Well our International Summer Academy on Spatial Ecotoxicology and Ecotoxicological Risk Assessment has started off with a bang!
Most of the international students arrived on Sunday. This year we have students from all over the world, with people coming from Central and South America, various countries in Africa, different places in the Middle East and India. It is quite an international mix!
The Summer Academy officially started on Monday when the students started their first module on Hazard Assessment of Chemical Stressors, this module, taught by Silke Bollmohr, covered how, when, and where contamination of the environment with chemicals can occur. The participants learned the characteristics of environmental chemicals, sources, releases, fate, transport, exposure pathways and distribution pattern of chemical stressors (e.g. pesticides). They also learned simple inexpensive yet effective sampling procedures of how to monitor and collect data in the field for characterization of exposure.
Tuesday’s module, also taught by Silke, was the Characterization of Effects on Environmental Health. In this module the students learned how toxic a pesticide is to different organisms, what effects it produces, how the effects relate to the assessment endpoints, and how these effects change with varying levels of pesticide exposure. The participants learned different toxicity tests to estimate the toxicity or hazard of a pesticide from short-term (acute) to long-term (chronic) laboratory studies as well as field studies, how to understand the different ecological effects that can be measured, how to apply and define toxicity endpoints, and how to calculate the risk.
I hope this has caught you all up on what is going on with our Summer Academy. The program is two weeks long, so stay tuned for my information on what the students are doing and learning!