The Digester Operations Master Certificate is a 12 - 15 week program at Vermont Tech’s Randolph Center campus. Participants in this program work directly with the digester operations staff to learn while ensuring the smooth and efficient operation of Vermont Tech’s anaerobic digester. Activities include monitoring digester performance and adjusting digester operation, coordinating and executing logistics of feedstock and effluent, adjusting digester diet, collecting daily data and samples, and interacting with the staff. Upon completion of the certificate program, each participant will have gained the skills necessary to understand the mechanics and operation of a digester system, as well as other areas such as permitting, regulatory compliance and record keeping. In lieu of payment for this course, students are expected to spend 25 hours per week, minimum, working with Vermont Tech’s digester operations staff and an additional 3 hours per week on academic modules delivered in hybrid format by a faculty member who has worked on the college's digester project.
The academic portion of this training course is based on a number of excellent sources. We've based our modular design on the University of Wisconsin's eXtension course, added additional modules and information specific to Vermont. Each module includes a list of references in addition to those listed below:
- University of Wisconsin's excellent eXtension course, ANDIG
- 'Digging In: a nutrient management course for farmers', compiled by Heather Darby at UVM
- Contributors at Vermont Tech include: Joan Richmond-Hall, Sosten Lungu, Chris Dutton, Mary O'Leary and Dan Koloski