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Advanced Indoor Air Quality: Advanced Fungal Spore Identification (1635V)

This course will be conducted live via Zoom. For more details email


Course schedule: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday – Friday (Central Time, U.S. and Canada). There will be a one-hour break for lunch and several short breaks throughout the day.

Fungal spore identification in the air and direct microscopical examination (DME) of tapes, bulks, and swabs on surfaces are the most commonly requested fungal analyses in the indoor air quality industry. While spore-trap analysis provides valuable data on all aerosolized spore types (viable and non-viable) particles, DME analysis provides us answers if there is actual mold/fungal growth on a given surface. Together, these two types of analyses help investigators solve important indoor air quality issues and make important decisions regarding remediation of affected environments.

This course is designed for working laboratory analysts with moderate knowledge and experience in fungal identification based on spore and actual growth. Participants learn important morphological characters necessary for fungal identification at genus level and, to a lesser extent, at species level. Fundamentals of mycology including ecology, biology, and classification of fungi will be discussed. Surface samples such as tapes, bulks, and swabs are analyzed using DME techniques for variety of fungal genera in indoor environments. Participants also review laboratory reports and learn interpretation of fungal data.

Student access to microscopes is suggested but not required for this course. Students are encouraged to participate and share their unknowns with the instructor and class using their own videos, images, or photomicrographs.

4.5 CM credits

Prerequisite: Course 1630, or previous experience in fungal analysis and instructor consent.

Day 1
• Introduction to mycology; review of common groups/genera occurring indoors, including hyphomycetes, ascomycetes, basidiomycetes, and zygomycetes.
• Ecology, biology, and classification
• Morphological characters used for spore identification
• Conidiogenesis
• Mycological literatures
• Spore-trap sample analysis ID to genus and “groups”

Day 2
• Fungal growth concept as it relates to indoor environments
• Spore trap versus DME: review of laboratory reports/data interpretation using spore trap and DME data
• Laboratory techniques used for DME of tapes, bulks, and swabs
• Preservation of environmental samples
• Discussion on defensible data
• Spore-trap sample analysis ID to genus and “groups”

Day 3
DME of tapes, bulks, and swabs
• Genus and/or species ID

Day 4
DME of tapes, bulks and swabs
• Genus and/or species ID

Day 5
• Examination of selected samples
• Examination of samples from participants
• Concluding remarks
• Open discussion and Q/A