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Algae Foundation gears up coursework

December 3, 2017 — Mark R. Edwards
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

At the recent Algae Biomass Summit in Salt Lake City Algae Foundation President Ira Levine shared this year’s advancements in algal-based education for K-14 and beyond. The past year has been an eventful year for the Algae Technology Educational Consortium (ATEC), which is chartered to design, build and provide training curriculums for algae students locally, nationally, and globally.

Ira Levine and ATEC announced the completion and deployment of several face-to-face and on-line algae courses. The content comes from global algae scientists and academics, led by the Algae Biomass Organization, Arizona State University, University of California at San Diego, ATP3, and Arizona Center for Algae Technology and Innovation, in partnership with Santa Fe and Austin Community Colleges. ATEC also gets content and support from BETO, the DOE Algal Biofuels Program, USDA, EPA and DOE.

In addition to courses, ATEC offers students:

  • Algae industry internships and externships
  • Regional lab and field experiences
  • Algae cultivation opportunities

Students have the opportunity to complete certificate and academic programs that transfer for university undergraduate and graduate credit. The ATEC goal is to train our next generation of algae and biotechnology scientists, algae entrepreneurs, lab technicians, teachers and producers.

Algae Technology Educational Consortium

The Algae Cultivation (Santa Fe Community College) and Biotechnology Degree (Austin Community College) Programs include all new courses:

  • ALGE 111 – Introduction to Algaculture (face to face OR online)
  • ALGE 211 – Advanced Algaculture (face to face OR online)
  • ALGE 221 – Algae Harvesting (face to face OR online)
  • ALGE 298 – Algaculture Capstone (face to face)
  • BIOL 250 – Introduction to the Algal Biology (Phycology) (face to face)
  • PLMB 141 – Pumps and Motors (face to face)
  • ACC –  Introduction to Algae Biotechnology 1 (face to face or online)
  • ACC –  Algal Laboratory Modules (face to face)
  • UCSD – Introduction to Algae MOOC (ONLINE)

Stephen Mayfield and Ira Levine are co-producing the Introduction to Algae as a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) scheduled for December 2017.

Algae Foundation’s MOOC, Introduction to Algae
The Austin Community College will offer the first ATEC accredited degree program in Algae Biotechnology. Students will take at least six courses in algae and biotechnology over their two-year curriculum. Courses include both classroom and laboratory opportunities.

Lead professors include Linnea Fletcher, Chair of the ACC Biotech Department, Austin Community College, Sandesh Subramanya, Ph.D.  Biotechnology Department, Austin Community College and Schonna R. Manning, Ph.D. UTEX Culture Collection of Algae and Department of Molecular Biosciences, University of Texas at Austin.

Algae Academy

The Algae Academy educates and excites students about the power of algae. The Algae Academy provides a 5-day curriculum with a FREE ($300 value) kit that is “drop-in” ready, delivered to schools. In 2017, 48 kits were distributed, which served around 4,000 students in California, Michigan and Ohio. Spring 2018 goals include 100 new kits + 48 replenished kits to serve 12,000 students.

Funding for the ATEC was provided by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office and supported by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Major contributors:

  • Ira Levine, Algae Foundation President, University of Southern Maine
  • Algae Biomass Organization: Tiffany Cannis
  • Arizona State University Online: Bill Brandt, ATP3 Thomas Dempster
  • Austin Community College: Linnea Fletcher, Sandesh Subramanya
  • Harmon Associates, Valarie Harmon
  • NREL: Cindy Gerk, Lieve Laurens, Philip Pienkos
  • Rutgers University Extension Program: Gef Flimlin
  • Santa Fe Community College: Luke Spangenburg, Stephen Gomez, Ondine Frauenglass
  • University of California, San Diego: Steve Mayfield, Travis Johnson

Please engage!

ATEC and the Algae Foundation Need You! Please contact ATEC if you want to assist our efforts to educate and excite our next generation.

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