SETAC Globe - Environmental Quality Through Science
5 October 2017
Volume 18 Issue 10

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To Be or Not To Be a SETAC Member

Greg Schiefer, SETAC North America Executive Director

Greg SchieferI’ve been a member of SETAC for more than 30 years, and I simply can’t imagine NOT being a member. The network of friends and colleagues I’ve established around the world is an essential part of who I am and how I’ve conducted my professional life. I believe that connectedness, beyond my local work office and community, helps me to be a more thoughtful and understanding human being, which is a benefit way beyond the scientific benefits of being a SETAC member.

Of course, the face-to-face gatherings at SETAC meetings and workshops are an essential part of the relationship building.  If you are not currently planning to attend the SETAC North America 38th Annual Meeting from 12–16 November in Minneapolis, Minnesota, or any other geographic unit meeting around the world, you really should rethink that plan. There is still time to submit an abstract and present your current research in a poster format, where one-on-one communication with your peers and experts in related fields is optimized. Even if you don’t present at the meeting, your interactions with other attendees can be truly life changing as I know it has been for me and many other SETAC members. There is something special about “breaking bread” together, by sharing a meal or tipping a beer, that creates unique bonds with others that simply can’t be duplicated through electronic communications.

If you do attend the SETAC North America 38th Annual Meeting, please do try to stay in one of the hotels that we’ve arranged for our meeting attendees. Prices are certainly competitive and proximity to the convention center meeting site is excellent, but you and the Society can also benefit in a direct way from your hotel choices. Our negotiation with cities for annual meeting locations includes significant discounts for the convention center meeting space if we can show direct support for the hotel properties that partner with the cities to bring in our business. Through this kind of negotiation, we can typically keep our registration fees lower by getting convention space for free or a very low cost instead of paying more than $100K for the space. However, achieving this discount dependents on our meeting attendees filling the designated room blocks at the partnering hotels. If we don’t fill those room blocks, then we might be required to pay penalties to the hotels, or in essence forgo some of the meeting space discount that we counted on in setting the registration fees for the meeting.

I also want to call your attention to this session at the SETAC Minneapolis meeting, “A 50 Year Retrospective of Scientific Contributions of the Duluth USEPA Water Lab to Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry,” which will be held Thursday morning, 16 November, in Auditorium 2.  In 1967, on the shores of Lake Superior in Duluth, Minnesota, the USEPA Duluth water quality testing laboratory commenced operations. Over the years, research at the lab has provided the critical scientific underpinnings for many of the approaches used worldwide to assess contaminant risks to aquatic life. This session aims to chronologically present several of these important developments, starting from initial work at the lab through ongoing efforts. Presenters will describe novel scientific contributions in toxicology and chemistry and discuss the impacts of these contributions in regulatory ecotoxicology and important future efforts.

I look forward to seeing you in Minneapolis this November!

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