Certified Nose -- The people and animals behind odor detection
The Field of Odor Detection
While working at an environmental engineering firm, I first learned about the term certified nose. One of the environmental engineers in fact had a certified nose. Yes. It's possible to get your nose certified.
But, before you get all excited and think you too can work in this exciting field, people with a certified nose don't usually get to smell pleasant things, like lilacs, wine, or apple pies baking. No, they generally work in the sciences and lend their nose to more mundane (and often gross) smells.
I remember the engineer I worked with wrote technical air quality plans for the agriculture industry (think feedlots and manure). She was proud of her certified nose, and rightfully so. To get a certified nose, people take classes then take a test. And yes, you have to pass to be able to claim you have a certified nose.
Dogs are also known for having good sniffers and are used in odor detection to find drugs and missing people. Smell detection is big business.
George Aldrich, Certified Nose for NASA
People Who Have a Certified Nose
According to an NPR report in 2004, George Aldrich has a certified nose. When the NPR clip was aired in 2004, Aldrich was a chemical specialist at NASA. He worked at the White Sands lab in New Mexico. His job? Smell everything that went into the space capsule with the astronauts. At the time, he had completed 700-plus "smelling missions" for NASA.
During the interview, Aldrich said there is a scale from 0 to 4 for ranking smells. Zero is non-detectable and 4 is offensive. When asked if he'd ever smelled a 4, he said yes, he had.It was a refrigerator where urine samples had been stored. Even with the samples moved, the refrigerator retained a foul odor.
Aldrich said he doesn't have any allergies and is in good health, both good qualities for a person to have to get the certified nose designation. He said he is subjected to three tests per year to retain his certified nose status.
Odor Management Certification Programs - Send your nose to school (for people)
Numerous colleges and universities offer programs that allow you to get a certified nose. The programs are called a variety of names, such as the following:
- Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture will certify your nose. There are three levels of certification available: commercial, public, and individual.
- North Dakota Department of Health -- Air Rules
In the North Dakota Air Rules training, individuals can take a class to receive their odor evaluator certification. To pass the tests, individuals have to distinguish among odorous samples and concentrations.
Odor Books - Don't worry, they smell good!
Learn the ins and outs of odor and how odor is measured.
Odor. Smell. Aroma. Scent. Fragrance.
What is your favorite word for the olfactory sense?
'"Odor is defined in DEQ's air pollution
control rules as 'the sensation
resulting from stimulation of the
human sense of smell.'
Odor is a sensitive subject because
perception of odors is subjective.
What smells bad to one person
may not offend another."
Source: Idaho Department of Environmental Quality
Search and Rescue and More
Dogs have an excellent sense of smell. Dogs are generally trained to either be air scent dogs or trailing dogs. According to the U.S. Search and Rescue Task Force Web site, most dogs smell the air and find the "cone" of scent that is concentrated. Trailing dogs on the other hand are trained to smell the ground or trail to track the scent from a sample given to them.
Types of scent dogs include the following:
- Tracking dogs follow the scent of one person with a sample piece of clothing or other item from the person to be tracked.
- Disaster dogs find people in disaster situations like a collapsed building.
- Cadaver dogs are trained to smell the scent of human remains.
- Water search dogs track the scent of humans in the water.
- Avalanche dogs are trained to find humans buried in the snow.
Certified Nose Program for Dogs - Send your nose to school (for dogs)
- Dog Evaluation Certification | Global Training Academy - k9gta.com
Dog Evaluation Certification Global Training Academy, law enforcement canine drug, bomb, patrol, and detector dog training and certification services - k9gta.com.
- United States of America Detection Dog Association
United States of America Detection Dog Association The USADDA, an independent detector dog association, was formed in 2004 out of a dire need for a professional and credible organization to offer training, guidance, support and education to all dete
- Trainer Certifications
The Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) - Dog Training Resources is a professional organization of dog trainers who are committed to becoming better trainers through education.
- Nosing Around
The author shares how his rescued pit bull became the first pit bull to obtain her Level 3 K9 Nose WorkÂ® Title and explains this fun and challenging activity.
Good Dog - Sit. Stay. Smell.
We Sniffed Out These Tidbits
More Smell News!
Coffee? Armpit? Which would you sniff?
In a comment to this Squidoo lens, SPhilbrick commented that "To clear you're olfactory system from smelling too much, you can sniff either ground coffee or your armpit." This is good to know, in case you are testing perfumes or candles and your nose loses its ability to distinguish among the scents. You may want to sniff your armpit in private or at least tell others what you're doing and why.