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Modern Pollen Identification (1538)


Course schedule: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., all three days

This course is designed to help the beginning pollen analyst learn the necessary fundamentals of palynology (microscopy, plant reproduction, pollen morphology, and aerobiology). Students will learn the characteristics necessary to identify a variety of common pollen types, particularly those that are most abundant in the air. In addition to identification, aerobiological aspects will also be discussed (concentrations, seasonality, etc.). The bioaerosol sampler portion of the workshop will concentrate on the Hirst-type Sampler (Burkard traps), but Rotorod samplers will also be discussed. Instruction will be in the form of lecture, demonstration and individual study of modern pollen reference material and actual air-sample slides. This intensive three-day workshop will allow ample time for one-on-one instruction and questions.

Day 1
• Introductions, overview
• Pollen: biology, ecology, aerobiology
• Pollen identification; morphology, pollen apertures, surface structure, etc.
• Microscope use for pollen ID
• Pollen characteristics and the use of dichotomous keys
• ID of common airborne inaperturate and monoporate types; microscopy and projected images

Day 2
• Principles of airborne particle collection and air sampler types
• Outdoor collection, sampler demonstrations
• Preparation of reference slides
• ID of common airborne porate types; microscopy and projected images
• ID of common airborne colpate types; microscopy and projected images
• Identification practice with outdoor air sample collections

Day 3
• ID of common airborne colporate types; microscopy and projected images
• Some common airborne non-pollen particles
• Counting methods, calculations from raw counts to particle concentration
• Pollen “unknowns”; practice with air sample slides
• Questions/clarification
• Identification exam