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

  • Speciation and bioaccessibility of mercury in adobe bricks and dirt floors in Huancavelica, Peru 2015-04-01

    Abstract

    Huancavelica, Peru, a historic cinnabar refining site, is one of the most mercury (Hg)-contaminated urban areas in the world. Exposure is amplified because residents build their adobe brick homes from contaminated soil. The objectives of this study were to compare two Hg-leaching procedures, and their application as risk-assessment screening tools in Hg-contaminated adobe brick homes in Huancavelica. The purpose was to evaluate potential health implications, particularly for children, after ingestion of Hg-contaminated particles. Hg was measured in adobe brick and dirt floor samples from 60 households by total Hg extraction, simulated gastric fluid (GF) extraction, and sequential selective extraction (SSE), which provides more detailed data but is resource-intensive. Most of the Hg present in samples was relatively insoluble, although in some households soluble Hg species were present at concentrations that may be of concern after ingestion. A strong correlation was identified between results from simulated GF extraction of adobe bricks and dirt floors and the more soluble fractions of Hg from SSE. Simulated GF extraction data were combined with ingestion and body mass characteristics for small children to compare potential risk of ingestion of Hg-contaminated soil with current health standards. Simulated GF extraction can be used as a risk assessment screening tool for effective allocation of time and resources to households that have measurable concentrations of bioaccessible Hg. Combining simulated GF extraction data with health standards enables intervention strategies targeted at households with the greatest potential health threat from ingestion of Hg-contaminated particles.

  • Trace elements in urinary stones: a preliminary investigation in Fars province, Iran 2015-04-01

    Abstract

    In view of the high incidence rate of urinary stones in the south and southwest of Iran, this paper investigates trace elements content including heavy metals in 39 urinary stones, collected from patients in Fars province, Iran. The mineralogy of the stones is investigated using X-ray diffractometry. The samples are classified into five mineral groups (calcium oxalate, uric acid, cystine, calcium phosphate and mixed stone). Major and trace elements in each group were determined using ICP-MS method. P and Ca constitute the main elements in urinary stones with Ca being more affine to oxalates while other alkali and alkaline earths precipitate with phosphate. Significant amounts of trace elements, especially Zn and Sr, were found in urinary calculi (calcium oxalate and phosphates) relative to biominerals (uric acid and cystine). Among urinary calculi, calcium phosphate contains greater amounts of trace metal than calcium oxalate. Phosphates seem to be the most important metal-bearing phases in urinary stones. Results indicate that concentrations of elements in urinary stones depend on the type of mineral phases. Significant differences in elements content across various mineralogical groups were found by applying statistical methods. Kruskal–Wallis test reveals significant difference between Ca, P, K, Na, Mg, S, Zn, Sr, Se, Cd, and Co content in different investigated mineral groups. Moreover, Mann–Whitney test differentiates Ca, Na, Zn, Sr, Co, and Ni between minerals in oxalate and uric acid stones. This study shows that urinary stone can provide complementary information on human exposure to elements and estimate the environmental risks involved in urinary stones formation.

  • Risk assessment of particle dispersion and trace element contamination from mine-waste dumps 2015-04-01

    Abstract

    In this study, a model to delimit risk zones influenced by atmospheric particle dispersion from mine-waste dumps is developed to assess their influence on the soil and the population according to the concentration of trace elements in the waste. The model is applied to the Riotinto Mine (in SW Spain), which has a long history of mining and heavy land contamination. The waste materials are separated into three clusters according to the mapping, mineralogy, and geochemical classification using cluster analysis. Two of the clusters are composed of slag, fresh pyrite, and roasted pyrite ashes, which may contain high concentrations of trace elements (e.g., >1 % As or >4 % Pb). The average pollution load index (PLI) calculated for As, Cd, Co, Cu, Pb, Tl, and Zn versus the baseline of the regional soil is 19. The other cluster is primarily composed of sterile rocks and ochreous tailings, and the average PLI is 3. The combination of particle dispersion calculated by a Gaussian model, the PLI, the surface area of each waste and the wind direction is used to develop a risk-assessment model with Geographic Information System GIS software. The zone of high risk can affect the agricultural soil and the population in the study area, particularly if mining activity is restarted in the near future. This model can be applied to spatial planning and environmental protection if the information is complemented with atmospheric particulate matter studies.