The International Geobiology Course is an intense, multidisciplinary summer course that explores the co-evolution of the Earth and it’s biosphere, with an emphasis on how microbial processes affect the environment and leave imprints in the rock record. Participants get a hands-on learning experience in cutting-edge geobiological techniques including molecular biology, microbiology, geochemistry, and sedimentology and work in research groups to solve real research questions.

Themes for this years’ course include:

  1. Molecular biology and biogeochemistry of Mono Lake, with an emphasis on sulfur cycle processes in this unusual alkaline lake.
  2. Microbiology and molecular biology of organisms living in sulfidic and/or hydrocarbon-rich environments.
  3. Mineral, sedimentologic, and geochemical evidence for life in ancient rocks of the Monterey Formation.

This year the course will be directed by Alex Sessions, Woody Fischer, Victoria Orphan, and Hope Johnson, but remains in a format similar to previous years. It begins with a field trip up the eastern Sierra Nevada to visit hot springs, Cambrian rocks, and Mono Lake, and back down to the coast near Ventura to study sulfur springs and tar seeps, and a world-famous exposure of the Monterey Formation. Two weeks of lab rotations at Caltech will introduce students to cutting-edge analytical techniques, followed by two weeks at the Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina Island.

The 2017 course is open to graduate students and postdocs at any level. The cost of the course is US$4000. This year, two fellowships are available to help support postdocs trained in other fields who wish to enter geobiology as a new field of study.

Applications due February 10, 2017.