We share planet Earth with an unimaginable number of "invisible" microbial life forms. In this course we will explore the structure, metabolism, genetics, and ecology of microbes, most prominently bacteria. Other microbes, including archaea, eukaryotic microbes, and viruses will also be considered. Whenever possible, the relationship between microbes and humans will be highlighted. Other goals will be for students to become comfortable with scientific primary literature and to hone their communication skills through discussions and written assignments. Finally, the laboratory portion of this course will highlight classic and modern techniques in microbiology.