usually take place during the first half of July and are held at Hild-Bede
College and the School of Education, University of Durham. The introductory
course takes 5 days and the advanced courses are normally 3 days. You
are advized to book a place for the introductory course by April. A deposit
of £25 is required for members who cannot supply an official request
from their organization.
Courses consist of lectures, practicals and one or more field visits.
A typical day includes three formal lectures, practicals, and a further
lecture or more informal discussion in the evening if the course is residential.
There is plenty of opportunity for members to raise their particular problems
and the concluding discussion helps to put the whole subject in perspective.
We loan books during the course, supply expendable items and provide each
participant with documentation containing information on many of the topics
covered: widespread and nuisance algae; how to sample algae; preservation
and storage techniques; methods for examining and quantifying planktonic
algae; publications of use for algal studies. If participants have a copy
of The Freshwater Algal Flora of the British Isles (2002), it would
be helpful to bring it. Other copies of this book will be available.
Good quality microscopes
are provided, but participants are welcome to bring their own if they
feel more comfortable with a familiar instrument. All microscopes brought
to the course must have an eyepiece objective containing a calibrated
graticule. Computers are available for reading CD-ROMs of algal images
and interactive keys for the identification of blue-green and green algae.
There will be at least one computer connected to the internet to allow
images of algae to be viewed on The Natural History Museum's web site.
Course members can bring their own portable computers, but the organizers
cannot accept responsibility for loss or other mishap to any equipment
brought to the course.
Course members are encouraged to bring a laboratory coat as well as clothes
and boots suited to a short field visit. There are always plenty of samples
on display, but members are welcome to bring (preferably) fresh algal
samples from their local region, apart from diatoms which are better as
prepared slides. There is no need for overseas members to bring a laboratory
coat or rubber boots - these will be loaned.
Courses tailored to your needs
We can design courses to meet your own training needs; the more we
know about the background and level of experience of your staff, the better
we are able to help. We can run courses in your own laboratories, or can
arrange for them to take place in Durham. There are advantages to either
approach, but we believe that a fully residential course is an excellent
way to achieve rapid training. If you would like a residential course
in summer (July or September), it would be helpful to arrange dates as
early as possible in order to obtain the best accommodation and cheapest
prices. In addition to arranging courses focusing on freshwater algal
identification, we can provide short courses on advanced light microscopy
and the development of electronic keys for identifying freshwater algae
based on Lucid software.