SETAC Globe - Environmental Quality Through Science
10 August 2017
Volume 18 Issue 8
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Schoolhouse Rock the SETAC Way

Nile Kemble, SETAC Minneapolis Professional Training Course Committee

We may not teach you how a bill becomes law, how to multiply or even how a conjunction is used, but we will teach you about mercury, statistics, pollinators, remote sensing, risk assessment, population models, endocrine systems and much more! How can you take advantage of this opportunity? By signing up for one of the professional training courses at the SETAC North America 38th Annual Meeting, which will be held from 12–16 November in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The Program Committee reviewed many excellent course proposals, and the task of coming up with a diverse selection of courses that fit into the time slots and space available was difficult. In the end, we feel we have selected training courses covering not only timely topics but a wide range of scientific topics, and we will again be hosting a course proposed by the students on working across the generational gaps.

Full-Day Courses

  • Ecological Risk Assessment Methods for New Chemical Submissions: Tools and Approaches Under Amended Toxic Substances Control Act
    The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act was signed in to law in 2016, which amended the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the nation’s primary chemicals management law. Instructors will present the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics ecological risk assessment process, provide hands on risk screening examples, and discuss the challenges and opportunities regarding ecological risk assessment under the amended TSCA.

  • Pesticide Risk Assessment for Pollinators 
    Interested in Pesticide Risk Assessment for Pollinators? This course will cover the components of the tiered risk assessment found in the 2014 guidance document issued jointly from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Health Canada Pest Management Regulatory Agency and the State of California, including problem formulations for various chemical use scenarios, effects studies, exposure measurements and modeling, and risk evaluation procedures proposed for each step. A copy of the Pellston Workshop® report “Pesticide Risk Assessment for Pollinators” is included with course materials.

  • The Endocrine System: Global Perspectives on Testing and Evaluations on Endocrine Activity
    There is a concern that certain environmental chemicals might interfere with the endocrine system of humans and wildlife, and regulations have been promulgated in various regulatory bodies around the world targeting the evaluation of these types of effects. This course will provide basic information on the vertebrate endocrine system, mechanisms of control and adverse effects. The focus will be the estrogen, androgen and thyroid systems, although new endocrine system targets will be discussed. 

  • Tools and Techniques for Ecosystem Service and Natural Capital Assessment
    Ecosystem services must now be considered in U.S. agency decision-making and are increasingly of interest to local planners and private companies. This course will provide an introduction to the approach and tools developed by the Natural Capital Project over the past 10+ years to operationalize ecosystem services and natural capital information in a variety of decision contexts, from coastal zone management and marine spatial planning to sustainable development and land conservation using real-world case studies.

  • Getting Comfortable with R: Introduction to Statistics, Graphics and Modeling
    This course is designed for those unfamiliar with the R software environment but who would like to jump-start their basic coding, data manipulation, statistical analysis and data visualization skills in R. Previous experience with R is not necessary, but a willingness to climb the mountain of the R learning curve is essential! Students should have a laptop with R and R Studio already loaded on their machine (free software downloads).

Morning Half-Day Courses

  • Developing Population Models for Ecological Risk Assessment: A Systematic Approach
    Population models provide a tool to assess population-level effects from regulatory toxicity data for the purpose of pesticide risk assessment. The steps in the development of population models will be highlighted. In the practical part of the course, participants will develop a conceptual population model for the purpose of pesticide risk assessment of a listed herbaceous plant following the model development guidance.

  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Environmental Applications and Risk Assessments
    This course is intended to provide an overview of small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and how they can be used in environmental and risk assessment applications. These vehicles can be used to collect samples, topographic measurements and image collection for assessment monitoring.  Regulations governing the use of UAVs will also be covered.

  • Sustainable Remediation – Frameworks, Tools, Stakeholder Engagement and Case Studies 
    All remedy decisions must balance trade-offs; sustainability evaluation is intended to ensure that a full range of both desirable and undesirable impacts of remedial options are assessed, in the context of important community and stakeholder values, ideally in a transparent manner. A number of initiatives, frameworks and tools have been developed, regionally, nationally and internationally, to address these evolving issues. This course will cover emerging tools to evaluate impacts of remedial options on environmental quality, economic viability and social equity. Approaches for determining differing stakeholder priorities and for integrating these values and priorities into a sustainability analysis will be presented as well.

Afternoon Half-Day Courses

  • Comparative Risk Assessment (CRA) of Response Options for a Deep-Water Oil Well Accident 
    Oil spill response planning typically includes CRA to examine the consequences of deploying different response technologies to mitigate spilled oil. Since the 2010 Deepwater Horizon accident, subsea dispersant injection (SSDI) has emerged as a countermeasure for mitigating uncontrolled releases from deep-water wells. Participants will learn how to conduct systematic evaluations of potential environmental trade-offs associated with changes in oil distribution due to use of different response technologies, incorporating ecological considerations, such as relative distribution, and recovery potential of valued ecosystem components and environmental compartments.

  • Creating and Managing Research Consortia 
    Working with a large group at times seems like you’re herding cats. This course will cover real life experience of working with a large number of investigators and the methods used in consortium design and management scenarios.

  • Navigating Generational Crossroads: Finding Common Ground for Team Success
    This course seeks to foster the awareness and education of the four common generations that compose today’s workforce. We will focus on the events that influenced the communication and leadership styles of each generation. Emphasis will be placed on the strategies, techniques and tools used to increase effectiveness at work, reduce misunderstanding and generational conflict, and cultivate inclusive workplace cultures that will foster strong leaders.

  • Physiological and Environmental Biochemistry of Mercury Selenium Interactions
    Learn how mercury and selenium interact at the molecular, cellular, tissue, organism and ecosystem levels. Topics to be discussed include the mechanisms of mercury toxicity, bioaccumulation dynamics, toxicity to aquatic life, health risk assessment and fish consumption guidelines, and the urgent need to identify populations at risk from MeHg exposure.

  • Red Cross First Aid and CPR Course
    This training incorporates the latest scientific guidelines in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), including the use of automated external defibrillators (AED). This is a combination course tailored for busy professionals. The course consists of two parts, a required two-hour online training ahead of the meeting and a one-hour hands-on class onsite at the annual meeting. The course aligns with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Best Practices for Workplace First Aid Training Programs. Course registrants will receive an email with instructions on how to complete the online version of the class prior to the meeting. After they finish the online component, they will receive a certificate, which they will need to print and bring to the hands-on training. Once they complete the course, registrants will receive a 2-year certification.

Be sure to sign up by 15 August to get the early bird pricing. For more information, visit the SETAC Minneapolis website.

Author’s contact information: nkemble@usgs.gov

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