Thirty-two Environmental Science students from Stephen F. Austin State University (SFA) took tours of the lab facilities at Ana-Lab Corp. on Friday, September 22. Tours were directed by Ana-Lab’s CEO Dr. Weldon McFarland, as well as Lab Manager Will Boyd. Students were accompanied by Dr. Sheryll Jerez, an associate professor in the College of Forestry and Agriculture at SFA.
“My goal in bringing my students to Ana-Lab was to enhance their understanding of the different aspects of environmental sampling and analysis,” Dr. Jerez said. “My students said afterward that it was an enjoyable and informative experience for them, and I strongly concur.”
“We really enjoyed having the students visit us,” said Robyn Irving, Director of Communications and Public Relations for Ana-Lab. “They were very courteous and well mannered, which speaks well of them individually, and also represents SFA in a positive way. We were impressed!”
“Dr. Weldon (McFarland) and Will (Boyd) both told me that the students asked a lot of very good questions during the tour, and they (students) seemed truly interested and anxious to learn,” Mrs. Irving said. “It’s encouraging to know that we have a good number of young people who want to work to protect and preserve the environment.”
“I really liked getting to walk through the lab and seeing ‘behind the scenes,’ learning about how samples are tested,” said Sarah Hall, a sophomore from Spring.
“I enjoyed seeing all the different instruments and hearing about the tests that can be performed with them,” said Cooper Kirklin, a junior from Richardson.
“Seeing tests being run right in front of us was pretty cool,” added David Lee, a senior from Flower Mound.
“I especially liked being able to go into each section of the lab and see the track a sample would follow to be tested,” said Nicky Vermeersch, a sophomore from Garland.
“The tour experience was thorough, and the employees and tour guides were friendly and knowledgeable,” said Bobby Swien, a junior from Woodville.
The touring students are all taking a course called Environmental Measurements, according to Dr. Jerez. “It was very helpful for my students to see how sample analysis is done in the real world by professionals,” she said.