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SETAC North America Annual Meeting – North of the 49th!

The 35th SETAC North America annual meeting was held in Vancouver, British Columbia, from November 9th to 13th with over 2,000 attendees. The theme of the meeting was Sea to Sky: Interconnecting Ecosystems, which was reflected in the well-attended keynote speakers for the meeting. Richard Cannings, Senior Project Biologist at Bird Studies Canada, and Wade Davis, anthropologist, author, and National Geographic Society explorer, spoke on the incredible natural history of British Columbia and the importance of protecting its beautiful ecosystems for future generations. Dr. Ralph Nigro, Senior VP of Applied Energy Group, and Dr. Robert T. Lackey, Professor of Fisheries Sciences at Oregon State University, come from different fields, but they both challenged fellow scientists to not become trapped by the status quo. Creative and different approaches are needed to address our current global challenges. The scientific program featured 12 parallel sessions, and each day was made up of a wide range of topics from environmental toxicology and chemistry. The one fault of the annual meeting was that there were so many great presentations that attendees could not possibly attend all that they desired. There were some changes to the program schedule this year as well. The length of platform presentations was shortened from 20 to 15 minutes, in order to provide more time for participants to move between presentations. The length of the daily poster social was extended to provide more time for participants to interact with poster authors, as well as network with colleagues and catch up with long-time friends. SETAC Vancouver was packed with a number of great activities. For example, the annual SETAC hockey game was played on NHL/Olympic ice (Laurentian SETAC was well represented on the ice), the first SETAC student party packed the Portside Pub, and SETACers got involved in the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup along the scenic Stanley Park beach. It is also important to recognize that two Laurentian SETAC board members received SETAC global awards this year. Dr. Yamini Gopalapillai, a post-doctoral fellow at University of Guelph and an L-SETAC member, received the SETAC/International Copper Association Chris Lee award given to a student or recent graduate whose ongoing research focuses on fate and effects of metals in the environment. Dr. Ryan Prosser, a post-doctoral fellow at Environment Canada and the current L-SETAC president, was awarded best student paper in the SETAC Journal of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry for 2014. If you missed the meeting this year, the next SETAC NA annual meeting will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah, from November 1st to 5th next year (http://slc.setac.blackfin.biz). It is always a great opportunity to learn, be inspired, meet potential collaborators, and re-connect with current collaborators and friends. See you in Salt Lake City! Submitted by Ryan Prosser

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