Environmental Microbiology is the study of microbial activity and diversity in both natural and artificial environments. The subject is inherently multidisciplinary-relying upon contributions from analytical chemistry, geosciences, environmental engineering, public health, ecology, evolution and microbiology. Microbes represent the very origin of life on earth, and they comprise the basis of our biological legacy. They remain crucial to global biogeochemical cycling, which supports the continuance of life on our planet, turning over those elements that represent the basic ingredients of life. In this course discussions will be based on readings from texts and primary research literature, while laboratory-based research will be a key component of our activities.