SETAC Globe - Environmental Quality Through Science
9 October 2014
Volume 15 Issue 10
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Which Sessions Will You Attend at SETAC Vancouver?

Emma Lavoie, SETAC North America Science Committee

What sessions will you attend at SETAC Vancouver?  I plan on attending sessions on alternate assessment, wildlife toxicology, bioaccumulation and high-throughput screening sessions. I'd like to learn about hydraulic fracturing and get up-to-date on pharmaceuticals. I’ll also be trying to make time for the Coordinated Session on Energy, Sustainability and Global Risk, because in my new assignment at work, I’m tasked with thinking big and broadly about what sustainability means to my organization, and how it connects with the nuance of daily technical assessment, criteria development and chemical policy decisions.

I’m writing this while the breakfast bars I just made (for working parent therapy purposes) are baking in the oven—an oven fueled with natural gas, in a kitchen lit with electricity-powered, compact, fluorescent bulbs, and a computer sucking electricity as I write. Energy consumption is an issue touching all of us, and our work is invariably related to it whether it's through studying the impacts of oil on fish larvae or the effects of mercury on birds, cleaning up a contaminated mining site or polluted sediments, understanding nanotechnology, or writing water quality criteria and waste water permits.  So, don’t just pick your usual sessions and speakers this year, complement them with one of the three coordinated sessions on using energy.

Starting on Sunday morning, 9 November, a half-day professional training course on energy technology, policy and the environment, Nothing Simple is Easy, will be taught by Ralph Nigro with Applied Energy Group. He will share his expertise on traditional and alternative energy systems and their environmental impacts, energy efficiency and program design.

On Monday morning, the discussion continues with the Wicked Problems Debate: Energy Supply and Societal Demand, chaired by Ron McCormick and Andrew Henderson and sponsored by the Ecological Risk Assessment Advisory Group and the Advisory Group on Sustainability. Short presentations will be followed by a facilitated Q&A and discussion, à la The Phil Donahue Show, (a TV show broadcast from 1970–1996 that often featured taboo health and social topics with sometimes raucous audience participation) that promise to challenge panelists and engage the audience.

Finally, rounding out this coordinated science theme triumvirate, on Monday afternoon, plenary speaker Ralph Nigro will address the topic of how traditional scientific training can be used to help or aggravate today’s multi-dimensional environmental problems.

Register now for the professional training course Nothing Simple is Easy, and attend one or all three program activities. Explore different facets of the energy, sustainability and global risk issues will shed new perspective on your own work.

To get the most out of the meeting, create your daily schedule that you can export to your calendar with the online itinerary planner. You can also download a copy of the meeting program as a .pdf.

Author's contact information:Lavoie.Emma@epa.gov

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