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SETAC North America Board of Director Nomiee Bios
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Board of Director Nominees

Kim Fernie  |   Elin Ulrich  |  Mace Barron  |  Diane Ellen Nacci  |  Emma Lavoie  |  Matt Moore  |  Pamela Rice

Kim Fernie
Environment Canada, Burlington, ON

As a wildlife ecotoxicologist and research scientist with Environment Canada, I really enjoy and benefit from being a SETAC member, and have done so since 2000. Our meetings, publications, and the opportunities to develop long-term collaborations and friendships through SETAC are instrumental to the success of my career. In addition to 12 years of government service, I am an adjunct professor at McGill University and Boise State University, and enjoy supervising and mentoring graduate students in their successful careers. Prior to completing my PhD at McGill, I gained a unique perspective working as a research consultant in private business for 5 years. This combination of government, private sector and academic experience affords me a well-rounded perspective that I hope to bring to the SETAC Board.

At Environment Canada, my research addresses potential exposure and effects of new and emerging chemicals of concern on birds, and frequently involves collaborators in government, academia, and the private sector. I’ve received two Citations of Excellence from Environment Canada for my teamwork success in projects concerning the Canadian Oil Sands (2012) and Chemicals Management Plan (2011). My research provides crucial, timely information to managers and risk assessors within Environment Canada, the US EPA, and other agencies. My experience was very rewarding as an invited government observer at the 2010 Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee meeting (POPRC6), part of the Stockholm Convention (United Nations Environment Program). There, my research contributed to the acceptance of the draft risk profile for a flame retardant (HBCD) now recommended for global elimination. In addition, I served as an invited ecotoxicology expert for the North American Commission on Environmental Cooperation (Sound Management of Chemicals Program) – a Trilateral Initiative with the USA, Canada, and Mexico.

Volunteering for SETAC is very fulfilling for me. I have co-chaired multiple sessions at SETAC NA and SETAC Europe, and will do so again at Nashville. I peer-review manuscripts for Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry, and recently submitted my invited application for nomination as an Editorial Board Member. In continuing to expand on my contributions to SETAC, I joined my colleagues in establishing the Terrestrial Wildlife Advisory Group this past year. I am honored to be one of the keynote speakers at SETAC Australasia 2013 and an invited speaker at the Students’ Dinner.

SETAC provides excellent opportunities for developing good science, dealing with environmental challenges, and establishing collaborations across sectors. Our SETAC memberships provide valuable networking and mentoring opportunities. I see further developing science and conservation, building on mentoring opportunities, and addressing conference attendance, as some of the future challenges for the Board of Directors. I am honored to be nominated as a candidate for the Board, and would continue serving SETAC members by supporting recent initiatives, e.g., virtual conference attendance for those with restricted budgets, and developing new initiatives, e.g., potentially virtual mentoring and networking opportunities to connect people at all career stages, both at and beyond our annual conferences. It would be very rewarding to serve on the Board, helping to extend to others, the great opportunities provided by SETAC that are vital to our careers and to sound science.

Elin Ulrich
USEPA, National Exposure Research Laboratory, RTP, NC

I received a B.A. in chemistry from Augustana College, a small liberal arts school in Rock Island, IL. My Ph.D. dissertation was entitled "Enantiomeric and toxicological studies of persistent pollutants in the environment,” completed under Dr. Ronald Hites at Indiana University. I continued to develop and apply GC/MS methods for pesticide enantiomers during a National Research Council postdoctoral fellowship at the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Water Quality Laboratory. I am currently employed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Exposure Research Laboratory in North Carolina.

As you can see, much of my research has focused on developing methods for enantioselective separations of pesticides, and applying those methods to interesting and important environmental situations. I recently completed a manuscript which provides the identity and structures for 482 chiral pesticides. The supporting dataset containing basic information for nearly 1700 pesticides is now publicly available. As the Agency’s priorities shift, so has my research. I am currently studying and developing methods for biomarkers and children’s exposure. I served a 1 year rotation as the Associate Director for Health within my division, and a 15 month appointment as Acting Branch Chief for the Methods Development and Analysis Branch. Both of these positions have broadened my vision of EPA's research, and given me vast experience in managing science and resources.

SETAC is my scientific conference home and each meeting in November is like my professional family reunion. I have been a member and attended SETAC meetings since 1997; I have taken short courses, judged student presentations, chaired symposia and presented my research. I am a founding and current member of the Chemistry Advisory Group (CAG), having been the group’s secretary and chair. I am leading CAG outreach efforts to other societies such as the American Chemical Society (ACS), an organization that I have held membership in since 1994. The CAG unveiled new outreach materials at a SETAC/ACS co-sponsored session in Indianapolis, for which I was a co-chair. I am also active in the informal Women Chemist group at SETAC, serving as secretary, historian, and event organizer. I also assisted with the Portland and Long Beach meetings, helping recruit vendors and weighing in on the scientific programming, respectively.

As evidenced by my activities, I am very passionate about SETAC and seeing it continue to grow and succeed. One of the sessions I am co-chairing in Nashville is entitled "Innovative Environments.” I believe a little infusion of innovation will go a long way to refresh and modernize SETAC. Specific ideas include: providing scientific content to members through on-demand recordings or virtual meetings; learning best practices from other organizations, meetings, and SETAC units; and using current technology (social media, apps) to increase awareness of SETAC and to share breaking science/regulatory news quickly. SETAC’s many strengths, e.g., multidisciplinary membership and approach, commitment to solving environmental problems, and worldwide society structure must be preserved, celebrated, and leveraged as new ideas are generated.

Mace Barron
USEPA, USEPA Office of Research and Development, Gulf Breeze, FL

I am a 30 year member of SETAC, first joining as a Student Member in 1983 after completing my Masters Degree in Fisheries Science. I became a full Member in 1986 following my Doctoral Program in Pharmacology/Toxicology. My 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 at the U.S. EPA’s Gulf Ecology Division for the last 10 years. My research has focused on ecotoxicology and ecological risk assessment, including pharmacokinetics, bioaccumulation, and petroleum chemistry and toxicology.

I have served the Society in numerous roles during my 30 years of membership, including contributing to multiple Annual Meetings, regional governance, and ensuring the high standards of our journals. I have been fortunate to have been a presenter at over 25 SETAC meetings, served as Session Chair and Symposium organizer at five meetings, and as a Program Committee member for both the 23rd (Utah) and 29th (Tampa) SETAC NA Annual meetings. I was invited as the counter point at the very first SETAC debate, and more recently as a Deepwater Horizon Spill discussion panel member at the 2010 SETAC NA annual meeting. I am a past President and past Board Member of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of SETAC, and have also served as a member of ad hoc SETAC committees addressing government sector membership and student participation on the Board. I have been a frequent reviewer of ETC 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.

As a Board member, I would be honored to serve in whatever role the Society considered most needed. 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 affordable and attractive to government scientists so that this sector continues to be well represented in our membership. An opportunity to continue to diversify and expand our membership may include reaching out to our ecological colleagues, as well as developing joint symposia with organizations such as the Ecological Society of America and American Fisheries Society. I think the geographic diversity in the North American meeting locations has been a major attribute. Given declining travel budgets in all sectors of SETAC, we could consider expanding the training courses during the regular meeting beyond the Sunday short courses which may provide additional incentive for meeting attendance.

Diane Ellen Nacci
Nacci, USEPA Office of Research and Development, Narragansett, RI

In 1981, I became associated with the US Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Atlantic Ecology Division (AED), Narragansett, RI – and have remained there since. In support of this Agency, I have held various positions, including graduate research fellow, contract (SAIC) research scientist and scientific team manager, and since 1995, Federal research scientist. Since 1986, I have been a member of SETAC, which has been the most important society for me to keep aware of relevant scientific and regulatory information, and keep connected to other members with shared and distant training and interests. In addition to membership at the national and local (NAC, former board member) levels, I have participated in SETAC NA and EU Workshops (e.g., Pellston 2003, SETAC EU MODELINK 2013), contribute to committees (e.g., ERAG), and serve on ET&C editorial board. Of course during this entire period, I have looked forward to participating in SETAC NA annual meetings as frequent presenter and session chair. But my most enjoyable role in SETAC was as co-chair for 32nd SETAC NA Annual meeting, 2011, Boston, MA, USA – this was an unforgettable experience that allowed me to get to know and appreciate many SETAC staff and Board members, and the whole process by which we put together an annual meeting that achieves a variety of goals, including presenting world-class science, providing opportunities for networking and discussion, and offering an interesting social agenda.

My research in support of the US EPA has always focused on the development and testing of approaches and methods to assess the ecological effects of chemicals and other human-mediated stressors. Broadly, this work is intended to improve understanding by risk managers and scientists of links between human activities, natural dynamics, ecological stressors and ecosystem condition. My work has taken advantage of my training in biology and ecology, and supported major US EPA ORD research programs, such as the Biomarkers program (research included development and evaluation DNA damage methods), the Complex Effluent Program (research included development and evaluation of methods to assess developmental toxicology using echinoderms), the Aquatic Stressors Program (research included development and evaluation of methods to assess risks of complex stressors to wildlife populations), and now the Ecological Modeling program (research includes development and assessment of molecular-to-landscape level approaches for ecological risk assessment). Recently, my work has explored genomic approaches to better understand ecological and evolutionary responses to stressors. Thus, my research experiences have evolved with the leading edge of toxicological and ecological science over these years, and to accomplish this SETAC has played a central role in keeping me aware and connected to some of the best science and scientists in the world.

Like many other members, I depend upon SETAC’s unique role as a forum for government, academia and industry perspectives, and believe that SETAC should continue to think smart and creatively about how best to provide actual and virtual meeting places, as resource competition increases within all sectors. Similarly, I believe that SETAC’s role in supporting exchanges among scientists from diverse geographic regions is even more important today as environmental problems are increasingly recognized to be complex and global in nature. I also strongly support and encourage expansion of SETAC’s efforts to promote interaction among related scientific societies like ACS and SOT to foster cross-disciplinary awareness and ensure that our meetings reflect the leading edge of science. Overall, I am enthusiastic about providing further service to SETAC, which has served me so well throughout my career.

Emma Lavoie
USEPA Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, Washington DC

I have been an active member of SETAC since attending my first SETAC North America (SNA) annual meeting in 1997 in San Francisco. My professional experience includes bench and field studies in biology and environmental toxicology, and science policy for risk management and green chemistry. I am currently employed by the US EPA where my work focuses on Alternatives Assessment for flame retardants, for which I integrate my skills in toxicology, project management and hazard communication for collaboration with diverse stakeholder groups to address challenging policy decisions. Being a member of SETAC provides a proven scientific reputation, a standard of professional integrity and a network of industry leaders that has not only been invaluable to my career development and professional success but also enhanced my abilities as a public servant.

Since 2006, I have been a member of the SNA Science Committee (formerly the Technical Committee) and was chairperson from 2008-2011. Under my leadership, the committee became better organized and proactive. I initiated a co-chairperson approach and provided a framework for regular communications within the committee. Subsequently, the committee has become one of the most valued and active in SNA and I continue to lead tasks. Through my SNA Science Committee involvement, I was an ad hoc member of the SETAC Global Science Committee. For SNA, I have chaired technical sessions at annual meetings, I participate in the Sustainability Advisory Group, including debates, and review manuscripts submitted to SETAC journals.

The core strength of SETAC is our forum for scientific exchange between our tripartite sectors of membership (government, industry and academia). This is complemented by our enthusiasm for embracing, and commitment for empowering, our student members toward successful careers and ongoing participation in the society. Looking forward, our challenge is keeping SETAC activities at the forefront of scientific and technological advances and of value to new and continuing members in the face of unpredictable resources. We are shifting from legacy pollution problems and traditional assessment/management approaches to more integrated chemical management issues influenced by global markets and dynamic human behavior. This is exemplified by our second journal, Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management, and by the expanding breadth of our advisory groups. Advisory groups provide opportunities for interaction with SETAC colleagues throughout the year with discipline-focused discussion that can attract members and non-members alike.

As SETAC moves into the future, we should build our traditional scientific and assessment approaches by looking beyond our comfort zone for more interdisciplinary environmental science and management solutions. Providing both traditional (meetings, workshops, journals) and innovative opportunities (webcasting, social media) for members to share their expertise between disciplines and other societies will contribute to solution-oriented research and policymaking. SNA activities must entice new membership to maintain our relevance in current and ever evolving times. The SNA membership must diversify across North American regions to enhance our expertise in toxicology and chemistry through inclusion of complementary disciplines, such as sociology and economics, which have great influence on chemical and ecosystem management. The SNA BoD must continue to challenge our membership to engage through volunteerism in order to grow SNA into a ‘go to’ forum for advancing the science, developing professional tools, and informing the decision-making process necessary to manage current and future environmental issues and policy challenges. If given the opportunity to serve on the SNA Board of Directors I will endeavor to find opportunities to work towards these ideals and help to maintain our excellence in the environmental sciences. I want to help make SETAC the most valuable membership you renew each year.

Matt Moore
US Department of Agricultural - ARS, National Sedimentation Laboratory, Oxford, MI

I have enjoyed 18 years of being a SETAC member, joining as a graduate student in 1995 then full membership after earning my PhD in 1999. Both my MS and PhD advisors, Drs. Jerry Farris and John Rodgers, emphasized the importance of SETAC through their own service to the society. It was a natural progression for me to not only attend annual meetings, but also to begin serving the society which continues to provide me countless professional opportunities.

Trained in aquatic ecotoxicology, I currently serve as a research ecologist in the Water Quality and Ecology Research Unit of the USDA Agricultural Research Service's National Sedimentation Laboratory located in Oxford, MS. For the last 13 years, my areas of research have focused on contaminant fate and effects, as well as designing new agricultural management practices to improve water quality. I spend much of my time in drainage ditches, studying how these systems function as wetlands and how management techniques can improve their efficiency.

I have been fortunate to serve SETAC on the regional, national, and global levels. Within the Mid-South Regional Chapter, I've served as President, followed by a term on the Board of Directors. In 2008 (Tampa), I served as the co-chair of the National Meeting. I also served on the program committees for Portland (2010) and Boston (2011) in various roles. I've authored or co-authored over 50 technical presentations at SETAC meetings, moderated several technical sessions, and served as a student mentor each of the past 10 years. From 2009-2012, I served on the Steering Committee of the Chemists in SETAC Advisory Group, helping re-launch this core membership group. As chair of the Internet Committee, I helped facilitate the successful transition to the new membership software and revamping of the society's website--neither of which could have been accomplished without the expertise and professionalism of the SETAC office staff. I am currently in my second year of service on the editorial board of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, and I serve as co-chair of the Global Awards Committee.

I'm honored to work for a government agency who stresses its mission as being solution-oriented. That is how I would best describe the attitude and work ethic I would bring to the Board if elected. My interests are prioritized by finding solutions, building consensus, and getting the job done, regardless of who gets the credit. SETAC has many strengths, one of which lies solely in its membership. While not the largest or oldest professional society, we have made great strides in our nearly 35 years of existence. In my opinion, the professional and economic value of SETAC's annual meeting is far superior to other society's offerings. Nowhere will you find a society who places a greater emphasis on the attendance, interaction, and service of students. Another strength is that visionary leadership in recent years has allowed the society to change and adapt outside of its typical boundaries in order to survive, without sacrificing its core principles.

To continue thriving, SETAC must be competitive for scientists' shrinking travel budgets. Virtual sessions and symposiums, as well as potential professional certification are areas which we must explore. Additionally, we must embrace related disciplines (e.g. environmental engineering, ecology, soil science, microbiology, etc.) and seek ways to assimilate them into SETAC. We likewise must continue to emphasize the environmental education of the next generation of scientists--and SETAC members--by becoming actively involved at the community-level with outreach to elementary and secondary students.

I consider this nomination a great honor, and if elected, I would embrace the opportunity to serve the SETAC membership to the best of my abilities.

Pamela Rice
US Department of Agriculture ARS, St. Paul, MN

Greetings, I am honored and excited to be selected to run as a candidate for the SETAC-North America Board of Directors. I am a research chemist with the USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Soil and Water Management Research Unit (St. Paul, MN) and serve as an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota (UMN) in the Department of Soil, Water, and Climate and a member of the graduate faculty for the UMN Water Resources Science Program. My current research evaluates the environmental fate and transport of plant and animal protection products and contaminants of emerging concern in agricultural and non-agricultural systems, the influence of land use on the occurrence of contaminants in surface waters, and the development and assessment of mitigation strategies to reduce the off-site transport and potential ecological effects of contaminants. I have been a member of SETAC (>15 years) since graduate school where I earned a Ph.D. in toxicology from Iowa State University.

My activities in SETAC include serving on the SETAC Chemistry Advisory Group (CAG) Chemistry Steering Committee (2013-), member of SETAC-NA Outreach Working Group to encourage relations between SETAC-NA and American Chemical Society (ACS) (2013-), co-chair of a symposium at the 2008 SETAC-NA meeting - a joint sponsorship between SETAC-NA and ACS-Division of Agrochemicals (ACS-AGRO), co-chair for a symposium at the 2013 SETAC-NA meeting in Nashville, presentations at national and regional meetings, and publications in the journal of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.

Although I have not served in a leadership role for SETAC, I have obtained experience from leadership positions in other professional groups and societies. This includes Chair of W2045 Agrochemical Impacts on Human and Environmental Health: Mechanisms and Mitigation (6/2011-6/2013), member of the Executive Committee (2004-2006, 2008-2010, 2011-2013) and Strategic Planning Committees (2006, 2008) of the American Chemical Society – Division of Agrochemicals (ACS-AGRO), and recent election to Vice Chair (8/2013 – followed by Program Chair (2014), and Division Chair (2015)) of ACS-AGRO.

SETAC’s global presence and the expertise of its membership uniquely position the society to contribute to the sustainability and improved health of our planet. In an ever changing world we need to continually look at ways to build on our strengths while implementing new activities to promote exchange of scientific information, enhance the membership experience, and interest future members. The posting of short (2-3 minute) hot-topic scientific videos on YouTube that would guide interested viewers to the SETAC website for additional information, on-line training and meeting participation for members with limited travel budgets, and the development of age-appropriate teaching materials (e.g. a kid-friendly tab on the website or in-school demonstrations) to educate and interest future SETAC members are a few ideas for potential new activities. If elected, I look forward to serving SETAC-NA and assisting the Board of Directors in their goal to advance and promote SETAC. Thank you for your consideration.