November 17, 2003
AMES, Iowa - High school science and agriculture teachers and their students are being recruited for a workshop that will showcase the wide array of academic disciplines in the Iowa State University College of Agriculture. BioSecurity Investigations is the title of the one-day workshop planned for April 21. "This will give students the chance to learn about the relationship between applied science and agriculture," said Vanessa Stoffel, program coordinator in the College of Agriculture's student services office. Biosecurity is defined as a process to protect an entity from attack by biological organisms. This process can be applied to a wide range of things - individuals, businesses, farms, water systems, a state or the country. Organisms include such things as viruses, bacteria and fungi, as well as plant and animal invasive species. Faculty from all departments in the College of Agriculture will be presenters at the workshop. Sessions will be in laboratories scattered across the Iowa State University campus. Students will learn about identification, control and prevention of biosecurity threats, as well as the economic, social and environmental implications of biosecurity incidents. "Student and teacher participants will choose one of five tracks consisting of three sessions each," Stoffel said. "The tracks will be human, animal, food, plant and natural environment. Teachers will receive a resource manual at the end of the workshop that will include integrated, innovative curriculum materials to use in their classrooms." The workshop is free to participants, and will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Stoffel expects about 250 students to attend. Outside experts from the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and the Center for Food Security and Public Health are helping plan the workshop. Registration information is available on-line at http://www.agstudent.iastate.edu/bsi/biosecurityinvestigations.htm.