The Program Committee has scheduled a series of special sessions that put the overarching theme of the conference, “Great Together: Separate Challenges and Collective Solutions,” into practice. These sessions address the need for environmental scientists and managers from all sectors (e.g., academia, business, government, non-profit, non-governmental and intergovernmental organizations) to work together at a global scale to address shared environmental challenges.

Spotlight Sessions

8:00 a.m.–11:15 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.–4:15 p.m. | Monday, 4 November | Hall F

Chairs: Bruce Vigon, Elaine Dorward-King, Ronald Kendall

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the founding of SETAC. In celebration, this session will feature talks by long-time SETAC members, who will review the legacy of SETAC’s activities towards advancing environmental sciences as well as present the future direction of SETAC and its role in helping society address environmental challenges of emerging concern in six areas relative to environmental sciences: Environmental Analytical chemistry, environmental fate and transport, aquatic toxicology, terrestrial toxicology, ecological risk assessment and life cycle assessment. The session will conclude with a panel discussion trajectory of SETAC and environmental sciences.

Time Title Speakers
8:00 a.m.–8:05 a.m. Welcome Bruce Vigon
8:05 a.m.–8:20 a.m. Keynote – SETAC’s Emergence as the Premier Global Environmental Science Professional Society Charlie Menzie, SETAC Global Executive Director
8:20 a.m.–8:35 a.m. Risk Assessment 1 (emphasis on history and SETAC involvement) Anne Fairbrother
8:35 a.m.–8:50 a.m. Risk Assessment 2 (evolution of RA to include quantitative approaches, landscape level assessment and better incorporation of ecological considerations) Wayne Landis
8:50 a.m.–9:05 a.m. Risk Assessment 3 (applications of quantitative assessment, including early probabilistic work) Keith Solomon
9:05 a.m.–9:20 a.m. Risk Assessment 4 (recent applications of quantitative approaches and anticipated future of RA) John Carriger
9:20 a.m.–10:00 a.m. Break
10:00 a.m.–10:20 a.m. Life Cycle Assessment 1 (emphasis on history, including SETAC engagement, ISO, inventory and data) James Fava
10:20 a.m.–10:40 a.m. Life Cycle Assessment 2 (emphasis on impact assessment, including USETox and human health) Olivier Jolliet, Tom McKone
10:40 a.m.–11:15 a.m. Panel Discussion 1 (including similarities and differences between RA and LCA) Bruce Vigon, Elaine Dorward-King, Valerie Forbes
11:15 a.m.–1:00 p.m. Lunch
1:00 p.m.–1:20 p.m. Environmental Fate: Exposure, Modeling and Monitoring 1 (emphasis on modeling EECs) Don Mackay
1:20 p.m.–1:40 p.m. Environmental Fate: Exposure, Modeling and Monitoring 2 (emphasis on bioaccumulation/ PBT/other organism/water/solid interactions) Derek Muir
1:40 p.m.–2:00 p.m. Aquatic Toxicology 1 (history, emerging contaminants, climate change/non-chemical stressors, Asia-Pacific regional issues) Bryan Brooks
2:00 p.m.–2:20 p.m. Aquatic Toxicology 2 (emerging contaminants, pharmaceuticals, anti-microbial resistance, EDCs, regional issues, climate change/non-chemical stressors) Allen Burton
2:20 p.m.–3:00 p.m. Break
3:00 p.m.–3:20 p.m. Terrestrial and Wildlife Toxicology (historical evolution, older contaminants, e.g. rodenticides) Barnett Rattner
3:20 p.m.–3:40 p.m. Terrestrial and Wildlife Toxicology (emerging contaminants, EDCs, mixtures, disease-contaminant interactions, climate change/non-chemical stressors) Mary Ann Ottinger
3:40 p.m.–4:15 p.m. Panel Discussion 2 (including advances/issues in lab-to-field extrapolation, ecosystem services Ron Kendall, Elaine Dorward-King, Miriam Diamond
4:15 p.m.–4:20 p.m. Session Wrap-up Moderators

8:00 a.m.–11:15 a.m. | Tuesday, 5 November | Hall F

Chairs: Richard Frank, Steve Wiseman

Over the past several decades, development of Canada’s oil sands resources has expanded in northern Alberta, and the potential for impacts on regional, terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems has been the subject of ongoing assessments. The chemical complexity of oil sands process-affected materials, the natural bitumen-impacted environment, and the diluted bitumen being transported have necessitated the development of several specialized analytical methodologies. Furthermore, the complexity and variation of these chemical mixtures have prompted a complement of toxicity, reclamation and remediation, and environmental monitoring investigations. This session will highlight recent advances in the chemical characterization of bitumen and diluted bitumen derived mixtures, as well as advances in reclamation and monitoring initiatives.

1:00 p.m.–4:15 p.m. | Tuesday, 5 November | Hall F

Chairs: Mary-Claire Buell, Erin Hayward, Jose Zambrana, James Lazorchak, Alison Fraser

Indigenous communities have protocols that guide the acquisition of knowledge in ways that are compatible with their understanding of natural laws. However, “Western” approaches to scientific inquiry do not always align with these protocols. This can result in divergent perspectives on environmental problems and solutions, which often leads to decision-making that does not advance the goals of Indigenous peoples. Consistent with SETAC mission of protecting the integrity of ecosystems and adopting management practices that sustain the quality of the environment, it is imperative that researchers within the Society adopt holistic approaches that are co-developed with and, where possible, led by Indigenous peoples. Such approaches require the respectful inclusion of Indigenous peoples and the consented application of Indigenous knowledge in managing our shared environment. This session will highlight not only principles but practices and examples of constructive relationships between Indigenous communities and scientists trained in Western science.

8:00 a.m.–11:15 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.–4:15 p.m. | Wednesday, 6 November | Hall F

Chairs: Samantha Athey, Robert Burgess, Susanne Brander, Kay Ho

As research on nanoplastics and microplastics expands globally, there remains a need for the development of new methods to quantify microplastics and the modification of existing methods with respect to higher throughput, more precision and smaller particles. The current diversity in methods used for sampling, quantifying and reporting has made comparisons across studies difficult. The aim of this session is to emphasize challenges of nanoplastic and microplastic research, as well as to encourage collaboration among different sectors in addressing these challenges, harmonizing methods and standardizing solutions. Addressing these broad research areas will ultimately provide the information needed to determine how best to manage micro- and nano-plastics in the environment. This session will focus on work which aims to establish robust, harmonized methods for detecting, quantifying or testing the toxicity of nanoplastics and microplastics in the environment and overcoming common challenges in detecting and characterizing nanoplastics and microplastics.

8:00 a.m.–11:15 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.–4:15 p.m. | Thursday, 7 November | Hall F

Chairs: Meggen Janes

The Toronto Flood Projection Project is an ambitious infrastructure project designed to protect Toronto’s southeastern downtown area. In an extreme weather event, floodwaters from the Don River, one of Toronto’s major rivers, would overwhelm portions of the Port Lands, South Riverdale and Leslieville. The project aims to reconnect the Don River to Lake Ontario by creating a naturalized river mouth. The project includes significant changes to the ecosystems associated with those areas. Challenges include managing and addressing the contaminant legacy in soil and groundwater, overcoming the geotechnical conditions from poor quality fill and former marshland, coordinating with all stakeholders, knitting together each fabric of construction for seamless design with environmental land use controls, and finally completing all the sub-projects by March 2024. The flood protection project has brought together multidisciplinary specialists to work together and address the site challenges in a collaborative, harmonized manner.

Special Forums

SETAC forums and roundtables are designed for environmental professional not only to present information but to encourage debate and discussion of approaches and ideas or to demonstrate tools and techniques. They make use of a variety of communication methods from platform presentation to panel discussions and debates.

8:00 a.m.–11:15 a.m. | Monday, 4 November | 713A

Chairs: Gena Braun, Rachel Zajac, Oana Birceanu, Shawn Sager, Jacquelyn Clarkson

Scientists from many stakeholder groups will exchange ideas on strategies that accurately share knowledge, increase scientific understanding and, ultimately, improve the overall impact of scientific endeavors.

1:00 p.m.–4:15 p.m. | Monday, 4 November | 713A

Chairs: Nil Basu, Carlie LaLone, Michelle Embry

The goal of this forum is to demonstrate and discuss a range of data analytic tools that are freely available in the age of bod data. Experts will present overviews of 12 tools and will then provide brief demonstrations of those tools.

8:00 a.m.–11:15 a.m. | Tuesday, 5 November | 713A

Chairs: Ralph Stahl, Phil Dorn

Long-time SETAC members will reflect on the great changes they’ve experienced in their respective fields throughout their careers in various sectors.

1:00 p.m.–4:15 p.m. | Tuesday, 5 November | 713A

Chairs: Mark Johnson, Robert Buck, Ian Cousins

SETAC experts will review the state of the science relevant to environmental risk assessment of PFAS and summarize outcomes of discussion at the recent Focused Topic Meeting.

8:00 a.m.–11:15 a.m. | Wednesday, 6 November | 713A

Chairs: William Goodfellow, Tim Canfield, Patrick Guiney

This forum will explore approaches and practical strategies to conduct and produce scientific information that is bias neutral, non-advocacy and impartial to positions of the decision-makers.

1:00 p.m.–4:15 p.m. | Wednesday, 6 November | 713A

Chairs: Anne LeHuray, William Goodfellow

Presenters will discuss how translational science is used in the environmental field to manage environmental challenges and how best to communicate outcomes to the public.

8:00 a.m.–11:15 a.m. | Thursday, 7 November | 713A

Chairs: Andrea Hicks

Presentations in this forum will discuss citizen science as a mechanism to crowdsource data and highlight the benefits and challenges of this approach.

1:00 p.m.–4:15 p.m. | Thursday, 7 November | 713A

Chairs: Walter Berry, Thomas-Benjamin Seiler, L. Blair Paulik, Namrata Sengupta, Carrie McDonough, Sarah Bowman, Annegaaike Leopold

This forum was intentionally planned as a safe place for scientists from all stakeholder groups to exchange stories that describe challenges faced and solutions devised especially in the face of science skepticism.

Round Tables

1:00 p.m.–2:30 p.m. | Tuesday, 5 November | 801B

Panel discussion of transboundary environmental issues that are common to Canada,Mexico, and the United States.