Belmopan. November 6th, 2017. The University of Belize (UB) continues to contribute to the development of its community and the country by fostering the education of its employees. Two members of the Faculty of Science and Technology are currently undergoing training in pesticide residue analysis. Dr. Abel Carrias is in the Principality of Monaco for a two-week training course at the Marine Environment Studies Laboratory of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).  He is being trained in organochlorine pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls residue analysis in sediment and biota. Additionally, he will discuss the progress of the national project BZE7002 with technical officers of the IAEA and will explore potential opportunities for UB to participate in regional projects funded by the IAEA.

Mrs. Zeida Franco Leon,  a laboratory technician, is at the Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras (INVEMAR) in Santa Marta, Colombia for a two-month training course. Mrs. Franco Leon is receiving training in analysis of pesticides in aquatic environment, including sample preparation, extraction (surrogates standard spiking), clean-up and fractionation, quantification of organochlorinated pesticides by GC-ECD (optimization of conditions, calibration curbs and quantification of samples),  maintenance and troubleshooting of the GC-ECD, and quality control/quality assurance/control charts.

Both educational opportunities are part of the efforts to build human and laboratory capacity at UB through participation in national, regional and inter-regional projects funded by the Technical Cooperation Program (TCP) of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Currently, the UB is executing National Project BZ7002 “Strengthening National Capacity for Measuring and Monitoring Marine Pollution and Studying the Effects of Ocean Acidification on Marine Ecosystems.”  The participation of Dr. Carrias and Mrs. Franco Leon in these sessions will strengthen UB’s capacity to teach, engage in research and in monitoring of pesticides residue in the aquatic environment. UB will also acquire a GC-ECD pesticide analysis system through Project BZE7002.

UB’s goal is to work alongside the TCP to establish a long-term commitment in order to build capacity at UB and of its stakeholders that will lead to meaningful contribution towards the development of Belize. The University of Belize wishes to thank Mrs. Orla Cantun-Coleman and Mr. Maximiliano Ruiz, National Liaison Officer and Alternate Liaison officer respectively, for IAEA related matters in Belize, for their contribution and support of TCP projects being executed by UB. For further information related to project BZ7002 and the trainings contact Dr. Abel Carrias ([email protected]).

In support of the mission of the University of Belize to its commitment to excellence in higher education, research and service for national development.”