FI photo

This four-day course on water recirculating aquaculture systems started in 1995 at Cornell University in cooperation with Freshwater Institute staff. The course was held at Cornell University until 1999, after which it was held at the Freshwater Institute as a combined Cornell University/Freshwater Institute course. Course participants were initially university extension associates, however current participants include representatives from commercial fish farms, government fish hatcheries, tribal fish hatcheries, government regulators, universities, research organizations, legislative offices, and fish and wildlife organizations. The combined course continued through 2006, after which the course was taught independently by both institutions until Cornell University stopped offering a classroom course. Current course content covers the fundamentals of water recirculating systems for fish culture including mass balances to maintain water quality, unit process design, and system operation. Course topics include the following:

  • RAS Overview
  • RAS Water Quality
  • Mass Balances
  • Pumping and Piping
  • Circular Tank Design
  • Solids Control & Management
  • Oxygenation
  • Carbon Dioxide control
  • Biofiltration
  • Ozone & UV Processes
  • Fish Health & Biosecurity
  • Monitoring RAS Water Quality
  • RAS Management & Operations
  • RAS Design Examples

Course materials provided to participants include a binder of all presentations and a copy of the book Recirculating Aquaculture. The course includes a tour of a RAS facility for hands-on explanation of the engineering and operation. Custom variations of the four-day course (e.g., two-day versions) are available upon request. Custom courses have been provided for a variety of organizations including Marine Harvest Canada, Marine Harvest Norway, Cooke Aquaculture, USFWS, Bonneville Power Administration, California Fish & Wildlife, and Alltech Brazil.

2022 RAS Course

The 2022 RAS Course is scheduled for August 16–19 in Miami, FL at the AC Hotel Miami Dadeland. The course includes a tour of the RAS facilities at Atlantic Sapphire. Click here to view the draft course schedule.


COURSE instructors

  • Brian Vinci, Chris Good, John Davidson, Travis May, Natalie Redman – Freshwater Institute
  • Ed Aneshansley – HTL Sustainable Foods


Course registration ($990) includes course materials, transport to/from the tour of Atlantic Sapphire, all-day coffee and drinks, and catered lunch each day; lodging is not included. Click here to register.
Registration closes August 1.


AC Hotel Miami Dadeland
7695 N Kendall Dr
Miami, FL 33156

Rooms are available for $119 per night (taxes not included). Click here to reserve your room online.
Room block expires July 14.


If you have questions about the course or issues with registration, please contact Kata Sharrer ( | 1-304-870-2209).

Cornell Partnership
The Conservation Fund’s Freshwater Institute has partnered with Cornell University’s eCornell to allow participants of Freshwater Institute’s RAS Course to complete Cornell University’s Designing Recirculating Aquaculture Systems online assessment certificate for a reduced cost. Participants who successfully complete the Freshwater Institute’s RAS Course will be eligible to enroll in the online Cornell University Designing Recirculating Aquaculture Systems assessment certificate, which allows participants to take a final exam and gain access to the digital version of the Recirculating Aquaculture 4th edition textbook. Upon successfully passing the final exam, eCornell will issue a Cornell University certificate of completion to the participant. Freshwater Institute’s RAS Course participants can enroll in the assessment evaluation for $75 (a 50% discount on the standard Cornell assessment certificate program of $150).


If you are interested in the Freshwater Institute RAS Course but are unable to attend, enrolling in the full Cornell University Designing Recirculating Aquaculture Systems online course is recommended – CLICK HERE for more information and to enroll. A discount on the course is available by emailing