Marco E. Franco, Bekah Burket and Kendall Scarlett, YES Organizing Committee; Leah Thornton Hampton, NASAC Chair; and Derek Green, NASAC Vice-Chair

Exciting times are fast approaching for all SETAC student and early career members as the SETAC North America Board of Directors has officially approved the proposal to bring the Young Environmental Scientists (YES) meeting back to North America. After the successful 2019 YES meeting, which was held earlier this year in Ghent, Belgium, the 9th SETAC Young Environmental Scientists Meeting will return to the United States in 2020 with the theme “New Times, New Science,” and Baylor University in Waco, Texas, will open its doors to young scientists arriving from all over the world. The selected theme aims to address emerging environmental issues and global predictions for 2050 and the many ways in which these issues will determine future research needs. The 9th YES Meeting will take place from 9–11 March. YES 2020 will include 10 technical sessions, two poster socials, technical short courses, professional development short courses, a career panel as well as many other exciting networking events. View the meeting program online.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with YES, the meeting was established in 2009 to bring together young scholars working the fields of environmental science, toxicology and chemistry. Initially, the YES meeting was held in Europe and organized by the SETAC Europe Student Advisory Council (SAC). It was not until after four YES meetings (2009 in Landau, Germany; 2011 in Aachen, Germany; 2013 in Kraków, Poland; and 2015 in Valjevo, Serbia) that YES was brought to North America (2016 in Gainesville, Florida) with the theme “Science in the Swamp.” After this meeting, it was established that the meeting would be held annually, alternating between Europe and North America. The last time a YES meeting took place in North America was in 2018, when students from the University of Wisconsin-Madison held the meeting themed “Stand Up for Science.” The YES meeting is now an annual event branching out from SETAC.

YES 2020 is a unique opportunity for students and recent graduates to present their research in a low-pressure, stress-free environment, designed to foster interactions among students and build strong professional networks. One of the most important characteristics of YES is its global focus, as the purpose of this meeting is to have students representing the different SETAC geographic units (GUs). For YES 2020, students from all GUs will have the opportunity to apply for travel awards, which include free registration and a generous monetary prize to help with travel expenses. This year, 10 awards will be given to North America students and three awards will be granted for each of the additional GUs.

Meet the 9th YES Organizing Committee

YES committees include a program committee chair, local organizing committee chair and science committee chair. Typically, the organizing committee is formed by students from the organizing institution. For YES 2020, Bekah Burket and Kendall Scarlett will chair the program committee and local organizing committee respectively. Burket previously participated in planning for the Gainesville, Florida, and Madison, Wisconsin, YES meetings as science committee chair. Scarlett has previous experience organizing the 2017 SETAC Ozark-Prairie Regional Chapter meeting, held in Columbia, Missouri. Marco Franco will serve as science committee chair for YES 2020. Franco has previously served in the organizing committee for both the 2015 SETAC South Central Regional Chapter meeting, held at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and the 2019 SETAC South Central Regional Meeting held at Baylor University.

The organization of YES 2020 would not be possible without the support of the SETAC North America Student Advisory Council (NASAC), currently chaired by Leah Thornton Hampton and Derek Green. The direct involvement of NASAC, the Europe SAC and all other SETAC student members is paramount for the success of the meeting. Therefore, we invite all SETAC students and early career members to participate in the different activities held during YES.

Visiting Waco, Texas, and Baylor University

The city of Waco is known as “The Heart of Texas” and is home to a wide variety of attractions bringing visitors from all over the world. Among Waco’s most notable and unique attractions is the Waco Mammoth National Monument, a 100-plus acre stretch of wooded parkland along the Bosque River and part of the U.S. National Parks System, where visitors may view the fossil specimens of Columbian mammoths.

Baylor University is home to the Baylor Sciences Building (BSB), which will serve as the main venue of YES 2020. The BSB houses six academic departments, including the College of Arts and Sciences and more than 10 interdisciplinary centers, such as the center for microscopy and imaging, the mass spectrometry center and the molecular biosciences center. There are more than 150 laboratories in the BSB, making it the largest academic building on Baylor’s campus and one of the largest science buildings in the U.S. Without question, the BSB is an excellent location for YES 2020.

Abstract Submission and Registration

Abstract submission and registration will open on 1 September and close on 10 November, shortly after the SETAC North America 40th Annual Meeting, which will be held from 3–7 November 2019 in TorontoAbstract acceptance and travel award recipients will be announced the first week of December. More information about how you can get involved in organizing and coordinating YES events can be obtained directly from the organizing committee and NASAC. Stay tuned for other meeting updates in the 9th SETAC YES Meeting website, the SETAC website and the Students of SETAC Facebook and Twitter accounts.

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