- Theme: Understanding the multiple factors that accelerate and attenuate recovery of
mercury contamination in response to environmental inputs on local to global
- Date: July 16-21, 2017
- Venue: Providence, Rhode Island, USA
Plans are underway for the 13th International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant (ICMGP) to be held in Providence, Rhode Island, USA 16-21 July 2017. The organizing committee includes: Charles Driscoll (co-chair, Syracuse University), Celia Chen (co-chair, Dartmouth College), Rob Mason (University of Connecticut), David Gay (National Atmospheric Deposition Program), Noelle Selin (MIT), Elizabeth Henry (Anchor QEA) and David Evers (Biodiversity Research Institute).
Mercury science and management are the focus of attention world-wide. The global treaty on mercury, the Minamata Convention, is now being ratified and requires that countries around the world control both new and existing sources and monitor the effectiveness of those controls. In the US, there are plans to implement the Mercury and Air Toxics Rule which will limit primary anthropogenic emissions. In many other countries, the use of mercury in artisanal gold mining is under investigation as the magnitude of associated mercury releases may have been underestimated. And globally, many local efforts are in progress to remediate mercury contaminated sites. While these initiatives are important steps to mitigate mercury contamination, the extent and rate of potential recovery is unclear because of uncertainties in our understanding of mercury cycling through the biosphere. Mercury is a complex, multifaceted contaminant especially given that methyl mercury, the more toxic form, biomagnifies and drives most human health advisories and concerns for wildlife impacts. Moreover, mercury transport, transformations, bioaccumulation and exposure are affected by numerous interacting processes and phenomena (e.g., climate change, nutrient loading, land use/cover, food web dynamics, human behavior and decisions).
The theme of this conference will be understanding the multiple factors that accelerate and attenuate recovery of mercury contamination in response to environmental inputs on local to global scales.
The 13th ICMGP will follow the tradition of previous successful conferences with synthesis, detailed sessions and presentations on mercury science, technology, management and human health. We will encourage a diverse community of conference participants, including industry, government, research institutions, NGOs, and academics. As New England is home to many colleges and universities, we will strongly promote and support student participation. We will foster wide ranging discussion among participants across issues spanning environmental media, biogeochemical processes, disciplines, types of mercury contamination and remediation, temporal and spatial scales, societal issues and outreach activities. Input from the mercury community will be solicited for special sessions. We envision a broadly based program that would include plenary, invited and contributed oral presentations; poster presentations; small group meetings; opportunities for student mentoring; demonstrations by instrument vendors, industry and research groups; and networking. We will craft a technical program that reflects the latest advances, highlights critical understanding and promotes active discussion of the science of mercury and innovative strategies for its management.
Providence will be an engaging venue for ICMGP 2017. One of the oldest cities in the US (est. 1636), Providence is easily accessed by major (New York, Boston) and regional (Providence, Manchester, Hartford) airports, and by rail from major Northeast U.S. cities (Boston, New York, Washington D.C.). The conference will be staged at the Providence Convention Center, which can easily accommodate the anticipated number of participants of ~1000. Providence is a medium sized city (population 175,000) with a charming historical downtown that is readily accessible to the conference center. This coastal community is home to intriguing restaurants, pubs and coffee houses. Cultural and recreational opportunities abound, including WaterFire
, an environmental art
installation that consists of about 100 bonfires that blaze just above the surface of the three rivers that pass through downtown Providence. Providence is already gearing up to welcome the participants of the 2017 ICMGP.