Jason F. Anderson, SETAC North America IT Manager

The SETAC North America 39th Annual Meeting in Sacramento, California, will be my 14th North America annual meeting and the 30th SETAC meeting globally that I have had the pleasure to help organize. Known by every session chair and presenter as Jason@setac.org, it’s my job to collect, organize and distribute data related to sessions and abstracts. Watching the Society and the science evolve over the years continues to be an exciting adventure. I am proud to be employed by such a highly respected society, which gives me the opportunity to work with and learn from the best scientists in the world and call them my friends.

The quality and variety of the 11 concurrent sessions in Sacramento this year will not disappoint. Some of the highest attended sessions and topics last year in Minneapolis will make a comeback in Sacramento. Sessions like “Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances: Recent Advances and Future Directions” and “Current-Use Pesticides: Exposure and Effects on Non-Target Organisms and Ecosystems” attracted the highest number of abstract submissions this year and are sure to be blockbuster sessions.

With the focus over the last few years in trying to bridge the gap between environmental and human health science, it’s great to see a session like “Human Exposure to Emerging Environmental Contaminants” attract enough abstracts to place it in the top five submissions. This is sure to be a session topic we will continue to watch grow.

Meeting attendees don’t sit still. By analyzing the presentation attendance data, we learned that more than 60% of meeting attendees did not stay in the same session but, instead, move between sessions to view specific talks in multiple sessions. This is one of the reasons why we implemented a 5-minute pause between each 15-minute platform presentation. The 5-minute pause allows attendees to move between sessions. The presentation must stop during the pause, but conversations within the session should continue. This is the perfect time for the session chairs to facilitate discussion related to the session.

Speaking of continuing the discussion, the exhibit hall is where you will find more than 260 different poster presentations each day of the meeting. A poster presentation is becoming the most sought-after presentation type because it’s the best way to have face-to-face discussions directly with attendees interested in your presentation and the work you do.

Also back by popular demand, Thursday will feature four poster corner sessions. The highly successful poster corner presentation type has evolved over the years and was a huge success last year during the Minneapolis meeting. To avoid competing soundwaves, we have scheduled them one at a time during the coffee breaks and the evening poster social.

SETAC Sacramento has a great line-up of sessions with excellent speakers so you are sure to find something interesting, relevant and educational.

See you in Sacramento!

Note from SETAC Globe Co-editor Bill Goodfellow: As we were deep in the planning and organizing of the 25th annual meeting in Baltimore (2005), a substantial hurricane hit the gulf coast of Florida, impacting SETAC’s Pensacola’s office and jeopardized having a timely abstract review to keep the meeting process on track. With the gracious offering of one of our sustaining members, EA Engineering, Science, and Technology, the abstract review was moved to their corporate training center in Hunt Valley, MD. To make it even more interesting, Jason’s first day of employment with SETAC was the first day of the abstract review. Nothing like having the stress of the first day starting a new job, with one of his principal roles in his new job having to move the more than 1,000 abstracts to a remote location. To make matters worse, the shipped boxes containing the submitted paper abstracts and associated equipment and materials never made it to EA’s offices. It’s a wonder that Jason ever showed up for the second day after a first day like he had, but we are very glad he did!

Author’s contact information: Jason@setac.org

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