Explore the Future of Green Chemistry at Regional American Chemical Society Conference at SUNY Potsdam


SUNY Potsdam will host the 37th Northeast Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society from June 2 to 5 on its campus. The conference will feature a variety of speakers, symposia and other events, and is expected to draw 500 scholars and students from across New England and Canada, as well as some from as far as California and Germany.

The theme for NERM 2010, “Chemistry for a Sustainable World,” focuses on how science can help to reduce society’s impact on the environment. Faculty and students will present research on chemical education, nanotechnology and biomedicine, as well as analytical, organic, inorganic, physical and environmental chemistry.

“There are many exciting new scientific developments, such as green chemistry, nanotechnology and biosensors, that allow us to get ‘more from less.’ Chemistry can make a big impact in helping us move towards a more sustainable society,” said conference Chairman Dr. Martin A. Walker, an associate professor of chemistry. “The implementation of these ideas will require a partnership between industry, academia and the government.”

This is the first time that SUNY Potsdam has hosted the regional conference, and the College’s chemistry faculty have worked hard with partners at other universities to provide a packed program. The last NERM conference held in the North Country was at Clarkson University, Potsdam, in 1999.

Dr. Paul T. Anastas, science advisor and assistant administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Research and Development, will give a keynote speech at NERM 2010. Known widely as the “father of green chemistry” for his groundbreaking research on the design, manufacture and use of minimally-toxic, environmentally-friendly chemicals, Dr. Anastas has an extensive record of leadership in government, academia and the private sector.

The other plenary speakers include: Dr. Catherine T. Hunt, ACS past president and director of technology collaboration development for Dow Chemical, and Dr. Vicki L. Colvin, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at Rice University.

NERM 2010 will kick off in the evening on Wednesday, June 2, with a plenary address by Dr. Hunt. Her speech will be followed by an opening reception with hors d’oeuvres, drinks and music provided by Crane School of Music faculty members Doug and Jill Rubio on guitar and flute. At the same time, a poster session and recruitment fair will be offered, where undergraduate and graduate students will have the opportunity to present their research and speak to representatives from doctoral programs and industry.

The conference will continue on Thursday, June 3, with a plenary address by Dr. Colvin, followed by all-day technical sessions, including more than 30 symposia focusing on research in specific areas of chemistry. There will also be vendor exhibits on display throughout Kellas Hall from industry representatives, as well as chemistry career advice events for students. Dr. Anastas will present his keynote address to attendees that evening. The speech will be followed by a free performance of the comedy musical “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” to entertain guests.

The American Chemical Society will hold its governance breakfast on the morning of Friday, June 4. The technical sessions and vendor exhibits will continue throughout the day, culminating in an evening awards dinner. Attendees are then invited to a free concert presented by Crane School of Music faculty.

NERM 2010 will close on Saturday, June 5, with special educational events geared toward elementary, middle and high school teachers and their students, as well as leadership training. The conference will also sponsor a free trip to the Sunfeather Soap Factory in Parishville for attendees.

With more than 161,000 members, the American Chemical Society (ACS) is the world’s largest scientific society and one of the world’s leading sources of authoritative scientific information. A nonprofit organization, chartered by Congress, ACS is at the forefront of the evolving worldwide chemical enterprise and the premier professional home for chemists, chemical engineers and related professions around the globe. ACS Regional Meetings are organized by ACS Local Sections and reflect the diverse professional interests in their geographic regions.

For more information on the 37th Northeast Regional Meeting, visit www.nerm2010.com, or contact Dr. Walker at (315) 267-2271 or walkerma@potsdam.edu.

Founded in 1816, SUNY Potsdam is a four-year liberal arts college nestled on the outskirts of the Adirondack Park. Among the 64 units of The State University of New York system, SUNY Potsdam has the longest history and currently enrolls approximately 4,350 undergraduate and graduate students. It is well known for its academically challenging liberal arts and sciences and teacher education programs, as well as its world-renowned Crane School of Music.