SETAC Globe - Environmental Quality Through Science
12 December 2013
Volume 14 Issue 12

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SETAC North America Looking Forward to a Great 2014

Kurt Maier, SETAC North America President

The conclusion of the 34th annual meeting in Nashville marks the successful completion of another year for SETAC North America. The meeting was highlighted by interesting plenary sessions and special symposia, exemplary poster and platform sessions, and the outstanding social opportunities offered by the host city. Thank you to the Nashville Meeting Organizing Committee, the SETAC staff and all who contributed to a rewarding meeting. There were (and will continue to be) challenges. With more than 1,900 registrants, annual meeting attendance was strong, but lower than originally expected. However because of planning by Doug Fort (SETAC North America Treasurer), Greg Schiefer (SETAC North America Executive Director), and the SETAC North America staff the meeting was successful, the financial status of SETAC North America remains very solid, and the future of SETAC North America is bright.

The meeting theme, “Harmonizing Science Across Disciplines,” resonated well with membership. SETAC members from North America continue to be a strong part of the foundation for the Society and lead the SETAC North America Geographic Unit. Committee and advisory group annual reports describing their activities and accomplishments are posted on the SETAC website. The rotation of chairpersons and new appointments are in place for 2014. I can assure you that the Society is in great hands. I encourage each of you to take an active role in leading the Society and developing the role SETAC North America can take in shaping the future of our profession and environmental policy. Please email me if you have any questions on how to get involved or suggestions for me as I embark on my term as SETAC North America president.

Maintaining the foundation and well-being of our Society is the primary responsibility of both the SETAC World Council and the SETAC Board of Directors (BoD) from all geographic units. As usual the SETAC North America membership has selected an excellent group of representatives to provide leadership and direction throughout the next year. I am truly honored to have the opportunity to work with them. The SETAC North America BoD will continue to support and develop three continuing initiatives.

  1. The “All in Digital” program. This program will provide opportunities to view digital recordings of selected sessions and presentations at the Annual Meeting and potentially other SETAC North America-sponsored venues. Additional information is available on the SETAC website. This is a great value for both meeting registrants and members.
  2. The developing certification program for environmental risk assessors, environmental toxicologists, environmental chemists, etc. The goal of this program is to provide certification/qualification opportunities for practicing professionals in identified specialties.
  3. The TSCA (Toxic Substances Control Act) reform initiative. The opportunity to participate in the potential reform of this landmark environmental policy has been offered. The SETAC North America BoD has agreed that we should be involved in the process. Opportunities for participation will be made available to the membership in the near future.

The strength of SETAC and SETAC North America is in our membership. As a society, our goal is to serve our members and support their professional development. The tripartite model is unique and is the basis of our Society. The continued development of early career professionals and students continues to be a priority. New initiatives to involve early career professional and students have been started. The Career Development Committee and North America Student Advisory Council (NASAC) have both agreed to lead these efforts. I look forward to their successes.

As one of my recent predecessors, Barnett Rattner, so eloquently stated “The coming year will be exciting and productive as we strive to support the development of principles and practices for protection, enhancement and management of sustainable environmental quality and ecosystem integrity”. This is a lofty goal, and I will continue to promote our Society’s role in this effort. I look forward to serving the membership during the next year.

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