Aquaculture North America

Cornell University offers RAS short course online

May 29, 2019
By ANA staff

Cornell University is ahead of its time in offering courses on recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS). While the aquaculture industry is only beginning to use RAS in raising fish to market size, Cornell has been teaching RAS courses over the past 25 years.

An aquaponics course is in the works at Cornell University to complement the online RAS short course Cornell University is ahead of its time in offering courses on recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS).

It taught the course at various locations in the US, including the Conservation Fund’s Freshwater Institute in Shepherdstown, WV and at Hubbs Sea World in San Diego, CA. It has also offered the course overseas, including Canada, Mexico, Chile, South Africa, Germany, Ecuador and Finland.

The classroom-based RAS course is now available as an online course. Developed with, students anywhere in the world can now avail of the course at The RAS eCornell course covers topics that are written about in the seminal industry textbook, Recirculating Aquaculture-4th edition, written by Timmons, Guerdat and Vinci.

These include:

  • Overview of RAS engineering
  • Water quality objectives, monitoring and measurement
  • Fish growth and system staging
  • Engineering design of individual unit processes
  • System management
  • Fish health management
  • Economic and risk evaluation

The course includes ~11 hours of video lecture content that are integrated with a slide-show lecture. There are quizzes throughout, culminating in a comprehensive exam. More information about the eCornell RAS course is available in a short video on youtube.


“This self-paced course explains the basic engineering principles behind a successful RAS design,” says Dr. Michael Ben Timmons, who led the development of the course. “The objective is to provide sufficient information so students will be able to design, construct, and manage their own RAS system. Basic principles of business management and securing investment capital for the small family farm will also be reviewed.”

At the conclusion of the course, students will have received the essential information necessary to design their own system and have fundamental knowledge of the principles influencing the numerous design options, Timmons added.

As part of the course fee, students will get a copy of the electronic version of the textbook Recirculating Aquaculture-4th edition.

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