The Irish Environmental Researcher’s Colloquium (ENVIRON) is the largest annual gathering of environmental researchers in Ireland, regularly attracting in the region of 300 delegates. This year’s colloquium is organised in a joint partnership between the Environmental Sciences Association of Ireland (ESAI) and the Faculty of Science and Health at the Athlone Institute of Technology. At the colloquium approx. 100 oral papers and 80 scientific posters will be presented on various environmental topics including Water Quality and Resources; Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services; Waste Management; Energy; Climate Change; Invasive Species; Environmental Policy and Communication; Environmental Socioeconomics; Ecotoxicology; Environment and Human Health; Environmental Management; Air Quality and Urban Development; Marine and Coastal; Sustainable Transport; Nanotechnology and the Environment; Sustainable Land Use and Agriculture. Athlone Institute of Technology are delighted to be hosting the 27th Environ conference from Monday 10th to Wednesday 12th April 2017. AIT is a campus that is at the forefront of education in Ireland with over 53 different nationalities represented on campus and over €150 million invested in the campus infrastructure and facilities since 2000. Athlone Institute of Technology has been recently named as the “Institute of Technology of the Year – Runner Up 2017” in the Sunday Times Good University Guide.
The colloquium was first held in 1990 in the Institute of Technology, Sligo and has since been held in most of the Universities and Institutes of Technologies in Ireland. This event provides an effective platform for Environmental Scientists to present their research to a wide audience.
An innovative feature of this colloquium is the presentation of science to the general public in an accessible manner. The theme of this year’s conference is “Putting the Eco in the Economy”. This year, the conference will open on Monday evening with a public engagement debate on the topic of ‘Draining the Shannon’. This structured debate will consist of invited speakers who will outline their positions followed by a questions and answers session with Environ delegates and members of the public. Since its establishment in 1990 one of the main strengths of the colloquium has been that it attracts delegates from a wide variety of disciplines, and in a time when science, engineering and environmental science is becoming increasingly fragmented and specialised, the colloquium provides a unique opportunity for researchers to learn what is happening outside their own research area. In recent years, industrial engagement has increased with several industries opting to utilise the colloquium to promote their activities while addressing their Green Agenda.
The colloquium is very much an “Irish” event and has a loyal support base across the Higher Education Institutes and indigenous industries who attend and present at the event each year. The event therefore has a lot of “repeat” delegates, who come to the event on an annual basis and perceive the colloquium as a good way of catching up with the latest in Irish environmental research along with networking with colleagues and industry.