SETAC in Long Beach: A Student’s Perspective on the Meeting
Erica K. Brockmeier, University of Florida
Since attending my first SETAC North America meeting in Portland two years ago, I always look forward to this conference as November rolls around. This year’s meeting in Long Beach was great both in terms of the people, the venue and the opportunities to learn about the latest work being done in environmental toxicology and chemistry. From the great opening ceremony to the more relaxed socializing on Thursday evening, it was a busy yet exciting week full of science and networking.
My personal highlights from the meeting include Ed Begley Jr.’s talk at the opening ceremony. It was a great reminder of our abilities and the rewards of going green on smaller scales and how we as scientists can continue to pave the way toward a cleaner planet through our continued efforts in research. I also enjoyed attending the presentations and talking to fellow researchers outside of my own field. With a great assortment of symposia ranging from the toxicological effects of nanoparticles to advancements in the fields of risk assessment, I enjoy the opportunities that national conferences provide for opening my mind to new approaches and areas of research. Along with great science, one of the best parts of SETAC is the wonderful people. It’s great to spend a week surrounded by such a friendly and interactive group of scientists. From fun runs, tours, and great social events—the aquarium event was a fantastic venue for the Tuesday night social!—there are always ample opportunities to meet new friends and colleagues through SETAC, with this year being no exception.
As the new chair of the North American Student Advisory Council (NASAC) and the student representative to the SETAC North America Board of Directors, I also had the opportunity to meet with many other SETAC students and to hear their perspectives on the meeting. This year’s student-oriented activities were well-received, with our two noon-time seminars, student-mentor dinner, and the annual student art contest where students could vote on their favorite piece of artwork at the NASAC booth. Congratulations to the top two entries selected by NASAC (Catherine Baxter at Texas Tech University and Valentina Prado at Arizona State University) and a second congratulation to Valentina for also being voted as the best artwork by the SETAC students attending the meeting. I and the other hard-working members of NASAC, along with our newly elected vice chair Sarah Bowman of The Ohio State University, will begin preparations for the Nashville meeting soon and look forward to interacting with more SETAC students throughout the next year.
I’m greatly looking forward to the Nashville meeting next year, as each SETAC meeting I’ve attended seems to be better than the one before. While the conference week is always a busy one (and at times exhausting as well), I always look forward to this meeting and for the opportunity to learn something new and meet someone new. See you all in Nashville!
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