21 Mar 2024

Put on Your Boots and Join Us in Texas

Tamar Schlekat, SETAC

We are excited to welcome you to the SETAC North America 45th Annual Meeting, which will be held from 20–24 October in Fort Worth, Texas. Note that it is bit earlier than usual because this is a rebook of the 2020 meeting, which turned virtual because of the pandemic.

Anyhoo, back to the meeting. The meeting theme is “Biodiversity – It’s “Worth” Saving,” and as appropriate, there are sessions on biodiversity, multi stressors, wildlife and environmental restoration. Typical of a SETAC meeting, there are lots of sessions focused on environmental chemistry and toxicology, of course. Several special sessions are also planned, and the committee was particularly enthused about the special session on Life Cycle Assessment in Environmental Management that is being planned in collaboration with the American Center for Life Cycle Assessment (ACLCA). As always, there will be some sessions on regional issues, such as conditions at the Trinity River and this year, expect some sessions focusing on celebrating SETAC’s 45th anniversary. If you have not perused the session list, do so now and submit an abstract today! 

The Program Committee is very excited about having secured fabulous plenary speakers already. To kick off the meeting, Nicole Kleinstreuer of NIH/NIEHS will talk about artificial intelligence and chemical management. On Tuesday of the meeting, Texas-based filmmaker and writer Ben Masters will be talking about “Using Wildlife Movies for Conservation and Science.” Masters specializes in wildlife and adventure stories. He is most known for directing “Deep in the Heart: A Texas Wildlife Story,” “The River and The Wall” (SXSW 2019 Award Winner) and for producing “Unbranded” (Mountainfilm 2015 Audience Award Winner). The committee hopes to screen one of Master’s films during the meeting. 

Aside from the scintillating scientific sessions, there will be many mixers and networking opportunities. Of course when talking about mixers, we would be remiss not to mention the Fort Worth Stockyards, which embodies Western hertiage with twice daily longhorn cattle drives, rodeos, music events and more. Participants will surely congregate there after hours and can expect discounts when showing their badge.

While the cowboy culture is deeply rooted in the city’s history, Fort Worth is so much more. There are many art galleries and several museums within a two-mile radius of the convention center. Art lovers cannot miss the Kimbell Art Museum, home to the only Michelangelo in the Americas. The nearby Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth was recognized as the best-designed building in Texas by Architectural Digest. While walking at the nearby Botanical Gardens, get inspired by the many sculptures there. A mile further away from the center but definitely worth mentioning is the Fort Worth Zoo, which opened in 1909 and is currently ranked the #4 zoo in the nation by USA Today.

There will also be some added fun activities. We don’t want to give too much away, but let’s just say there might be a hoe down and some lasso showmanship opportunities. Unique events and planning them creates fun challenges for our events manager, Nikki Mayo, who said, “Never have I ever thought I’d be booking a longhorn for a photo opp and planning how to get him into the exhibit hall.”

If you look to join this meeting as an exhibitor, there are still spots available, and so are sponsorship opportunities, such as a branded water filling station and raffle gifts. If you were thinking of showcasing your organization, hurry while opportunities last.

Author’s contact: [email protected]