Training Courses 2017-09-27T20:51:21+00:00

Professional Training Courses

Professional training courses are coordinated by the Education and Short Courses Committee based on feedback from previous participants, input from the SETAC membership community, and discussion with the local program committee for the annual meeting. The focus is on selecting cutting-edge and general scientific topics of interest. In addition, non-scientific courses that support skills scientists might need to succeed, for example communication or presentation skills, are offered. The courses are taught by experts in the field.


Register for a professional training course!



All prices in US$ Full-day Half-day
Member $284 $148
Student Member $92 $52
Nonmember $308 $180
Nonmember Student $100 $60
Developing Country/
Recent Grad Member
$92 $52
Full-day Half-day
Member $319.50 $166.50
Student Member $103.50 $58.50
Nonmember $346.50 $202.50
Nonmember Student $112.50 $67.50
Developing Country/
Recent Grad Member
$103.50 $58.50


Full-day Half-day
Member $355 $185
Student Member $115 $65
Nonmember $385 $225
Nonmember Student $125 $75
Developing Country/
Recent Grad Member
$115 $65

Full-day Courses

8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. | Sunday, 12 November

Room: M100 A
Instructors: Jeffrey Gallagher, USEPA; Tala Henry, USEPA; Karen Eisenreich,  USEPA; Anne Kim,  USEPA; Daniel Salvito,  RIFM

The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act was signed into law in 2016, which amended the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the nation’s primary chemicals management law. Implementation of the amended legislation is carried out by the USEPA’s Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT) and includes assessments of both new and existing chemical substances. For the vast majority of new chemical submissions, little or no ecotoxicological information is provided to the USEPA, which presents challenges to the ecological risk assessment process. The USEPA relies on screening-level tools to identify chemicals that may pose unreasonable risks before their entry into commerce. The purpose of the course is to describe ecological risk assessment tools and approaches currently used within OPPT’s New Chemicals Program with a focus on the assessment of risk to the aquatic compartment. Instructors will present OPPT’s ecological risk assessment process, provide hands on risk screening examples, and discuss the challenges and opportunities regarding ecological risk assessment under the amended TSCA.

Room: M100 B
Instructors: David Fisher, Bayer CropScience; Jay Overmyer, Syngenta; Thomas Steeger, USEPA Office of Pesticide Programs; Kris Garber, USEPA Office of Pesticide Programs

Insect pollinators play a vital role in ecosystem health and are essential to ensuring food security. With apparent declines of both managed and wild pollinator populations in recent years, regulatory scientists have been challenged to develop and implement better ways to identify and assess risks in order to protect pollinator populations now and in the future. Pesticide Risk Assessment for Pollinators was the topic of a SETAC Pellston Workshop® convened in Pensacola, Florida, in 2012, and a regulatory guidance document was issued in 2014 jointly by the US Environmental Protection Agency,  Canada Pest Management Regulatory Agency and California Department of Pesticide Regulation. These groups reviewed the relevant science and developed a new risk assessment process for both managed and wild bees. This course will cover the components of this tiered risk assessment process, including problem formulations for various chemical use scenarios, effects studies, exposure measurements and modeling, and risk evaluation procedures proposed for each step. A copy of the SETAC Pellston Workshop report, Pesticide Risk Assessment for Pollinators, will be included in the course materials.

Room: M100 C
Instructors: Ellen Mihaich, Environmental and Regulatory Resources; Lisa Ortego, Bayer CropScience; David Dreier, University of Florida

In response to concerns that certain environmental chemicals might interfere with the endocrine system of humans and wildlife, regulations have been promulgated in various regulatory bodies around the world targeting the evaluation of these types of effects. The purpose of this professional training course is to address key topics related to endocrine system evaluation and regulatory requirements around the world. The course will provide basic information on the vertebrate endocrine system, mechanisms of control and adverse effects. The focus will be the estrogen, androgen and thyroid systems, although new endocrine system targets will be discussed. The requirements of the USEPA’s Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program, as well as those for REACH and other regulatory initiatives around the world, including the development of definitions and criteria in the EU, will be reviewed. Specific screens and tests used in these programs will be reviewed, including plans for the evolution of the USEPA program, such as EDSP21 and the development of adverse outcome pathways. Use of weight-of-evidence evaluations and potency in interpreting the data will be covered. Finally, an interactive simulation will be staged where small groups of participants can engage in a transparent and quantitative weight-of-evidence evaluation of data.

Room: M100 D
Instructors: Henry Borrebach, Natural Capital Project, Stanford University; Kate Brauman, University of Minnesota; Bonnie Keeler, Natural Capital Project, University of Minnesota; Marie Donahue, Natural Capital Project, University of Minnesota

This training course will provide an introduction to the approach and tools developed by the Natural Capital Project over the past 10+ years to operationalize ecosystem services and natural capital information in a variety of decision contexts, from coastal zone management and marine spatial planning to sustainable development and land conservation. Ecosystem services must now be considered in US agency decision-making and are increasingly of interest to local planners and private companies. Ecosystem services are also a focus area for the SETAC journal Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management (IEAM). Understanding ecosystem services and how to operationalize them is becoming every more critical. Participants will not learn about natural capital approaches in the abstract but rather learn through specific, real-world case studies that combine lecture and discussion with hands-on, interactive classroom activities.

Room: M100 E
Instructors: Christopher J. Salice, Towson University; Scott M. Weir, Queens University; Richard Erickson, USGS, Upper Midwest

This course is designed for those unfamiliar with the R software environment but who would like to jump-start their basic coding, data manipulation, statistical analysis and data visualization in R. Course participants will learn the basics of the R language by doing a series of hands-on coding exercises led by instructors. Students will first learn how to import and manipulate data, followed by basic data visualization and analysis. Instructors will introduce and provide examples for data analysis using t-tests, analysis of variance and regression. With each exercise, instructors will work with students to increase their confidence and proficiency with R. The session will end with an introduction to the use of R as a modeling environment with some basic population models that can be easily implemented in R. Previous experience with R is not necessary, but a willingness to climb the mountain of the R learning curve is essential! Students should have a laptop with R and R Studio already loaded on their machine.

Morning Half-day Courses

8:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. | Sunday, 12 November

Room: TBD
Instructors: Amelie Schmolke, Waterborne Environmental, Inc.; Valery Forbes, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, University of Minnesota; Pamela Rueda-Cediel, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, University of Minnesota; Katherine Kapo, Waterborne Environmental, Inc.

Population models provide a tool to assess population-level effects from regulatory toxicity data for the purpose of pesticide risk assessment. The National Research Council advises their use in this capacity for the assessment of species listed under the Endangered Species Act. Model development can be made more reproducible if a logical, consistent and transparent process is used and documented. This course is designed for population modelers and other stakeholders (without experience in model development and application) to improve or gain skills and insight into developing population models based on a specific research question in the context of pesticide risk assessment. Participants will learn about the types of questions needed to formulate conceptual population models in a consistent, objective and systematic way. In the course, we will introduce how population models can be used in the context of pesticide risk assessment and present guidance on the development of conceptual models for this purpose. The steps in the development of population models will be highlighted. In the practical part of the course, participants will develop a conceptual population model for the purpose of pesticide risk assessment of a listed herbaceous plant following the model development guidance. The resulting conceptual models will be discussed.

Room: TBD
Instructor: William Stiteler, ARCADIS

This course is intended to provide an overview of small (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) UAVs and how they can be used in environmental and risk assessment applications. UAVs can be used for a variety of tasks, including atmospheric and water sample collection, wildlife hazing, topographic measurement, and image collection for assessment and monitoring. For image analysis, the advantages and disadvantages of UAVs versus traditional techniques will be discussed, as well as software packages that can be used for UAV image processing. Regulations governing the use of UAVs and commonly available UAV platforms will also be discussed. The course is intended for both those who wish to use UAVs for environmental applications and those who need to know the right questions to ask of UAV subcontractors.

Room: TBD
Instructors: Sabine E. Apitz, SEA Environmental Decisions Ltd; Amanda D. McNally, AECOM; David Harrison, NERA

All remedy decisions must balance trade-offs; sustainability evaluation is intended to ensure that a full range of both desirable and undesirable impacts of remedial options are assessed, in the context of important community and stakeholder values, ideally in a transparent manner. The need to incorporate sustainability is underscored by several publications prepared by USEPA, National Research Council and others. A number of initiatives, frameworks and tools have been developed, regionally, nationally and internationally, to address these evolving issues; the most comprehensive to date was developed for the Portland Harbor Superfund Site Sustainability Project (PHSP). A focus of this workshop will be on emerging tools to evaluate impacts of remedial options on environmental quality, economic viability and social equity. Approaches for determining differing stakeholder priorities and for integrating these values and priorities into a sustainability analysis will be presented as well. These tools can be used to identify trade-offs and points of contention, providing a systematic, transparent tool for community engagement, supporting the selection of remedies that are optimized to address those issues of greatest importance to key regulatory and public stakeholders.

Afternoon Half-day Courses

1:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. | Sunday, 12 November

Room: TBD
Lead Instructor: Deborah French-McCay, RPS; Richard J. Wenning, Ramboll Environ; Michael J. Bock, Ramboll Environ

Oil spill response planning typically includes comparative risk assessment (CRA) to examine the consequences of deploying different response technologies to mitigate spilled oil. Since the 2010 Deepwater Horizon accident, subsea dispersant injection (SSDI) has emerged as a countermeasure for mitigating uncontrolled releases from deep-water wells. The goals for using SSDI include reducing oil volume reaching the water surface; reducing human and wildlife exposure to volatile hydrocarbons; dispersing oil over a large water volume at depth; enhancing biodegradation; and reducing surface and shoreline exposures to floating and surface-water entrained/dissolved oil. Potential trade-offs include increased water column and benthic resource exposures to oil at depth. To better understand the implications of different response technologies, including SSDI, a hypothetical well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico will be examined using oil spill modeling results and a CRA Results Tool to demonstrate assessment methods of environmental exposures to combinations of response options – mechanical recovery, in-situ burning, surface dispersant application and SSDI. Participants will learn how to conduct systematic evaluations of potential environmental trade-offs associated with changes in oil distribution due to use of different response technologies, incorporating ecological considerations such as relative distribution and recovery potential of valued ecosystem components and environmental compartments.

Room: TBD
Lead Instructor: Martin Grosell, RSMAS, University of Miami; Daniel Schlenk, University of California Riverside

The course will be comprised of introductory sessions addressing the topics listed below through interactive discussion and will be followed by group assignments and presentations to put the covered topics to use in consortium design and management scenarios. The course content and format is developed from experience with a current multi-investigator (~35 people) research consortium  funded by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI). Individual topics will be covered through real life experience with consortium tested in battle.

Room: TBD
Instructor: Jill Hauwiller, Leadership Refinery

Oftentimes, scientists find themselves in challenging situations where they are required to navigate a professional environment with diverse personalities. Such personalities and perspectives may be closely related to people’s age and may affect workplace productivity. Workplaces that cultivate leadership teams and cast a vision of inclusion have a greater chance for longevity, especially during challenging circumstances. Instilling core institutional values and training new staff is essential in ensuring the success of any business or laboratory, but this approach requires strong leaders at all professional and generational levels. Interactions between lead scientists, laboratory managers, post-docs, graduate students, summer undergrads, interns, departmental chairs and CEOs require the ability to work with people across multiple generations. This short course seeks to foster the awareness and education of the four common generations that conform today’s workforce. We will focus on the events which influenced the communication and leadership styles of each generation we encounter today. Emphasis will be placed on the strategies, techniques, and tools to increase effectiveness at work, reduce misunderstanding and generational conflict, and cultivate inclusive workplace cultures which foster strong leaders.

Room: M100 H
Instructor: Nick Ralston, University of North Dakota

Biochemical mechanisms of mercury (Hg) toxicity involve irreversible inhibition of selenium-(Se) dependent enzymes (selenoenzymes). While the 25 selenoenzymes and Se-transport proteins of the human genome are all vulnerable to compromise by high mercury exposures, the most important targets of mercury toxicity appear to be those that prevent and reverse oxidative damage in brain and endocrine tissues. With its low pKa (5.5), the Se of selenocysteine (Sec), the 21st genetically encoded amino acid, is the most powerful intracellular nucleophile, a factor which contributes to its vulnerability to binding by Hg and other soft electrophiles known to cause neurotoxic effects. Since methyl-Hg (MeHg) is not only capable of irreversibly inhibiting selenoenzymes, but also permanently sequestering tissue reserves of Se in the biologically insoluble HgSe form, the inverse relationship between environmental Hg and Se appears likely to reflect the effects of these physiological reactions. The purpose of this professional training course is to provide an overview of how Hg and Se interact at the molecular, cellular, tissue, organism and ecosystem levels. Topics to be discussed include the mechanisms of mercury toxicity, bioaccumulation dynamics, toxicity to aquatic life, health risk assessment and fish consumption guidelines, and the urgent need to identify populations at risk from MeHg exposure.

*Courses that are crossed out have been cancelled. 

Workplace Training

Red Cross First-Aid and CPR Course CANCELLED

3:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. | Sunday, 12 November | $125

The training incorporates the latest scientific guidelines in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), including the use of automated external defibrillators (AED). This is a combination course tailored for busy professionals. The course consists of two parts, a required two-hour online training ahead of the meeting and a one-hour hands-on class onsite at the annual meeting. The course aligns with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Best Practices for Workplace First Aid Training Programs. Course registrants will receive an email with instructions on how to complete the online version of the class prior to the meeting. After they finish the online component, they will receive a certificate, which they will need to print and bring to the hands-on training. Once they complete the course, registrants will receive a 2-year certification.

Register for the Red Cross first-aid and CPR course!