McCrone Microscopy Training


Register today for McCrone Research Institute online and in-person

courses. Select the date to read the full course description and register securely online.


Advanced Indoor Air Quality: Advanced Fungal Spore Identification (1635V)

ONLINE: September 26-30

This online course is designed for working laboratory analysts with moderate knowledge and experience in fungal identification based on spore and actual growth. Participants learn important morphological characters necessary for fungal identification at genus level and, to a lesser extent, at species level.


Indoor Air Quality: Fungal Spore Identification (1630)

IN-PERSON: October 10-14

This course, held in-person at McCrone Research Institute in Chicago, will emphasize the most common spores from indoor and outdoor environments until they become familiar. Participants will learn to place virtually all visible particles into meaningful categories and relate those particles to problems in buildings and to human health.


Microscopical Identification of Asbestos 1-Day Refresher (1601V)

ONLINE: October 26

This online course is designed to reacquaint students with the basic polarized light microscopy (PLM) skills necessary to identify the six different regulated asbestiform minerals and other fibers and substances likely to occur (and often confused) with asbestos. The procedures for basic sample preparation and fiber identification will also be explained.


Asbestos Fiber Counting [NIOSH 582] (1616)

IN-PERSON: October 31-November 4

The NIOSH 7400 method using phase contrast microscopy (PCM) is detailed, including QA/QC procedures, statistics, and sampling-related mathematics. Upon successful completion of the course, students will learn to calibrate the microscope and sampling equipment and apply the NIOSH 7400 protocols.


Microscopical Identification of Asbestos (1608A)

IN-PERSON: November 14-18

Polarized light microscopy (PLM) determination of crystallographic and optical properties of asbestos minerals, the various substances likely to occur (and often confused) with asbestos, and the hands-on procedures for determining optical properties, sample preparation, and fiber identification.


Applied Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM) (1201) / Forensic Microscopy (1204)

IN-PERSON: December 5-9

Students will acquire the basic knowledge and practical skills to apply polarized light microscopy (PLM) in their areas of interest and will appreciate the potential contribution of more advanced methods and techniques through hands-on practice and exercises.


Applied Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM) Basics 1-Day Refresher (1200V)

ONLINE: October 12

This online course is designed to reacquaint students with basic polarized light microscope skills necessary to characterize, compare, and identify known and unknown substances. The procedures for basic sample preparation will also be explained.


Microcrystal Tests for Illicit Drugs Groups 1 & 2 (1753V)

ONLINE: November 8-10

This three-day online course will focus specifically on microcrystal tests for amphetamine, BZP, clonazepam, cocaine, codeine, diazepam, ephedrine, heroin, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, MDMA, methadone, methamphetamine, oxycodone, PCP, and pseudoephedrine. Practical applications, pros and cons of microcrystal tests, interferences, limits of detection, and sensitivity will be illustrated. Techniques of small particle manipulation will also be covered.


Microscope Cleaning, Maintenance, and Adjustment (1301V)

ONLINE: October 5-6

An online introduction to how the microscope works, various schools of thought on lens cleaning, how to adjust for proper illumination (Köhler Illumination), and other tricks of the trade.


Sample Preparation and Manipulation for Microanalysis (1501V)

ONLINE: October 18-20

An online overview of micro-physical preparation techniques, workspace ergonomics, and important tricks of the trade for handling small particles, including live demonstration and training in a variety of techniques of small particle handling.


Fluorescence Microscopy (1210)

IN-PERSON: October 25-27

This intensive three-day course covers the techniques of fluorescence microscopy for investigation of biological and non-biological samples, but particularly for the identification of microbes in the environment. The course consists of lecture, demonstration, and hands-on training in the practice of sample collection, preparation, and observation using techniques of fluorescence microscopy.


McCrone Research Institute cordially invites you to give a presentation of your microscopy research at the Inter/Micro 2022 conference in Chicago. Join professional and amateur microscopists from around the world as they present new research on:


  • Chemical and forensic microscopy

  • Environmental and industrial microscopy

  • Techniques and instrumentation


The deadline for abstracts is August 25, 2022.

Learn more and register.

Speaker presentations will be held Sept. 20 - 21, 2022.


A hands-on workshop, Introduction to Hair and Fiber Microscopy, will be held Sept 22 - 23, 2022.


More great reasons to attend Inter/Micro this year:


  • Internationally recognized speaker presentations

  • Awards dinner, sponsored by the State Microscopical Society of Illinois

  • Photomicrography competition

  • Exhibitors

  • Auctions ... and more!


Learn about the conference's history in Inter/Micro: The First 60 Years, and view past Inter/Micro program books.


This year's Inter/Micro conference is subject to the changing dynamics of the coronavirus pandemic worldwide. McCrone Research Institute is adhering to all federal and local Covid-19 reopening and safety guidelines. Learn more


Photo: Samantha Deibel of Penn State University speaks at Inter/Micro 2019.

We look forward to seeing you in Chicago!


McCrone Microscopy Education


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SMSI Members and Friends,


Please mark your calendars. Come to the SMSI picnic at the Busse Woods Forest Preserve, Elk Grove Village, at Picnic Shelter #2 on Saturday, September 24th from 11AM to 4PM. Picnic Grove 2 is north of Higgens Road in Elk Grove Village (map attached). It’s the Saturday after Inter/Micro 2022.


SMSI will provide the main course of hamburgers, brats and hot dogs. Consider bringing something to share. SMSI will fill in the rest of the food items once we know who is coming and what is being brought to share. Water and pop will be supplied. You can bring beer and wine, but in non-glass containers. Alcohol is allowed when having a permit, which we do. Do not drink alcohol closer than 50 ft from the parking lot.


Microscopes and other microscopical and scientific interests will also be at the picnic.


Please indicate whether you plan on attending and what you might bring to share.

The site has a shelter and a porta potty; also handicapped accessible.


May we have good weather. It will be great to see everyone again!


Art Struss

SMSI Secretary

Busse Woods #2 Map.jpg
McCrone at microscope copy.jpg

Support McCrone Research Institute

After 60 years of providing scientific and educational service, and for the first time in our organization’s history, we are asking for your help. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all McCrone's operations and programs have been temporarily reduced or suspended, and we have gone to an on-demand course schedule. Please make a gift to the McCrone Research Institute COVID-19 Preservation and Relief Fund to sustain the Institute for current and future generations of scientists.

Donate on GoFundMe Charity