SETAC Globe - Environmental Quality Through Science
  3 November 2011
Volume 12 Issue 11

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The Global Soils Advisory Group Wants You!

Monica Amorim and Michael Simini

The SETAC Global Soils Advisory Group (GSAG) is a forum for communication, cooperation, scientific discussion and collaboration among soil scientists, risk assessors and environmental regulators from across academia, business and government. GSAG provides scientific guidance in all aspects of soil testing at the laboratory and field level, soil-related risk assessment methodologies and soil ecotoxicology related to soils negatively impacted by either chemical and non-chemical stressors. GSAG was formed in 2009 through the merger of Soils Advisory Groups from North America and Europe that had met and organized activities at regional SETAC meetings for the preceding ten years. GSAG is managed by a steering committee of eight members from different continents: Africa, Europe, North America, Asia/Pacific, and South America with approximately 300 members worldwide. The eight SETAC members of the steering committee strive to keep the tripartite balance between academia, business and government and represent all SETAC Geographical Units. Committee members serve a 2-year term, two terms at maximum. We are always looking for more volunteers to join the steering committee.

The primary objectives of GSAG are to promote discussion of sound scientific methods for material fate and ecotoxicology applied to soil systems and to create a network of experts in this field. Topics of interest to the group fall within the three main lines on soil:

  • Ecotoxicology
  • Risk assessment
  • Ecology

and cover topics such as soil biodiversity, ecological relevance for site specific risk assessment, nanomaterial analysis, environmental fate and effects research, new technologies and methodologies for soil ecotoxicology and risk assessment, mechanisms underlying observable ecotoxicity in terrestrial organisms, effects of non-chemical stressors (alone or in interaction with chemicals), soil ecotoxicology of non-temperate regions (e.g. tropics, arctic), Life Cycle Analysis and associated risk assessment, and interactions of soil organisms and microbial communities with physical and chemical stressors.

What does GSAG do?
Activities include sponsored platform and poster sessions on soil related topics, chapter meetings at the annual meetings of SETAC North America and Europe, collaboration with other advisory groups, and invitations to participate in research studies conducted by GSAG members. The first Global SAG meetings took place during the SETAC–North America annual meeting in November 2009 held in New Orleans and at the SETAC-European meeting, in May 2010 held in Seville. GSAG is currently sponsoring several soil-related sessions planned for the upcoming annual meeting for SETAC North America in Boston and at the SETAC World Congress in Berlin next May.

How do I join GSAG?
The Global Soil Advisory Group is open to any interested scientist or student. SETAC membership is not required, but is preferable to ensure full access to SETAC websites and to preferential rates for meeting attendance. SETAC members can become an advisory group member by selecting GSAG in their personal profile on the SETAC website. Non-SETAC members should send an email to the co-chairs of Global Soil Advisory Group to express their interest in joining this exciting advisory group. Please visit the GSAG link at the SETAC Advisory Group home page or the GSAG Communities page for more information.

GSAG-Sponsored Events at SETAC NA Meeting, 13-17 November 2011, Boston, MA

GSAG NA Annual Meeting
Monday, 14 November 6:00 - 7:00 pm, room 303 Platform/Poster Sessions:

  1. Advances in Assessing (Bio)Availability of Organic Pollutants in Sediment/Soil for Site Characterization and Remediation (Monday A.M., Room 311)
  2. Ecotoxicity, Fate, and Risk Assessment, of "Materials of Importance to the Military” (Tuesday P.M., Room 312)
  3. Fate and Effects of Manufactured Nanomaterials in Soils and Sediments (Tuesday P.M., Room 207)
  4. Soil Ecotoxicology and Risk Assessment (Wednesday P.M., Room 312)
  5. Metal Soil Concentration: What Do the Numbers Really Mean? (Wednesday, poster only)
  6. Computational Toxicology for Risk Assessment of Chemicals (Thursday A.M., Room 312)


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