Teresa J Norberg-King, SETAC North America President
SETAC North America Board of Directors member Lisa Ortego graciously hosted the board’s first in-person meeting this year from 6–7 March 2020 at the Bayer facility in Cary, North Carolina. Board members took full advantage of the high-tech conference room, which had excellent equipment for sharing presentations, allowing some to join remotely. When we needed a break, we could grab a latte or a cappuccino down the hall or snack on nuts and candy provided by Bayer. Board members also enjoyed the indoor golf putting green and ping pong during breaks. On behalf of all of the board members and SETAC staff, I want to thank Lisa for the time and energy that she put into hosting our meeting while doing her part as a board member.
The board had a full agenda. We discussed ways that we can continue to focus on advancing SETAC’s mission. We approved a budget for this fiscal year, which modeled various case scenarios for meetings, so we could plan contingencies. We identified items that need to be incorporated into the SETAC North America By-laws to make them more robust and to ensure organizational health. We evaluated how we can collaborate with other SETAC entities such as geographic units under the Global SETAC umbrella. We also planned how we can provide support for regional chapters. We then outlined initiatives that can help SETAC North America programs be more reflective of SETAC values and brainstormed many ideas and innovations for our annual meeting. We also discussed topics for future focused topic meetings and workshops.
At the end of our first day, Tamar Schlekat, SETAC Scientific Affairs Manager, demonstrated some virtual meeting platforms that had the look and feel of in-person meetings. Over dinner, the board brainstormed leveraging that technology to add new programs to SETAC’s events repertoire. We’re very excited about what the future might hold. Virtual platforms can assist SETAC create inclusive meetings accessible to all and increase SETAC’s impact, all with a low carbon footprint.
I’d like to take this opportunity to announce that we have approved the SETAC North America Aquatic Toxicity Testing Interest Group (ATTIG). The scope of the ATTIG will focus on improving current testing methods, providing science-based input to laboratory training and assessment tools, and promoting the advancement of emerging in vivoand in vitro methods. The ad hoc ATTIG had organized sessions and IG discussions to provide opportunities to advance the science for aquatic toxicity testing methods for effluents and receiving waters used in North America. The ATTIG will serve as an open forum to SETAC North America for environmental scientists and decision-makers representing academia, regulatory agencies and industry to discuss scientific issues concerning aquatic toxicity testing of effluents and receiving waters. Participation in an Interest Group is open to all parties. Join an Interest Group today. Being part of an Interest Group gives everyone the chance to participate in special sessions or networking events at an annual meeting, in focused workshops, in online exchanges or to contribute to books or journal articles. We will be adding the background information to the web page as it becomes available. Please feel free to reach out to either Stephen Clark and Trudy Watson-Leung to be added to the current email list.
The STEAC North America Board of Directors wants to make sure we are reaching out and listening to our members. We are committed to bringing education and science directly to you. Let’s work together to create ways that optimize networking opportunities year-round. We are looking for your ideas. You can reach out to me or any of the board members at any time.
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