Register for the Workshop

This is a two-step process:

  1. Please complete this pre-workshop short survey
  2. A: If you have a College of Exploration user id please use it to log in here on this page, that will register you for the course.
    B. If you do not have a user id for the College of Exploration please complete this new user registration.

Workshop Flyer: Please advertise the workshop by printing and posting this flyer Workshop Flyer  (PDF)


Option: Take this Workshop for Graduate Credit

“Microbes down below! Exploring life beneath the ocean floor.”  Monday , November 4- Friday November 15, 2013  

Graduate credit is available for this workshop. Participants can earn one graduate credit for $75. Download the syllabus below and please contact Pat Harcourt for more information

Syllabus of C DEBI workshop for credit participants  (PDF)


Welcome to the Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (C-DEBI ) online workshop on the College of Exploration online campus in partnership with the University of Southern California Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies.

The Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (C-DEBI) and the College of Exploration invite you to explore “life on the dark side” in a free online workshop: “Microbes down below! Exploring life beneath the ocean floor.”

For more information about C-DEBI visit:

Participation is FREE and open to all! Materials and content will be especially designed for use in community college classes, with additional materials for high school classes.

C-DEBI scientists have drilled deep into the ocean floor to study how microbial life survives and thrives in sediments and rock below the bottom of the ocean, a dark world far below the sunlit photic zone. In the workshop, we will investigate life in extreme environments, chemosynthesis, microbial evolution, marine technology and engineering, and many other topics. During the workshop you will meet and interact personally with C-DEBI scientists and collect resources and lessons to help you share this exciting research with your students.


 Week One:
Keynote:  “Studying Life Below the Sea Floor” 
by Dr. John Kirkpatrick, University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography. 
Dr. Kirkpatrick

Dr. Kirkpatrick will present on how life in the deep biosphere is studied; how microbes survive in the extreme conditions found there; microbial evolution; and the value of these studies for broader applications. Interactive discussions with Dr. Kirkpatrick will take place during week one. 

Lecture available Sat Nov 2, 5pm Eastern 
Interaction with Dr. Kirkpatrick and his grad students Nov 4 - 8  

 Week Two:
Keynote: “Biogeography of the Deep Biosphere” 
by Dr. Brandi Reese
, University of Southern California, Los Angeles.
Dr. Reese

Dr. Reese will present on extreme environments in the ocean; physical and chemical factors in extreme environments; the sub-seafloor microbial community and how it interacts with the geochemical environment; chemosynthesis vs. photosynthesis. Interactive discussions with Dr. Reese will occur during week two.

Lecture available Fri Nov 8, 5pm Pacific 
Interaction with Dr. Reese and her grad students Nov 11 - 15

C-DEBI Website  

The College of Exploration

Updated: December 11, 2015