizona State University, the Edge Program – based at University of California at San Diego, NREL, Sante Fe Community College, University of Southern Maine, Montana State University, Rutgers University, and Algenol Inc. The effort is ongoing and will expand as expertise is identified and recruited. The implementation of the curriculum is envisioned to include five community colleges over the next 30 months.

The initial community college partner institution is Sante Fe Community College, Sante Fe, New Mexico. The ATEC curriculum, developed in partnership with Sante Fe Community College faculty will be offered for the first time starting in September 2016. The new effort is centered around the development of courses covering biology, biotechnology, inoculation, cultivation, harvesting and processing skills led by the efforts of Luke Spangenburg and Stephen Gomez of SFCC. Additionally, significant collaborative efforts have been led by Thomas Dempster of ASU and Wendy Stegman of UCSD.

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