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Dec 12 - 13 2023
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IIES Member Registration Fee


8th Annual IIES Science & Policy Workshop | Chile

Critical Minerals, Communities and Environment

This year’s Annual Science and Policy Workshop will be hosted by SMI-ICE-Chile which is based in Santiago, Chile, and affiliated to University of Queensland, Australia. The Workshop will run from December 11-12, 2023 and participants will gain insight into current critical mineral mining issues in relation to research and industrial challenges, government policy, environmental regulation, impacts upon indigenous communities and the environment. Participants will have the opportunity to meet colleagues from our partner institutions as well as external industry, government and universities that have been invited to the Workshop. Participants are also encouraged to present and discuss environmental issues relating to the wider workshop themes. If your research topic is not listed, you can still present your work under the IIES Pillars theme.

For students, this is a chance to share your research and build potential collaborative relationships at an international level. The IIES Graduate Student Forum will be held in Puerto Montt following the Workshop. Participants interested in attending both the Workshop and Forum must register for the Graduate Forum separately on the IIES website.

Organizing Committee

Professor Margaret Graham | Co-chair, Chair of Environmental Geochemistry, School of Geosciences, The University of Edinburgh
Dr. David A. Rubinos | Co-chair, SMI-ICE-Chile Scientific Leader, The University of Queensland
Ms. Francisca Rivero | General Manager SMI-ICE-Chile, The University of Queensland
Dr. Yahaira Barrueto | Academic, Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María & Researcher SMI-ICE-Chile, The University of Queensland
Dr. Jacques W. Wiertz | Asoci. Prof., Universidad de Chile & Senior Researcher SMI-ICE-Chile, The University of Queensland
Mr. Nigel Wight | Researcher SMI-ICE-Chile

Annual Workshop

Venue: Universidad del Desarrollo
Location: Santiago, Chile
Date: December 11-12, 2023

Graduate Student Forum

Venue: Universidad San Sebastián
Location: Puerto Montt, Chile
Date: December 13-15, 2023

Plenary Speakers

Craig Sheridan Headshot

Professor Craig Sheridan
Professor | Chemical Engineer
Witwatersrand University, South Africa

Professor Craig Sheridan is a chemical engineer, based in the School of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Studies, University of Witwitersrand, South Africa. He is the Director and Founder of the Centre in Water Research and Development and a known advocate for water research. 

Professor Sheridan is currently the principal investigator on a Joint Programme Initiative (Water JPI) project, funded by the European Union. The project involves constructing and monitoring two small-scale community-usage grey-water treatment wetlands in Setswetla, near Alexandra. It is a powerful demonstration of the power of enmeshed (interdisciplinary) research in an applied context to provide solutions to an acute problem – the treatment of greywater in an urban, mega-city informal settlement. He also conducts research on the treatment of acid mine drainage and has developed a research philosophy entitled “Blue is the new black” – the idea that wastewater from all processes should be clean.

Gc Marc Dosckstator

Dr. Mark S. Dockstator
Professor | Chanie Wenjack School of Indigenous Studies
Trent University, Canada

Dr. Mark S. Dockstator, a member of the Oneida Nation of the Thames, is a professor in the Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies, Trent University, Canada. He is Past President of the First Nations University of Canada. In 1994, he became the first First Nations person in Canada to graduate with a doctorate in law.

Mark has been Principal Investigator on national and regional research projects in Indigenous health, treaties, Indigenous languages and culture, education, and economic development. Additionally, he served as founding Chair of the First Nations Statistical Institute, Senior Negotiator and Researcher for the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, President and CEO of Rama Economic Development Corporation, Special Advisor to the Royal Commission on Aboriginal People and Special Advisor to the Chief Commissioner of the Indian Land Claims Commission. He also serves on a number of boards including the Rideau Hall Foundation, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Royal Military College and the Canadian Museum of Nature Foundation.

Douglas Aitken | SMI-ICE-Chile
Francisca Rivero | SMI-ICE-Chile
Felipe Saavedra | SMI-ICE-Chile
Tamara Aravena | The Lundin Foundation
Professor Pilar Parada | Centro de Biotecnología de Sistemas, Universidad Andrés Bello (CSB-UNAB), Chile

Workshop Themes

Critical Minerals/Sustainable Mining
  • Mining wastes and critical element recovery
  • Water quality and use
  • Understanding behaviour and impacts of contaminant mixtures
Microplastics/Other Emerging Contaminants
  • Sources and exposure routes
  • Effects on human health
  • Research challenges
Circular/Blue Economies
  • “Net zero” transition-critical elements for renewable energy infrastructure
  • Circular economy approaches and opportunities for critical mineral mining
  • Role of blue economy for our sustainable future
Indigenous Studies
  • Historical and current land/water issues
  • Mining industry and indigenous communities: future engagement strategies
  • Sustainable empowered development
IIES Pillars

The above listed workshop themes are not inclusive and other topics are welcome. You may fall under one of the following topics:

  • Environmental Health
  • Environmental Policy
  • Environmental Processes
  • Green & Novel Technology

Important Information for Participants

PRESENTATION/ABSTRACT SUBMISSIONS: Participants may choose to present a poster presentation or a 15-minute PowerPoint presentation. Please submit an abstract for both talks and posters and indicate your preference and theme you will be presenting in. (Graduate Forum participants are not obliged to present at the workshop but if interested can choose either a 15-min talk or present a poster).

REGISTRATION: As with all IIES events, the cost for IIES members is FREE. Those joining from non-member institutions must pay the registration fee and cover their own travel and accommodation expenses. Non-members may also register on the IIES Website. Registration fees include event meals.

TRAVEL SUPPORT: IIES travel grants will be available to some students from participating IIES institutions. Preference will be given to students who have not participated in past IIES activities. Opportunities are limited, register early. Grants will be issued on a first-come-first-serve basis to students from IIES member institutions. Recipients of IIES travel grants must attend both the Graduate Student Forum and the Annual Science & Policy Workshop. Please register separately for these events.

MEALS: Lunches, coffee/tea breaks, and gala dinner will be covered for participants during the Workshop.

ACCOMMODATIONS & TRAVEL TO PUERTO MONTT: Hotel rooms will be covered for IIES supported students and faculty during their attendance at the Annual Workshop and Graduate Student Forum in both Santiago (DoubleTree by Hilton Santiago – Vitacura) and Puerto Montt (Hotel Bellavista in Puerto Varas). The flight from Santiago to Puerto Montt will be covered for IIES members. You are responsible for arranging your flight back to Santiago or elsewhere following the event.

Chile - Frequently Asked Questions​

Here are the details to the hotel we will be staying at for both the Workshop and Graduate Student Forum:

Science & Policy Workshop: Santiago
DoubleTree by Hilton Santiago – Vitacura
Av Vitacura 2727, Las Condes
Santiago, Chile

Graduate Student Forum – Puerto Montt
Hotel Bellavista
Avda. Vicente Perez Rosales #060
Puerto Varas, Chile

Yes, Chile is among the safest countries to visit in South America. However, it’s worth noting that in the capital, Santiago, crime rates are increasing, with muggings, violent crime, and carjackings on the up. In May 2023, the US State Department moved Chile to “Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution”.

To avoid issues, stay in the safest neighbourhood – Vitacura and the eastern end of Providencia – and take taxis at night. Uber, My Ride Chile, or a pre-booked taxi organized by your hotel is recommended; flagging a taxi off the street should be avoided. Even tourist destinations such as Lastarria and Bellavista are now increasingly unsafe.

A few years ago in 2019, political protests and civil unrest erupted intending to address inequality, bringing constitutional reform, and forcing the resignation of the government under the unpopular President, Sebastián Piñera. The immediate spark was a hike in the price of metro tickets.

There is a history of heavy-handed policing, which was another reason for the unrest and locals often refer derogatorily to police as pacos.

Since the pandemic and the election of progressive candidate Gabriel Boric, things in Chile have calmed down, and constitutional reform is ongoing. Street protest has largely died down, but past demonstrations were rarely violent, and foreigners are not targeted.

For more information, visit this website »
Sited: Steph Dyson | worldyadventurer.com

In Santiago, we are booked in from December 10th–13th, 2023 (check out on the 13th).

In Puerto Varas, we are booked in from December 13th–16th (check out on the 16th).

Note: If you plan on arriving early or leaving later than those dates, and you require additional days at the hotel, please contact for a group booking code so that you can pay for the rooms at our group rate.

Unfortunately, we will not have any group excursions planned due to lack of time. We will be sharing the workshop and graduate forum schedule with everyone as soon as possible so that you can coordinate and plan your own excursions.

You are responsible for booking the following flights:

  • Return flight from home to Santiago (Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport – SCL)
  • One-way flight to Santiago from Puerto Montt (El Tepual International Airport – PMC)

The IIES will cover the cost and book your flight from Santiago to Puerto Montt. You are responsible for booking your flight back to Santiago after the Graduate Forum, as your flight date/time will be determined by your flight back home.

Breakfast will be provided at the hotels in the morning. Coffee/tea, snacks, lunches, and a gala dinner will be provided at the Workshop and Graduate Student Forum.

Feel free to explore the city and discover local restaurants for any other meals. Be sure to check the Safety in Chile link.

For more information, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Important Dates

Abstract Submission Deadline: November 1, 2023 (EXTENDED)
Notification of Abstract Acceptance: November 8, 2023
Science & Policy Workshop: December 11-12, 2023
Graduate Student Forum: December 13-15, 2023

The health and safety of our participants are important to us. Currently, there are no Covid-19 restrictions for travel to Chile. Visas are required for citizens of some countries. Be sure to check the requirements for entry to the country before booking.

Department of Foreign Affairs »
Travel from Canada »
How to Apply for a Chile Tourist Visa »
Travelling Safely within Chile »

If you have any questions or require any further information please contact:

Raquel Scott, Operations Coordinator, International Institute for Environmental Studies

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