Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Southern California Chapter

Volume 6, Issue 1 July 1999



  • Chapter News/President's Corner
  • CA Joint Meeting Summary
  • Board Meeting Minutes
  • 1999-2000 Board/Officers
  • Meet Your Board Members
  • Calendar of Events
  • National SETAC Registration
  • Regional Membership Reminder

Please fill out and mail the application form and thanks for your continued support of SoCal SETAC.

Membership is fully tax deductible and a great bargain at $20. For additional application information, please contact Marilyn Schwartz at 858-458-9044 ext. 300 or by email at



If you have not renewed your membership during the past 18 months, now would be a great time to ensure you continue to get the SoCal SETAC Newsletter and information on Dinner Meetings as well as our Annual Meeting Next June.

1999-2000 Memberships run from July 1, 1999 through June 30, 2000.


President's Corner...

So you haven't heard from us in awhile? A roomful of us gathered to discuss just that on June 22nd. Reorganized and reinvigorated, we bring you this newsletter with plans for the future and introducing those who will be working to make them happen. We also come to you with requests for your ideas, articles, involvement, and support.

A dozen of us spent a very productive few hours confirming the new Board and Officers, reviewing and amending their responsibilities, and discussing logistics and details for meetings and newsletter production. We talked about plans for developing and maintaining our (still) under-construction website, working with other regional professional organizations, and bandied ideas for next years Annual Meeting. We spent time talking about our membership, too - what you expect from us and the organization and how we can meet those needs despite everyone's packed schedules.

In this newsletter you will find a list of the newly elected and appointed Board of Directors and Officers. Please feel free to contact any of us with your thoughts and suggestions, offers to volunteer, complaints - we'll take it all.

As for the near future, we will be starting with a dinner meeting on September 15, 1999 at Waters Restaurant in Irvine. Dr. Tom Dean of Coastal Resources will be our guest speaker. Mark the date now and look for more details soon in a separate meeting announcement.

I want to thank all of our members for their patience and support of this Chapter and hope we can continue to enjoy that support. This group of people, your Board and Officers, has come together out of sincere interest in creating and maintaining a successful group for all of us in Southern California and hope we can encourage your participation. Our group will ultimately reflect the interest and activity of its members!

A special note of thanks to Joe Gully for his efforts to jumpstart the group and coordination of the joint annual meeting on behalf of the Chapter.

Marilyn J. Schwartz
Chapter President

The First Nor/SoCal SETAC Joint Chapter Meeting Was A Success
contributed by: Joseph R. Gully

For those members who did not attend the first ever Northern/Southern California SETAC Joint Chapter Meeting, you missed quite an event. The conference was held at the Concord Hilton in Concord California on April 25-27, 1999 and attended by about 150 people including about 30 folks from Southern California.

The conference began on Sunday with three short courses on the topics of whole effluent toxicity, environmental chemistry, and probabilistic risk assessment of pesticides. After the short courses, the attendees were treated to a reception featuring many fine beers and wine as well as a wonderful variety of cheeses, pastas, fruits and vegetables. The evening was capped off by a beautiful and thought-provoking presentation by Steve Webster, Senior Marine Biologist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, on the value of our coastal biological resources.

Monday morning began with the usual formalities. Welcom- ing remarks were made by Mark Stelljes (NorCal SETAC President) and yours truly. Following a brief awards ceremony, again presented by Mark Stelljes, Brenda Sanders (JSA Environmental, SETAC Board of Directors) gave the audience a detailed summary of National SETAC activities. With the formalities out of the way, the attendees were treated to plenary presentations from Edmund Smith (NorCal SETAC Emeritus) and Steve Ritchie (CALFED). Ed discussed the integration of sustainability, science, and policy in the 21st century while Steve detailed the role of science and scientists in current and future CALFED programs.

After the plenary, the remainder of the conference consisted of meaty technical sessions. Fifty-two presentations comprised three concurrent platform sessions and seventeen posters were displayed throughout the entire meeting. The topics included multiple stressors, stormwater management, whole effluent toxicity, environmental toxicology, risk assessment, MTBE, Bay Protection and Toxic Cleanup Program, wildlife contamination, and regional monitoring programs. The quality of the technical sessions was outstanding and everyone who presented should be proud of their effort.

A welcome break from the vast scientific information was the Monday evening dinner and debate hosted by Barry Wilson (U.C. Davis) and Mike Johnson (U.C. Davis). The debate topics ranged from determination of ecosystem health to the validity of concerns over MTBE. Thanks to Barry and Mike for keeping the discussion lively and professional.

By all accounts, the first joint meeting of the NorCal and SoCal SETAC Chapters was a success and plans to hold such conferences every few years were agreed upon by the the organizers. I greatly appreciate the efforts of SoCal SETAC'ers Kenneth Schiff (SCCWRP) and Jack Anderson (Columbia Analytical Services) for organizing and chairing platform sessions and Ian Adam (CSDLAC) for his work as a student volunteer and projectionist. Finally, speaking for the SoCal SETAC Board, I want to thank all of you who traveled to Concord to present or support the meeting and represent the SoCal SETAC Chapter, I am sure it was worth your while.

Board Meeting Minutes, June 22, 1999
contributed by: B. Chris Stransky

On June 22nd, a SoCal SETAC Officer and Board of Directors meeting was held at the City of San Diego Aquatic Biology Offices overlooking San Diego Bay. Despite the distracting view of boats lazily drifting about the harbor, a number of important items were tackled during the meeting. Special thanks go to Joe Gully for organizing this highly effective meeting and laying the groundwork for what will be a very ambitious schedule.

The highlight of this meeting was the confirmation and appointment of Officers and Board members. Responsibilities and goals are now well-defined. A list of Officers and Board members and respective responsibilities follow this article.

The Chapter looks forward to a very productive year 1999/2000 despite a fairly languid period over the past six months. A number of upcoming events were discussed and planned during the meeting:

We welcome any additional suggestions for the website. Please address questions or inquiries to Chris Stransky at 858-458-9044 ext. 217 or by email at

Meet Your Board

A Quarterly portarait of SoCal SETAC Board Members:

Ian Adam


Hello fellow colleagues and welcome to the first segment of Meet the Board. I will be serving as a student board member for the 1999-2000 year and I look forward to the upcoming events for the local chapter throughout the next year. As an undergraduate, I attended Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo where I earned a degree in Ecology and Systematic Biology in December 1996. My first introduction to water quality issues arose when I was a student volunteer for the Morro Bay National Estuary Project. I attended several meetings at the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board and these meetings sparked

my interest in aquatic toxicology. I participated in a small scale water quality monitoring study for my undergraduate senior project and discovered the joy of sampling on disgruntled owners' private properties (with permission of course). The purpose of the study was to monitor nutrient loading along different sites of the Los Osos River by comparing water quality upstream and downstream from various agricultural fields. The study was a bit cumbersome but it helped me get my feet wet in the field of water quality research.

Upon graduation, I joined the County Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles in March of 1997. Within the Biology Department, I soon learned the freshwater and marine NPDES tests and was exposed to many different aspects of the environmental field. I took an interest in the statistical issues related to WET testing and the data interpretation corresponding to these tests. Working at LA County provided me with the opportunity to expand my knowledge about the NPDES program and to keep current with new EPA regulations. I joined SETAC as a regional member in April of 1998 and have been attending workshops and conferences since then.

For the next two years I will be working on my Master's Degree at the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at UCSB. The newly formed graduate program originated in 1994 and graduated its first Masters students in June 1998. The school's guiding principle of solving environmental problems with a multi-disciplinary approach is what guided me to the school. I will be focusing on environmental risk assessment and environmental management systems during my graduate studies. The Master's Thesis consists of a group project and I encourage any environmental scientists from the public or private sector to contact me if you have any research ideas in the Santa Barbara/Ventura area suitable for Master's students. I look forward to increasing student involvement within the chapter and working with the other board members from different agencies and companies.