Friday, February 15, 2013

Researchers present at GeoGen Conference

Four researchers with the WaTER Center - Dr. David Sabatini, Dr. Jim Chamberlain, Laura Brunson, and Anne Kroeger - presented at the GeoGen 2013 Conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Feb. 5-7. This conference, the first of its kind, focused on naturally-occurring water contaminants of geologic origin, primarily arsenic and fluoride. Participants from 15 countries were present to share research and dialogue about such topics as water treatment methods, health impacts and assessments, and alternative water source options that avoid ingestion of harmful contaminants.

Anne and Laura (first and second from right) share drinks and laughs with friends at the Conference banquet.
Conference participants were treated to an evening of Ethiopian dance and music.
Laura (PhD candidate, Environmental Engineering) presented on "Optimizing fluoride removal materials for drinking water in Ethiopia" while Jim (WaTER staff engineer) presented on "Alternative water sources in Cambodia: reaching the bottom billion". Anne (PhD candidate, Anthropology) presented a much-admired poster on her research, "The health effects of fluorosis in the Ethiopian Rift Valley", and Dr. Sabatini (WaTER Center Director) was an invited keynote presenter. His address was a case study of geogenic contaminant mitigation in the U.S., comparing three different-sized communities and their public water supply decisions.
Dr. Sabatini presents at the gathering of 85 participants.

Injera, made of teff flour, is a yeast-risen flatbread and the national staple of Ethiopia.
The GeoGen Conference was organized and co-hosted by EAWAG (Switzerland) and Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia. Sponsors for the conference included World Vision, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Chemical Society of Ethiopia.

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