December 7-9, 2008
Asilomar Conference Grounds
Pacific Grove, California
Over 200 Superfund grant recipients, researchers, partners, post-doctoral fellows and graduate students gathered for the 11th NIEHS Superfund Research and Training Program annual meeting, held December 7-9, 2008 at the Asilomar Conference Center in Pacific Grove, California. The theme of this meeting was "Improving measurement tools for monitoring human and ecological exposure and biological/toxicological effects of Superfund chemicals".
The overall goals of the meeting are to highlight improvements and advances in our knowledge and understanding of diverse environmental contaminants and the application of this information to the development of novel tools and approached for their detection, analysis of fate, transport and remediation, and the resulting human and ecological health and environmental effects of these chemicals. Together, these advances will facilitate more accurate assessment of exposure and risk to Superfund chemicals. A key aspect of the meeting will be an emphasis on the application of these research developments to the evaluation of real-world samples, sites, and situations.
Two keynote speakers were featured at the meeting. On Monday, Dr. Arlene Blum, visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkley, and author of Annapurna: A Woman's Place and Breaking Trail: A Climbing Life, described the environmental impacts of fire retardants used in the home in her presentation, entitled "The Fire Retardant Dilemma: Balancing Safety, Human Health, and Environmental Protection." On Tuesday, Dr. Martin Kenney, Professor of Human and Community Development at the University of California, Davis, advocated for individual ownership of the patents and products of intellectual property developed within university systems in his presentation, "Is the Mandatory Invention Ownership University TLO the Best Method of University Technology Transfer?"
Four plenary sessions highlighted student and researcher/post-doc advances in environmental health. Sessions focused on analytical/bioanalytical advances; fate, transport and remediation; and methodologies, toxic effects of superfund chemicals, and exposure, risk, and epidemiology. In addition, a panel discussion was held to discuss real-world applications of Superfund technologies and methodologies.
Laura Senier was the recipient of the 11th Annual Karen Wetterhahn Memorial Award. She presented her research, "Public Schools and Contaminated Land in Rhode Island: Using SRP Research Translation and Community Outreach to Foster Research and Advocacy," on Tuesday.
Student poster sessions were held on Sunday and Monday evenings. One student from each session was honored for their presentation efforts. Stephen Richardson (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) and Courtney Kozul (Dartmouth University) each received a cash prize and an autographed copy of Arlene Blum's book Breaking Ground.
University of California, Davis
Department of Entomology