NATO Advanced Research Workshop

Use of humates to remediate polluted environments:
From theory to practice

Zvenigorod, Russia, September 23-29, 2002


Dear NATO-ARW Participants and NATO-Book Contributors:

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you!

Let me wish you a peaceful and prosperous year 2004: inspiration in your scientific endeavors and good luck with everyday routine, most of all, with fundraising for your research. Be lucky, be successful, and if you think that you are not either of those - just wait and don't complain, - and the fortune will smile at you. So, I wish you all be blessed with the smile of fortune, - be healthy, happy, and stay optimistic.

To keep up with this optimistic mood, let me inform you on the situation with our book. Many of you were putting me this question, and I tried long enough to escape answering it. But the New Year Eve is the best time to review the results of the going year and to make plans for the coming year, - it is also a good time for making decisions.

With this preamble I can inform you about the following: we have in our porto folio all 24 announced chapters submitted (except for the optional chapter on the outcome of the round-table discussion). All the chapters are reviewed, corrected by the English language editor, and 20 out of 24 are revised by the authors. The main problem we have is that even after editing the English of the Chapters of the majority of Russian-speaking authors, they still need scientific language editing to sound smoothly for the native English speakers. These are all together about 6-7 chapters that make 200 pages, - and the main delay with the progress of the book was caused by the tryings to find an appropriate editor for this work. But we are definitely running out of time, and I had to remind myself on the good Russian saying: "the better is an enemy of the good", - that is why my proposal is to leave those Chapters as they are, - and go on with formatting and revising of the final versions of the chapters, - this will take us as a whole about three more months. So, if we agree on this procedure, - I can promise you that by April 1, 2004 (it is not a joke) - the book will be in the shape ready to submit to the Kluwer Academic Publisher. Once we are done with it, - we can plan our next ARW meeting: "Use of humics to remediate polluted environments: from practice to theory". - Let me know, please, how do you feel about this suggestion. So, with the help of the Fortune we can hope that year 2004 will be special to all of us: a year of our book publishing and of planting the seed for our new meeting.

Let us hope, believe, and .... work! Together we can make this dream come true.

Cheers everybody, - to the dreams coming true!!!!

With warmest regards and best wishes,

Irina Perminova.

Dear NATO-ARW participants and guests,
This is a concluding infoletter on the NATO-ARW "Use of humates to remediate polluted environments: from theory to practice". The first information is very easy to put together: the ARW did take place from September 23-29, 2002 in Zvenigorod, Russia. Both the conference site - the resort hotel "Zvenigorodskii" of the Russian Academy of Sciences located in the forest at the banks of the Moscow River and the conference time - the Indian summer provided the beautiful scenery and a tmosphere for the ARW activities.

51 participants from 18 countries (according to the present-day location) or from 21 countries (according to the countries of origin) came to take part at this meeting. From 3 to 5 guests were also attending our meetings on almost daily basis. The picture gallery of the participants and guests is to keep everybody's images. A subtitle of the workshop: "From theory to practice" provided that the overwhelming majority of the participants were scientists (33) or Ph.D. Students (8). The engineers constituted not numerous, but a substantial fraction of 5 people, the representatives of humates producing industry provided the same size group of 5 people.

The program of the ARW (also available as a PDF-file with Russian translation) included very intense scientific and societal activities. The picture gallery of the events provides a vivid reflection of how the program activities proceeded under above surroundings. Humic substances and humates - commercially available humic products - were in focus of all the scientific discussions during the workshop in full agreement with its title. The first-class lectures presented by the key speakers of the ARW, and very complementary, multifaceted posters presented by the ARW participants provided a sound scientific basis for the follow-up brainstorming of the working groups and very intense discussions during the concluding Round Table session. The highlights of the working group discussions are given in the scientific summary of the ARW. The winners of the poster competition nominated by the evaluation committee - S. Kalmykov (#1), Ph. Schmitt-Kopplin (#2), M. Ksenofontova (#3), O. Yakimenko (#4) - got additional appraisal thanks to the monetary awards allocated by Muefit Tarhan - Director of Humintech Ltd. - Many thanks to Humintech for the support of young researchers!
The scientific output of the ARW as a whole is to be accomplished with issuing a book: "Use of humic substances to remediate polluted environments: from theory to practice" as a NATO ASI SERIES VOLUME, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht. The book content is based on the key lectures and complementary posters presented at the ARW. Of particular importance is that the topics covered by the book chapters are much broader and complete than those discussed during the ARW sessions. This has become possible thanks to a kind agreement of the leading researchers in the relevant fields to prepare the corresponding chapters for the book. The contributions by J. De Kreuk, J. Field, D. Gamble, V. Moulin, provide a great added value of the book and are highly appreciated. The concluding chapter on the results of working group discussions is most difficult to put together, but when we succeed - it will be a major contribution into defining the key research needs aimed at promotion of humics based products on the market of remediation technologies.

Enclosed, please, find editorial instructions for the book contributors, guide for preparation of camera-ready typescripts, copyright transfer, and database sheet. The main deadlines are: December 1, 2002 - the manuscripts submission to the editors, January 1, 2003 - the reviews submission to the editors, February 1, 2003 - the revised camera-ready copies submission to the editors, April 1, 2003 - the book submission to the Kluwer Publisher, September 2003 - book issue by the Kluwer.

In addition to the book issue, another particular outcome of the workshop was provoked by the intervention of the engineers into the discussions at the Round Table session of the ARW. The initiative group (S. Dias and H. Thomas) prepared the presentations on the case studies of remediation with a message that "from theory to practice" is only one side of the coin. To reach a real progress in promotion of humic preparations into the practice of remediation, another side of the coin - "from practice to theory" - should be given particular consideration. The message received a full support from all the participants of the NATO ARW.

Let this message be our guiding star while crystallizing the ideas for the book "from theory to practice", and let it lead us in the future while putting together a concept of a new workshop: "Use of humates to remediate polluted environments: from practice to theory".

The goals are set, the tasks are defined, - a lot of work is ahead of us, the most distinguished colleagues!

Sincerely yours,
      Irina Perminova.