SETAC Globe - Environmental Quality Through Science
6 October 2016
Volume 17 Issue 10
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SETAC North America Executive Director’s Corner

Greg Schiefer, Executive Director, SETAC North America

Greg Schiefer

I’m starting Thanksgiving early this year because I have such a long list of thank yous to cover.  First, we’ve had an outstanding Program Committee for the 7th SETAC World Congress/SETAC North America 37th Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida. With the support of the meeting chairs, Anne Alix, Cindy Howard and Tim Canfield, we will welcome the world at our meeting in Orlando, Florida, next month.  This is a seminal opportunity for SETAC to share our science among members on a truly global scale and to create effective outreach to those who need to know about our science and appreciate its usefulness for rational environmental policy development.

I’m also thankful for the great group of 19 regional chapters that support SETAC’s activities at the grassroots level and often lead with new ideas for the society. I just had the opportunity to experience the excellence of North America regional chapters firsthand. I attended the Southeast Regional Chapter Annual Meeting in Gainesville, Florida, and it was amazing to interact with our bright future—the students who are doing some impressive research and are able to explain in their poster and platform presentations how they are bringing their energy and creativity to problem solving across a wide spectrum of environmental problems. They are incredbly interconnected, and their cooperation within their research groups, universities and across North America is outstanding. Earlier this year, Gainesville was also the location of the first SETAC Young Environmental Scientist (YES) meeting in North America, and it is clear that the development of globally connected science is now being achieved at the student level with amazing effectiveness.

Our North America Board of Directors will be losing some outstanding members in November. Mace Baron, Kim Fernie, Matt Moore, Mary Reiley and Blair Paulik will be rotating off, and it has been a pleasure working with them on the Board of Directors over the last 3 years.  I look forward to continuing to work with each of them on new opportunities (they are not going to get away from us that easily!).  On the SETAC World Council, we will also be saying goodbye to Barnett Rattner, who has worked tirelessly for the society, first on the SETAC North America Board of Directors (2008–2013) and then the SETAC World Council (2012–2016).  His attention to the plethora of details that are involved in successfully leading the society at the geographic unit and global levels was outstanding, and I personally want to thank him for all of his volunteer efforts on our behalf.  And one more thank you in regard to the Board of Directors and the SETAC World Council goes to the SETAC North America Nominations Committee for their work in assembling the great group of candidates we had for open positions for the board and council. We should have gotten them to find candidates for our U.S. Presidential election this year!

We will also have Bruce Vigon phasing out of formal employment with SETAC at the end of the year. However, we will be able to keep him involved on a number of projects, I hope. This way, our goodbye to Bruce will be extended for a couple of years, and his leadership for advisory groups, workshops and other projects can be transitioned effectively. That transition will be to our new Scientific Affairs Manager, Tamar Schlekat. Her employment with SETAC begins this month, and we welcome her with open arms and great expectations! Our search committee for this position included Michelle Embry, Ross Smith, Sue Robinson and Alan Samel, along with SETAC staff members Charlie Menzie, Bart Bosveld, Roel Evens and Bruce Vigon.  A big thanks goes to each of them in helping us review the excellent group of applicants we received, make the very difficult decisions to narrow the selection, and then ultimately choose Tamar.

I want to provide a huge thank you to our staff in Pensacola. Their efforts to keep all the society activities flowing efficiently and seamlessly throughout the year could easily be overlooked simply because they do it so well.  But their importance for SETAC cannot be overemphasized! We expect things like membership support, dues and registration processing, websites, social media, publications (including journals, newsletters and books), meeting and workshop planning and implementation, and handling of society finances to just happen without missing a beat. That all of these things do get done on time, within budgets and most importantly with humility and smiles is a true testament to the professionalism and excellence of our staff.

Lastly, I want to thank all of you, the members of SETAC, for the great science you bring to our meetings, publish in our journals and champion worldwide as we strive to achieve Environmental Quality Through Science®. Thank you for all of your volunteer time and support of SETAC initiatives, committees and advisory groups. Your involvement and commitment is what makes SETAC a truly great society!

I look forward to seeing you all in November at the 7th SETAC World Congress/SETAC North America 37th Annual Meeting in Orlando.

Author’s contact information: greg.schiefer@setac.org

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