Montana State University

MB 542-801: Microbial Ecology

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Feb 01-May 03, 2013
Credit: 3 graduate
Tuition & Fees: $835.05 NSTA members 10% discount
Instructor(s): Barry Pyle

Register Online

Course Description

This course will provide students with fundamental knowledge of microbial ecology and its methods. The ecology of microorganisms in relation to nutrition, growth, control, metabolism, biogeochemical cycling, natural environments and microbial interactions will be covered. Readings from the text and other sources, discussions, and assignments will be included to facilitate learning and for evaluation.

This course is intended for middle, high school, and lower level college teachers, as well as others in education roles e.g. at nature facilities such as zoological and national parks.

Meeting Place and Times

This course is being taught online. Teachers login to the course at a time of day that best fits their schedule. It is necessary to connect at least 4-6 times per week spending approximately 9-12 hours each week, either online or offline while the course is in session, to stay current and successfully complete this graduate level course.


Barry Pyle, PhD. Dr. Pyle, Associate Research Professor, completed his BS, MS and PhD in New Zealand and joined the Department of Microbiology at Montana State University to begin post-doctoral research in 1985. He has taught online graduate courses in environmental microbiology for over 10 years. His research interests include microbiology of water, wastewater, food, and spaceflight microbiology.


Participants should have taken a college level general microbiology course or equivalent. NTEN's Exploring Microbiology (MB 536) is recommended but not required.

Target Audience

This course is intended for middle, high school, and lower level college teachers, as well as others in education roles e.g. at nature facilities such as zoological and national parks.

Time Commitment:

9-12 hours per week. If you are unfamiliar with this field of study and/or method of delivery, you may require more time.

Tuition and Fees

 Program Fee $25.50
 Computer Fee$10.05

Course participants will also need to purchase the required text listed below on their own.

A $30 registration fee is also charged once per semester.

The costs above assume that you are taking only MSU Extended University courses during the semester that the course is offered. If you also registered for courses through the MSU Registrar, the regular MSU fee structure may apply.

A $40 late fee will be assessed if payment is not posted to your account by 3 pm (Mountain Time) of the course start date (or the business day before if the course starts on a weekend or a holiday).

To learn more about tuition and fees, please see the University Business Services' Student Accounts Web page.

Required Books/Materials


    Willey, Sherwood and Woolverton, Prescott's Principles of Microbiology, 2009. McGraw-Hill Higher Education; ISBN 9780077213411, Hard copy, alk. paper.
    Prescott's Principles of Microbiology.
    Also available in online custom version for this course on request to the instructor, approx $50-60, if sufficient orders are received. This would be a limited selection of chapters. All or parts of the selected chapters can be printed by the purchaser as required.


    Prescott’s Microbiology, 8th Edition, 2011, by Willey, Sherwood and Woolverton. McGraw Hill Higher Education ISBN-13 9780077350130
    Prescott's Microbiology, 8th Edition
    Also available as a looseleaf version

    Either text is also available as an e-book from CourseSmart.

Teacher/participants are responsible for purchasing the required text for the course on their own before the course begins.

Computer Requirements:

  • Computer running Windows XP Service Pack 3 or newer or Mac OS X.5 (Leopard) or higher
  • CD-ROM drive
  • Internet access

This course uses a learning management system. You will learn more closer to the course start date.

For More Information

If you have specific questions about the course content contact the instructor, Barry Pyle at For questions about registration, call NTEN at (800) 282-6062.

How to Register

Register Online

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