SETAC World Council Election
Mace G. Barron
Lawrence A. Kapustka
Mace G. Barron
I have been a SETAC member for 33 years, first joining as a student member in 1983. My first SETAC was the 4th annual meeting in Arlington and I have attended over 25 SETAC meetings since then. My technical work has been varied over the years, and has included private sector work in the chemical industry, consulting and engineering firms, and as a Branch Chief and now senior scientist at the U.S. EPA’s Gulf Ecology Division. My research has focused on ecotoxicology and ecological risk assessment, including bioaccumulation, toxicity estimation, and petroleum chemistry and toxicology. I have published over 100 peer reviewed articles, including many in our Society’s journals.
I have been engaged in SETAC in multiple capacities over the last 30 years as presenter and session chair, on program committees of Tampa and Utah, and as a member of the North American Board of Directors since 2013. In this capacity, I have served as the Board Liaison to the Meetings and Training and Education Committees. I am a past President and past Board Member of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of SETAC NA, and have also served as a member of ad hoc SETAC committees addressing government sector membership and student participation prior to joining the North America Board. I have been a frequent reviewer of ET&C manuscripts, including serving on the editorial board for several years, and as an Associate Editor from 2000–2004. I continue to be an active member of our Society and frequent presenter at SETAC annual meetings.
I believe a core strength of SETAC has been our diverse membership and collaborative problem solving across public, private, academic and NGO sectors. I think we should continue to keep SETAC membership and meeting costs affordable and attractive to scientists across all of our sectors and Geographic Units. I think the two greatest challenges we have as a Society are intimately linked: a general plateau in membership and meeting attendance. An opportunity to continue to diversify and expand our membership may include reaching out to our ecological and engineering colleagues to create joint meetings and symposia. Given declining travel budgets in all sectors of SETAC, we could consider expanding the training courses during the regular meeting which may provide additional incentive for meeting attendance.
I would be honored to serve on the SWC Board of Directors as a representative of SETAC North America in whatever role the Society considered most needed. I believe the future of our society is with our student and younger members of SETAC and I would be an advocate for their growth and leadership within SETAC. I would work globally with the other members of SWC to address membership and meeting attendance issues, and evaluate opportunities for globalization of SETAC certification programs and integration of the YES conference concept into our Geographic Unit annual meetings.
Lawrence A. Kapustka
I work as an independent consultant in the areas of ecological risk assessment, ecosystem services, and sustainability. With 40 years of experience in basic and applied aspects of environmental assessment and management, my work has extended across a wide range of basic and applied fields and across the hierarchical spectrum from molecular biology to landscape perspectives. I use spatially-explicit landscape perspectives to achieve integrated holistic risk assessments to inform environmental management decisions, including evaluation of impacts on ecosystem services. Work in sustainability focuses on the single-pillar concept that emphasizes the prominence of the ecological system to support societies and leads to an approach that highlights ecosystem services as an ultimate determinant of sustainability.
My work has been with industries, public interest groups, and regulators from several jurisdictions (federal, state/provincial, and international) to develop policies and approaches to meet emerging concerns. I have provided litigation support pertaining to natural resource damage claims, permitting, and site contamination cases. The diversity of the areas of interest I have provide a platform for understanding most of the sub-disciplinary pursuits of SETAC Members. This aspect of my experience coupled with my commitment to and participation in SETAC activities contributed to the honour of being designated a SETAC Fellow this year.
My formal education was in ecology and education (Ph.D., Botany, Plant Physiological Ecology, University of Oklahoma, 1975; M.S., Botany, Plant Physiological Ecology, University of Nebraska- Lincoln, 1972; B.S.Ed., Biology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 1970). I have been an author of more than 100 peer reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and books. Professionally, I remain active in the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC), the Ecological Society of America (ESA), the International Union of Radioecologists (IUR), and more.
I have been a member of SETAC since 1988 and have served on several elected and appointed committees including serving on Steering Committees for three Pellston Workshops and a participant in four additional workshops; chairing the Global Education Committee (2016→), SETAC North America Board of Directors (2011 to 2014), Associate Editor Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management (2010→), SETAC Publications Advisory Committee (2007 to 2014), Chair SETAC`s Ecological Risk Assessment Advisory Group (2002 to 2007), President SETAC`s Pacific Northwest Chapter (1997 to 1999), and more.
SETAC continues to evolve into a prominent global professional society. The Geographic Units (GUs) serve different constituencies and have different skill mixes that are made stronger through collaborative exchanges in both the scientific/technical and in the environmental management policy arenas. There are many benefits to members interested in collaborating across the GUs including formal and informal mentoring relationships, educational and cultural exchanges, capacity building in areas of effective environmental management strategies and policies focused on sustainability.
Three areas that are likely to command the attention of the SWC are continuing education opportunities, continuing and rapid changes in publication and communication strategies, and challenging fiscal realities that differ among GUs. As an at-large member of the SETAC World Council, I would be in a position to help guide SETAC globally to meet these challenges. The rich history of SETAC NA, provides insights into governance processes and policy development that encourages young scientists and mid-career members to strive for new levels. I believe my experience and desire to collaborate with SETAC members globally position me well to forge networking opportunities for fellow members.
In the next three years, we can expect even greater changes in the publication business than have occurred in recent years. Experience gained from being on the Publication Advisory Committee, Coordinating Editor for SETAC Books, and as an Associate Editor for IEAM position me well to help the SWC navigate through the coming transition including renegotiation of publishing contracts. Related to this is the shifting technologies for other forms of communications, whether in the form of webinars, social media, or other vehicles for long-distance learning.
Through all of this, global financial conditions and realities of governmental and corporate budgeting will likely restrict funding for travel, registration, and dues and therefore will continue to put pressures on SETAC to manage resources efficiently. Establishing policies that are fiscally smart, yet flexible to be in position to meet the needs of members and new opportunities as they arise will take on greater importance in the years to come.
Finally, I have made it a part of my continued professional development to attend and participate in annual meetings of many GUs. This includes several annual meetings in Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Africa. Appreciating the different perspectives among the GUs is important to be able to advance the aspirations of all GUs including NA.
I’m excited to put myself forward as a candidate for SETAC North America's member at-large to SETAC World Council. I’ve been an active SETAC North America (SNA) member since my first poster at my first meeting in 1992. Since then I’ve organized annual meeting sessions, co-chaired Pellstons, attended Pellstons in North America and Europe, written for the Globe, sat on the Metals Advisory Group steering committee, been a plenary speaker for SETAC Asia/Pacific’s inaugural meeting, contributed to ET&C, been a speaker for the Women in SETAC Luncheon, been and Early Career Mentor, Student Mentor, and an Annual Meeting Buddy. I taught water quality as close to home as New Orleans - as far away as Seoul - and many places in-between. I presented an “Outstanding Talk” on science-based policy at SETAC Latin America and participated in a Special Session on ET&C’s Top 100 Papers at the SETAC Europe 23rd Annual Meeting in Glasgow as a panel member for ecological risk assessment.
I’ve served on the SNA Board for nine years: 6 as a member, 5 on the Executive Committee, 1 as Vice President, 1 as President (SNA President’s Blog), and 1 as Immediate Past President. I served as the SNA Board of Director’s lead for our search for a new Global Executive Director (Charlie Menzie), lead the design and first years of implementation of SNA’s current Long Range Plan for which the vision is: “To become the society of choice for individuals and organizations involved with the study or management of environmental stressors and the “go to” society for associated science-based information.” With this in mind, I initiated the SNA Leadership Academy through the Career Development Committee, early stages of the SNA Certification Program as part of an adhoc committee of the Board of Directors, and encouraged SNA’s efforts to educate decision makers on the science of ecological risk assessment for TSCA Reform in the US.
As an SNA Officer I have served on SETAC World Council (SWC) for 3 years. During that time we have managed the business, finances, strategic direction, and the expectations of a global organization with all of the challenges of language, culture, currency, environmental engagement, legal structures, infrastructure, and technology. Right now, at the request of SWC, I’m organizing and co-chairing with Annegaaika Leopold (SETAC Europe) a steering committee to operationalize and market the results of the SETAC Horizon Scanning Project to decision makers and stakeholders. The objective is to advance SETAC as “The Go-To Society.” Also at SWC’s request, I am co-chairing along with Beatrice Opeolu (SETAC Africa) the SETAC Membership Committee with the charge to design programming that will grow and sustain membership in all SETAC Geographic Units and sort out the complexities of combining 5 continents’ and any number countries’ ways of doing the members business.
My professional expertise is science-based policy for environmental regulation with a technical foundation in Biology (BS) and Environmental Biology (MS). I have worked for EPA for 32 years and have been fortunate that my experience has cut across nearly every EPA program and engaged many other agencies, NGO’s, academics, and industry scientists. My current role as a Senior Research Coordinator is to lead teams of technical experts, research scientists, and science policy experts to define the research needed to inform regulatory and policy decision making and actions taken by EPA. I work closely with the Office of Research and Development to develop the research portfolios that investigate water quality and its protection.
Prior to my current role, I served as the Associate Director for Ecology, Office of Science and Technology leading the Agency program for the development of water quality criteria for the protection of aquatic life and human health, advance the science supporting criteria derivation and water quality protection (metals- Copper BLM, risk assessment harmonization - Atrazine, tissue residue approaches - Selenium), address the needs of endangered species, and integrate biological assessment and criteria and nutrient criteria into national and state/tribe programs. I am an EPA representative and speaker at international workshops, seminars and conferences. I spent several years as the lead for the contaminated sediment research program for the Office of Water. I have also served as the Science and Policy Analyst/Biologist in EPA’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) enforcement program within the Office of Water for a range of science challenges including water quality based effluent limits, whole effluent toxicity testing, thermal effluents, and teaching water quality based permitting and water quality criteria development methods.
For all that these lists sound like I’ve spent these years in service to SETAC, I’ve received so much more. SETAC has provided me not only with amazing career and personal opportunities, it has provided me with an invaluable education in what can be accomplished when the intellect of diverse disciplines is harnessed and focused. Over the last 24 years, I’ve observed, learned, been mentored, practiced, and passed on the skills to organize, facilitate, and lead diverse groups. Groups that have been charged to understand, inform, and communicate difficult science and science-based policy to decision makers. The problems are challenging, the science exciting, the people interesting, and the role of strategic planner, facilitator, organizer and leader is exactly the one I like to play.
The opportunity to do the things I most like to do, and that I’m most skilled at doing, to advance the goals and mission of SETAC is humbling but exhilarating. As SNA’s at-large member of SWC my pursuits will be directed toward serving you with quality programs and opportunities, promoting the Horizon Scanning Project results, engaging our student members in the future of SETAC, and maintaining our financial soundness as we move through uncertain times. We have every reason to be excited about our mission; we have innovative and stretch goals; we have the intellect and energy to achieve them. I believe I can help.