Global Executive Director’s Corner
Mike Mozur, SETAC Global Executive Director
One simple word to capture the whirlwind of SETAC over these past months: “Whew!!”
In July I wrote about the great year we were having and the daunting schedule facing the Society. We were preparing meetings around the world and continuing a lively Society-wide discussion on sustainability in preparation for Long Beach. And there was a certain excitement as we shifted to a new web portal and membership database operation. I am very pleased to report demonstrated success on all fronts and a wonderful vitality to the range of activities occurring under the SETAC global umbrella.
More recently, we have begun broader strategic plan discussions within SETAC and the various geographic units, seeking to plot the Society’s course leading up to the next World Congress in Orlando, Florida in 2016. SETAC Asia/Pacific and the SETAC Europe Council have launched their reviews and Long Beach will provide the World Council and SETAC North America a similar opportunity to tackle the Society’s longer-term perspective and opportunities. Member input is highly valued so I would urge you to be in touch with your respective geographic unit governance board or planning committees, or with me or other executive directors, to convey your thoughts and ideas.
Elsewhere in this issue, you will find fuller reports and details on the many successful, well-attended meetings, including the SETAC Asia/Pacific meeting in Kumamoto, Latin America regional chapter meetings in Brazil and Argentina, a SETAC North America regional chapter meeting (Ohio Valley), a SETAC Europe branch meeting (Central and Eastern Europe) and my own participation, together with SETAC Africa Council member Aviti Mmochi, in the Third International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM3) in Nairobi, Kenya. The ICCM series is the main focus on the global Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM). ICCM3 in Nairobi enabled us to showcase SETAC’s commitment to Environmental Quality through Science® in areas related to international chemicals management.
Our experience with the new web portal and database has been a good one, with a steady stream of member compliments and with a few comments geared to further fine-tuning in particular areas. Although the transition was daunting, with the Pensacola office bearing most of the load, the result is a up-to-date and very cost-effective web portal and IT platform that can support our internal management and communications needs. The cost savings and efficiencies gained over the coming years are a welcome benefit in such challenging economic times, when we need to be doubly vigilant in terms of budgets and expenses.
I hope you will have seen the announcement of the inaugural SETAC Global Environmental Photography Contest, which produced more than 30 outstanding submissions and a wonderful group of 10 finalists with the SETAC membership now voting to select the winner. This contest is driven by several considerations, namely to create another shared point of interest for our global community, to generate some modest funding for student activities and last, to add a personal, member touch to our annual report, where we hope to include some contest submissions in the future. Let me urge you to visit our web site voting page and, if you are in Long Beach, the SETAC bookstore and Silent Auction. It is great to see our membership capturing such fascinating glimpses of nature and the environment, further motivation for our scientific work together.
Always one to look ahead, I see that 2013 has a full program, with four geographic unit meetings scheduled. Please mark your calendars for these conferences: SETAC Europe in Glasgow, Scotland in May; SETAC Latin America in Buenos Aires, Argentina and SETAC Africa in Lusaka, Zambia, both in September; and SETAC North America in Nashville, Tennessee, USA in November. Also consider attending a major SETAC Asia/Pacific conference in Hanoi, Vietnam in March. There will also be the usual range of specialized meetings and symposia as well as numerous regional branch and chapter meetings around the world.
SETAC maintains a steady engagement in international scientific discussions and programs. We are involved in activities with United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and a number of other international organizations, including those related to mercury, endocrine disruptors, pharmaceuticals, POPs and others. Our workshops, Pellston and otherwise, provide scientific input to policy makers and regulators around the world. I urge you to join us in these activities and I look forward to hearing from you via email or at one of our many meetings.
Last, let me extend a warm welcome to Jen Lynch, who has joined the SETAC staff as co-publications manager, working closely with Mimi Meredith and our journals and books editors. Jen, who has a strong résumé from the publishing world, brings great experience, imagination and energy to our work together. Let me also offer my best wishes and appreciation to Dave Arnold, who has retired from his position as Executive Director for SETAC Europe; Dave can take great personal pride in the successes of the SETAC Europe program during his tenure, including the outstanding World Congress held in Berlin in May.
Hope to see you all in Long Beach or at another future SETAC venue in 2013, and please feel free to join me at my regular “open door” sessions at all the meetings I attend.
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