Monday, June 06, 2011

Off to #IndoorAir 2011 in Austin, TX - to discuss and promote #microBEnet

Well, off to Austin for a meeting I would not have imagined going to a few years ago. Indoor Air 2011. Why am I going? Because a few years ago I began to discuss studying the microbiology of the built environment with Paula Olsiewski, from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. You see, the Sloan Foundation has a new program in this area "The Indoor Environment". Eventually, after much discussion I applied for a grant in their program. My grant is a bit unusual (for me and for others probably) in that it focuses on communication, coordination, networking, collaboration, etc.

My project is called "microBEnet" - which stands for "microbiology of the Built Environment network". The BE is purposefully capitalized to emphasize the Built Environment part and we figure, since microbes are small, the m should be lower case. For more on the project see: Microbiology of the Built Environment Network | Site for the microBEnet project. As part of this project, a collaborator (Hal Levin) and I are doing many activities and I will post more about them over time. Among our activities are a new blog, and a diversity of resources.

Which brings me to Indoor Air 2011.  We are also starting to organize or help organize some meetings and workshops to bring together the various folks who might be interested in microbiology of the built environment.  And for Indoor Air we have helped the meeting organizer Rich Corsi plan some sessions on microbiology of the built environment.  The sessions take place Wednesday and Thursday and should be great.   Looking forward to going to Austin, maybe seeing some friends at UT and nearby (hint hint Dr. Hillis, Sheril K, etc) and learning about the built environment.

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