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

  • Ecological conditions of ponds situated on blast furnace slag deposits located in South Gare Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Teesside, UK 2015-06-01

    Abstract

    Slag, a by-product from the iron and steel industry, has a range of applications within construction and is used in wastewater treatment. Historically considered a waste material, little consideration was given to the environmental impacts of its disposal. South Gare (a Site of Special Scientific Interest) located at the mouth of the Tees estuary, UK, formed on slag deposits used to create a sea wall and make the land behind permanent. Over time, ponds formed in depressions with the water chemistry, being significantly impacted by the slag deposits. Calcium levels reached 504 mg/L, nitrate 49.0 mg/L and sulphate 1,698 mg/L. These levels were also reflected in the composition of the sediment. pH (5.10–9.90) and electrical conductivity (2,710–3,598 µS/cm) were variable but often notably high. Pb, Cu and Cd were not present within the water, whilst Zn ranged from 0.027 to 0.37 mg/L. Heavy metal levels were higher in surface sediments. Zinc was most dominant (174.3–1,310.2 mg/L) followed by Pb (9.9–431 mg/L), Cu (8.4–41.8 mg/L) and Cd (0.4–1.1 mg/L). A sediment core provided a historical overview of the ponds. The ponds were unfavourable for aquatic biodiversity and unsuitable for drinking water abstraction.

  • Identification of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in soils in Taizhou, East China 2015-06-01

    Abstract

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and their hazards in surface soil (n = 92) were investigated in Taizhou, China, which is an area in East China famous for production and exporting of rice. Total concentrations of PAHs in soils ranged from 2.3 × 101 to 7.6 × 102 with a mean of 1.8 × 102 μg/kg (dry mass; dm). Concentrations of 16 PAHs reported here were less than those observed in most previous studies in China and other countries. Concentrations of individual PAH in fluvo-aquic soils were greater than those in paddy soils except naphthalene. Fluoranthene and pyrene were dominant PAHs, which accounted for 19.7 and 13.3 % of the total mass of PAHs, respectively. Based on ratios of low molecular weight PAHs to high molecular weight PAHs, diagnostic ratios and principal component analysis, the predominant source of PAHs was combustion and pyrolysis, especially coal, natural gas, gasoline and diesel emissions from traffic, as well as burning of straw. Carcinogenic potencies of 13 samples were 1.1- to 2.9-fold greater than the target values promulgated by the Netherlands, indicating increased carcinogenic risks of soils from these sites. However, risks of cancer via accidental ingestion, dermal absorption and inhalation to humans posed by PAHs in soil were relatively small.

  • Mercury hair levels and factors that influence exposure for residents of Huancavelica, Peru 2015-06-01

    Abstract

    Between 1564 and 1810, nearly 17,000 metric tons of mercury (Hg) vapor was released to the environment during cinnabar refining in the small town of Huancavelica, Peru. The present study characterizes individual exposure to mercury using total and speciated Hg from residential samples, total Hg in hair, and self-reported questionnaire data regarding factors influencing exposure (e.g., frequency of fish consumption, occupation). Total Hg concentrations in hair from 118 participants ranged from 0.10 to 3.6 µg/g, similar to concentrations found in the USA and lower than concentrations in other Hg-exposed populations around the world. Pearson’s correlation coefficients for data in this study suggest that there is a positive correlation between concentrations of total Hg in hair and concentrations of total Hg in adobe bricks, dirt floors, and surface dust; however, these correlations are not statistically significant. Results of a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) identified that total Hg concentrations in hair were significantly related to gender (p < 0.001), living in a neighborhood where smelters were previously located (p = 0.021), smoking status (p = 0.003), frequency of house cleaning (p = 0.019), and frequency of fish consumption (p = 0.046). These results highlight the need for further studies to better characterize Hg exposure in Huancavelica, particularly as related to residential contamination. A comprehensive analysis of residential Hg contamination and exposure in Huancavelica will guide the development and implementation of mitigation and remediation strategies in the community to reduce potential health risks from residential Hg exposure.