SETAC Globe - Environmental Quality Through Science
10 September 2015
Volume 16 Issue 9

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Support Environmental Research in Africa – New Efforts Towards Student Travel

Jen Lynch, SETAC Publications Manager

SETAC Africa student members, Adeyemi and Nkwatoh Therese, have overcome considerable difficulties in their education to become environmental toxicology and chemistry scientists. You can read about their story on SETAC’s first crowd-funding campaign, which supports student travel for the 7th SETAC Africa conference.

If you are on social media in any capacity, I’m sure you’ve seen a crowd-funding campaign. It is a democratic method of raising capital through individual investors and small donations. The successful campaigns effectively tap into a collective effort of leveraging personal and professional networks. The aim is to reach outside of our typical donors – as members we are familiar with SETAC goals and often spend our time, effort and money on promoting science, students and research. Crowd-funding campaigns seek to find schoolteachers in Poughkeepsie, café owners in Brussels or hoteliers in Tokyo and appeal to their general philanthropic tendencies to support science, education, the environment or issues in Africa.

SETAC Africa
Adeyemi (2nd from left, above) has conducted his research over the course of 11 years, despite the numerous financial challenges.

We have shared the stories of Adeyemi Adewale and Nkwatoh Therese Ncheuveu, who tackle immediate and pressing environmental problems facing their communities despite inadequate funding, volatile economies and unreliable infrastructure. Adeyemi has been inspired to pursue his master of science degree due to the informal e-waste recycling practices in Nigeria. His concern is for the environmental and human health risks posed by heavy metals and organic compounds resulting from discarded electronics such as personal computers and televisions. He has pawned personal belongings to attend SETAC conferences despite his lack of housing at the venue – that is dedication!

Nkwatoh Therese has set a goal to establish baseline information to help generate sustainable agriculture and proper environmental monitoring of pesticides. Cameroon lacks funding agencies, well equipped facilities, electronic library systems or reliable internet connectivity. Conferences provide a fantastic opportunity to obtain cross-functional skills and collaborations.

To read more about Adeyemi and Nkwatoh Therese’s research, please visit the campaign page. Not everyone is in the position to donate financially, but every little bit helps! We also encourage you to share these stories through your lab family trees, professional networks and social media outlets.

Thank you so much for your time and generous support!

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