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Happy Holiday season, wherever in the world you are. I am writing this at the end of October, and two of our grandchildren happen to be visiting, so it is a happy time here as well.
Following up on last issue’s column, I can now tell you that our next IMWA conference will be IMWA’s 14th Congress. Our annual conference becomes a Congress every third year; that is when we elect our officers and change our by-laws, as necessary. It will be held in Christchurch, New Zealand, November 9–13, 2020, which is springtime there.
Like many of you, I suspect, I have never been to New Zealand and am very much looking forward to the conference and an extended stay there. Everyone I know who has visited New Zealand has raved about it and so it has been on our list of potential vacation destinations for a long time—it will be so nice to combine our visit with a Congress! Of course, November, 2020 is a long time away, but it will be here before you know it. At the time I am writing this, the conference organizers have not yet established a schedule for abstract submissions, etc., but please put the conference dates on your schedule, and watch for more information to follow.
As this is our last issue of 2019, it is truly my pleasure to once again thank all of the volunteers who make this journal possible. There are other technical journals staffed entirely by unpaid volunteers, and I am undoubtedly biased, but I know of none that are as professional and highly regarded in their field as this one.
First and foremost, I want to recognize Anne Weber, who has served as my assistant for two years now and who has taken on more and more responsibility for this journal’s day-to day tasks and has made our continued growth possible. Once again this year, we are on track to process more manuscript submissions and to publish more papers than ever before.
I also thank all of the associate editors who graciously helped out for part or all of 2018: Mostafa Benzaazoua, Melanie Blanchette, Robert Bowell, Detlef Bringemeier, Carlos Ruiz Cánovas, Donglin Dong, Shuning Dong, Rodrigo Jr. Embile, Braden Hanna, Massimo Gasparon, Gyözö Jordán, Candace L. Kairies-Beatty, Jeff Langmann, Peiyue Li, Wenping Li, Mark Lund, Ann Maest, Steven Meyerhoff, Leonard Murray, Benoît Plante, James Pope, Dyllon Randall, Pierre Rousseau, Martin Schultze, Abhay Kumar Singh, Gideon Steyl, Christie Terrell, Purushotham Tukkaraja, Viswanath Vadapalli, Teresa Maria Valente, Rob van Hille, John Waterhouse, Qiang Wu, Kendra Zamzow, and Wanfang Zhou—our success this past year would not have been possible without them. I should also mention that three of these individuals are serving as guest editors for upcoming special issues of this journal, which will appear in print in 2020 (though of course many these papers are already published in the on-line version of our journal, which all IMWA members can easily access for free). Melanie Blanchette and Mark Lund are coordinating the special issue on pit lakes, which should appear in the June 2020 issue of this journal, while Wanfang Zhou is coordinating a special issue on mine water research in China, which will likely appear in print in September or December, 2020. Meanwhile, Rafael Fernández-Rubio has begun recruiting papers for a special issue on mine tailings dams, which should appear in print in early 2021.
Thanks also to our volunteer translators: Edgardo Donati, Jörn Geletneky, Helmuth Landsmann, Joscha Opitz, Michael Paul, Walter Pohl, Martin Schultze, Wilfried Uhlman, Kai-Uwe Ulrich, and Changshen Wang, who translate the abstracts into Spanish, German, and Chinese. I also want to thank Josepha Zielke, who oversees and coordinates the abstract translation process. The translated abstracts appear along with the on-line version of the papers.
I also thank the Springer Nature staff, especially Saranya Sekar, who became our primary point of contact about a year ago, and Srikanth Reddy and his staff, who have overseen all the electronic and hardcopy printing of our papers; as our workload has increased, so has theirs. We are also grateful to Fritz Schmuhl, our publishing editor, and his assistant, Catalina Sava. Fritz is the person who authorized the expansion of our journal’s content and some of our other improvements. Finally, I thank Christian Wolkersdorfer, who in addition to serving as IMWA’s president, serves as this journal’s managing editor—which means that he worries about the non-textual aspects of the journal, such as how figures should be formatted, and generally oversees our interactions with our publisher, Springer Nature.
I wish all of them and, on behalf of our entire editorial staff, all of you, a fantastic 2020! We hope that your holidays are full of fun, that you find solutions to all of your technical challenges during this upcoming year, and that your IMWA membership and this journal helps you do so!
Bob Kleinmann, PhD; Editor-in-Chief