Since its launch in April 2022, more than 4,000 users have joined GreenWave’s Regenerative Ocean Farming Hub, including active kelp farmers, hatchery managers, and others looking to get their feet wet in the industry. The goal of the free online resource, which includes a robust suite of courses, 80+ how-to videos, interactive farm design tools, and an online community for aspiring and active farmers to connect and propel the industry forward, was to create an accessible entry point for people new to the field.
In January 2023, GreenWave launched the How to Start a Kelp Farm series, a 6-week guided learning journey through the curriculum. The course creates a peer-motivated learning environment for prospective farmers to learn the fundamentals of kelp farming and evaluate whether they want to pursue steps to launch their own farms.
Each week, course assignments followed the progression of GreenWave’s Regenerative Ocean Farming Hub’s Getting Started track, covering topics including site evaluation, farm design, and permitting. Weekly webinar sessions featured presentations from experienced kelp farmers, marine engineers, scientists, permit coordinators, and GreenWave staff, and lively discussions that continued on the Hub Community.
“Speakers from all over the country brought the topics to life and GreenWave provided amazing support for students/prospective farmers,” said participant Kate Stone. “You can go from knowing literally nothing to being ready to start the process of setting up a farm in just a few weeks. The course featured truly inspiring people, from the Greenwave organizers to aquaculture specialists and farmers, and is worth following for that alone.”
How to Start a Kelp Farm is the first training series of its kind offered by GreenWave, drawing in more than 840 prospective farmers who participated in live sessions and tuned in asynchronously.
“We learned that we cast a wide net in terms of who is interested in our training, which is valuable for shaping future programming,” says GreenWave Director of Training and Support Lindsay Olsen. Attendees expressed interest in finance, scientific research, market development, and other fields in addition to farming and kelp seed production.
In the News…
International Collaboration for Algae Research
In an effort to advance the commercial development of algae, the Patel College of Global Sustainability (PCGS) at the University of South Florida (USF), has teamed with the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTh) in Greece. Using strain improvement strategies and know-how successfully developed at Dr. George Philippidis’ Biofuels & Bioproducts Lab, the AUTh chemical engineering team under Prof. Christos Chatzidoukas’ leadership is trying to improve the productivity of Chlorella sorokiniana for use in the food industry.
Results of the investigation were presented by researchers Georgia Papapanagiotou and Christina Samara on December 13-15th, 2022 at the Algae Europe international conference in Rome, Italy under the title “Generation of improved Chlorella sorokiniana UV mutants with enhanced lipid accumulation capacity.”
Strain improvement is required to enhance algae’s productivity and make them more cost competitive. Using random mutagenesis with ultraviolet light, the USF-AUTh team developed stable mutants of C. sorokiniana that exhibited higher lipid content and productivity than the wild type (parent strain). Further research is planned to characterize the mutants and shed light on biochemical changes caused by mutagenesis that could serve as a tool for future strain improvements.
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