SETAC Globe - Environmental Quality Through Science
10 September 2015
Volume 16 Issue 9
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Recap of the SETAC Latin America Argentina Chapter 5th Congress

Andres Venturino, Congress President, Damian Marino, former President of SETAC Argentina, and Fabi Lo Nostro President of SETAC Argentina

SETAC Argentina

In October of 2014, more than 300 professionals, undergraduate and postgraduate students, scientists and representatives from business, academia and government met at the 5th Congress of the SETAC Argentina Regional Chapter. The meeting took place at Universidad Nacional del Comahue, Neuquén, Argentina, and featured the theme “Sustainable Production and Social Commitment Environmental Care.”

For the opening ceremony, Ana Maria Pechen de D’Angelo, Vice Governor of Neuquén Province and a highly respected scientist, addressed the relevance of discussing the environmental consequences of our productive activities, particularly in the region where the Vaca Muerta oil reserves are located. Her keynote kicked off an exciting congress with numerous activities:

Four, full-day, pre-meeting courses were given by guests from Argentina and the USA:

  • Alejandro Pablo Arena, Universidad Tecnológica Nacional, presented “Life Cycle Analysis of Products and Services: An Inventory”
  • Charles Menzie, SETAC Global Executive Director, and Pieter Booth, Exponent, Inc., addressed “Utilizing Risk Assessment and Causal Analysis to Evaluate Health and Environmental Implications of Oil and Gas Operations”
  • María del Carmen Ríos de Molina and Ángela Juárez, Universidad de Buenos Aires, spoke about “Reactive Oxygen Species: Fate, Effects and Applications”
  • Matías Jobbagy, Universidad de Buenos Aires, gave an “Introduction to Nanomaterials”

Nine round tables with 25 speakers covered the following topics:

  • Ecotoxicology
  • Analytical and environmental chemistry
  • Risk assessment
  • Toxicity mechanisms, stress factors and biomarkers
  • Exposure modeling
  • Life cycle
  • Remediation
  • Nanomaterials
  • Education for participatory environmental management

Three Excellent Plenary Speakers

Alicia Ronco from the Universidad Nacional de la Plata reflected on what has been learned in the last decade about fate and biological effects of pesticides in our ecosystems. Charles Menzie, SETAC Global Executive Director, asked about the society’s role in science and decision-making. Federico Macagno of YPF-Neuquén lectured on upstream safety and environmental management using CMASS.

A significant number of studies and research activities were presented in 160 posters and 40 oral presentations. The complete abstract book can be found on the SETAC Argentina website. Student participation was fantastic, and twenty students were acknowledged for the academic merit of their poster presentations. Fifty students and researchers were able to participate at the meeting through travel scholarships sponsored by Syngenta. The host institution, Universidad Nacional del Comahue, sponsored a further fifty of its own undergraduate students to enable participation at the meeting.  A new board of seven members for the SETAC Argentinian Chapter was elected during the Assembly, with the new authorities leading the activities for the next 2 years (2014–2016).

Throughout the meeting, positive dialogue occurred with participants from academia, business and government. There was a considerable increase in the number of registrations of people coming from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Peru and the United States, which allowed for unique networking opportunities.

Due to the active participation of students and young scientists, the Student Branch of SETAC Argentina was created! Their main goal is to form a network of students from Argentina who are working on issues related to environmental toxicology and chemistry. They intend to foster networks with student groups already formed under SETAC and have already joined in global debates and discussions. Students met and created a space to discuss various issues about Argentina’s chapter participation in SETAC. Finally, SETAC Argentina students now have a representative member on the Board of Directors for SETAC Argentina, which will enhance student participation in SETAC Argentina and offer opportunities to voice concerns and engage in collaborations with the society. For more information, email estudiantes@setacargentina.com.ar.

A special thanks to the local organizing committee:

  • Andrés Venturino, President
  • Natalia Guiñazú, Treasurer
    Soledad Jaureguiberry, Pro-Treasurer
    Eugenia Parolo, Secretary
    Danilo Ceschin, WEB Coordinator

Colaborators:

  • Jimena Soleño
  • Liliana Anguiano
  • Miriam Loewy
  • Ana Ferrari
  • Liliana Monza
  • María Martha Quintana
  • Mariana Mardirosian

Authors' contact information:  aventu1@yahoo.com.ar, damianm@quimica.unlp.edu.ar and flo_nostro@hotmail.com

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