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

  • Endocrine-disrupting chemicals in the Pearl River Delta and coastal environment: sources, transfer, and implications 2014-12-01

    Abstract

    A study was conducted to investigate the occurrence and behavior of six endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in sewage, river water, and seawater from the Pearl River Delta (PRD). The six EDCs under study were 4-nonylphenol (NP), bisphenol A (BPA), 17α-ethynylestradiol (EE2), estrone (E2), 17β-estradiol (E2), and estriol (E3). These EDCs, predominated by BPA, were found in high levels in the influents and the effluents of sewage treatment plants in the area. The relatively high concentrations (0.23–625 ng/L) of the EDCs detected in the receiving river water suggested that the untreated sewage discharge was a major contributor. The EDCs detected in eight outlets of the Pear River and the Pear River Estuary were in the ranges of 1.2–234 and 0.2–178 ng/L, respectively. The estrogen equivalents in the aquatic environments under study ranged from 0.08 to 4.5 ng/L, with E1 and EE2 being the two predominant contributors. As the fluxes of the EDCs from the PRD region to the nearby ocean are over 500 tons each year, the results of this study point to the potential that Pearl River is a significant source of the EDCs to the local environment there.

  • Occurrence of tar balls on the beaches of Fernando de Noronha Island, South Equatorial Atlantic 2014-12-01

    Abstract

    This work reports on the widespread occurrence of tar balls on a pebble beach of Sueste Bay on Fernando de Noronha Island, a Brazilian national marine park and a preserve in the South Equatorial Atlantic. Environmental regulations preclude regular visitors to the Sueste Bay beach, and the bay is a pristine area without any possible or potential sources of petroleum in the coastal zone. In this work, these tar balls were observed for the first time as they occurred as envelopes around beach pebbles. They are black in color, very hard, have a shell and coral fragment armor, and range in average size from 2 to 6 cm. The shape of the majority of the tar balls is spherical, but some can also be flattened ellipsoids. The polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon analyses of the collected samples revealed the characteristics of a strongly weathered material, where only the most persistent compounds were detected: chrysene, benzo(b,k)fluoranthene, dibenzo(a,h)antracene and benzo(a)pyrene.

  • Evaluation of geochemical characteristics and health effects of some geophagic clays southern Nigeria 2014-12-01

    Abstract

    The geochemical characteristics of geophagic clays from Calabar and Okon-Eket, southern Nigeria were evaluated to determine their quality and the possible health effects of their consumption. The study involved the measurement of the pH, electrical conductivity (EC) and total dissolved solids (TDS) of the slurried clay samples soaked in distilled water for 48 h using digital multi-parameters probe as well as the elemental and mineralogical analyses of twenty geophagic clay samples for elemental and mineralogical constituents using both the ICP-MS and XRD, respectively. Medical data were also mined from medical facilities within the area in addition to the administering of questionnaire to adults involved in the geophagic practices in order to determine their justification for the practice as well as their and clay preferences. Results of physicochemical measurement revealed that the pH range of the samples ranges from 3.9 to 6.9 and 6.5 to 7.0; EC 0.3–377.7 and 0.12–82.38 µS/cm; TDS 1.98–2,432.65 and 0.08–52.95 mg/L for consumed and non-consumed clay, respectively. The elemental analyses revealed that the concentration of some potential harmful elements, PHEs, exceeded the recommended dietary intake by humans. This is especially true for Cu (9.1–23 ppm), Pb (16.7–55.6 ppm), Zn (13–148 ppm), Ni (11.1–46.4 ppm), Co (1.8–21.7 ppm), Mn (16–338 ppm), As (BDL-15 ppm) and Cd (BDL-0.2 ppm). The predominant phases established in the clay samples are quartz and kaolinite, while the minor minerals were montmorillonite and muscovite in all the clay samples. Respondents revealed that capacity for relief from gastrointestinal problems believes in the curative power to cure skin infections and cultural reasons as main justification for the geophagic practices. This is, however, not in conformity with information gleaned from the medical records which still indicated that the prevalent diseases in the area still include gastrointestinal problems in addition to malaria, hypertension and cardiac failure with minor cases of respiratory tract infections. The high concentrations of the PHEs may be responsible for or contribute in part to the prevalence of hypertension, cardiac failures and gastrointestinal problems within the study areas. Though the kaolinite present in the geophagic clays makes them suitable for use as traditional antacids; however, the toxic trace element concentrations and significant quartz content will most likely mask the beneficial effects of such kaolinite.