Nov 192014

Frontiers of Public Health and Risk Management
Joint Seminar with Society for Risk Analysis – Metro Region

The fall 2014 regional ISES Tri-State (NJ, NY, PA) Chapter meeting was held from 3:00 – 6:00 pm on Thursday November 13, 2014 at the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute (EOHSI) of Rutgers University. The meeting was jointly sponsored with the Society for Risk Analysis – Metro Region. Four speakers presented on topics ranging from nanotechnology to climate change broadly encompassing many areas of current interest in exposure science and risk analysis. The common theme and title of the seminar was “Frontiers of Public Health and Risk Management.”

The first presenter was Dr. Gediminas Mainelis, professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences at Rutgers University. His presentation, “Exposure to Nanoparticles during use of Nanotechnology-Enabled Consumer Products” highlighted the different ways in which nanomaterials are incorporated into consumer products and unexpected ways in which we may then become exposed to these released nanoparticles. Studies conducted in the Mainelis laboratory can be found here: reference 1, reference 2, reference 3, and reference 4. The second presenter was Ashley DeNegre, PhD candidate in the Rutgers Department of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources and student of Dr. Nina Fefferman’s lab. Her presentation, “World of Warcraft: Simulating and Controlling Virtual Epidemics” demonstrated how an accidental avatar epidemic taking place in the virtual world of the computer game “World of Warcraft” in 2005 can serve as a model for understanding human behavior during times of widespread sickness and panic. For more information on this field of research, please see reference 1 and reference 2.

The second half of the seminar focused on public health implications of extreme weather events and climate change. Jennifer Gonzalez, LEED Green Associate and Senior Environmental Planner of the Louis Berger Group, presented “Risk Reduction Strategies for Building Resilient Communities.” Her presentation was on a community based approach for assessing the areas of most impact for flooding events in the case of a 10 or 100 year storm in and around Hoboken/Jersey City/NYC. The final presentation was by Dr. Jaime Madrigano, assistant professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the Rutgers School of Public Health. Her presentation “Climate Change and Public Health,” provided evidence for interplay between social/environmental factors in NYC and vulnerability to heat wave mortality as a consequence of climate change. Her presentation also touched on the influence of the cleanliness of fuel use throughout NYC and how it directly impacts public health. For more information, please see reference 1 and reference 2 by Dr. Madrigano. The joint seminar concluded with a networking reception.

Feb 192014

 Date and Time:  February 17, 2014, 12 – 1 pm
Attendees: Qingyu Meng, Zhi-Hua (Tina) Fan, Rick Opiekun, Phil Hopke, Kathy Black, Jennifer Therkorn, Michael Zelenka, Joann Held

Topics discussed:

  1. Spring general meeting
    • To be held in May
    • Possible topics for meeting speaker
      • Climate change and human exposure issues related to the SOAS study (
      • Alternative fuel vehicles and differences caused to population exposures by using or promoting these vehicles
      • Exposure to nanomaterials from nanotechnology-enabled consumer products
  2. Council election year
    • Timeframe for election process is described in the bylaws
    • Process begins around summer time by recommending candidates for positions
    • Ballots go out to voters in September and final results of voting due in December
  3. Newsletters
    • Good for keeping in touch with Chapter throughout year
  4. Student travel program
    • $300 will be given to a student as reimbursement for travel related and/or conference attendance related costs
    • Students must be registered full-time at their university
    • The student must be presenting at the annual ISES conference
    • A committee will be organized to review applicant materials – committee size will be determined by the number of applications received
    • The committee will evaluate applicants using a standardized scoring sheet to rate the following applicant materials:
      • An application form from our website used to obtain basic applicant information and adviser signature to verify that the rest of the student’s travel expenses will be met
      • A letter of support from the student’s adviser
      • A one page summary written by student which must address:
        • Their research goals
        • How their research relates to bigger picture exposure science issues
        • Relevance of their research to the ISES Tri-State Chapter area
        • Why they want to attend the meeting
    • Meng and Jennifer will revise the application form and student travel program guidelines to send out to the Council for final review and approval
Nov 262013

The fall 2013 regional ISES Tri-State (NJ, NY, PA) Chapter meeting was held from 12:00 – 2:00 pm on Wednesday November 13, 2013 at the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute (EOHSI) of Rutgers University. The meeting was jointly held with the Air and Waste Management Association (A&WMA) Mid-Atlantic States Section. Two seminars were presented focusing on the topic of “Environmental Health Effects of Hurricane Sandy.” Lunch was served during the event. The first presenter was Raymond Cantor, Chief Advisor to the NJDEP Commissioner and overseer of the Office of Legal Affairs and the Office of Economic Analysis. His presentation sparked discussion over our vulnerability to future storms and ways in which NJ can better prepare the environmental and energy infrastructure. The second presenter was Brian Buckley, Administrative Director of Laboratories at Rutgers EOHSI and resident of the Jersey Shore. His presentation included his own photographs depicting post storm damage in his neighborhood and ongoing work to study post storm bioaerosol exposures. The meeting was a successful collaboration between the ISES Tri-State Chapter and A&WMA Mid-Atlantic States section through which the attendees could learn about and discuss a topic of mutual concern and interest.