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Alaska Rural Water and Sanitation Working Group

A USARC-Coordinated Working Group

February 2–3, 2021 | Virtual Workshop

Tracing the Pandemic Through Wastewater Workshop

Using Sewage Monitoring to Investigate Infectious Disease

The US Arctic Research Commission, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation cosponsored the Eleventh Annual Water and Sanitation Innovations for the Arctic Workshop on February 2–3, 2021. This two-day virtual workshop featured guest speakers and panelists from Alaska and around the world. 

The aims of the workshop were to:

  • Provide an overview of the current state of the science of wastewater epidemiology, both globally and nationally
  • Determine the need for and current/potential uses of wastewater epidemiology in Alaska, with special focus on rural, cold climate communities
  • Discuss testing goals and potential sampling approaches for Alaska’s unique and varied remote communities
  • Examine the ethics and public engagement sensitivities related to these activities



Links to pdfs and PowerPoint files for all the workshop presentations are provided below.

Workshop Videos


Session 1: Setting the Stage

Introductions/Introductory Remarks/Workshop Goals – C. Rosa
12.2 MB pdf | 6.5 MB PowerPoint file

Rural Alaska Wastewater Overview – J. Nichols
511 KB pdf

Impact of Past Pandemics on Rural Alaskan Communities – K. Erickson
3.6 MB pdf

Current COVID-19 Status Update for the State of Alaska – A. Zink
36.2 MB pdf | 31 MB PowerPoint file

Session 2: Global State of the Art for Infectious Disease Monitoring in Sewage

Introduction to Sewage Epidemiology – C. Gerba
33.2 MB pdf | 21.7 MB PowerPoint file

International Focus: How This Technology Has Been Used in the Past – F. Been
15.6 MB pdf | 14.7 MB PowerPoint file

Wastewater Epidemiology in Southern Nevada: Lessons Learned for Collaboration and Long-Term Implementation – D. Gerrity
37.2 MB pdf | 26.4 MB PowerPoint file

Temporal Detection and Phylogenetic Assessment of SARS-CoV-2 in Municipal Wastewater – B. Wiedenheft
19.1 MB pdf | 20.1 MB PowerPoint file

Session 3: Wastewater Testing Potential in Alaska/the Arctic

Short Welcome and Day 1 Recap – C. Rosa
5.6 MB pdf | 2.7 MB PowerPoint file

National Wastewater Surveillance System: Implementation Update – A. Kirby
3.5 MB pdf | 3.8 MB PowerPoint file

Critical Analysis of Wastewater Epidemiology for a Variety of Analyses – R. Halden
62.3 MB pdf

SARS-CoV-2: Wastewater Surveillance in Alaska – B. Briggs
44.4 MB pdf | 43MB PowerPoint file

“Small” Community Sampling: Tracking SARS-CoV-2 in Municipal Wastewater in Juneau, Alaska – L. Sowa
3.6 MB pdf | 12 MB PowerPoint file

Hoonah Example – D. Gray
1.5 MB pdf | 1.3 MB PowerPoint file


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