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UW Extension Offers Online GMO Information Course

April 12, 2017

Issues surrounding genetically modified organisms (GMO) will be examined during a six-week online course through University of Wyoming Extension.

The weekly sessions, beginning Monday, May 22, are meant to divide fact from fiction about biotechnology, says Jeremiah Vardiman, UW Extension educator who is leading the course.

“This online course focuses on educating professionals in the health and nutrition fields, and any other inquisitive mind on the main topics that are discussed or brought up about GMOs,” he says. “Participants will gain practical knowledge on the GMO topic, which will aid in education and conversations with clientele.”

Registration and more information is at Those taking the classes can access the course starting May 11, with materials available to participants until June 30.

Vardiman says he hears from community members and extension educators that GMOs are a common conversation topic, and adds they don’t always have the right answers or information.

“I also hear from local agricultural producers they want the public to be more educated in the topic,” he says.

The first face-to-face online discussion is noon-1 p.m. (Mountain Daylight Time) Thursday, May 18. Other meetings will be determined based on the majority of participants’ availability, he says.

Topics and dates are:

-- May 22 -- Traditional plant breeding versus GMOs.

-- May 29 -- How GMOs are created.

-- June 5 -- Food safety.

-- June 12 -- Pesticide use in agriculture.

-- June 19 -- Environmental concerns with GMOs.

-- June 26 -- The most current scientific review of GMOs.

About three hours of work per week are required, Vardiman says: one hour of face-to-face Zoom online meetings; about two hours of presentations and supplemental videos to watch; and supplemental readings flexible to a participant’s schedule.

The materials are background for the weekly face-to-face group discussions, he says.

Participants will need access to a computer with internet service fast enough to view online videos. A computer webcam and microphone are suggested but not required.

For more information, call Vardiman at (307) 754-8836 or email

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