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2018 Annual Symposium

18 Apr 2018 1:10 PM | Tyler Eldridge (Administrator)

The 2018 Annual Symposium was held on Friday, April 13th at the Ridgeline Hotel in Estes Park. We are happy to announce that we had a great turnout of vendors and RMWQAA members alike. To “pregame” the event there were a number of people who showed up to stay at the hotel the night before the event. The hotel offered access to a game-room room furnished with multiple interactive games like pool, foosball, jumbo-jenga, and air-hockey. Those who rented a room the night before were able to socialize and enjoy the fun offerings that the Ridgeline presented.  


On the morning of the event, everyone was able to check into the conference where they were provided a tasty breakfast offering various pastries, fruits, juices, and more. Additionally, the RMWQAA handed out free flash-drives this year as well as a limited number of RMWQAA water bottles. As attendees filtered into the beautiful conference hall, they encountered the traditional perimeter ring of our wonderful participating vendors who boasted their wares and services as well as a myriad of intriguing handouts and useful swag.

With everyone seated, sipping coffees, and perusing the candies splayed out across their tables, we launched the conference with two complementary talks regarding corrosion control (Christina Ankrom; Parker W&SD) and treatment strategies (Jacqueline Rhoades; Hazen & Sawyer). These talks were followed up by a presentation from the always-informative David Dani (CDPHE) regarding turbidity BMPs and log inactivation data.

At this point we took a break to visit with our vendor friends, nibble on fresh supplies of hummus and pita breads, and raffle off a few prizes to a few lucky attendees (I won a gift card to Old Chicago’s!). We returned to hear an interesting talk describing the process of Jar Testing with Organics monitoring from the soft-spoken Amanda Scott (Suez). To wrap up before our lunch break, Randi Brazeau from MSU gave us a glimpse into a number of studies her students are undertaking to review ecological impacts of the Gold King Mine Spill, now two years after the spill.

After lunching on an Asian style lunch buffet followed by pies and cakes for dessert, we returned to the conference hall where we had our vendors to introduce themselves and their companies individually and raffle off a few lovely prizes, ranging from bottles of wine to gift cards to Rockies tickets. After the vendors made their announcements to the crowd we raffled off a few gifts of our own (including a pair of quirky periodic table socks), and then came time to announce the 2018 Analyst of the Year.

It is with great pleasure that I announce that I, Zach Dahlgren, was humbled and grateful to receive this respected award and join the esteemed company of those who have won it before me. I want to give a shout out to Mike Schoenberg and Tyler Eldridge with the City of Greeley for nominating me, and I’d like  to thank the RMWQAA Board for selecting me as this year’s recipient as Analyst of the Year. Thank you all!

As we neared the end of the Symposium, we held our Annual RMWQAA Business Meeting. At this time, we recapped the numerous social, educational, and informative events that the RMWQAA and Lab Practices Committee hosted over the last year. We also gave a look into upcoming opportunities for leisure and learning. Natalie Love ran through a number of accomplishments and tasks that the Education Sub-Committee is engaging, as well as a couple of announcements delving into a recently launched MDL Study and the anticipated development of the Exam Certification Board. More information on these topics will be delivered via email, or can be found follow their respective links.



Finally, we were delighted to close out our symposium with an inspirational and passionate presentation regarding the 3s’ of Climate Change (Simple, Serious, Solvable) by the well-respected Scott Denning (CSU Atmospheric Sciences). As Scott wrapped up his riveting speech, we raffled off our grand prize, said our goodbyes, and dispersed back into the world.

If you were unable to make this year’s Symposium, we encourage you to try to take time and attend next year’s conference. Details on the when and where of that event to come. Otherwise, check our events page for upcoming chances to learn, laugh, and be a lab nerd!

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