SETAC Globe - Environmental Quality Through Science
  8 December 2011
Volume 12 Issue 12

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Laurentian SETAC 16th Annual General Meeting and Conference

Alison Fraser, (President) and Paul Welsh (Past President)

The Laurentian Chapter of SETAC held its 16th Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Conference on Friday June 10th at Queen’s University Biological Station (QUBS) near Elgin, Ontario. QUBS is one of the premier scientific field stations in North America and was established more than 60 years ago. This year’s theme was "Identifying, Assessing, and Managing Contaminated Sites."

Opening remarks
Opening remarks – AGM – Paul Welsh, President

We kicked off the activities on June 9th with a short course entitled "Review of Ecological Risk Assessments" generously provided by Miranda Henning of ENVIRON. Our underlying goal for the short course was to "Keep Calm and Carry On", as we were without power for most of the day due to a strong storm system that passed through the area the night before. This meant no lights, no air conditioning, and, most importantly, no washroom facilities! Miranda took the challenges of the day in stride and presented a truly engaging short course. A frequent shuttle to the nearby public restrooms at Chaffey’s Lock on the historic Rideau Canal Waterway solved the most pressing challenge. Fortunately for all, the short course notes included all slides and the course itself consisted of many hands-on workgroup sessions that allowed participants to enjoy the fresh air outside. The staff and researchers at QUBS were of great help in making the day a huge success. Later in the evening we enjoyed a post-short course/pre-AGM social at the Kingston Brew Pub in Kingston, Ontario and enjoyed some local vintages and beer.

Our AGM and Conference was an action-packed day with approximately 60 attendees enjoying 15 platform and 8 poster presentations. Excellent food, including a delicious BBQ dinner kept us going throughout the day.

Our plenary speakers gave excellent presentations on our theme of “Identifying, Assessing, and Managing Contaminated Sites” and represented SETAC’s three pillars of government, academia and industry. Our plenary speakers and their presentations were:

  • Nadine Benoit and Rick Day, Ontario Ministry of the Environment—Approaches to Identifying, Tracking, and Addressing Sources of PCB Contamination in the Great Lakes using Lake Gibson & Beaverdams Creek Watershed as a Case Study.
  • Linda Campbell, School of Environmental Studies, Queen’s University and Saint Mary’s University—The Legacy of our Heritage: Studying Aquatic Contaminants in Historic Sites in Eastern Ontario.
  • Chris Marwood, NovaTox Inc.—Risk Assessment and Risk Management of Brownfield Properties in Ontario.

Short Course
ERA Short course – Miranda Henning

Members also enjoyed a much needed break after lunch to participate in either a boat tour of Lake Opinicon, a tour of the research facilities at QUBS, or a local nature hike.

The very successful day wrapped up with excellent food, drinks and socializing at our Post-AGM Social and Awards Ceremony held on-site at QUBS. A special thank you to the staff at QUBS who were very generous hosts and helped make our short course and AGM a huge success.

To find out more about the Laurentian chapter and its activities please visit

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