SETAC Globe - Environmental Quality Through Science
13 August 2015
Volume 16 Issue 8
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SETAC Regional Chapter Spotlight: North Atlantic Meeting

Emily Monosson, University of Massachusetts

North Atlantic Regional Chapter meeting

The SETAC North Atlantic Regional Chapter (NAC) held their 21st Annual Meeting and a short course from 10–12 June at the Hilton Garden Inn in Freeport, Maine. The meeting began on 10 June with a one-day Licensed Site Professional (LSP)-accredited short course. Author and consultant David Ropeik instructed those in attendance on risk perception, the psychology of risk, and the importance of empathy when working with communities struggling with environmental contamination. Ropeik’s lively lecture, which adressed the works of Paul Slovic, Daniel Kahneman and Dan Kahane along with his own experiences in the field, was well-received by both professionals and student participants alike.

The annual meeting c0ntinued the next day with two keynote addresses. First up was David Ropeik, featuring a recap of his short course for those unable to attend, but which was also entertaining for those who did. Jennifer Marlon of Yale University, School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, followed with a thought-provoking address on “Climate Change in the American Mind.” Marlon introduced the audience to the Yale Project on Climate Communication—a treasure trove of data, survey results and information on the public’s knowledge of climate change, perception of risk, and associated behavior. The remainder of the first day was dedicated to platform sessions, which capped off with a poster social. The next day of the meeting continued with platform sessions throughout the morning.

The organizers of the NAC meeting were pleased with the large contingent of undergraduates who made the trip from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, under the guidance of Michael Barresi to present posters and platforms on topics such as Ah receptor, fracking and endocrine disrupting chemicals. Lydia Rose Kesich from Smith College won Best Undergraduate Platform Presentation, while Megan Frieberger, an undergraduate from Bowdoin College, won a NAC-supported trip to the SETAC Salt Lake City 36th Annual Meeting with her poster “Dissolved organic matter mediated photolysis of a 17α-ethinylestradiol.” Be sure to look for her poster at the meeting! Other student winners were Kimberly Rain Miner from the University of Maine for best graduate platform, and Lisa Weatherly from University of Maine for best graduate poster.  

As has become a tradition at NAC meetings, student poster winners presented brief talks on their posters during the Friday morning session. These awards and events were funded in part by the North Atlantic Chapter, Cardno-Entrix, Gradient, Exponent, Alpha Analytical, Woodard & Curran, New England Bioassay, Harlan Contract Research Services and with money raised during the silent auction and the rip-roaring NAC Poster Social Raffle, which left no book unclaimed (well, almost).

NAC hopes to offer a one-day science communication workshop later this fall in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, similar to the 2014 workshop. Contact emonosson@gmail.com if you are interested in more details. We are also planning for the 22nd Annual Meeting and short course, which will be held next year in June at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Suggestions for session and short course topics are welcome.

Please visit the NAC website to join NAC, offer suggestions, review past events or receive updates for future events.

Authors’ contact information: emonosson@gmail.com

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