Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Mold Remediation Training 16 hours in May, 2020 at the University of Minnesota

I will be helping to teach the 16 hour mold remediation Training offered through the University of Minnesota through the Midwest Consortium for Hazardous Waste Worker Training on Tuesday May 5th through Wednesday May 6th, 2020.

Course Location: 
University Office Plaza, 2221 University Ave SE, Suite 114, Minneapolis, MN 55414

The course covers mold health effects, investigation and mold remediation. We've offered this course for several years and have had very good feedback on the course material. Mike Buck from University Health and Safety and Sean Gabor from the University of Minnesota Hazardous Materials group will also be teaching part of the course. 

Monday, December 30, 2019

More blueberry Botrytis

Botrytis spp. growing on blueberries left in a refrigerator - N. Carlson

As I came back from Christmas break, I found some left over blueberries in the refrigerator at work. A few of the blueberries had fungal growth.  Upon microscopic examination at 400x it turned out to be Botrytis spp. The name originates from the Greek term botrys which means grape. It is  combined with the Latin itis which means disease (ref: wikipedia Botrytis etymology). This is an excellent name as under the microscope the conidia are clustered like grapes on the conidiophore.

Photomicrograph of conidia and condiophore of Botrytis spp. 400x  N. Carlson

Conidiophore showing the attachment points for conidia of Botrytis spp.  - 400x N. Carlson

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Photographs of Minnesota Wildlife by N. G. Carlson

This past spring and summer, I took photographs of wildlife at Silverwood Park and Long Lake Regional Park north of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. Other locations were outside the Bell Museum of Natural History, near my residence and at a woods north of the Twin Cities metro area. 

Spending time in nature during weekday mornings and on weekends made the spring, summer, and fall a wonderful experience. In the book you will meet Scruffy and Blue two Great Blue Herons who glided from one fishing spot to another stopping long enough for me to watch them groom themselves and patiently fish. 

A doe and the fawn on the cover of the book surprised me more than once on my morning walks. The wood duck and hooded merganser families spent time with each other raising their ducklings together. Turtles played tag under water and covered up the available logs on cool sunny days. 

I enjoyed listening to the sounds of songbirds and the hammering of the woodpeckers. I watched bluebirds diving on the grass to pick up insects and the osprey fishing for sunfish. Butterflies, bees, and dragonflies enjoyed the flowers and time on the lake.   

Photographing the wildlife was a walking meditation and an opportunity to capture the beauty in nature. It was a chance to observe and enjoy the dance of life. The book, Photographs of Minnesota Wildlife is available from Amazon in a paperback and kindle version. 

I appreciate the support from the Silverwood Camera Club and my editors Betsy Salvatore and Tammy K. Smith. 

Cardinals 1 min. 15 sec.

Catbird - 36 seconds

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Biosecurity guide for livestock exhibitors - UMASH

The Upper Midwest Agriculture Safety and Health Center produced a video on six tips for biosecurity for youth livestock exhibitors.

6 Tricks of Biosecurity - 3.04 minutes

Minnesota School indoor air quality training in person and webinar

School Indoor Air Quality Training - Minnesota Department of Health

Public schools must have health and safety programs that comply with health, safety, and environmental regulations and best practices, including indoor air quality (IAQ) management. One best practice is that public schools have an IAQ Coordinator. This training will discuss the state’s best practices for school IAQ management.

Continuing education credits are available for several licenses. There is no refresher training requirement, but school staff are encouraged to attend every few years. Course content is updated every year. Non-public schools, service providers and other stakeholders are also encouraged to attend.


  • Roseville: September 17, 2019 
  • Rochester: September 24, 2019 
  • Roseville: September 30, 2019 
  • St. Cloud: October 9, 2019 
  • Fergus Falls: October 10, 2019 
  • Webinar: October 15, 2019
For more information and to register please click on link below: 

Friday, June 28, 2019

Black Raspberries multiple molds

Mold growth on Black Raspberries after a week - N. Carlson
Growth of Cladosporium spp. at 400x
Presumptive identification as Cibiessia spp. 400x

identification as Alternaria spp. 400x

Identification of Mucor spp.  and Botrytis spp. spores -  400x
Identification of Fusarium spp. 400x

Aspergillus spp./Penicillium spp. - 400x

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Solar panels on parking lot and roof at U of Minnesota

Solar panels on the West Bank of the Twin Cities Campus at the U of Minnesota - N. Carlson
One of the criticisms of solar power is that it takes up arable land and makes it unusable for crops. See a previous post on solar panels in agriculture.  At this location on the west bank a former building site and a parking lot are converted into a site for generating solar powered electricity. The elevated solar panels on the left provide cover for vehicles enhancing the value of the parking lot without taking up significant amount of space. 

Businesswire.com wire reports on this project U of Minnesota to install 2 MGWatts solar.  Additional solar panels (not pictured) are also installed on top of nearby buildings.

Urban Solar Energy research at the U of MN HHC - 2 min. 

U of M Morris sustainability and solar thermal panels - 10 min.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Blueberry Botrytis spp.

Moldy blueberries in a measuring cup

Fresh fruit easily becomes moldy in a refrigerator. Samples were taken from the surface of the blue berries.  A heavy growth of Botrytis spp. was noted through out the sample. The white particles in the measuring cup are whey protein.

Botrytis means grape diseases. It is the combination of the Greek botrys = grape and the Latin itis = disease. (ref: Wikipedia) By coincidence, the common asexual form of this organism shown below grows on grapes and the conidia (asexual spores) also look like microscopic grapes.

Photomicrograph of Botrytis spp. cluster stained with lacto fuchsin - 400x 

Second photomicrograph of Botrytis spp. stained with lacto fuchsin - 400x 

How Botritis spp. infects a plant - 2 min 

Monday, April 1, 2019

Mold Remediation Awareness Course May 23 2019

On May 23, 2019 The Midwest Consortium for Hazardous Waste Worker Training -  will be offering a one day Mold Remediation Awareness Course at the University of Minnesota - East Bank Campus. Instructors are Mike Buck, Neil Carlson, and Sean Gabor.

Mold remediation courses provide an overview of activities involved with mold remediation and are designed to train individuals who are or who anticipate being employed at a mold remediation work site.

Activities in this courses could include sampling techniques available to find hidden mold and the limitations of these techniques, how to identify the most common fungi related to water damage and health hazards, methods to prevent water events and mold growth in buildings, emergency response plans, protective equipment, and control containment or confinement.

Additional site-specific training for emergency response must be provided so individuals can carry out any role, which may be assigned during a response.

Cost: $225 - Continuing Education Units Provided 

Registration call 612-624-2345 or 612-626-2596  web site: hazmat.umn.edu