Science & Technology Committee July 2020

Science & Technology

Chair: Terri Burr, Pennington Seed

It’s been a quiet year for Science & Tech. We do have an update from the OSU Seed Lab for 2020 harvest. As a governmental/university entity, Seed Certification has been operating under modified conditions this spring due to COVID-19.

Under the direction of the Crop Science Department head, the Dean of Research, and the Executive Assistant Dean, the Seed Lab has implemented protocols to mitigate the risks of contracting and spreading COVID-19.

Most people probably won’t notice the new internal protocols, which include:

  • Employees wearing masks everywhere in the lab, except for workers’ specific workstations
  • Maintaining social distancing throughout the lab
  • Existing spaces have been reallocated to maintain full staffing while social distancing
  • The Purity and Germination portions of the lab are physically separated
  • Wiping down work areas and samples with sanitary wipes

There are some changes that outsiders will notice, if they visit the lab:

  • Limiting entry to the lab to employees and delivery people
  • Visitors may be allowed into the lab in pre-arranged situations, and they are required to follow the same safety protocols as employees:
    • Hand-washing/sanitizing
    • Wearing masks
    • Maintaining social distancing
  • Providing a sample drop-off area in the front vestibule of the lab
    • There are tables upon which samples are to be left
    • People dropping off samples are to ring the bell for pick-up
    • Sample Reception will retrieve the samples and take them into the lab

The Seed Lab is currently fully staffed, and they are in the process of hiring additional seasonal workers for harvest. They believe that the changes implemented due to COVID-19 should not affect their performance in the upcoming season.