Executive Director’s Corner
By Greg Schiefer, SETAC North America Executive Director
Greetings from Pensacola! It’s been a very busy but productive year so far. We just completed our second Focused Topic Meeting (FTM) and both of these meetings were conducted this year, in addition to all the other annual activities that we usually have to prepare. The latest FTM was in Mérida, Mexico in August and, and like the Oil Spill FTM last April, it was a resounding success. We had nearly 140 participants from more than 10 countries for our 2½-day meeting with the theme of Pollutants in the Environment: Fate and Toxicity. Highlights included a joint special symposium with the Society for Ecological Restoration on Gulf of Mexico oil spills; short courses on Biomonitoring in Terrestrial Environments and How to Get Published in SETAC Journals; plenary presentations by Spencer Mortensen, Victor Manuel Vidal Martinez, Chris Metcalfe, and Peter Wells; and more than 100 other poster and platform presentations. Many thanks to Ruth Hull, Doris Vidal-Dorsch, Omar Zapata, and the rest of the Mexico Meeting Program Committee for all their efforts in organizing and conducting this strong effort to connect SETAC member research activities in North America and around the world. Of course none of this could happen without the outstanding efforts of the Pensacola Office staff! Look for a more detailed account about this meeting in the next issue of the SETAC Globe.
Boston is shaping up to be our biggest Annual Meeting ever if registration trends hold. We are now expecting total registrations to be close to 3,000 for the enticing technical and social program that has been developed for this meeting. Our featured plenary speakers include Christopher M. Reddy from the Marine Chemistry & Geochemistry Department at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Philip M. Gschwend who is the Ford Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Richard Levins who is the John Rock Professor of Population Sciences in the Department of Global Health and Population at Harvard University. Special Symposia topics include:
- Pollinator risks from plant protection products
- Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Horizon oil spill research and debate
- Bioaccumulation lessons learned and future challenges
- Advances of ecological modeling for assessing ecological risks and ecosystem services
- Global climate change research related to environmental toxicology and chemistry
- Boston Harbor critical issues, solutions and environmental monitoring
Some innovative ideas for this meeting that we are hoping to implement include 1) providing a late submission opportunity for those who missed the Call of Abstracts (poster only presentations/no printed abstracts) and 2) video advertising opportunities for a select group of poster presenters or session chairs to help create interest and draw attendance for their sessions/presentations. Look for more details on this in the next few weeks.
The Program Committee for Boston has also organized an excellent social program. Included are Boston and Salem tours, a visit to the Kennedy Library, birdwatching at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, a Deer Island Treatment Plant Scientific Tour, and the Tuesday Night Social at the New England Aquarium. Unique activities for this year include a “Meet Your Mentor!” opportunity for early career professionals and a Green Team Boston Service Project to get high school students interested in environmental science by giving them a first-hand look at environmental science and careers in the field. Volunteers are needed, so please step up and help us make Boston our best SETAC meeting ever.
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