Denver

Mile-High Safetydom

Science, safety, and majestic vistas take center stage at this year's conference and expo, which return to Denver for the first time since 1969.

The last time the nation's foremost industrial hygiene groups gathered in Denver in a large-scale way, American astronaut Neil Armstrong was still two months away from stepping down from the Apollo 11 landing craft, making "one giant leap for mankind." Within a month of that historic step, some 400,000 people would gather at Max Yasgur's dairy farm in New York to celebrate Woodstock. It was the year both "Sesame Street" and Boeing's 747 jumbo jet debuted in their respective airways. 1969 marked, on many fronts, the end of one era and the beginning of another.

Forty-one years later, the focus will be decidedly on the future when the 2010 American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Expo takes place at the Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver May 22-27. Co-sponsored by the American Industrial Hygiene Association and the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, the event's 71st outing will feature an impressive lineup of speakers, educational sessions and professional development courses (PDCs), and new programming, all supporting this year's theme: New Frontiers in Science and Practice.

Stage Presence

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., one of TIME magazine's "Heroes for the Planet" and Rolling Stone's "100 Agents of Change," will present the opening session keynote from 8-9:30 a.m. on May 24. His message -- honed from his work as senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, chief prosecuting attorney for the Hudson Riverkeeper, president of Waterkeeper Alliance, and the environmental advisor to Napo Pharmaceuticals -- is titled "A Contract with Our Future." Afterward, Kennedy, the author of Crimes Against Nature, The Riverkeepers, and several other titles, will hold a book signing at the AIHA Booth (623).

If Kennedy is one of the nation's most well-known crusaders against environmental damage caused by certain types of coal mining, Cecil Edward Roberts, Jr., president of the United Mine Workers of America, is one of the country's most prominent proponents for mining's benefits. In a rare speaker billing and fine balancing act -- and an AIHce first -- Roberts will take the stage for May 25's General Session from 8-9 a.m. The sixth-generation coal miner is currently a member of the executive committee of the AFL-CIO's Executive Council and chair of the Executive Council Committee on Safety and Health.

The May 26 General Session from 8-9 a.m. teams OSHA chief David Michaels, Ph.D., MPH, and NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D., MPH, JD, for a conference-themed discussion on "New Frontiers in Science and Practice." Fresh from moderating "OSHA Listens" in March, Michaels will be making his first appearance at AIHce since being sworn in as OSHA assistant secretary in December. As with Trumka's session, the audience will have an opportunity to contribute questions on current and future OEHS issues that may be answered during the session, so organizers encourage attendees to come prepared with questions or to e-mail them to AskDrMichaelsDrHoward@aiha.org. Following the session, the discussion continues in an open-forum Ask the Expert session.

Higher Education

As with the previous 70 AIHce events, the 2010 version will be chock-full of educational and networking opportunities, including an assortment of roundtable discussions, "Tech Talks," poster sessions, pre- and post-conference workshops, technical tours, and 67 PDCs. New this year are a Product Demo Theater sponsored by the Colorado Safety Association and a symposium on Leadership in Energy and Design (LEED) and green building design, construction, and operation. The popular Unsolved IH Mysteries Workshop is returning in an enhanced format. The hub of much conference activity is the expo, which will be open the following hours:

      Monday, May 24, 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
      Tuesday, May 25, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
      Wednesday, May 26, 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Bring Walking Shoes

Denver has spent more than $8 billion in the past decade on new attractions, including doubling the size of its convention center. Considering the mileage you are likely to accumulate in that building alone -- and more, if you take advantage of the restaurants and other amenities located within a 10-block radius of the center -- you should keep in mind that Denver is a walker's city. Because of the convention center's central location to all activity, conference organizers note shuttle service to and from AIHce hotels will not be off ered this year.

For more information, including registration forms, a schedule of PDCs and educational programming, and a Hotel Locator to gauge the distance of your hotel to the center, visit www.aihce2010.org.

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