Summer is officially here, which means it’s time for weekends by the pool and vacations with the family. But for many of us here at Babcock Labs, summer marks the beginning of a very busy conference season that will extend through the end of fall. From sharing advances in science and technology to participating in discourse on industry-specific issues, conferences serve as an educational vehicle for industry progress. That’s why Babcock Labs makes a concerted effort to attend all major conferences and expositions that relate to the services we provide our clients.
One such conference is the Environmental Measurement Symposium (EMS), which is the combined meeting of the Forum on Laboratory Accreditation and the National Environmental Monitoring Conference (NEMC). EMS is co-sponsored by The NELAC Institute (TNI) under a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Forum portion of the conference, which addresses policy and technical issues affecting the accreditation of environmental laboratories in addition to field sampling and measurement organizations, includes four days of technical sessions featuring over 160 presentations and posters. The theme for the 2015 conference, which will take place in Chicago, Illinois from July 13—17 is, “Big Data: Environmental Measurement and Monitoring Data in the 21st Century.”
This year, three members of the Babcock Team will give presentations at the conference’s technical sessions. Babcock Labs’ Senior Chemist David Schiessel will give his presentation titled, “Rapid Trace Analysis of Synthetic Pyrethroids in Stormwater Using Online Preconcentration Followed by Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry,” during the Monday technical session on high performance liquid chromatography in environmental monitoring. Mr. Schiessel is proficient in method development and instrumental analysis of water, soil, and air using gas chromatography, liquid chromatography, mass spectrometry, tandem mass spectrometry, and post-column derivatization. He is currently Babcock Laboratories’ primary analyst for the analysis of emerging contaminants as well as UCMR3 methods for 1,4-dioxane, perflourinated organic acids, and hormones. Mr. Schiessel’s presentation will explain the newly developed methodology and its benefits to stormwater analysis.
On Thursday of the conference, Babcock Labs’ Corporate Communications Director Alexandra Chrystal will give her presentation as part of the technical session on operational and advocacy issues impacting the environmental laboratory industry. Ms. Chrystal, who is also a Teaching Associate for California State University, Fullerton, will discuss communication barriers in the environmental testing industry in her presentation titled, “Technical Jargon: Communicating Complex Data and Information Effectively.” Ms. Chrystal hopes that her formal education and instructional background in communication studies and five years of experience serving as a technical writer and communication specialist for the environmental testing industry will bring a fresh perspective to the highly technical conference program.
Lastly, I too will present during the technical session on operational and advocacy issues. The topic of my presentation is of particular importance to the environmental laboratory industry. With the recent transfer of the Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (ELAP) and the Drinking Water Program (DWP) to the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB), the industry faces significant challenges. Since the transition, I have made it my concern to act as an advocate for the entire environmental testing industry, calling for improvements that help promote and protect the public health via high ethical and quality standards. My presentation, which is titled “California Dreaming: Laboratory Expectations for Meaningful State ELAP Reform,” will discuss the challenges the industry faces and provide recommendations for program improvement.
Babcock Laboratories is proud to have such extensive representation at the 2015 Environmental Measurement Symposium. Not only will Mr. Schiessel, Ms. Chrystal, and I learn about advances in science and technology, and policy and technical issues affecting the environmental testing industry by attending the conference, we will also be active participants in the education of other conference attendees. At Babcock Labs we know that as experts in our field it is our responsibility share our knowledge with others and continue our own education.
The information gained from and contributed to this conference—and other conferences like this one—helps Babcock Labs maintain its status as the standard of excellence in the analytical testing industry.
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