SEGH Articles

SEGH 2020 Geochemistry for Sustainable Development

18 November 2019
SEGH is pleased to invite you to the 36th international conference from the 6-10th July 2020 in Eldoret, Kenya with the theme of Geochemistry for Sustainable Development.

An exponential growth of interest in Africa could see a quick rise in growth of SEGH memberships and activities owing to the need for multi-disciplinary research and connectivity between research challenges and in particular need to address the United Nations Strategic Development Goals (SDGs). The first SEGH international conference in Africa alongside Victoria Falls in Livingstone, Zambia attracted large numbers of new members and interest in creating multi-disciplinary networks, particularly following the creation of an African regional group. To consolidate on this progress a second conference will aim to strengthen the presence of SEGH in Africa, a region that is rapidly developing for which its growing economic activities are centred on exploitation of natural resources through intensification of agriculture and fisheries, mineral extraction, rapid population growth and a predicted shift from rural to urban living over the next 50 years.  Such development can benefit from the ability of SEGH community to undertake research across disciplines to inform sustainable development.

Eldoret is a fast growing city with many world standard Hotel venues for conferences. Its climate and security are highly predictable and suitable for persons drawn from different climatic zones. Lying at 2300m above sea level it has a mostly balmy warm climate, safe and peaceful. It has good international air links from within and beyond Africa. It is a renowned home of the World’s best long distance runners and a home of two key National Universities (University of Eldoret and Moi University) and a number of tertiary level colleges, hence is a fairly young town. It is surrounded by a number of key tourist attractions for day trips including the Kakamega Tropical Rain Forest, the iconic Rift valley, Mount Elgon National park famous for the Kitum Cave elephants and Bogoria hot springs – a sanctuary for birds especially the pink flamingos.

The themes of the 36th International conference will be:

Urban & Industrial development

Agriculture & Fisheries

Health

Technology

The Boma Inn will provide the conference venue for oral and poster presentations, alongside exhibitors and sponsors from the 6-8th July.  The venue is owned by the Red Cross and will provide a professional venue for all activities, similar to the experience for those who attended in Zambia. Poster presentations will include a flash presentation as for the last two conferences, but with a twist.  For 2020, rather than 90 seconds they will last for 1 minute 59 seconds in recognition of the human endeavour to break the 2 hour marathon record.  Oral presentations will largely comprise of 12 minutes + 3 minutes for questions.  We ask interested delegates to start planning their abstracts and will aim for an earlier abstract deadline towards the end of January 2020 to allow for delegates to seek permission to attend and visa authorisation. 

Training day – on the 9th July we will host a training day at the University of Eldoret and anticipate some of the courses to include QGIS, R for statistics, Quality Assurance for laboratories, how to write/review a paper along with other topics to be confirmed. 

Field Trip – on the 10th July, the field trip will take in the Artisanal Gold Mining operation in Kakamega to view the operations and challenges facing miners and their families.  This will be followed by a trip through the Kakamega rainforest towards the tea estates of Nandi Hills and back to Eldoret.

Additional information about the conference will be released in the coming weeks and a website is in preparation for the submission of abstracts and registration.  We will provide more information regarding travel options and potential leisure activities for those who wish to take a holiday whilst in Kenya.  A number of hotel options exist within 1-2km of the conference venue, for which transport will be provided each day to the venue.  Prices range from $30-40 per night for budget options (Palmers), $40-80 per night for mid-budget (greatest number of rooms – Club Eldoret, Poa Place Resort, Noble Resort, Kenmosa Resort) and at the conference venue itself $120-150 per night (Boma Inn).  We will negotiate further discounts for the conference.

We aim to charge $250 for African and student delegates and $500 for all others, but will confirm costs in the coming weeks.  We aim to include cocktail drinks and snacks on the conference days for poster sessions in the evenings, as well as a conference dinner for 6-8th July within the delegate cost.  Subject to sponsorship, we are also aiming to include the field trip within the same cost and will provide the training day free of cost. More details on the conference themes, guides for the posters and presentations and logistics will be provided in a short while.

Conference lead

Professor Odipo Osano, University of Eldoret

Assisted by:

Conference Organising Committee

Dr Lydia Olaka, University of Nairobi

Dr Diana Menya, Moi University

Dr Chris Aura, Kenya Ministry for Fisheries Research Institute

Dr Michael Watts, British Geological Survey (President SEGH)

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Latest on-line papers from the SEGH journal: Environmental Geochemistry and Health

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    Abstract

    This study enhances the understanding of the particulate matters (PM2.5 and PM10) and their physical and chemical behavior over the Taj Mahal, Agra, in North-Central India. The mass concentration was determined, and the shape and size of the particles and chemical characterizations have been carried out using SEM–EDX. The high level and significant variation of PM10 (162.2 µg m−3) and PM2.5 (83.9 µg m−3) were observed. The exceedance factor of the present study region is in critical and moderate condition. Morphological characterization reveals the particles of different shapes and sizes, while elemental analysis shows the presence of Si, Al, Fe, Ca, K, Cl, Mg, Na, Cu, and Zn. The dominance of Si indicated the contribution of natural sources, i.e., soil over this region. Three significant sources, viz. soil/road paved dust/vegetative emissions, vehicular/industrial emissions, and intermingling of dust and combustion particles, have been identified using principal component analysis over North-Central India. Health risk analysis of particulate matter identified carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic metals in the present study, which comes in contact with human beings during inhalation. The non-carcinogenic risk was much higher than the acceptable level. The high carcinogenic risks were found in Zn in PM10 and Cu in PM2.5 for both children and adults.

  • Integration of remote sensing data and in situ measurements to monitor the water quality of the Ismailia Canal, Nile Delta, Egypt 2019-12-10

    Abstract

    The Ismailia Canal is one of the most important tributaries of the River Nile in Egypt. It is threatened by extinction from several sources of pollution, in addition to the intersection and nearness of the canal path with the Bilbayes drain and the effluent from the two largest conventional wastewater treatment plants in Greater Cairo. In this study, the integration of remote sensing and geospatial information system techniques is carried out to enhance the contribution of satellite data in water quality management in the Ismailia Canal. A Landsat-8 operational land imager image dated 2018 was used to detect the land use and land cover changes in the area of study, in addition to retrieving various spectral band ratios. Statistical correlations were applied among the extracted band ratios and the measured in situ water quality parameters. The most appropriate spectral band ratios were extracted from the NIR band (near infrared/blue), which showed a significant correlation with eight water quality metrics (CO3, BOD5, COD, TSS, TDS, Cl, NH4, and fecal coliform bacteria). A linear regression model was then established to predict information about these important water quality parameters along Ismailia Canal. The developed models, using linear regression equations for this study, give a set of powerful decision support frameworks with statistical tools to provide comprehensive, integrated views of surface water quality information under similar circumstances.

  • Geophagy among East African Chimpanzees: consumed soils provide protection from plant secondary compounds and bioavailable iron 2019-12-01

    Abstract

    Geophagy, the intentional consumption of earth materials, has been recorded in humans and other animals. It has been hypothesized that geophagy is an adaptive behavior, and that clay minerals commonly found in eaten soil can provide protection from toxins and/or supplement micronutrients. To test these hypotheses, we monitored chimpanzee geophagy using camera traps in four permanent sites at the Budongo Forest Reserve, Uganda, from October 2015–October 2016. We also collected plants, and soil chimpanzees were observed eating. We analyzed 10 plant and 45 soil samples to characterize geophagic behavior and geophagic soil and determine (1) whether micronutrients are available from the soil under physiological conditions and if iron is bioavailable, (2) the concentration of phenolic compounds in plants, and (3) if consumed soils are able to adsorb these phenolics. Chimpanzees ate soil and drank clay-infused water containing 1:1 and 2:1 clay minerals and > 30% sand. Under physiological conditions, the soils released calcium, iron, and magnesium. In vitro Caco-2 experiments found that five times more iron was bioavailable from three of four soil samples found at the base of trees. Plant samples contained approximately 60 μg/mg gallic acid equivalent. Soil from one site contained 10 times more 2:1 clay minerals, which were better at removing phenolics present in their diet. We suggest that geophagy may provide bioavailable iron and protection from phenolics, which have increased in plants over the last 20 years. In summary, geophagy within the Sonso community is multifunctional and may be an important self-medicative behavior.