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

  • Study of the interactions of dissolved organic matter with zinc ion and the impact of competitive metal ions (Ca 2+ and Mg 2+ ) by in situ absorbance 2017-06-22

    Abstract

    The bioavailability and toxicity of zinc to aquatic life depend on dissolved organic matter (DOM), such as Suwannee River Fulvic Acid (SRFA), which plays an important role in the speciation of zinc. This study examined reactions of SRFA with zinc at different concentrations from pH 3.0 to 9.0, and competitive binding of calcium/magnesium and zinc to SRFA at pH 6.0, using in situ absorbance. Interactions of Zn2+ with SRFA chromophores were evidenced by the emergence of features in Zn-differential spectra. Among all Zn2+–SRFA systems, dominant peaks, located at 235, 275 and 385 nm, and the highest intensity at 235 nm indicated the replacement of protons by the bound Zn2+. The Zn2+ binding with SRFA could be quantified by calculating the changes of the slopes of Zn-differential log-transformed absorbance in the wavelength range of 350–400 nm (denoted as DS350–400) and by comparing the experimental data with predictions using the Non-Ideal Competitive Adsorption (NICA–Donnan) model. DS350–400 was correlated well with the bound Zn2+ concentrations predicted by NICA–Donnan model with or without Ca2+ or Mg2+. Ca2+ and Mg2+ only affect intensity of the Zn-differential and Zn-differential log-transformed absorbance, not shape. In situ absorbance can be used to gain further information about Men+–DOM interactions in the presence of various metals.

  • Blood concentrations of lead, cadmium, mercury and their association with biomarkers of DNA oxidative damage in preschool children living in an e-waste recycling area 2017-06-16

    Abstract

    Reactive oxygen species (ROS)-induced DNA damage occurs in heavy metal exposure, but the simultaneous effect on DNA repair is unknown. We investigated the influence of co-exposure of lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), and mercury (Hg) on 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) and human repair enzyme 8-oxoguanine DNA glycosylase (hOGG1) mRNA levels in exposed children to evaluate the imbalance of DNA damage and repair. Children within the age range of 3–6 years from a primitive electronic waste (e-waste) recycling town were chosen as participants to represent a heavy metal-exposed population. 8-OHdG in the children’s urine was assessed for heavy metal-induced oxidative effects, and the hOGG1 mRNA level in their blood represented the DNA repair ability of the children. Among the children surveyed, 88.14% (104/118) had a blood Pb level >5 μg/dL, 22.03% (26/118) had a blood Cd level >1 μg/dL, and 62.11% (59/95) had a blood Hg level >10 μg/dL. Having an e-waste workshop near the house was a risk factor contributing to high blood Pb (r s  = 0.273, p < 0.01), while Cd and Hg exposure could have come from other contaminant sources. Preschool children of fathers who had a college or university education had significantly lower 8-OHdG levels (median 242.76 ng/g creatinine, range 154.62–407.79 ng/g creatinine) than did children of fathers who had less education (p = 0.035). However, we did not observe a significant difference in the mRNA expression levels of hOGG1 between the different variables. Compared with children having low lead exposure (quartile 1), the children with high Pb exposure (quartiles 2, 3, and 4) had significantly higher 8-OHdG levels (β Q2 = 0.362, 95% CI 0.111–0.542; β Q3 = 0.347, 95% CI 0.103–0.531; β Q4 = 0.314, 95% CI 0.087–0.557). Associations between blood Hg levels and 8-OHdG were less apparent. Compared with low levels of blood Hg (quartile 1), elevated blood Hg levels (quartile 2) were associated with higher 8-OHdG levels (β Q2 = 0.236, 95% CI 0.039–0.406). Compared with children having low lead exposure (quartile 1), the children with high Pb exposure (quartiles 2, 3, and 4) had significantly higher 8-OHdG levels.

  • Effect of biosolid hydrochar on toxicity to earthworms and brine shrimp 2017-06-15

    Abstract

    The hydrothermal carbonization of sewage sludge has been studied as an alternative technique for the conversion of sewage sludge into value-added products, such as soil amendments. We tested the toxicity of biosolid hydrochar (Sewchar) to earthworms. Additionally, the toxicity of Sewchar process water filtrate with and without pH adjustment was assessed, using brine shrimps as a model organism. For a Sewchar application of 40 Mg ha−1, the earthworms significantly preferred the side of the vessel with the reference soil (control) over side of the vessel with the Sewchar treatments. There was no acute toxicity of Sewchar to earthworms within the studied concentration range (up to 80 Mg ha−1). Regarding the Sewchar process water filtrate, the median lethal concentration (LC50) to the shrimps was 8.1% for the treatments in which the pH was not adjusted and 54.8% for the treatments in which the pH was adjusted to 8.5. The lethality to the shrimps significantly increased as the amount of Sewchar process water filtrate increased. In the future, specific toxic substances in Sewchar and its process water filtrate, as well as their interactions with soil properties and their impacts on organisms, should be elucidated. Additionally, it should be identified whether the amount of the toxic compounds satisfies the corresponding legal requirements for the safe application of Sewchar and its process water filtrate.