Course Description

This free access course is designed to reduce fear and increase understanding, and even excitement, about the microbes that surround us and impact our lives. Prepare to be challenged on what you think you know about microbes.

Topics explored in this course include:


  • Differences between harmful and beneficial microbes
  • Research from the College of the Coast & Environment (CCE)
  • Critical Thinking techniques for news items


This course was developed by:


  • Sibel Bargu Ates, Associate Dean of Academics, CC&E and Shell Professor in Oceanography/Wetland Studies, Department of Oceanography & Coastal Sciences
  • Jenn Brum, Assistant Professor, Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences
  • Crystal Johnson, Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences
  • Giulio Mariotti, Assistant Professor, Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences

If after taking this free course, you are interested in furthering your studies about the environment, we also offer a fully online Master of Science in Environmental Sciences!


This is a noncredit online self-paced course.
Register Today!
Section Title
Microbes in the Environment
Section Schedule
Online self-paced
Course Fee(s)
POGF12 non-credit $0.00

English Proficiency Requirements

Continuing Education Programs

Continuing Education (CE) courses and programs offered online through LSU Online & Continuing Education typically include a combination of lecture and discussion as well as reading and writing assignments. You need an adequate command of English in all skill areas (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) to participate in classes.

If English is not your native language, you must meet one of the English language proficiency requirements below to be successful in our CE programs. If you intend to register for a CE course or program, you can determine whether you meet English proficiency requirements by self-assessment prior to enrolling. We want to empower you, the learner, to progress successfully. Completing this self-assessment will enable you to make a good decision on whether you can complete one of our programs.

Intermediate English Skills

Most CE professional development courses and programs require at least intermediate English skills, which are equivalent to a B2 level of English language proficiency on the Self-Assessment Form. When assessing yourself, be sure to read through each of the categories under Column B2 to make sure you meet proficiency requirements.

Advanced English Skills

Online Distance Learning courses and microcreds are for-credit courses and might require more advanced English skills, equivalent to a C1 level on the Learner Self-Assessment Form. Be sure to read through each of the categories under Column C1 to make sure you meet proficiency requirements.

Required fields are indicated by .