Summer Wave - New USDA-Funded Arizona Project WET/WRRC Collaboration Starts With Intensive Training in UA Microbiology Lab
Water Resources Research Center,
During the week of July 22, the water quality laboratory of WRRC Research Scientist Jean McLain hosted the kickoff of a new USDA-funded project, "Bringing Microbiology and Water Quality into Arizona Classrooms: Workforce Development through Teacher Training". A very intensive week of classroom and laboratory training immersed participants in cultural and molecular analysis of samples, laboratory biosafety, and scientific techniques. The trainees worked to discover the source of a "mock foodborne outbreak." Samples of fresh produce, soils, water, and swabs from workers gloves and packing boxes were assayed to identify the one sample that had been spiked with E. coli bacteria. The first year of this project is spent training the trainers - all Arizona Project WET employees - who will in turn train high school teachers in the summer of 2020 using methods that the teachers will be able to bring into their Arizona classrooms. The USDA grant funding this work is led by APW Director Kerry Schwartz and Jean McLain.