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.

MICA provided me with the skills and confidence to analyze suspect asbestos containing materials. Peter was a great teacher and answered all my questions until I became confident. I cannot wait to take the Advanced PLM course!

Mariah Dawn Hunt
Environmental Consultant & Laboratory Analyst
All-Tech Environmental Services


It was a pleasure having Peter return to Saskatchewan to deliver a customized intensive course combining aspects of both “Asbestos Identification using PLM” and “Sampling & Evaluating Airborne Asbestos Dust: NIOSH 582” to 14 people in our laboratory.

This is the third time Peter has come to SaskPower over the last 12 years, and he never fails to deliver an outstanding week of intense instruction. He quickly develops a “rapport” with his students – both experienced analysts and those new to the position – and he makes it an enjoyable educational experience for all.

Each student also has the opportunity to get 1:1 instruction from Peter, who has an excellent ability to communicate the intensive course material so that students of various levels are able to both understand the theory and apply the identification techniques. Finally, his willingness to help SaskPower with laboratory issues that go beyond the course content shows how passionate he is. And every student will remember the 10 lb chocolate bar!

Blair Just
Senior Chemist
Sask Power


The MICA course was intense, frustrating, challenging, overwhelming and rewarding all at the same time! Peter did an amazing job explaining the myriad of new concepts to us, not only to do with asbestos ID but also the mechanics of properly “driving” the microscope. Peter’s knowledge and hands on approach was second to none. His ability to read his students and quickly gauge their competency served him well. You learn early on, he has both comprehensive and workable knowledge of his subject matter and can effectively pass that knowledge onto his students. Peter is a gifted teacher with a sincere desire to give his students the critical tools to become adept and successful if utilized and practiced, practiced, practiced! The pleasure was most definitely ours!

Lynn Mackley-Chindalo
Trenton, NS, Canada


As I talked to my son throughout the week of MICA’s recent “Advanced Asbestos Identification using PLM” course in Chicago, he went from feeling completely overwhelmed with all that Peter was teaching him to comply with the standards for being an analyst…to grasping all the information that Peter pours into you within a week…to ending up with a passion and excitement for what he was going to be doing with his life as a PLM analyst! That kind of transformation only comes from being taught by a person who is passionate about microscopy.

There are professionals in the asbestos industry who are just here to make money or its just a job to them. Then you have people like Peter Cooke, who takes what he does very seriously and passionately. This is not just a job for Peter, but a life filled with the excitement of what he does. And that rubs off on the people that Peter comes into contact with through his training courses. I am sorry to say there are very few people like Peter in our industry — and we could use a lot more.

Sidney Carter
Vice President
Advantage Environmental, Inc.


I’m pleased to report MICA’s Advanced PLM Class was a 10 out of 10! Peter Cooke took a class of analysts with a wide range of experience and drew on the strengths of each of us so we could all understand what he was teaching and contribute to the discussion. Peter not only provided a comprehensive yet quick review of the basics, but he also worked with each student to provide them with the one-on-one instruction on topics of particular interest or areas in which each needed additional help.

My first PLM class 17 years ago was taught by James Findley, a professional geologist who had also been taught by Peter. My first PLM class with Peter 5 years ago strengthened and expanded the topics I knew and those about which I had forgotten some. I’m already anticipating and anxious to attend Peter’s next class!

Tom Morrison
Senior Scientist / PLM Laboratory Manager
Wood Environment & Infrastructure Solutions, Inc.


Annette and Peter, thanks for your joint efforts to deliver impactful onsite refresher courses at our laboratories in both Richmond and New York.

While it is often difficult to tease out an analyst’s individual concerns or weaknesses when they are in a group environment, many of the participants told me they felt as if Peter were speaking directly to them, covering just the microscopical concept, theory and application they were interested in reviewing.

They also noted that because the refresher course was held on their turf – with Peter experiencing the constraints, limitations and advantages they face each day in the course of their work – it really helped to make it an even more personal and enriching experience since he was able to approach it in terms of their equipment and facilities.
And of course, we all appreciated Peter’s vast industry knowledge and personal relationships with industry leaders. Hearing the background story on the development of the methods we use provided a fresh outlook and appreciation of how far our industry has advanced.
We’ll look forward to hosting additional onsite refresher courses fine tuned to our needs in the future!

Tom R. McKee, PhD
Compliance and QA/QC Officer
AmeriSci Group


We cannot thank Peter enough for providing our laboratory with such an excellent one-day refresher seminar. Our analysts were extremely pleased with the exceptional presentation and discussion. I hope that we will be able to have MICA down again in the future.

T. Brian Keith,
Laboratory Director,
Ameri-Sci Richmond


Thank you so much for the MICA course, “Asbestos Identification using PLM.” It is ‘the best of the best’ in microscopy instruction. Pete’s knowledge of microscopy paired with his knowledge of asbestos and mineralogy is unparalleled, and the hospitality MICA extends to its students is the icing on the cake.

Tyson J. Card,
TRCT Asbestos Testing & Analysis, LLC


As a 2-3 person lab, the Advance PLM class was worth every single penny we spent. Peter’s years of experience shows with his detailed knowledge of the industry and analysis. As an added bonus, he really knows how to teach, and will bend over backward to answer a question. I also made connections with people in the trade and received feedback on how to develop a better lab. I will be sending EVERY employee in our lab his way.

Dan Lafley,
Asbestos NW,
Federal Way, WA


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 have been in the industry for more than 17 years and I take training very seriously – and my MICA experience was the best of them all.

I have never been in a course that pushes students to learn so much and offers such depth in the material being taught as MICA’s, “Asbestos Identification using PLM.  ‪Peter’s background in this industry is incredible – and it shows in what and how he teaches. ‬‬

‪I would highly recommend this class to anyone who wants true, deep training in this field. You will not find training like this anywhere else.‬‬

Sidney Carter
Vice President
Advantage Environmental, Inc.


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


“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 Eguina, 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