SETAC North America Executive Director’s Corner
Greg Schiefer, SETAC North America Executive Director
While attending a Pellston workshop last week, we had a brief discussion about influential people in our lives and how they changed the direction of our professional interests and careers. I think everyone has experienced something similar, but in almost all cases, it starts with face-to-face interactions, including the kind that happens in the hallways, at poster socials and during evening outings at SETAC meetings. It’s hard to overstate the importance of such networking opportunities, but it’s also hard to use that as justification for why you need to attend SETAC meetings to enhance your professional development and research programs. We recognize the key importance of networking at our meetings and are always looking for better ways to do it. So please pass along your ideas via email, or in the post meeting surveys. In fact, we plan to include more explicit questions on the effectiveness of the networking opportunities in the meeting evaluation survey for this year.
One of the key activities for SETAC North America during the last year has been our interaction with the U.S. Congress regarding their plans for reauthorization of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Specifically, the SETAC North America Public Outreach Committee and the affiliated Dialogue Group on TSCA Reform have been involved with educational opportunities for congress members and their staff to support a better understanding of the environmental sciences and the application of risk-based approaches to chemicals management. I would like to specifically call out members of the dialogue group headed up by Stuart Cohen and Paul Sibley for their excellent efforts in this regard. Other active dialogue group members include Tom Augspurger, Pat Guiney, Mark Johnson, Charlie Menzie, Jane Staveley, Bruce Vigon, John Walker, Spencer Williams and Steven Lev.
In addition to our usual variety of interesting poster and platform sessions that have been lined up for the SETAC North America 36th Annual Meeting, we will have a great group of keynote speakers. Lynn de Freitas, Executive Director of the Friends of the Great Salt Lake, will give an introduction to the natural history of Great Salt Lake and the surrounding area. Jim Cane, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will discuss his long-term interest in conservation to help measure, understand and mitigate human factors that can shift nesting and foraging opportunities for bee communities. David Montgomery, Professor of Geomorphology at the University of Washington and MacArthur Fellowship recipient, will discuss soil microbes and their potential to revolutionize agriculture and medicine. Finally, Elaine Dorward-King, past SETAC North America President and Executive Vice President of Sustainability and External Relations for the Newmont Mining Corporation, will discuss her experience in developing and implementing sustainable development, safety, health and environmental strategy programs in the mining, chemical and engineering consulting sectors. I hope to see you soon at SETAC Salt Lake City!
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