Over 70% of the Earth?s surface is covered with the oceans, and nearly all of the life within the
ocean is microscopic. Some of these microbes are photosynthetic and form most of the base of the marine food web. These in turn are consumed by other small creatures that eventually provide food for the larger animals in the sea. Bacteria are responsible for maintaining certain chemical balances in the oceans, and themselves are food for other microbes. Understanding how life is sustained in our oceans is vital for coastal human populations that rely on the sea for food. Other people turn to marine microbes for new biotechnologies, or hope that by understanding them we might understand our own planet?s climate history and how marine microbes will respond to global warming and ocean acidification. Satisfies one of the three required modules for the Integrative Experience requirement for BA-MicBio or BS-MicBio majors.