Montana State University

MB 540-801: Environmental-Applied Microbiology

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Jun 08-Aug 14, 2015
Credit: 3 graduate
Tuition & Fees: $835.50 NSTA members receive a discount.
Instructor(s): James Burritt and Nancy Burritt

Register Online

Course Description

Appreciating the complexity of the biosphere involves consideration of its microbial constituents. Environmental impacts and global climate change often show early evidence in its smallest inhabitants.

This course is designed for science educators, but will provide all interested participants with the fundamentals of environmental and applied microbiology. Information presented will enable individuals to expand their knowledge in these topics and challenge them to utilize microbes as indicators of environmental change.

This experience will be provided through:
  • discussions;
  • readings;
  • web resources;
  • quizzes;
  • assignments;
  • and in designing and implementing an ongoing hands-on research experiment.
Participants will gain an appreciation of how microorganisms are involved in supporting the biosphere. They will also learn how knowledge of environmental microbiology can be applied in biotechnology and complex issues, such as microbial diversity in natural environments, pathogenesis, bioremediation, biological control, water purification and wastewater treatment. This course complements others such as general microbiology, infectious diseases, microbial genetics, and studies on biofilms.

Participants will have proxy access to the Montana State University library online. A time commitment of 10-14 hours per week is typical, but those who are less familiar with the course material or online course delivery may need to put in extra time, especially early in the semester.

Meeting Place and Times

Participants log into the course at a time of day that best fits their schedule. It is necessary to connect at least 4 - 6 times per week and spend 10 - 14 hours each week while the course is in session, either online or offline working on course related assignments, to stay current and successfully complete this 3 credit graduate course.


James Burritt. has a PhD. In Microbiology, and is a Professor of Biology at the University of Wisconsin-Stout.

Nancy Burritt. has a BS in Biology, a BA in Education, and a MA in Science Education.


This course is designed primarily for middle school and high school science teachers who are currently certified with at least one year of teaching experience. Participants should have taken MB536, Exploring Microbiology, MB542 Microbial Ecology, or a college level general microbiology course or equivalent.

Target Audience

Middle school and high school science teachers who are currently certified with at least one year of teaching experience.

Time Commitment:

10-14 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$10.50
 Distributed Learning Fee$0.00

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.

NSTA Members are eligible to receive a 10% discount on tuition. Enter your NSTA Membership Number when you are asked for it on the registration form.

Required Books/Materials

  • Prescott's Microbiology, 9th Edition.
    Joanne Willey, HOFSTRA UNIVERSITY;
    McGraw-Hill Higher Education; Hardcopy, 1152 pages (2014)
    Prescott's Microbiology.

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

Regarding registration, please contact Kelly Boyce by phone at (800)282-6062 or (406)994-6812, or by email at

For questions regarding course content, please contact Nancy Burritt at

How to Register

Register Online

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