Message from SETAC North America President
Barnett Rattner, SETAC North America President
The close of 2011 marks the completion of a year of stellar accomplishments for SETAC North America (SNA). Despite the global economic downturn, the ranks of SETAC members in North America increased to nearly 3,300 (a 2% increase). SNA hosted a well-attended (2,400 registrants from 39 countries) annual meeting in Boston, Massachusetts (Navigating Environmental Challenges: Historical Lessons Guiding Future Directions), and two successful focused-topic meetings in Pensacola, Florida and Mérida, Mexico (Gulf Oil Spill and Pollutants in the Environment: Fate and Toxicity). SETAC members from North America continue to be a mainstay of involvement and leadership for overarching global and advisory group activities. Committees and advisory group annual reports describing many additional activities and accomplishments are posted on our website, and the annual rotation of group chairpersons and some new appointments are in place for 2012.
Aside from maintaining the health and well-being of our Society, the SNA Board has selected five priority goals to pursue in the coming year. These include (1) increasing membership and representation in the government sector and other areas (NGOs, women, minorities), (2) initiate strategic alliances with other scientific societies, (3) fostering the development of informative and affordable webinars derived from short courses, special presentations and Pellston workshops, (4) more thoroughly engage Regional Chapter members with the SNA Board (and in some instances engage SNA members with Regional Chapters!), and finally (5) stimulate and ensure the development of focused-topic meetings and workshops within our North American geographic unit.
Several meetings and short courses with SNA planning and involvement are in the works for 2012. These include “Air Quality at the Interface: Mega Cities and Adjacent Agroecosystems” for graduate and post-doctoral students, to be held at the Pan-American Advanced Studies Institute (PASI), “Guidance on Bioavailability/Bioaccessibility Measurements using Passive Sampling Devices and Partitioning-Based Approaches for Management of Contaminated Sediments,” “Building for Better Decisions: Multi-scale Integration of Human Health and Environmental Data” with the Society of Toxicology, and a Ecosystem Services technical workshop with the Ecological Society of America. Undoubtedly, additional training and workshop activities will arise during the course of the year. The Organizing Committee for our upcoming annual meeting in Long Beach, California, (themed Catching the Next Wave: Advancing Science through Innovation and Collaboration) is well into its planning cycle.
The coming year will surely 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. I look forward to interacting with each of you as we work to achieve these goals and sustain SETAC for the next generation.
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