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Long Range Planning - Not particularly fun but essential

Posted By Mary C. Reiley, Monday, March 23, 2015

Long Range Planning - Not particularly fun but essential


For this week’s blog I did some research.  I wanted to write about SNA’s 2015 Long Range Plan which was just published to the SETAC website (http://www.setac.org/?page=SNAPlanningCom) a few days ago. (It’s only 6 ¼ pages long and double spaced so go ahead and read it.) I needed some substance.  Something that would help me express why long range planning is an essential, even if not a particularly fun, activity that gives an individual, family, community, or organization direction toward a desired goal.  Through a bit of searching and internet wandering I found some engaging quotes:

Quote Box: To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often. Winston Churchill            Thought Bubble: Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try! Dr. Seuss Quote Box: Neither a wise man nor a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him. Dwight D. Eisenhower 


But the one I decided best captured my murky musings came from John Galsworthy, recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature: 

If you do not think about your future, you cannot have one.”

SNA’s Vision is and has been Environmental Quality through Science®. We now have a Mission and Core Challenge to help guide us toward that vision.


Advance and communicate reliable environmental science and applications to effectively inform decisions to protect, enhance, and manage sustainable environmental quality, health and ecosystem integrity in North America, and to support global activities in the same context.

Core Challenge

Amplify the Impact of Science and its Applications on Environmental Decision-Making through:

Objective 1 - Recognition and advancement of our environmental and engineering sciences expertise. 

SETAC-NA will be widely recognized as the North American society for integrated multi-sector expertise and inter/multi-disciplinary science to identify, inform, educate, and help solve complex regional and global environmental challenges.

Objective 2 - Maximizing the impact of our network and services.

SETAC-NA will be recognized as the North American scientific society of choice for environmental scientists and environmental-policy professionals.  Member services and professional opportunities provided by the Society will be a highly valued part of the member experience and will keep members actively engaged in the Society’s mission and purpose.

Objective 3 - Promoting multidisciplinary, multi-sector, and integrated science and engineering to solve environmental problems.

SETAC-NA will continue its fundamental practice of promoting the use of multidisciplinary approaches to examine the impact of stressors, including chemicals and technology, on the environment and to advance the science of sustainability and ecological integrity.  SETAC-NA will remain an open and collaborative forum for scientists and institutions engaged in the study of environmental problems, management and regulation of natural resources, education, research and development, and manufacturing.


A fellow I once worked with and for for many years once said to me as we were working through the plan for what turned out to be a very impactful project, “A failed plan is forgiven but failure to plan is not.”  With this in mind, future blogs will spotlight our Long Range Plan and the exciting activities we, including you, are taking on to make it happen.


Networked for Environmental Quality through Science®

Long Range Planning Logo with Core Challenges

Tags:  Goals  Long Range Planning  SETAC-NA President 

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Comments on this post...

Michael C. Harrass says...
Posted Monday, March 30, 2015
I'm not sure what to make of it, but I notice that "toxicology" and "chemistry" never appear in the Long Range Plan. I see mention of "environmental scientists" and "engineers" and "environmental policy." Is this a change in membership focus? Mission creep?
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Mary C. Reiley says...
Posted Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Hi Mike,

Thanks for your comment on the LRP.

Not using the term "toxicology" and "chemistry" was certainly not intended to exclude or minimize our founding disciplines.

The intent of the Board of Directors was to recognize that solving environmental challenges requires the collaboration of a spectrum of science and science-policy disciplines and that SETAC has long been inclusive of expertise beyond toxicology and chemistry. Because toxicology and chemistry are in SETACs name and the other disciplines we embrace are not, we wanted to make sure the LRP read that we are committed to all of our members and their expertise that further SETACs mission.

In trying not to be wordy, we were looking for a few terms that captured all of our disciplines rather than listing toxicology, chemistry, hydrology, geology, microbiology, ecology, ecological economics, life-cycle assessment, engineering, etc. The combination of environmental scientists and engineers and environmental policy seemed to capture this intent.

Your comment is appreciated and I will take it back to the BOD to discuss a refinement to note SETAC-NA is not making a change in membership focus.

Thanks again for taking time to review the LRP and to comment on it. I hope to see you in Salt Lake City.

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