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

  • Alterations in antioxidant defense system of workers chronically exposed to arsenic, cadmium and mercury from coal flying ash 2016-02-01

    Abstract

    Humans are exposed to different stress factors that are responsible for over-production of reactive oxygen species. Exposure to heavy metals is one of these factors. The aim of the study was to analyze the effect of chronic exposure to heavy metals through coal flying ash on the efficiency of antioxidative defensive mechanisms, represented by the activity of superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase and ascorbic acid. Nonessential elements such as arsenic and mercury levels showed a significant increase (p > 0.001) in the power plant workers rather than in the control subjects. There were no significant differences of blood cadmium between power plant workers and control subjects. We found a significant positive correlation (p < 0.05) between BAs/SZn (r = 0.211), BAs/BSe (r = 0.287), BCd/SCu (r = 0.32) and BHg/BSe (r = 0.263) in the plant workers. Red blood cell antioxidant enzymes and plasma ascorbic acid were significantly lower in power plants workers than in the control group (p < 0.002). We can conclude that levels of mercury, arsenic and cadmium in blood, despite their concentration within the reference values, significantly affect plasma ascorbic acid concentration, superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase activity, which are able to increase the risk of oxidative stress.

  • Increase in platinum group elements in Mexico City as revealed from growth rings of Taxodium mucronatum ten 2016-02-01

    Abstract

    Tree rings may be used as indicators of contamination events providing information on the chronology and the elemental composition of the contamination. In this framework, we report PGEs enrichment in growth rings of Taxodium mucronatum ten for trees growing in the central area of Mexico City as compared to trees growing in a non-urban environment. Concentrations of PGE were determined by ICP-MS analysis on microwave-digested tree rings. The element found in higher concentrations was Pd (1.13–87.98 μg kg−1), followed by Rh (0.28–36.81 μg kg−1) and Pt (0.106–7.21 μg kg−1). The concentration trends of PGEs in the tree-ring sequences from the urban area presented significant correlation values when comparing between trees (r between 0.618 and 0.98, P < 0.025) and between elements within individual trees (r between 0.76 and 0.994, P < 0.01). Furthermore, a clear increase was observed for rings after 1997, with enrichment of up to 60 times the mean concentration found for the sequence from the non-urban area and up to 40 times the mean concentration for the pre-1991 period in the urban trees. These results also demonstrate the feasibility of applying T. mucronatum ten to be used as a bioindicator of the increase in PGE in urban environments.

  • Heavy metals and parasitic geohelminths toxicity among geophagous pregnant women: a case study of Nakuru Municipality, Kenya 2016-02-01

    Abstract

    Geophagia is defined as deliberate consumption of earths’ materials, e.g. soil, clay and soft stones. The practice is widespread among pregnant women, and there are conflicting views as to whether it is beneficial to health or not. Geophagic materials may be a source of micronutrients though the materials may bind the micronutrients thus reducing or hindering their bioavailability in the body. Geophagia is closely associated with geohelminthic infections among pregnant women and heavy metal poisoning, which constitute significant public health problem in many developing countries such as Kenya. In our research, the geophagic materials consumed by the pregnant women were studied. A total of 38 geophagic materials in the possession by different pregnant women were analysed. The collected samples were subjected to standard digestion procedures and analysed for zinc, lead and iron by atomic absorption spectroscopy. Results indicated that the geophagic materials contained elevated levels of Fe at mean concentration value of 80.10 ppm, Pb at 3.28 ppm and Zn 1.81 ppm for a 1.00 g sample. An average of 20 g of the geophagic materials was being consumed per day. Based on the average consumption, the pregnant women were exposed to 65.52 ppm Pb per day, 36.2 ppm Zn per day and 1602 ppm Fe per day. Lead exceeded the WHO-lead exposure limits of 25 ppm/day for pregnant women. The materials were also subjected to microscopic examination for Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura, Taenia Spp., Necator americanus and Ancylostoma duodenale. In conclusion, the women were exposed to heavy metals—iron, zinc and lead, but there was no observable eggs, larvae or adult species of the geohelminths. The key recommendation was that there is need to integrate public health education on geophagia, lead screening and testing with antenatal support care systems. This will enhance maternal and child health, thus reducing infant and maternal morbidity and mortality rates.