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The content of this book as well as the earlier companion volume "Marine Phytoplankton: A Guide to Naked Flagellates and Coccolithophorids" had its origins as teaching and "handout" literature developed for the Advanced International Phytoplankton Course. Since the original course in 1976, the literature has been updated, improved, and tested on the talented selected participants for each course. With each course offering, requests were made to have the literature presented in a more permanent format as a published book(s). The urgency for the need of such literature was seen as photocopies of the handouts began to appear in various laboratories around the world. Prior to the 1990 course, an attempt to finalize this goal was realized with the agreement to write one book containing this literature. Here we will briefly present the steps of the procedure leading to the publication of this volume.
The idea of an International Course in Phytoplankton had its origins with Professor Trygve Braarud at the University of Oslo, Norway. Within his archived files are notes where Professor Braarud considered a course to teach young students of phytoplankton. The faculty would consist of Professor F.
Identifying Marine Phytoplankton
Copyright © 1996 by Academic Press, Inc. Alt rights of reproduction in any form reserved.
Hustedt (Diatoms), Professor J. Schiller (Dinoflagellates), and Professor E. Kamptner (Coccolithophorids). These names, gurus of the phytoplankton studies of the first half of this century, would have truly made an all-star teaching team. This dream was realized but not with the cast originally designed, as by the time the course was ready to be taught, most of these mentors were deceased.
In January 1969, a working Group of Phytoplankton Methods (WG 33) was established during the executive meeting of the Scientific Committee in Oceanic Research (SCOR). During this meeting, Professor Braarud pointed out the urgent need for considering phytoplankton methods other than those involving pigment and other chemical analyses. The IOC Working Group on Training and Education also commented on the need for modern textbooks and manuals (Unesco technical papers in marine science no. 18, Paris, 1974).
In Item 4 of the Terms of Reference to WG 33, the Working Group was asked to prepare a report including reference to literature in taxonomy of the main groups and on methods for using quantitative phytoplankton data in ecological studies. To fulfill this request, the Working Group suggested a list of the contents of such a manual and a tentative plan for a "Phytoplankton Course for Experienced Participants." The University of Oslo was chosen as the place for the course and the Marine Botany Section as responsible for the teaching program.
The preparation of a Phytoplankton Manual of Methodology started with a meeting at the University of Oslo under the auspices of SCOR in 1974. The "phytoplankton manual" was published in 1978 by Unesco as "Monographs on Oceanographic Methodology 6" with A. Sournia as the editor. No further steps were taken to prepare a corresponding manual on phytoplankton taxonomy although a need had been expressed by some members of WG 33.
The first "Phytoplankton Course for Experienced Participants" was held at the University of Oslo during 4 weeks in August-September 1976 with 17 participants from 13 different countries. After the first offering, the length of the course was cut to 3 weeks, and the next two courses, in the autumns of 1980 and 1983, were held at the Biological station in Drabak, belonging to the University of Oslo. Stazione Zoologica "Anton Dohrn," Naples, Italy, hosted and organized the courses now called "Advanced Phytoplankton Courses, Taxonomy and Systematics" in 1985, 1990, and 1995. Another session of this course is presently being planned for Spring 1998 to be held in the Naples area.
From the very beginning interest in the courses was considerable and increased with each offering. In 1995, more than 170 applications were received for the 15-17 places available. The apparent need for a course dealing with identification of phytoplankton species became more evident with the increased activity in mariculture, the recurrence of harmful phytoplankton blooms, the documented toxicity of certain species, the apparent increased pollution of the sea, and global atmospheric changes.
A total number of 99 participants, representing 38 countries, participated in the five courses to date. The instructors in 1976 were the late Karen Ringdal Gaarder (coccolithophorids, dinoflagellates), Grethe Rytter Hasle (diatoms, dinoflagellates), E. Paasche (algal physiology, cultures), Karl Tangen (dinoflagellates), Jahn Throndsen (naked flagellates), and Berit Riddervold. All the instructors with the exception of Berit Riddervold Heimdal (coccolithophorids), from the University of Bergen, were from the University of Oslo. In 1983, Karen A. Steidinger, Florida Marine Research Institute, and Karl Tangen, now Oceanor, Trondheim, Norway, taught dinoflagellates and Barrie Dale, University of Oslo, lectured on dinoflagellates cysts. Erik E. Syvertsen, University of Oslo, assisted G. R. Hasle with the diatoms. From 1985 the staff of Stazione Zoologica also participated in the teaching.
The courses were sponsored by SCOR and IABO, and financially by UNESCO, NORAD (Norwegian Agency for International Development), the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Italian National Research Council, the U.S. Office of Naval Research, Stazione Zoologica "A. Dohrn" di Napoli, and the University of Oslo.
Despite the unique collection of reprints and identification literature available during the course at the University of Oslo, and later at the Stazione Zoologica, class notes and handouts had to be prepared. They started out with a few pages on each group and increased gradually with additional information from the literature and the respective instructor's own research. In 1983, mainly by Karen Steidinger's initiative, contacts were made with publishing companies to formalize an officially published text. These attempts failed, but in 1989 Carmelo R. Tomas (participant of the 1983 course) started successful negotiations with publishing companies for a text to be used in the 1990 course. Again this deadline was not accomplished but a firm commitment from the authors, editor, and publishing company was definitely made. Consequently, the course notes changed in format and increased in content to form the basis of a manuscript for publication. It became evident that the flagellate and coccolitho-phorid texts would be completed ahead of those on the diatoms and dinoflagellates. This plus the fact that the newly expanded version of the diatom and dinoflagellate sections exceeded the original project would make a book containing all parts too large for a handy volume. After renegotiation between Academic Press and Carmelo Tomas as the editor, it was decided that a volume on flagellates and cocclithophorids would be published first to be followed by the present one on diatoms and dinoflagellates.
Running expenses inside Norway, related to the manual project, were covered by grants from the Department of Biology, University of Oslo; the Norwegian Research Council for Science and the Humanities (NAVF 457.90/ 041); and from the Norwegian Fisheries Research Council (project 66170).
Planning funds for the literature were also awarded to the editor from UNESCO while funds for illustrations, technical assistance, postage, and communications were given by Stazione Zoologica of Naples. Since no member of this team was funded to work full-time on this project, each person gave of their personal time and effort to accomplish the goal of completing these manuals. The respective institutions gave support, as was possible, affording each author and editor the opportunity to work on this project. The support notwithstanding, each member of this team worked on this literature while assuming full duties of their permanent work assignments.
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