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 (www.segh.net ), 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

  • A review of the public health impacts of unconventional natural gas development 2016-12-05

    Abstract

    The public health impact of hydraulic fracturing remains a high profile and controversial issue. While there has been a recent surge of published papers, it remains an under-researched area despite being possibly the most substantive change in energy production since the advent of the fossil fuel economy. We review the evidence of effects in five public health domains with a particular focus on the UK: exposure, health, socio-economic, climate change and seismicity. While the latter would seem not to be of significance for the UK, we conclude that serious gaps in our understanding of the other potential impacts persist together with some concerning signals in the literature and legitimate uncertainties derived from first principles. There is a fundamental requirement for high-quality epidemiological research incorporating real exposure measures, improved understanding of methane leakage throughout the process, and a rigorous analysis of the UK social and economic impacts. In the absence of such intelligence, we consider it prudent to incentivise further research and delay any proposed developments in the UK. Recognising the political realities of the planning and permitting process, we make a series of recommendations to protect public health in the event of hydraulic fracturing being approved in the UK.

  • Effect of biogeochemical interactions on bioaccessibility of arsenic in soils of a former smelter site in Republic of Korea 2016-12-01

    Abstract

    The total concentration-based regulations for soil remediation do not consider the possible changes in bioaccessibility of remaining arsenic (As) in soils due to biogeochemical interactions after remediation. This study used As-contaminated soil and pore water samples that were collected from the rice paddy and forest/farmland located in the vicinity of a former smelter site in Republic of Korea to elucidate the changes in As bioaccessibility due to biogeochemical interactions. Bioaccessibility and chemical forms of As in soils were determined by using an in vitro method and sequential extraction, respectively, and soil microbial community was evaluated. Bioaccessibility of As in the rice paddy soil samples was higher than that in the forest/farmland soil samples. This could be attributed to relatively higher dependence of bioaccessible As in the rice paddy soils on the soil concentration of iron (Fe), aluminum, or manganese, which could lead to greater changes in bioaccessible As via reductive dissolution. The strong linear relationship (R 2 = 0.90, p value ≤0.001) between the pore water As and Fe concentrations, and the greater portion of bacterial species related to reductive dissolution of Fe oxides in the rice paddies can support the higher As bioaccessibility promoted by reductive dissolution. Therefore, it is necessary to consider the potential changes in the bioaccessible As due to biogeochemical interactions in remediation of As-contaminated soils, particularly when soils are likely to be reused under reductive dissolution-promoting conditions (e.g., flooded conditions).

  • Health risk assessment of groundwater arsenic pollution in southern Taiwan 2016-12-01

    Abstract

    Residents of the Pingtung Plain, Taiwan, use groundwater for drinking. However, monitoring results showed that a considerable portion of groundwater has an As concentration higher than the safe drinking water regulation of 10 μg/L. Considering residents of the Pingtung Plain continue to use groundwater for drinking, this study attempted to evaluate the exposure and health risk from drinking groundwater. The health risk from drinking groundwater was evaluated based on the hazard quotient (HQ) and target risk (TR) established by the US Environmental Protection Agency. The results showed that the 95th percentile of HQ exceeded 1 and TR was above the safe value of threshold value of 10−6. To illustrate significant variability of the drinking water consumption rate and body weight of each individual, health risk assessments were also performed using a spectrum of daily water intake rate and body weight to reasonably and conservatively assess the exposure and health risk for the specific subgroups of population of the Pingtung Plain. The assessment results showed that 0.01–7.50 % of the population’s HQ levels are higher than 1 and as much as 77.7–93.3 % of the population being in high cancer risk category and having a TR value >10−6. The TR estimation results implied that groundwater use for drinking purpose places people at risk of As exposure. The government must make great efforts to provide safe drinking water for residents of the Pingtung Plain.