One of Kodiak’s local scientists will head to Africa this week to share some of her skills with laboratories abroad. Alexandra Oliveira (Oliv-vera) is an associate professor of fisheries chemistry with the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. Her work is based in Kodiak, at the Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center on Near Island, but her upcoming trip to Nigeria isn’t related to her work with the university. In fact, the two weeks she will spend teaching overseas will be volunteered time.
“There was an announcement, they were looking for a person with an expertise in chemical analysis of seafood products. This is a project that is sponsored by USAID, and the office that hosts the contact in the U.S. is through Land O’Lakes. They have what’s called a farmer to farmer program. And basically the goal is that I go help build capacity on the Nigerian Seafood Laboratory in Lagos.”
Oliveira said she will be working with about eight individuals who work at the laboratory to help hone their chemical analysis skills over the course of two weeks.
“And basically we’re going to go over analytical procedures for analysis of, for instance, protein, analysis of fats or lipids, analysis of fatty acids including omega 3 fatty acids. And analysis of other quality parameters, or chemical parameters that are used for assessment of quality, or even safety of seafood products.”)
This will be Oliveira’s first time doing something like this in West Africa and she said she is definitely looking forward to the training.
“I think it’s going to be really interesting to interact with the folks there and help them put the equipment together. Actually, not the equipment, but the methods on their analytical equipment to make sure they can implement those methods and be able to take the measurements needed to insure safety and quality of the products they produce.”)
Oliveira’s time in Nigeria will be volunteered. She leaves for the two week adventure this Saturday.