Learn about the Endowment Fund

The SETAC North America Eugene Mancini Endowment Fund was established in 2005 and currently has a value of around $500,000 through contributions of SETAC members and private and institutional donors. The fund is effectively operated as an endowment where investment proceeds from the fund are used to support SETAC North America technical, scientific and educational activities consistent with SETAC's vision, mission and values.

Fund Support History

In recent years, the funds has supported the following programs held in conjunction with the SETAC North America Annual Meeting

  • 2020: The Virtual Meeting Platform.
  • 2021: The Virtual Meeting Platform.
  • 2023: Meeting Attendance Gants for Professionals.
  • 2024: Meeting Attendance Gants for Professionals, Special Session on Life Cycle Assessment, and Plenary Speaker on Biodiversity.

How to Contribute

There are many ways to contribute to the fund: 

  1. Contribute online 
  2. Work to leave a legacy
  3. Plan a named gift or a future gift to the fund
  4. Select SETAC as the charity of choice when shopping via smile.amazon.com
Leave a Legacy

Leave a Legacy

While the fund is grateful for every penny, the Legacy Society Program acknowledges gifts of US $1,000 or more into the following categories:

  • Silver US $1,000 –2,000
  • Gold US $2,000–5,000
  • Platinum US $5,000+
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Named Gifts

Named Gifts 

Named gifts within the SETAC North America Endowment Fund are established by members in appreciation of SETAC, in celebration of personal milestones or to honor a SETAC member.

Don and Ness Mackay

Don Mackay was a strong supporter of SETAC. For years, the Mackays attended SETAC North America annual meetings, where Don participated in the scientific program and Ness participated in the guest programs, and both enjoyed the company of fellow SETACers at various social functions and gatherings. Don Mackay was an accomplished organic chemist and published heavily in SETAC journals. Towards the end of his career, he was Director Emeritus of the Canadian Centre for Environmental Modelling and Chemistry and Professor Emeritus at both Trent University and the University of Toronto. For his engagement with the society, he won the SETAC Founders Award in 1990 and the SETAC Fellow award in 2014. In 2021, the couple officially retired in Trent, Canada. They wished to honor their retirement by supporting SETAC North America in perpetuity and thus decided to fund a named bequeath within the Endowment Fund. The Don Mackay Endowment supports the work of SETAC North America. Don passed away in October 2023.

Read about Don Mackay's "Personal Odyssey."

Foster “Sonny” Mayer

Sonny Mayer spent more than 35 years of his career in government service, first with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service then with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. After leaving government service in 2004, he spent years as a consultant. He is an expert in the field of environmental toxicology. His research included laboratory and field studies in both freshwater and marine environments, with emphasis on comparative chemical toxicity, factors affecting toxicity, fish health indicators, predictive toxicological models and environmental risk assessment as well as comparative toxicology among endangered and non-endangered species. He was also research associate/adjunct professor and served on graduate committees at the Universities of Missouri, North Texas, West Florida and Utah State. Mayer received many awards for outstanding performance in research, research administration and technical assistance, including a bronze medal for promotion of women and minorities in environmental sciences and a gold medal and the USEPA James Ackerman Award for ecological risk assessment. He was an active member of SETAC and was recognized for exceptional service to the Society. 

Calvin "Herb" Ward (1933–2023)

Herb was a true pioneer in the fields of environmental chemistry, engineering and wastewater science. He passed away peacefully at the age of 90 in December 2023 at his home in Houston, Texas. Herb served on active duty in the U.S. Air Force from 1960 to 1963 and in the U.S. Air Force Reserve from 1955 to 1968. His nearly 50-year academic career at Rice University began in 1966 where he was a research scientist, physiologist and director of biogenerative life support systems research at the Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine. He received several notable awards and recognitions for his contributions to the field of engineering and science from government agencies and professional associations. SETAC was Herb’s chosen home professional society. He was one of the original six founders of SETAC and served on its first Board of Directors. For 30 years, Herb served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Society's journal, Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, which he started. His high standards for research and work reflected the SETAC motto that he helped to establish – "Environmental Quality Through Science®." Herb was recognized as a SETAC Founder and Fellow. Herb was so committed to SETAC that the society’s Exceptional Service Award was created in his honor. He strongly supported the Endowment Fund most notably with the Herb Ward Challenge in 2020. His legacy and achievements will guide SETAC and the field of environmental science and engineering for many years to come.

Learn more about Herb Ward.

Eugene Ralph “Gene” Mancini (1949–2019)

Gene Mancini was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey. His terminal degree was Ph.D. from the University of Louisville (1978). He specialized in remediation of oil spills and hazardous material incidents, performing numerous ecological and natural resource damage assessments. Mancini was a person that eagerly gave of his time to SETAC throughout his professional career and for that he received numerous awards and distinctions from the Society. Mancini was most noted at SETAC for his leadership in the development of the SETAC North America Endowment Fund. He volunteered selflessly outside of SETAC as well. He was a dedicated volunteer and wonderful mentor, and he often reminded his friends and colleagues to “always give back more than you take.” Mancini played the saxophone, acoustic guitar and sang. He also loved watching soccer, riding motorcycles, morning swims and spending time with his family, friends and his grandson. He was survived by his wife of 47 years, Ruth Anne, and their son and daughter and their families. 

Read the "In Memoriam: Eugene Ralph “Gene” Mancini."

Peter Chapman (1951–2017)

Peter Chapman was born in 1951 in Hull, England, and spent a large portion of his childhood in Cuba, the Philippines and South Florida, USA. Chapman earned his Ph.D. in 1979 in benthic ecology with an emphasis on ecotoxicology and risk assessment at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. He made British Columbia his home for the rest of his life. Chapman spent his life in the pursuit of scientific investigation. He was a productive researcher and consultant, a prolific author and editor, an eloquent speaker, and he was also known to enjoy mentoring young scientists. Chapman is recognized as an expert and leader in the field of ecological risk assessment and benthic ecology. He pioneered the “Sediment Quality Triad” with Ed Long as an approach for the evaluation of sediment quality. Later, he was a powerful advocate for expanding the triad approach using weight of evidence. For his contributions to environmental science and to SETAC, he received the SETAC Founders Award in 2001 and was named a SETAC Fellow in 2013. Chapman was a devoted husband and father. In between his many work travels and engagements, he was a swim team race timer, a downhill ski race official and an editor of several of his children’s sports team newsletters. He left behind his wife, Lori, and three children, Jennifer, Michael and Stefanie. The Peter Chapman Endowment supports the work of SETAC North America especially in areas of advancing sediment risk assessment.

Read Peter Chapman's "In Memoriam."

Steve Klaine (1952–2016)

Steve Klaine got his Ph.D in environmental science from Rice University in 1982. He had a stint as an assistant professor at the university of Memphis, and from there, he went to be Director of the Clemson University Institute of Environmental Toxicology. He was an internationally recognized environmental toxicologist with a legacy of devotion to teaching and mentoring. During his career, Klaine contributed to the development of 40 doctoral students and 45 master’s degree students. He was a contributor and editor to SETAC journals, was named a SETAC Fellow in 2016. He holds the distinction of having the highest cited paper ever appearing in a SETAC journal for his landmark critical review on nano materials in the environment. Among his varied research interests, he advanced our understanding of metal bioavailability, the effects of pharmaceutical substances on aquatic wildlife, and the significance of non-point source chemical toxicity and sediment contamination. The Steve Klaine Endowment supports the work of SETAC North America especially in areas of recognizing an individual, group or organization for significant contributions to environmental education.

Read "In Recognition of a Distinguished Career: Steve Klaine."

Melissa Schultz (1977–2015)

Melissa Schultz was a brilliant student receiving her B.S. in chemistry from Creighton University in 1999 and her Ph.D. in analytical chemistry at Oregon State University in 2004. Schultz’s contribution to advancing environmental chemistry were sadly cut short though her impact is still felt. At Oregon State University, she studied the role of wastewater treatment on poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs). Later, as a National Academy of Sciences postdoctoral associate at the USGS National Water Quality Laboratory, she investigated pharmaceuticals in wastewater. Her research interests then expanded during her tenure as Associate Professor of Chemistry at the College of Wooster in Ohio. There, Schultz was known to care deeply about her students, and her egalitarian approach to education had a lasting effect upon their lives and careers. She set an example for her students by including her young children in her college activities. Schultz had a knack for bringing people together both inside and outside of the laboratory, and she was frequently the driving force behind activities and events that fostered community. Schultz excelled in many roles in her life. She was an avid runner, reader and nature enthusiast, but her greatest joy was her family. She was a supportive and loving spouse to her husband Brett and a devoted mother to Lila, Teddy and Leo. The Melissa Schultz Endowment annually supports the SETAC North America Student Meeting Attendance Grant of the highest ranked female undergraduate student. 

Read Melissa Schultz’s "In Memoriam."

Eugene Kenaga (1917–2007)

Eugene Kenaga was born and raised in Midland, Michigan. He obtained his undergraduate degree in zoology and entomology at the nearby University of Michigan and followed it with a master’s degree in entomology at the University of Kansas. Eugene was a true naturalist, traveling all seven continents, mostly in pursuit of birds and being actively involved with many clubs and organizations promoting the environment. For much of his career, he worked at Dow Chemical Company in his hometown of Midland. While at Dow, he recognized the potential toxicity of pesticide to birds. He collaborated with Lucille Stickel of the U.S. Department of Interior’s ornithology and mammalian research station at Patuxent, Maryland, Ralph McMullen of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to solicit Robert Ringer, then at Michigan State University, to oversee their proposal for what became a landmark toxicity test of birds under the auspices of a cooperative agreement between USDI-Patuxent and the Agricultural Chemicals Association (ACA). By 1978, Kenaga and others were discussing the need for a society devoted to environmental toxicology. The group founded SETAC in 1979 and in 1980, Kenaga was elected SETAC’s first official president. In Kenaga’s words: “the reason the Society was formed, first and foremost, was that there was a real need for a multidisciplinary organization,” Kenaga said. Kenaga had a definite focus when he was serving as the Society’s first president. “We had a mission,” he said, “and our mission was to evaluate scientific decision-making with a multidisciplinary approach; and it took so many different sciences to do that.” Kenga’s love for the environment also prompted him to establish the Chippewa Nature Center. Kanaga passed away at the age of 90. He was survived by his wife Kathleen (Kay) and three children, Dennis, Marcia and David; and six grandchildren. 

Jeff Black (1948–1998)

Jeff Black was an active member of SETAC and dedicated environmnetal engineer. He was director of aquatic toxicology at EA Laboratories in Sparks, Maryland, untill his passing. He was survived by his parents Arthur and Virginia Black, brother Curtis Black and his wife Marilyn. For over twenty years, his employer – what is now EA Engineering, Science, and Technology, Inc. – honored Black’s memory by providing a fellowship to a SETAC master’s student. 

Future Gifts

Planned Giving and SETAC—Ensuring Our Society’s Future

Do you have a legal, up-to-date will? A will is a personal expression of our wishes regarding the disposition of our property after death. Living without such a document constitutes a significant risk that our estates will incur unnecessary costs and expenses, probate delays, untoward tax consequences, and leave our families in difficult financial circumstances. A legal will is a critically important risk management and estate planning tool, which can be used to ensure the well-being of our families and heirs and to direct the timely, thoughtful and orderly distribution of our property. SETAC strongly encourages members to develop or update wills and also requests that members consider placing SETAC in the will as a charitable bequest. Such planned giving can help to sustain the Society in the future. 

Planned or deferred giving is the current gift of future assets (e.g., money, stocks) through charitable bequests. SETAC-specific bequests can assist in tax-advantaged estate planning and constitute a personal commitment and legacy in support of SETAC’s goals, objectives and vision. Bequeathed funds may be expended for current Society operations or may be committed to specific SETAC programs or activities at the discretion of the donor and as indicated in the will. Bequeathed funds within the SETAC North America Endowment Fund will produce annual investment proceeds to support Society initiatives and programs.

Estate Planning Through Charitable Bequests

Bequests to SETAC may be made through simple wills in several forms, a few of which are presented here:

  • Specific bequests direct that SETAC receive a certain dollar amount after all required estate transactions are concluded or settled. I give [dollar amount or property such as stock] to the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC), a not-for-profit organization, in Pensacola, Fla., to be used to further the objectives and purposes of the Society. Such bequests may also be committed to a specific program or activity of the Society or to the SETAC North America Endowment Fund.
  • Percentage bequests direct that SETAC receive a percentage of the estate assets. I give [desired percentage] of my estate to the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC).
  • Residuary bequests instruct the executor to give to the Society a specified portion of the estate after all debts, expenses, taxes and all other bequests have been paid. All the rest, residue and remainder of my property, of every kind and nature whatsoever situated (my “residuary estate”), I give to the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, a qualified not-for-profit organization under the United States Internal Revenue Code, Sections 170 (c) and 2055 (a), as amended, to be used for their general purposes.
  • Contingent bequests take effect only if the primary intention of the will cannot be met. This will ensure that estate assets will pass to SETAC rather than unintended beneficiaries, such as the State, Provincial or Federal government.

Preparation or Amendment of a Will

Regardless of your charitable giving goals and desires, an up-to-date will is one of the most important legacies you can leave your family and others. If you already have an up-to-date will and wish to provide for a bequest to SETAC, a simple codicil (an addition or amendment to an existing will) can be prepared without disturbing any of your existing arrangements or specifications. If you do not have an up-to-date will, it is recommended that you consider establishing one as soon as possible. SETAC members are advised to consult an experienced and knowledgeable estate attorney to ensure that applicable statutory provisions and restrictions are properly incorporated into these important legal documents. Members are especially encouraged to consider bequests to SETAC as an important personal legacy for the Society.

If you have already bequeathed a gift to SETAC in your will, please let the Society know, so we can thank you in advance for your generous intentions. If you are considering such a bequest, please contact us for any information or assistance that may be required. Please direct any questions to:

Tamar Schlekat, SETAC North America Executive Director, or Philip Dorn, Chair, SETAC North America Endowment Fund Board of Trustees.

Fund History

The fund was established by SETAC North America member Eugene Mancini. Read about what inspired Mancini to establish the fund as well as testimonials from some of our legacy donors:

Gene Mancini, E.R.Mancini & Associates Gene Mancini, E.R.Mancini & Associates

Gene Mancini

As an environmental science consultant, I have been a member of several scientific societies, but SETAC has been the singular organization that has integrated the critical disciplines of environmental contaminant fate, behavior and effects for more than 35 years. Within the membership of SETAC are some of the best minds in the fields of environmental chemistry, biology, ecotoxicology and ecosystem resources. Over these many years, our diverse science enterprise has expanded, and this rapid evolution from survival, growth and reproductive toxicity endpoints to effects measured at significantly lower levels of biological organization (e.g., biomarker endpoints, toxicogenomics), has challenged our interpretive abilities, especially with regard to inferring potential population and biological community level effects. Through this period of evolution, it has become clear to me that the expertise residing in SETAC must continue to be applied with technical rigor and must be subjected to discussion, debate and to the critical principles of peer review. In an effort to ensure that these activities continue, I have committed significant resources to the SETAC North America Endowment Fund as a Legacy Society contributor, and I have also committed a Planned Gift (bequest) to the Endowment to be distributed from my estate in the future. I believe that these resources will help to ensure our society’s durable environmental science future. I’m also greatly encouraged that other members of SETAC North America have made similar commitments.

Jim Oris, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio Jim Oris, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio

Jim Oris

Shortly after I started graduate school in 1980, my advisor came to one of our lab meetings and enthusiastically told us about this new and important professional society that was being formed called SETAC. I missed that very first SETAC meeting but have only missed one since. Leaders like John Giesy formed the society, and the cohort of graduate students across North America who joined in the 1980s became my network of close friends and colleagues to this day. Through SETAC, I learned the importance of critical and balanced thinking, the value of using science as the basis to make environmental management decisions, and the importance of hard work and having tremendous fun while doing it. Through SETAC, I met the person who would hire me (and then serve as my first faculty mentor) at Miami University. Through SETAC, I had the opportunity to serve as a member or chair of many committees, to inaugurate one regional chapter and serve as president of another regional chapter, and to work closely with colleagues from Europe and Latin America in the formation of the global organization we know today. Through SETAC, I experienced the challenges and rewards of serving as a national and global officer, and this experience gave me the skills and confidence needed to be successful as a university administrator.

When I was a student, I was treated as a valued member of the society. For the past thirty years, the society has continued to be a critical part of my personal and professional life. As my career progressed, I promised that I would do all I could to make sure that students, as the future of the society, are treated as colleagues and are offered the same and more professional development opportunities that I received as a member of SETAC. This is why I give to the SETAC North America Endowment Fund.

Ruth Hull Ruth Hull

Ruth Hull

The recession of the early 1990s was not a good time to be finishing a graduate degree and looking for work. I decided to pay my own way to SETAC in 1991 and was fortunate to meet two people who would change my life and my career. The networking I did at the meeting led to my first job, a 6-month contract that gave me the break I needed. I also attended a student/mentor event, which led to my second job, which started as soon as my contract ended. One SETAC meeting and two jobs! My career was launched.

I wouldn’t be here today without SETAC providing the networking opportunities and the support of sponsors and volunteers who make events possible, and who add so much value to the society. I personally and professionally have benefited from the science, the networking and the friendships of SETAC over the past 20+ years.

For these reasons, and because I see such promise in the young scientists I meet at the annual meeting each year, I choose to “Pay It Forward” via my volunteering with SETAC and through my donations to the SETAC North America Endowment Fund.

Fund Operations

The fund operates under the purview of the Endowment Fund Board of Trustees. The trustees are responsible for setting policies, providing oversight on adherence policies, and growing the fund. Specifically, the trustees set policies regarding investment, withdrawal limits and usage. As such, the trustees decide how the fund is invested and how much of the fund is periodically disbursed. The trustees also have the authority to accept current and planned (future) gifts, grants and contributions to enhance the invested fund principal. For questions about the fund, please contact the SETAC North America Executive Director.