Highlighted Sessions in Environmental and Occupational Physiology to be Presented at the 2021 ACSM Annual Meeting
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Highlighted Sessions in Environmental and Occupational Physiology to be Presented at the 2021 ACSM Annual Meeting

Caroline J. Smith, Ph.D., FACSM | Apr 01, 2021

annual meeting environmental and occupational physiologyFor those still considering whether or not to register for the 2021 ACSM virtual Annual Meeting, please keep reading to hear about the ‘not to be missed’ sessions within the Environmental and Occupation Physiology (EOP) topical area. EOP offers a comprehensive virtual program for the 2021 conference, with some sessions rolling over from 2020 in addition to many new and exciting sessions. This topical area is highly relevant to anyone interested in topics relating to human health and performance in environmental extremes, including cold exposure, heat, diving physiology, altitude and microgravity. Sessions range from basic science to applications for training, clothing and policy development in athletes, clinical populations, military, firefighters and related occupations. Many of the sessions will appeal to researchers, athletes, coaches and clinicians, so please join us for some great EOP sessions.

We are excited to promote the EOP highlighted symposium which rolled over from the 2020 program, and aims to address the critically important topic of “Environmental Pollution, Climate Change and Human Health.” This session will be held on Thursday, June 3rd at 9:30 a.m. and brings together speakers from the U.S., Australia, Spain and Monaco. Talks include “Cooling Athletes with a Spinal Cord Injury During Exercise,” presented by Michelle Trbovich, M.D.; “Simple and Inexpensive Heat-Mitigation Strategies for Older Individuals Exposed to Extreme Heat,” by Lily Hospers; and presentations by Mar Viana, Ph.D., and Gemma Castaño-Vinyals, Ph.D., concerning air pollution and the consequences of pollution on human health, respectively. The session will be rounded up by Paolo Emilio Adami, M.D., Ph.D., discussing the World Athletics commitment to a cleaner environment, focusing on air quality, athletic performance and implications for athletes. Please join us for what will be an excellent series of talks!

A second theme in EOP programming concerns sex-related differences in physiological responses. This provides another timely topic, discussing “Responses to Environmental Challenges for Women” chaired by Lacy Alexander, Ph.D., FACSM, and Gabrielle Giersch, Ph.D., which will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 3rd. This brings together an excellent group of speakers including Nina Stachenfeld, Ph.D., FACSM, highlighting current knowledge gaps and emphasizing the increased need to address female-specific responses to extreme environments. Billie Alba, Ph.D. and Gabrielle Giersch, Ph.D., from United States Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine (USARIEM) will discuss sex-related modulation of physiological responses to cold and hypoxia, and thermoregulatory considerations across the menstrual cycle, respectively. Finally, Stacy Sims, Ph.D., will complete the session discussing strategies and considerations for female athletes.

Another exciting session is a symposium on “Skin Wettedness in Thermoregulation” that will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 1st, chaired by Zachary Schlader, Ph.D., FACSM, and including Ollie Jay, Ph.D., FACSM, George Havenith, Ph.D., FACSM, Davide Filingeri, Ph.D., and Nicole Vargas, Ph.D. For those interested in physiological responses during ultra-endurance events, Robert Coker, Ph.D., FACSM, Brent Ruby, Ph.D., and John Quindry, Ph.D., FACSM, will present a symposium entitled “Friends and Enemies of Physiological Resilience under Extreme Conditions” at noon on Saturday, June 5th . Topics will include cytokine responses, autonomic control, water turnover and nutrient availability during exposure to multiple stressors experienced by ultra-endurance athletes. The 2021 virtual meeting also features a comprehensive range of e-posters covering all aspects of environmental, occupational and military physiology, including physiological responses to heat, cold, altitude, hyperbaria and microgravity. Applied aspects of the EOP topical area also highlight military, police and firefighter relevant tasks and physiological responses.

We have a phenomenal EOP program spanning the entire conference, with sessions also available to access beyond the conference period. Due to the EOP topical area boasting a very full program, only a small number of sessions are highlighted here. Please review the full EOP program and other relevant meeting information and we hope you join us for the 2021 ACSM virtual Annual Meeting

Caroline Smith HeadshotCaroline J. Smith, Ph.D., FACSM, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health and Exercise Science, Appalachian State University, NC. She is Director of the Thermal and Microvascular Physiology Laboratory specializing in thermal physiology. Her research program broadly focuses on thermoregulatory responses during exposure to heat and dermal carcinogen exposure in occupational settings. Dr. Smith received her PhD in Thermal Physiology from the Environmental Ergonomics Research Center, Loughborough University, UK, and completed postdoctoral training at Noll Laboratory, The Pennsylvania State University. She is the topical representative for Environmental and Occupational Physiology on the ACSM program committee.