W&M participates in international mercury conference

  • International collaborationThe mercury GIG is interdisciplinary and international.

    International collaboration

In the second sGIG-sponsored exchange with China, students and faculty members from the College of William & Mary traveled to Guiyang, China, to share their ongoing research involving the South River in Virginia with attendees at the 9th International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant. The team also shared its research with scientists and students at Central China Normal University (CCNU) and at Guizhou Normal University.

A unique interdisciplinary mercury conference, the 2010 International Mercury EXPO, is scheduled to be held at William & Mary from April 22 to April 25. In addition to traditional science investigations, it will feature art and theater, as well as include activities for middle- and high-school students.

During the conference, Mike Newman, A. Marshall Acuff Jr. Professor at the College's Virginia Institute of Marine Science, presented "Modeling Mercury Trophic Movement to Inform River Management Decisions." Dan Cristol, professor of biology, followed up that presentation with his own analysis of advancements in understanding how mercury once thought contained in rivers enters the global food chain.

Mercury Pollution is truly a “Hazard without Borders” – a global environmental problem that cannot be tackled by one academic discipline or one country, according to Sharon Zuber, assistant professor of English and co-director of the Mercury sGIG.  "This scientific and cultural exchange, facilitated by Prof. Xiong Li, of CCNU, represents the vision of Laurie Koloski, director of the Wendy and Emery Reves Center for International Studies at the College," Zuber said. “The goal of the project is to create new ways of thinking and communicating about global issues across borders – international and academic."

GIGS, or Global Inquiry Groups, bring students and faculty together in collaborative explorations of topics with international significance. They are co-sponsored by the Reves Center and the Roy R. Charles Center at the College.