Microscopy Instruction, Consultation & Analysis


MICA is exceptionally pleased to receive positive feedback from satisfied students, clients and business partners. Here is what several people have to say about the value of MICA’s instruction and services.

I had big expectations before attending Peter Cooke’s courses, especially after reading student testimonials, the course descriptions, and facts about his career and expertise. These expectations led me to travel from Sydney, Australia to Chicago to attend all three MICA courses in September 2015. It was a very wise choice.

I found Peter to be a most likeable guy — and everything you would want in a teacher. He is unlike any teacher I have had due to his extraordinary skill in delivering content in a meaningful, purposefully and fluid, yet structured way to the benefit of all his students.

Peter can sense uncertainty among students, and when he does, he forms analogies to something more familiar in everyday life to improve students’ understanding of difficult concepts. He is extraordinarily helpful, patient and accommodating. The amount of resources he provides, whether it be microscopy equipment or learning aides, is extremely extensive. The course notebooks were concise and clear, with appendices for further reading.

Peter has energy, enthusiasm, spirit and extensive knowledge that I feel would be of benefit to anyone who wants to sharpen or improve their understanding of issues relating to asbestos and polarized light microscopy. This applies to even absolute beginners in the field.

My recommendation, without reservation, is to take the next step to book one or all of Peters’ courses – your expectations will be universally met.

Clinton Jarman,
Respiratory Scientist / Occupational Hygienist
Dust Diseases Authority
Sydney, Australia


I recently completed MICA’s “Asbestos Identification using PLM” in California taught by Peter M. Cooke. Peter had a good rapport with the class. He seemed to be able to read the class very well and could sense when he needed to go over something again. The classroom atmosphere was professional and respectful, as well as being relaxed. I feel I received a solid foundation and hope to build on it.

Rod Caulderwood


“Peter, thank you again for the amazing week you spent at our laboratory teaching us how to identify asbestos using PLM. As you know, learning science is a matter of passion and a lot of work, but it is always more enjoyable and much easier when the professor is as good and passionate as you are.  You are a great scientist, but you also have a special gift that makes you an amazing teacher. As a university-trained scientist, I have had a lot of teachers, only a few of them had outstanding pedagogical skills — and I still remember them. You are among them now.”

Dr. Dominique Limat,
Responsible du Laboratoire d’analyse,
Surcotec, Geneve, Switzerland


“Peter taught a customized intensive course combining aspects of both ‘Asbestos Identification using PLM’ and ‘Sampling & Evaluating Airborne Asbestos Dust: NIOSH 582E’ for our laboratory staff.

“He has an unbelievable ability to connect with the students he teaches, and he makes the training a fun and enjoyable experience for all. His expertise in microscopy is world class, and his ability to translate that knowledge to students is the best I have seen. I wouldn’t hesitate to bring Peter back again to train new lab staff. I highly recommend Peter and MICA to anyone needing microscopy instruction.”

Blair Just,
Senior Chemist, Technical Support
SaskPower, Ontario, Canada


“I recently attended Peter Cooke’s intensive 5-day course, “Asbestos Identification Using Polarized Light Microscopy” in Chicago, IL. A very patient and incredibly insightful instructor, Peter was exceptionally accommodating to each student, and he made a point to cater to our individual objectives while still appealing to the entire class. He also made time each day for help with particular work-related issues. As someone with a background using a petrographic microscope, this was still a learning experience. I recommend this course, and of course Mr. Cooke, to anyone wanting to pursue a career in microscopy.”

Kristin Leftwich,
Asbestos Analyst
Nashville, Tennessee


“The customized Asbestos Quantitation Course MICA developed and presented on-site at Axiall Corporation last year made a world of difference in my team’s confidence in asbestos fiber quantitation. Peter not only taught them new techniques of quantitation, he helped us with supplier information to purchase equipment, led a conference call with Research Triangle Institute (RTI) to answer questions we had about grading parameters, and reviewed and made recommendations for our asbestos procedures — just in time for our AIHA reaccreditation site visit.

As a result of MICA instruction, our most recent AIHA PAT round yielded what I call a “perfect score”! I am just so proud of what my analysts have accomplished. I think they actually look forward to the Quarterly PATs now, unlike in the past when they dreaded them.

Thank you for being a valuable resource to our laboratory… and such a pleasure to work with!”

Anne Corbello,
Environmental Laboratory Supervisor
Axiall Corporation


“Peter is one of the best teachers I have come across in any field. He has the experience and knowledge to explain complex material to students with varying backgrounds, from those looking down a microscope for the first time to a Ph.D candidate. Now that I manage a laboratory, I send all of my new analysts to MICA for training.”


Eric Equina, Laboratory Director,
EFA Laboratories co., Ltd., Tokyo, Japan


“As the manager of the largest asbestos bulk laboratory in Canada, I highly recommend attending a PLM course taught by Peter Cooke. We have sent at least 20 of our PLM analysts to MICA for training. There is so much information to absorb, and yet Peter explains it in straightforward terms and with a sense of humor that makes it comprehensive and enjoyable. His experience in asbestos analysis and dispersion staining is extensive, and he relates the information to everyday situations analysts experience in the laboratory.”

Karen Slayer, Asbestos Laboratory Services Manager,
Pinchin Environmental Ltd.


“The courses taught by Peter Cooke of MICA cover all important aspects and principles of microscopy, and are explained in an excellent, very easy-to-understand manner with lots of examples and demonstrations. MICA courses are very good for beginners and experts alike. Forensic Analytical Laboratories has used MICA for over 10 years, and it is always the first choice when training needs arise.”

Jim Flores,
Laboratory Supervisor,
Forensic Analytical Laboratories, Inc.


“RTI conducts asbestos proficiency testing programs for 500 to 600 PLM and TEM laboratories all over the world, and lab analysts routinely seek RTI’s advice on topics ranging from sampling and analysis to regulations and microscopy instruction. Whenever a lab seeks microscopy training, RTI’s recommendation, without hesitation, is MICA and its principal, Peter Cooke. Peter’s effective delivery and engaging demeanor with students — coupled with his broad background in theoretical and practical aspects of asbestos mineralogy and microscopy, as well as his specific knowledge of PT program issues — have earned Peter a reputation for excellence and leadership in the industry.”

Bruce Harvey,
Senior Director, Environmental and Industrial Sciences Division,
RTI International


“I have high praise for MICA’s “Asbestos Identification Using PLM” class. No other training session in my 20 years in the workforce has been as rewarding in terms of practical knowledge gained. This was due to the intensity of the coursework and the teaching acumen of Peter Cooke. He is truly passionate about the subject matter, and his enthusiasm was contagious. The manner in which the [material] was taught enabled me to gain competency of a complex skill in a week-long course.”

Wayne Boyle,
Chemist, Oregon
OSHA Occupational Health Lab