Chris Metcalfe, Trudy Watson-Leung and Nicole Riddell, SETAC Toronto Program Committee Co-Chairs
The stage is set for a fantastic program of platform presentations, posters, poster corners and spotlight sessions for the SETAC North America 40th Annual Meeting, which will be held from 3–7 November 2019 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. With more than 2,000 abstracts submitted this year, we narrowly missed setting a record for the highest number ever received for a SETAC North America annual meeting. We still have a chance to pull ahead with late submissions. For those who missed the original deadline or have late-breaking scientific findings, please submit your abstracts when the late abstract submission opens on 21 August. This year also brings you a greater number of special forum sessions with non-traditional formats, such as software demonstrations or conversation-style sessions. We are very excited about the program that has been put together and look forward to celebrating a milestone SETAC anniversary in Toronto through a retrospective on the 40-year history of SETAC. A very exciting initiative to commemorate this anniversary is the 40th anniversary photo mosaic, and the deadline to submit a photo is 31 August. Make sure you are included among the many faces that make up SETAC!
Start off your week at SETAC Toronto by taking advantage of one of the 15 professional training courses offered by prominent researchers on a wide variety of topics. Making sure you’re there on Sunday will also allow you to participate in an “Industrial Birding Adventure” or a very special Sunday afternoon Community Engagement Event, which brings together the public, science and policy through the story of the incredible Don Mouth Naturalization and Port Lands Flood Protection project on Toronto’s waterfront. And, you won’t want to miss the entertainers at the opening ceremony, who were featured on the TV show “America’s Got Talent.”
In addition to the program for scientific presentations and posters, we have scheduled three keynote speakers, who will provide a range of perspectives on environmental issues. On Monday, Kate Harris, a writer and adventurer who was named one of Canada’s top modern explorers by Canadian Geographic magazine. On Tuesday, Henry Lickers from the Akwasasne First Nation near Cornwall, Ontario, will talk about the changing environment and Indigenous peoples. Finally, Wednesday will feature Dianne Saxe, the former Ontario Commissioner of the Environment (2015–2019). She will give her perspective on how science can influence government policy.
The week will also be filled with many meetings and social activities, including the Women in SETAC Luncheon, a SETAC Diversity “Gathering of Empowered Minds” social event, the Student Noontime Seminar, a wonderful guest program, the Buddy Program for first-time attendees, the Student/Mentor Dinner, the Exploring Career Choices event and the SETAC Fun Run along the Toronto Waterfront. This year’s meeting will also feature a new event on Thursday that we have coined “SETAC Connects” which will connect SETAC attendees with environmental non-government organizations and citizen science groups to discuss lessons learned and potential opportunities for collaborations across different sectors of science, data collection and science communication.
Check out the website for the long list of amazing sponsors and exhibitors and for all the details on the program and events. We look forward to seeing you there.