Thank-you for your attendance!
The 10th International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant (ICMGP) was a resounding success! In late July 2011, we were pleased to welcome to Halifax, Nova Scotia, over 900 participants from 48 different countries. We are confident that work presented at the 10th ICMGP will inform the direction for important future mercury research and policy decisions for years to come.
Our opening ceremonies set the tone for the week, beginning with welcome messages from local, provincial, national, and international governments, and First Nations dignitaries. We were then very fortunate to have Richard Gelfond, the CEO of IMAX Corporation and founder of the Gelfond Fund for Mercury Related Research at Stony Brook University, share his personal challenges with mercury poisoning. Participants were also treated to an Inuit throat singing performance and an up-tempo performance of traditional maritime music.
The technical program examined the linkages among: 1) mercury sources to the environment; 2) atmospheric, terrestrial and aquatic transport and fate processes, and 3) the health effects associated with human and wildlife exposure to mercury. Delegates presented 421 oral platform and 529 poster presentations in 21 special and 15 general sessions that focused on every aspect of mercury science. The abstract volume and program are available here for download.
In April 2013, our plenary speakers published a comprehensive overview paper in Environmental Science and Technology entitled Mercury as a Global Pollutant: Sources, Pathways, and Effects. This critical review synthesizes our current understanding of Hg sources, atmosphere-land-ocean Hg dynamics and health effects, and considers the implications of Hg-control policies. The publication is available here for download.
The 10th ICMGP also included a number of great opportunities to network and socialize with our friends, colleagues and new acquaintances. The energetic Maritime kitchen party and historic evening at Pier 21, and local tours on Wednesday afternoon, gave us all a chance to unwind and enjoy the local flavour of Nova Scotia. Our Gala Event at the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site was the social (and physical) apex of the week, with spectacular views of the city, historical reenactments, and a wonderful maritime feast.
The 10th ICMGP was marked by the first presentation of the Kathryn R. Mahaffey Lifetime Achievement Award in Mercury Research. The inaugural award went to Professor Bill Fitzgerald from the University of Connecticut. We also handed out a number of student awards at the conference, recognizing best student oral platform presentations, best posters, and best presentations on northern research.
We would like to thank all of the people who helped make the 10th ICMGP a success. We gratefully acknowledge the generous support of all of our sponsors; without their support this event would not have been possible. We also sincerely thank the members of the Local Organizing Committee, the Science Steering Committee, all of our volunteers, and student award volunteer judges. Finally we thank the staff of the World Trade and Convention Centre, Halifax and the wonderful team at Agenda Managers for their spectacular support from the awarding of this conference to us in 2006 to the closing ceremonies.
Thank-you all for being here, and Farewell to Nova Scotia!