Training & Scheduling


Every individual who uses the facility must be trained (formally or informally). Individuals must be approved by the Director of the Facility at various levels of proficiency at which they will be allowed to perform certain tasks and responsible for certain levels of maintenance / troubleshooting. The Director will be the judge of who uses which equipment at what level through the creation of check sheet of items or tasks for which a user must demonstrate proficiency (contents of check list approved by the Advisory Committee).

Sign up yourself - call 828-262-2682 or email

Proficiency levels

  1. Administrator – complete knowledge of instrument & maintenance - can train any level. Administrator status will be limited to the Director and highly trained faculty or staff.
  2. Two levels for Primary Users (not limited by rank or academic standing) open to all faculty, staff, adjuncts, graduate students and undergraduates, will be judged by proficiency of the individual.
    1. Experienced User – working operation of instrument, sample prep. & exchange and routine maintenance - can train Beginners & supervise Casual Users.
    2. Beginning User – can operate software driven elements of instruments & examine specimens independently, but must have supervision during sample exchange & instrument configuration.
  3. Primary Users
    Casual User – must have supervision by Administrator or Experienced User at all times.

Formal Coursework

The Facility offers a course in "Introduction to Microscopy" which is cross listed through user departments (currently as a special topics course.

Advanced courses in microscopy are offered in Biology and Physics, and arranged as special topics in all user departments.


Every user of the facility will be required to submit a Project Description (PDF - RTF). This document will outline the needs of the project (scheduling, sample preparation, special equipment, instrument configuration and funding if available). The purpose of the project description is for the Director to help facility the project. In cases where the Director considers the project inconsistent with the mission of the laboratory, they will bring it to the attention of the Advisory Committee for a decision on scheduling priority.

Procedures for access to the facility

  1. Users will complete a preliminary description of the project (guidelines provided on standardized form). Students must have project descriptions signed by a faculty member who accepts responsibility for project oversight.
  2. If, under circumstances listed above, the Director questions whether a proposed project should be granted access to the Microscopy Facility, the Director will ask the Advisory Committee for a review.
  3. The Advisory Committee will reserve the right to grant or deny access to the facility.
  4. Users who disagree with the Advisory Committee's ruling may appeal to the Executive Committee. The CAS Dean has final decision on access to the Facility.