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

  • Geospatial association between adverse birth outcomes and arsenic in groundwater in New Hampshire, USA 2014-10-19

    Abstract

    There is increasing evidence of the role of arsenic in the etiology of adverse human reproductive outcomes. Because drinking water can be a major source of arsenic to pregnant women, the effect of arsenic exposure through drinking water on human birth may be revealed by a geospatial association between arsenic concentration in groundwater and birth problems, particularly in a region where private wells substantially account for water supply, like New Hampshire, USA. We calculated town-level rates of preterm birth and term low birth weight (term LBW) for New Hampshire, by using data for 1997–2009 stratified by maternal age. We smoothed the rates by using a locally weighted averaging method to increase the statistical stability. The town-level groundwater arsenic probability values are from three GIS data layers generated by the US Geological Survey: probability of local groundwater arsenic concentration >1 µg/L, probability >5 µg/L, and probability >10 µg/L. We calculated Pearson’s correlation coefficients (r) between the reproductive outcomes (preterm birth and term LBW) and the arsenic probability values, at both state and county levels. For preterm birth, younger mothers (maternal age <20) have a statewide r = 0.70 between the rates smoothed with a threshold = 2,000 births and the town mean arsenic level based on the data of probability >10 µg/L; for older mothers, r = 0.19 when the smoothing threshold = 3,500; a majority of county level r values are positive based on the arsenic data of probability >10 µg/L. For term LBW, younger mothers (maternal age <25) have a statewide r = 0.44 between the rates smoothed with a threshold = 3,500 and town minimum arsenic concentration based on the data of probability >1 µg/L; for older mothers, r = 0.14 when the rates are smoothed with a threshold = 1,000 births and also adjusted by town median household income in 1999, and the arsenic values are the town minimum based on probability >10 µg/L. At the county level for younger mothers, positive r values prevail, but for older mothers, it is a mix. For both birth problems, the several most populous counties—with 60–80 % of the state’s population and clustering at the southwest corner of the state—are largely consistent in having a positive r across different smoothing thresholds. We found evident spatial associations between the two adverse human reproductive outcomes and groundwater arsenic in New Hampshire, USA. However, the degree of associations and their sensitivity to different representations of arsenic level are variable. Generally, preterm birth has a stronger spatial association with groundwater arsenic than term LBW, suggesting an inconsistency in the impact of arsenic on the two reproductive outcomes. For both outcomes, younger maternal age has stronger spatial associations with groundwater arsenic.

  • The arsenic contamination of rice in Guangdong Province, the most economically dynamic provinces of China: arsenic speciation and its potential health risk 2014-10-07

    Abstract

    Rice is a staple food in China, but it may contain toxic heavy metals. Hence, the concentrations of arsenic (As) species (AsIII, AsV, MMA and DMA) were evaluated in 260 rice samples from 13 cities of Guangdong Province, the most economically dynamic provinces of China. The levels of sum concentrations of As species in rice samples varied from non-detect to 225.58 ng g−1, with an average value of 57.27 ng g−1. The mean concentrations of the major As species detected in rice samples were in the order AsIII (34.77 ng g−1) > AsV (9.34 ng g−1) > DMA (8.33 ng g−1) > MMA (4.82 ng g−1). The rice samples of Guangdong Province were categorized as inorganic As type. Significant geographical variation of As speciation existed in rice samples of 13 cities of Guangdong Province by chi-square test (p < 0.05). The average human weekly intakes of inorganic As via rice consumption in Guangdong Province, southern China, were 1.91 µg kg−1 body weight. Hazard quotients of total As via rice consumption of adults in 13 cities ranged from 0.06 to 0.30, indicating the As contents in rice from Guangdong Province had no potential adverse impact on human health.

  • Selected papers from the 29th SEGH Conference on Environmental Geochemistry and Health 2014-10-01