International Society of Environmental Forensics
1. Another new degree program in Environmental Forensics is being offered from the School of Natural Sciences at Edith Cowan University (ECU) in Joondalup, Western Australia! For more information, please click here.
2. Environmental Forensics Editorial Board Member Awarded CCPE Scholarship to Study PDBEs in the Artic Environment
Monica Danon-Schaffer, M.Eng., P. Eng., a member of the Environmental Forensics Editorial Board has been awarded a prestigious Canadian Council of Professional Engineers (CCPE) Manulife Financial Scholarship.
Six cash prizes totaling $55,000 are awarded yearly by the CCPE to reward excellence in the Canadian engineering profession and to support advanced studies and research. To be eligible, candidates must be registered as a professional engineer (P.Eng./ing.) in good standing with the provincial/territorial professional association/order in their province/territory.
Ms. Danon-Schaffer is now pursuing a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at the University of British Columbia. For her research, she is investigating a compound called Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs) used in many common items including computers, televisions and upholstery. Ms. Danon-Schaffer hopes her study will lead to the discovery of the sources of PDBEs in Canada. She also wants to draw the attention of authorities such as the Government of Canada, the Arctic Council and the Inuit Circumpolar Conference to the affect of PDBEs on the Arctic environment.
Ms. Danon-Schaffer is licensed as an engineer in both British Columbia and Ontario, and is employed by NovaTec Consultants, Inc. in Vancouver.
For more information, go to: http://www.ccpe.ca/e/prog_awards_2.cfm#Recipients
3. Forensic Isotope Ratio Mass Spectometry (FIRMS) Network has released
Forensic Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry Network – Technical Strategy. 2003.
Prepared by Dr. Susan A. Phillips and Sean Doyle of the Forensic Explosives Laboratory, Dstl Fort Halstead, Sevenoaks, Kent, England
The goal of the network is to bring together IRMS researchers, end users and instrument manufacturers. For more information go to: http://www.forensic-isotopes.rdg.ac.uk/
4. World's First Degree in Environmental Forensics!
Students are about to enroll on the world's first ever degree course in Environmental Forensics. This degree extends the University of Wales, Bangor's excellent reputation for teaching and research in environmental disciplines.
In a pro-active move to ensure that the UK has the skills to cope with anticipated changes in environmental legislation, Dr Stephen Mudge at the University of Wales, Bangor's School of Ocean Sciences, has developed the new degree in Environmental Forensics. Dr Mudge is one of the UK's leading environmental forensics experts. The degree will fill an urgent and growing need for multi-disciplinary graduates with the ability to play biological, physical or chemical detective to explain the cause or source of changes to any given ecosystem. Principally needed in environmental protection and remediation, other industries and environmental management agencies also increasingly need personnel who possess these multi-disciplinary analytical skills.
Currently European legislation means that the polluter pays an often paltry fine for pollution incidents. Mudge predicts that European legislation is set to converge with current US practices. In the US, the polluter pays the hefty clean up costs of any incidents. There, multi-billion dollar law suits to ascertain responsibility for clean up costs following recent or not so recent pollution incidents are not uncommon. Changes to European legislation will require personnel with credible and established expertise in 'traceability', to ascertain who or what caused the pollution and when.
As Mudge explains, "The legal framework in Europe will probably move towards the 'polluter remediates' principle taken in the US. In this situation, it is vital to establish the source of the pollution to determine who is responsible for its remediation, whether a previous owner of a piece of contaminated land or an adjacent piece of land. The need to establish original cause of any form of pollution calls for a greater number and level of environmental forensic experts to deal with such cases."
"There are also wider applications. Currently, scientist from various disciplines and working for a range of governmental agencies or consultancies are increasingly becoming involved in this type of work. The forensic side requires a broad multi-disciplinary tool kit. The forensic skills are the same whether the situation involves the classic industrial pollution and clean up of 'brown' industrial land, establishing the cause of a decline in fisheries stock, whether caused by overfishing, the effects of agricultural 'run off' or the introduction of an alien biological organism, to tracing the likely source of a river or estuarine pollution incident.
The International Society of Environmental Forensics has welcomed the creation of this new Environmental Forensics degree at the University of Wales, Bangor. Dr Stephen Mudge, who developed the degree course is also an Associate Editor of the International Journal of Environmental Forensics.
"The innovative degree in Environmental Forensics offered by the University of Wales, Bangor is an enlightened response to the global demand for environmental forensics information," said Robert Morrison, Editor of the International Society of Environmental Forensics.
"The degree represents the first institution offering this cutting edge information to the next generation of environmental scientists. The University of Wales, Bangor and especially Dr. Stephen Mudge, are applauded for their recognition of this need and for the creative program designed to provide this knowledge," he added.