USGS Ohio Water Science Center

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Ohio Water Microbiology Lab

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Ohio Water Science Center

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Quality Assurance/Quality Control Manual: Ohio Water Microbiology Laboratory

Organizational Structure
The Laboratory Manager (1) oversees the operation of the Ohio Water Microbiology Laboratory (OWML), including planning and budgeting (2) directs technical personnel in the proper performance of laboratory procedures and the reporting of results, (3) ensures that appropriate methods are used, (4) plans activities leading to testing and modification of analytical procedures, and (5) designs and implements a comprehensive QA/QC program.  The Laboratory Manager is responsible for initiating the QA/QC program, providing information and training to the staff, and reviewing QA/QC activities on a continual basis.

The Laboratory Coordinator oversees the daily operations of the OWML, including scheduling of daily samples and communication with customers. The Laboratory Coordinator implements the QA/QC program in the daily tasks of conducting analyses, performing quality-control checks, and calculating and reporting results. The Laboratory Coordinator oversees entry of all sample and quality-control results in the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS). The Laboratory Coordinator is also responsible for (1) maintaining and updating the QA/QC database in the LIMS, (2) ensuring that all QA/QC tasks are completed in a timely manner, (3) notifying the Laboratory Manager when results are not as expected, and (4) ensuring that the equipment is properly maintained and calibrated.

The Laboratory Administrator oversees communication with customers and billing and sending results for services and supplies. All sample and quality-control results are approved by the Laboratory Administrator in the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) before data is released. The Laboratory Administrator is also responsible for estimating costs for analytical services.

The Chemical Hygiene Officer (1) oversees safety operations in the laboratory with assistance from the Laboratory Manager and Laboratory Coordinator, (2) reviews the Chemical Hygiene Plan annually to ensure that the Plan is up to date, (3) assists employees in obtaining Material Safety Data Sheets, and (4) maintains the laboratory chemical inventory list and MSDS books in the laboratory and front lobby.

The laboratory and field staffs are responsible for correctly implementing collection and analysis procedures and for identifying and working with supervisors to correct and avoid potential problems.


Table 1.   Current laboratory personnel and qualifications.





Rebecca Bushon

Laboratory Manager


  • B.S. Biology


Amie Brady

Laboratory Administrator


  • B.S. Environmental Science

  • B.S. Plant Biology

  • M.S. Environmental Science

Jessica Cicale

Laboratory Coordinator


  • B.S. Microbiology

Christopher Ecker Chemical Hygiene Officer/Molecular Analyst Hydrologist
  • B.S. Microbiology

Christopher Kephart

Molecular Analyst


  • B.S. Microbiology

  • M.S. Environmental Science

Erin Stelzer

Molecular Analyst


  • B.S. Microbiology

Carrie Huitger

General Lab Analyst


  • B.S. Biology


Allison Mason

General Lab Analyst Biological Science Technician (Student)
  • Undergraduate (Microbiology)

Donna Francy

Water Quality Specialist


  • B.A. Biology, M.S. Environmental Science,

  • Certified Clinical Microbiologist




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