SEGH Events

Supporting Conferences, meetings and events

13 December 2015
A guide to groups interested in hosting an SEGH event.

Introduction & Overview

The major activity of SEGH is to promote, internationally, conferences and symposia addressing the main aims of the Society ( ), to encourage active debate and discussion on pressing research issues for experienced and early career researchers in academia, governmental and non-governmental organisations, business and industry.

Meetings are held on a regular basis and are currently organised geographically in Europe, Asia/Pacific and the Americas. The Society has global membership and the Board seeks to include all regions in events. Currently, SEGH promotes three types of event:

1. The International Symposium on Environmental Geochemistry (ISEG).

This is the key International meeting on Environmental Geochemistry, held every 3 years since 1991, jointly promoted by SEGH, International Association of Geochemistry, and the International Medical Geology Association (IMGA). The meeting is typically 4-5 days (+ field trips) attracting ~200-300 + delegates, with parallel sessions and has support from a number of relevant organisations. This meeting will be coordinated on behalf of the supporting societies by the International Association of Geochemistry (IAGC), and through a board with representation from IMGA and SEGH.

2. Annual SEGH events.

These meetings are regularly organised regionally, typically 2-3 days (+ field trip) attracting ~60-100 delegates. Since the 1980s the most successful regional conferences have been the SEGH Meetings held in Europe (the International board are keen to promote regional activities more widely).

3. Specific, focused workshops, symposia or task force activities

Less regular events, in a variety of formats (e.g. one day meetings, jointly hosted or longer working group activities). A specific focus or a timely issue normally stimulates the organisation and SEGH has been able to support a number of such events which have had significant impact on the scientific community and often resulted in special issues of the Society’s journal Environmental Geochemistry & Health. Examples include: Environmental Chromium contamination and remediation (v23 (3) 2001); Changes in Soil Quality & Its Remediation (v26 (2-3) 2004), Arsenic in the Environment – Risks & Management Strategies (v31 (S1), 2009), Environment & Human Health (v31 (2), 2009; Practical Applications of Medical Geology (v32 (6), 2010).

The Society For Environmental Geochemistry & Health

The SEGH International Board, with regional representation welcomes offers to host SEGH supported meetings and events. The Board meets regularly, and regional chairs (and local members) undertake to identify hosts and stimulate the organisation of meetings. The Board (International and Regional) coordinate programme of meetings, reviewing proposals and accepting/nominating hosts for events. This includes synchronising meetings and forward planning to try to ensure SEGH supported meetings do not clash with other related events.

Support from SEGH and structure of events

There are few if any “rules”, but SEGH, over the last 30 years of activity has a loose format and process which has been successful:

• the registration fee should offer a discount fee for members of SEGH (we have member and student member grades) and a non member fee which includes annual SEGH membership (this membership fee is passed to SEGH who then provide Springer journal subscription fees for members to online access to the complete EGAH catalogue); SEGH will support (and help judge) prizes for best student oral and poster presentations; any "profit" from the conference is normally split between SEGH and the organisers; SEGH board and members will support the host with advice on organisational aspects, getting contacts and in disseminating/advertising the event to their own networks, as well as providing many of the delegates. Typical format is for a regional meeting is for 2 or 3 days of presentations, with an optional field visit and a few "star speakers" which follow the normal (and a few unusual) topics of SEGH interest. We hope for a broad set of topics, so our members can see a place to offer presentations, but also learn something new. The link between “environment” and “health” is a core theme.

Questions for organisers

Have you considered the following issues, and whether you:

1. Have support from your institution – are you able to get reduce costs of room hire, facilities etc?

2. Can access website space be available and supported for a conference web site?

3. Can access efficient on-line registration (and payment) facilities?

4. Have organisational support from colleagues to set up and run the event?

5. Can obtain support grants or sponsorship from networks / organisations?

6. Can you provide a good social element for the meeting – conference dinner and mixer events?

7. Set a fee level to attract delegates and ensure breakeven / minor profit from the meeting?

8. Can you provide access to suitable accommodation and ensure the logistics of arrival at the conference venue is straight forward – providing a number of options for delegates is ideal, some will bring accompanying persons, others will have very restricted budget. Consider the physical journey for delegates and try to organise to make it as straightforward as possible.

Application/Expression of interest.

The SEGH board is keen to receive offers to host meetings or events falling into any of the above categories. The Board would like to receive a formal request containing as much information and outline of arrangements for the meeting. This will then be considered and in the event of competing bids for meetings, the Board will arrange a “vote” and the applicants informed of the board’s decision.

On behalf of the Society for Environmental Geochemistry & Health 22 November 2012

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Science in the News

Latest on-line papers from the SEGH journal: Environmental Geochemistry and Health

  • Assessment of radon concentration and heavy metal contamination in groundwater of Udhampur district, Jammu & Kashmir, India 2017-10-16


    Radon concentration was measured in water samples of 41 different locations from Udhampur district of Jammu & Kashmir, India, by using RAD7 and Smart RnDuo monitor. The variation of radon concentration in water ranged from 1.44 ± 0.31 to 63.64 ± 2.88 Bq L−1, with a mean value of 28.73 Bq L−1 using RAD7 and 0.64 ± 0.28 to 52.65 ± 2.50 Bq L−1, with a mean value of 20.30 Bq L−1 using Smart RnDuo monitor, respectively. About 17.07% of the studied water samples recorded to display elevated radon concentration above the reference range suggested by United Nation Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiations (UNSCEAR). The mean annual effective dose of these samples was determined, and 78.95% samples were found to be within the safe limits set by World Health Organisation (WHO) and European Council (EU). The study revealed good agreement between the values obtained with two methods. Heavy metals (Zn, Cd, Fe, Cu, Ni, As, Hg, Co, Pb and Cr) were determined in water samples by microwave plasma atomic emission spectrometer, and their correlation with radon content was also analysed.

  • Detecting the effects of coal mining, acid rain, and natural gas extraction in Appalachian basin streams in Pennsylvania (USA) through analysis of barium and sulfate concentrations 2017-10-13


    To understand how extraction of different energy sources impacts water resources requires assessment of how water chemistry has changed in comparison with the background values of pristine streams. With such understanding, we can develop better water quality standards and ecological interpretations. However, determination of pristine background chemistry is difficult in areas with heavy human impact. To learn to do this, we compiled a master dataset of sulfate and barium concentrations ([SO4], [Ba]) in Pennsylvania (PA, USA) streams from publically available sources. These elements were chosen because they can represent contamination related to oil/gas and coal, respectively. We applied changepoint analysis (i.e., likelihood ratio test) to identify pristine streams, which we defined as streams with a low variability in concentrations as measured over years. From these pristine streams, we estimated the baseline concentrations for major bedrock types in PA. Overall, we found that 48,471 data values are available for [SO4] from 1904 to 2014 and 3243 data for [Ba] from 1963 to 2014. Statewide [SO4] baseline was estimated to be 15.8 ± 9.6 mg/L, but values range from 12.4 to 26.7 mg/L for different bedrock types. The statewide [Ba] baseline is 27.7 ± 10.6 µg/L and values range from 25.8 to 38.7 µg/L. Results show that most increases in [SO4] from the baseline occurred in areas with intensive coal mining activities, confirming previous studies. Sulfate inputs from acid rain were also documented. Slight increases in [Ba] since 2007 and higher [Ba] in areas with higher densities of gas wells when compared to other areas could document impacts from shale gas development, the prevalence of basin brines, or decreases in acid rain and its coupled effects on [Ba] related to barite solubility. The largest impacts on PA stream [Ba] and [SO4] are related to releases from coal mining or burning rather than oil and gas development.

  • Toxic effects of oxytetracycline and copper, separately or combined, on soil microbial biomasses 2017-10-12


    The production of commercial livestock and poultry often involves using with antibiotics and feed additives, such as oxytetracycline (OTC) and copper (Cu). These are often excreted into the soil by animal feces; hence, combined pollutants may contaminate the soil. To evaluate single and combined toxic effects of OTC and Cu on the soil ecology, changes in quantities of bacteria, fungi, and actinomycetes in the soil were studied over a 28-d incubation period by a plate count method, microbes numbers counted on days 7, 14, 21, and 28. Abundances of ammonia monooxygenase (amoA) gene expression by ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) in soil samples also were tested by real-time polymerase chain reactions (RT-PCRs) on day 21. The results revealed that the numbers of bacteria, fungi and actinomycetes and amoA genes copies of AOA and AOB were reduced seriously by exposure to Cu (1.60 mmol/kg). Similarly, the combined pollution treatments (mole ratios of OTC: Cu was 1:2, 1:8, and 1:32) also had inhibitory effect on bacteria, fungi, and actinomycetes numbers and amoA gene copies of AOA and AOB; the inhibitory rate was on obvious growth trend with the increasing mole ratios. Effects from single OTC pollution were found on bacteria (days 7 and 14), fungi (days 7, 14, 21, and 28), and AOA-amoA gene copies (day 21), with promotion at a low concentration (0.05 mmol/kg) and suppression at higher concentrations (0.2 and 0.8 mmol/kg). Also, numbers of bacteria, fungi, and actinomycetes decreased with longer culture times. Combining OTC and Cu led to a higher inhibition of soil microbes than when either chemical was used alone. However, there was no significant relationship between single and combined toxic chemicals because of their complicated interactions, either antagonistic or synergistic. The results also indicated the sensitivity of bacteria, fungi, actinomycetes on toxic chemicals existed difference and that the AOA were more tolerant than the AOB to these chemicals.