Professional Training Courses
All prices in US$.
Recent Grad Member
Recent Grad Member
Recent Grad Member
Sunday, 6 November
Lead Instructor: Tom Parkerton, ExxonMobil Biomedical Science
Assessing the hazards and risks posed by oil and petroleum products is challenging due to
the complex nature and variable physiochemical properties of constituents comprising these substances. This course is aimed at individuals interested in improving their understanding of the principles that dictate the fate and effects of oils and related chemicals used in spill response in aquatic environments. The course will cover the chemistry and types of oils and how composition and properties change upon release to the environment. Practical experience gained and lessons learned from experts engaged in designing, conducting, and interpreting lab fate and toxicity tests and field monitoring studies will be provided. Current and emerging methods and models that can be applied to these complex substances will be discussed. Pragmatic guidance will also be offered to inform contingency planning and spill response decisions.
Lead Instructor: David Fisher, Bayer CropScience
Insect pollinators play a vital role in ecosystem health and are essential to ensuring food security. With apparent declines of both managed and wild pollinator populations in recent years, regulatory scientists have been challenged to develop and implement better ways to identify and assess risks in order to protect pollinator populations now and in the future. Pesticide Risk Assessment for Pollinators was the topic of a SETAC Pellston Workshop convened in Pensacola, FL in 2012 and a regulatory guidance document issued in 2014 jointly by the US Environmental Protection Agency, Canada Pest Management Regulatory Agency, and California Department of Pesticide Regulation. These groups reviewed the relevant science and developed a new risk assessment process for both managed and wild bees. This course will cover the components of this tiered risk assessment process, including problem formulations for various chemical use scenarios, effects studies, exposure measurements and modeling, and risk evaluation procedures proposed for each step. A copy of the SETAC Pellston Workshop report, Pesticide Risk Assessment for Pollinators, will be included in the course materials.
Lead Instructor: John Green, Dupont
This course covers statistical considerations of experimental design and statistical analysis used to evaluate toxicity of chemicals in the environment. Both hypothesis testing to determine a NOEC and regression modeling to determine an ECx are developed in detail. Discussion will include advantages and disadvantages of both approaches and their use in risk assessment. The lead instructor works closely with OECD & USEPA, is an active member of the OECD Validation Management Group for Ecotoxicity and was instrumental in developing several new OECD Test Guidelines and new methodology and these will be discussed. The instructors have worked on several other multi-displanary teams developing regulatory statistical guidance. Continuous, quantal, and severity score (histopath) data and both normal and Poisson models will be explored. The instructors have decades of practical experience designing and analyzing ecotoxicity experiments, performing risk assessments, and dealing with related regulatory issues and drew on that experience in developing this class. Underlying principles will be discussed, but the focus will be on practical issues. All topics will include illustration by real laboratory ecotoxicity data examples illustrating the relevant points and techniques. Logical flow-charts and some discussion of software for NOEC determination and for regression model fitting will be presented.
Morning Half-day Courses
Sunday, 6 November
Lead Instructor: William Goodfellow, Exponent, Inc.
In assessment of environmental impacts from hydraulic fracturing, key tasks typically
involve tracing the source(s) of compounds found in a groundwater near a fracturing operation as well as the impacts to surface water and land use activities. These tasks require chemical characterization of all potential sources to groundwater and surface water, including ambient background condition (i.e., pre-drill groundwater chemistry), land uses (e.g., industrial or agricultural), or other household activities (e.g., trash-burning pits) that could impact the environment, as well as chemicals associated with the fracturing process: drilling mud (water and oil based), hydraulic fracturing solutions, and flowback/produced water. Only after this characterization can one assess any potential impacts to groundwater, surface water, and air. This course reviews the steps generally followed to assess sources of compounds in an environmental media and whether they relate to fracturing operations. Additionally, this course will provide the participants with how Ecological Risk Assessments (ERA) and Causal Analysis tools are employed for informing environmental decision-making. Participants will gain a comprehensive understanding of methodologies, techniques, and data requirements for the evaluation of hydraulic fracturing activities.
Lead Instructor: William Stiteler, ARCADIS
This course is intended to provide an overview of the quantitative remote sensing
analysis, and how it can be applied to environmental and risk assessment application. Satellite, aerial, and UAV (drone) remote sensing will be covered. Students will learn which applications are most appropriate for use with remote sensing, and how to use remote sensing to save time and money without sacrificing accuracy. The course is intended for students with little background in remote sensing analysis, who wish to learn the types of questions they should ask to aid in how best to use the technology. The wide range of available imagery sources will also be discussed, along with the pros and cons of different types of imagery and platforms. Relevant regulations will be discussed for UAV use.
Lead Instructor: Andrew Maynard, Arizona State University
Back by popular demand, we are offering the class taught in 2015 again in Orlando!
Publishing and presenting your work is exciting, but it also opens up doors for media and colleagues to ask you the hard questions. We want you to be prepared! This course is designed to provide the basic principles of science communication and media training to environmental scientists, especially those early in their careers. Students will be given the unique opportunity to practice what they have learned and receive feedback from the prominent and award winning science journalist Britt Erickson from Chemical and Engineering News, and Andrew Maynard, an award winning risk communications expert and Director of the New Risk Innovation Lab at Arizona State University. The goal of this course is for students to learn to communicate effectively by having an interactive and engaging introduction to: media training, how to communicate about uncertainty, science communication and science translation.
Lead Instructor: Andy Kane, University of Florida
The best science in a vacuum, is meaningless. The need to communicate science is
paramount in academia, environmental and public health, human and veterinary medicine, and to support interactions with state and federal agencies, and the public. Excellence in communication has direct application at scientific meetings, developing manuscripts for professional journals, submitting successful grant applications, drafting resumes, interviewing, and sharing techniques with piers and the public (and defending a thesis or dissertation!). As an integral part of professional education and training, this workshop focuses on science communication techniques to help you reach a range of professional audiences. During this workshop, we will address communication proficiency based on organizational skills, confidence building, application of appropriate techniques and technologies, and consideration of how to build your presentation style. Discussions will include application of graphically-driven PowerPoint presentations, and use of figures and tables that reveal data and show relationships. Registrants are encouraged to email the instructor (KANE@UFL.EDU) a PPT with a “challenging” data presentation slide that can serve as fodder for discussion as time permits during the workshop. We will also examine techniques to support optimal delivery of scientific content, explicit and tacit, to make your presentations meaningful and memorable.
Lead Instructor: TBD
By popular demand, SETAC editors will conduct a short course and workshop for
anyone looking to take their skills to the next level. The course will start with the basics of publishing in a peer-reviewed, scientific journal, move on to how best to review a research article, and end with a writing and reviewing workshop. Short course attendees are encouraged to bring their own articles in progress for small group or one-on-one help (depending on the size of the class).
Lead Instructor: Rob Reash, American Electric Power
The scientific literature increasingly documents the various environmental and
physiological interactions between mercury and selenium. While many publications during the past 50 years have cited the inverse (often described as antagonistic) associations between these two trace elements in plants and animals, recent insights and evidence reveal the pivotal significance of their molecular interactions. The biochemical basis for selenium-dependent reductions in mercury bioaccumulation in freshwater fish and mercury-dependent effects on selenium physiology in the brains of highly exposed organisms are increasingly understood, but remain mostly unknown. The purpose of this short course is to provide an overview of how mercury and selenium interact across the milieu of biological organization: in vivo, in situ, whole organism, and ecosystem. Topics to be discussed include: general chemistry and element properties, geological sources, elemental affinities, selenoenzymes and metabolism, the mechanism of mercury toxicity, bioaccumulation dynamics, toxicity to aquatic life, and human health risk assessment/fish consumption guidelines. Consideration will also be given to environmental and physiological effects of excess mercury and selenium’s counterbalancing effects. We will also discuss contemporary policy and regulatory issues that will need to be adjusted once full knowledge of the mercury-selenium interactions become integrated.
Lead Instructor: Katharine Mendoza, KWhite Counseling
Mindfulness Meditation, when practiced consistently, has been shown to enhance people’s lives significantly. Research has shown it to have positive effects on sleeping, reducing anxiety and stress, and improving concentration and overall health. It’s a versatile practice that can be done anywhere and is effective in keeping one’s attention on the present moment and releasing judgment or expectations. It is a lesson in how to reduce scattered thoughts, regulate emotions and improve focus. Today’s course is a total immersion into Mindful Living. It is divided into two parts, so that participants can take either the morning or afternoon session, or both, and receive knowledge and training to enable them to continue a mindfulness practice at home.
The morning session will include a short introduction into the history of mindfulness, research conducted on the practice, and the effects it has on the brain. The session will then cover several types of meditation, describe their function, and guide participants through a practice. Meditation techniques will include: Basic Mindfulness Meditation, body scan meditation and eating meditation. There will be a discussion addressing: doubt, trust, patience and restlessness. Participants will learn of resources available to continue and expand meditation practice after the course. Participants should wear comfortable clothing and be prepared to turn off all electronic devices during the session.
Afternoon Half-day Courses
Sunday, 6 November
Lead Instructor: Katharine Mendoza, KWhite Counseling
The afternoon session will build on the morning session, but also can be taken on its own. The session will cover several types of meditation not presented in the morning session, describe their function, and guide participants through a practice. Meditations will include: Basic Mindfulness Meditation, walking meditation and loving kindness meditation. Discussion will include: calming sensations, overcoming drowsiness, acceptance and letting go. Participants will learn of resources available to continue and expand meditation practice after the course. Participants should wear comfortable clothing and be prepared to turn off all electronic devices during the session.
Lead Instructor: Laurel Brown, University of Florida
Did you ever notice that the most successful scientific professionals are also excellent
communicators and collaborators? And that productive teams usually include enthusiastic groups of individuals at all career levels, such as students, early career professionals and science leaders? Since the moment we are born, we use verbal and non-verbal communication. However, strong communication and leadership skills do not come easily to everyone. The good news is that with a little practice, everyone, regardless of their career level, can improve their communication and collaboration skills! This course will focus on understanding how emotional intelligence can build confidence, enhance professional presence, and motivate others – important skills for scientists in any career (e.g., project management, research collaboration, running a lab or mentoring students). This course will consist of focused activities to improve communication, cooperation and teamwork. We will also discuss the skills necessary to interact in challenging situations, team building and group problem solving. Lastly, we will discuss the benefits of creating an Individual Development Plan (IDP), which can be used to create a roadmap for your professional path forward.
Lead Instructor: Ralph Stahl, DuPont Company
RiskChallenge is an innovative simulation that demonstrates the
principles and practices of human and ecological risk assessment and the challenges of resource-limited, multi-stakeholder decision-making. It gives participants an opportunity to apply their risk assessment skills (or lack thereof) to realistic, hypothetical scenarios, such as those involving contaminated sites. The steps in the risk simulation follow, but do not mimic exactly, those which might be present in various national regulatory programs in the US or elsewhere. The studies and data that participants can purchase for the risk assessment are based the experience of the simulation developers, or from publicly available reports. As a member of a team of stakeholders, participants formulate the problem, assess the exposure and effects data, characterize the risk(s), and make a risk management recommendation. Finite funding and time are given to gather the data needed for the analysis. After the simulation, management recommendations, approaches, frustrations, and uncertainties are shared with other teams.
Lead Instructor: Teresa Norberg-King, US EPA
Graduate students and post-docs in environmental toxicology and chemistry typically
pursue a diverse spectrum of career opportunities for teaching, consulting, conducting research in academic, industrial or contract toxicology laboratories, or in regulatory agencies and affiliated institutes. With this course, students are provided insight and guidance on the process of career job hunting from scientists in Environmental Science and Toxicology positions. When you have invested so much time and effort into your career, you need to network to increase your chances of getting a job! Job hunting is a process which requires your full commitment, and it is essential to organize a job search campaign. To find the right job; the job search includes a variety of strategies. We’ve designed a “practical short course” designed to aid students and post-doctoral candidates with the process of preparing for career job hunting that is lead by experienced SETAC academic, government, industry, and consultant members. As the application, interview, and selection processes for all jobs is not the same, developing a resume to apply for a professional position is challenging and one of most important in career planning. We’ll present a variety of ways to ‘sell yourself on paper’ and discuss a variety of interview tips. We’ll discuss the various types of positions in different organizations, i.e., academic, business sector (consulting and industry), and government. Each instructor will present the viewpoint of a potential employee and the personnel responsible for hiring recommendations. Participants will learn about the hiring processes from application to the final selection, and we’ll cover both one-on-one interviews, phone interviews, and panel interviews. We’ll The workshop will include overviews of how to prepare resumes, where to find jobs, the hiring process, making applications with supporting materials, typical interview formats, and the selection and decision procedures for each type of organization. We will present example resumes and provide opportunities to consult with the instructors on your resume for each sector. This team of instructors from in academia, consulting, industry, and the government presents the viewpoint of a potential employee and the personnel responsible for hiring recommendations. Participants will learn about the hiring processes for academic, business, and government positions from application to final selection; something you cannot find by reading self-help books! Designed for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows or anyone looking for resume and career ideas. We suggest that attendees bring résumés or email them ahead of time to Teresa Norberg-King.
Lead Instructor: Christopher Holmes, Waterborne Environmental
Formulated home and personal care products are ubiquitous in society and
increasingly of interest to regulators and researchers due to their wide dispersion. The environmental safety of chemicals in formulated consumer products has been important for product manufacturers and ingredient suppliers for decades. Chemical risk assessment is based on hazard assessment of a chemical and the potential extent of exposure for organisms of interest through releases to environmental media (air, soil, water). The objective of this short course is to detail the methods used by product manufacturers and regulators to assess environmental exposures associated with the use and disposal of formulated consumer products such as home and personal care products in order to understand related risks. The focus will be on the fundamentals of risk assessment with an emphasis on tiered aquatic environmental exposure assessment. Applications will include lower tier (Tier I) deterministic modeling of environmental exposures to formulated consumer products and higher tier (Tier II) probabilistic modeling of environmental exposures in aquatic environments across broad geographies.
Lead Instructor: Richard Erickson, USGS
Extracting knowledge from data can be difficult. Data visualization and Exploratory
Data Analysis (EDA) are approaches for extracting this knowledge. This course will provide an introduction to these topics through the use of the ggplot2 package in R. One of the best aspects of R is that it can function as both data analysis and data visualization. While the “plot” function provides many ways to create publication quality figures, ggplot2 has a much more extensive and customizable system for creating high quality figures. After completing the course, participates will have a basic understanding of the ggplot2 package. Specific topics to be covered will include: 1) A introduction to manipulating data in R; 2) The syntax of the “grammar of graphics” that underlie the ggplot2 package; 3) Applying the ggplot2 package to visualize data; and 4) Creating publication quality figures with the ggplot2 package. No prior experience with R will be assumed, however, prior knowledge will be helpful.