U.S. Chemistry Students Interpret the U.N. Climate Talks

ACS sponsors students to attend and blog their observations about the United Nations climate talks called the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). They interview scientists, policymakers, and national leaders and discuss how the known science of climate change may be incorporated into international policy.

This is the eighth year that ACS has sponsored students. Their work is supervised by Professors Gregory Foy and Keith Peterman, both chemistry faculty members at York College of Pennsylvania (YCP), York, Penn.

2018 U.N. Climate Conference in Katowice, Poland

Six students attended and blogged their observations about the United Nations climate talks held in Katowice, Poland from December 3-14, 2018.

Student Bios

Ali Abbas

Ali Abbas Rizvi, born to an Indian-origin family and raised in Karachi, is a senior majoring in Chemical Engineering at Dawood University of Engineering and Technology. He is one of the founding members of American Chemical Society’s undergraduate student chapter at his home institution and has also served as the first President and spokesperson of the chapter. In June 2018, Ali was selected by Pakistan’s largest fertilizer producing firm, Fauji Fertilizer Company (FFC) Limited, for a summer internship in Production. Ali’s major interests involve human rights, social justice, gender equality, minority rights, public policy and climate change, and he is working as a digital volunteer for Amnesty International. His undergraduate project is about diesel hydrodesulfurization (DHDS) technology aimed at reducing a country’s sulfur emissions from on-road diesel, under the supervision of Engr. Muhammad Hassam Wajahat (MSc. in Applied Earth Sciences, Petroleum Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Netherlands). Upon graduation, Ali is planning to work for a leading petroleum company to continue to grow his skills and utilize theoretical knowledge. In his spare time, Ali loves to read, write and travel.

Lucas Frye

Lucas Frye is a third-year at the University of Virginia where he majors in Environmental Chemistry and minors in Government. As an undergraduate researcher, he studies synthetic organometallic chemistry with a focus on rhodium complex catalysis. Upon graduating, he plans to pursue a doctoral degree in Chemistry. While at Virginia, Lucas has been an active member of Alpha Chi Sigma, the professional chemistry fraternity, conducting chemistry demonstrations to spread interest in the sciences among grade-school students in the Charlottesville area. He is also the Vice President of Amuse Bouche, U.Va's long-form improv troupe, which works tirelessly to bring improvisational comedy to the masses.

Aerial Kendrick

Aerial Kendrick is a senior at York College of Pennsylvania pursuing a degree in forensic chemistry with minors in mathematics and biology. Upon graduating, she plans to attend graduate school and get her master’s in biomedical science before attending medical school. Aerial has an interest in how climate change impacts health with respect to diseases and natural disasters. In addition to academics, Aerial competes as a Division III track and field athlete, acts as treasurer for Alpha Chi Sigma at York College, and volunteers as a patient aide at a local hospital.

Tiffany Tieu Ngo

Tiffany Tieu Ngo is a senior at the University of Detroit Mercy pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry.  During her summers, Tiffany worked at Elba Laboratories where one of her projects included water analysis for heavy minerals. After graduation, Tiffany intends to work in industry to develop greener technologies to create a safer environment for the public. Her current project includes development of XRF to analyze potential toxic heavy metals in various industrial compounds. Tiffany is very service-oriented and believes that experiencing and giving back to the community fuels others to speak out on environmental and economic policies and enforce change. Tiffany is the current Public Relations Chair of her Chemistry Society at University of Detroit Mercy.  In her free time, she enjoys acting, playing music, and video games.

Shelby Toles

Shelby Toles was born and raised in Roswell, New Mexico and has worked for the local Bureau of Land Management on habitat conservation. She is currently a junior at Baylor University, majoring in International Relations with a focus in global environment issues, and minoring in German. She is very interested in how climate change will impact the geopolitical landscape in the coming decades. Additionally, Shelby is interested in the role science plays in policy making at the state, federal, and international levels. In her spare time, Shelby enjoys making pottery, backpacking, and reading.

Tommy Watson

Tommy Watson is a senior Environmental Science major and Chemistry minor at Baylor University. He was born and raised in the northern suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. At Baylor, he works as a student research assistant for Dr. Rebecca Sheesley on analyzing arctic, organic and elemental carbon based particulate matter. Tommy became interested in climate sciences during his high school physics class which was taught by a NASA Operation IceBridge teacher-researcher. In December of 2017 he travelled to Antarctica along with students from Virginia Tech, Ohio State, and Brockport State University of New York as part of an iceberg research project. Tommy’s main interests include Antarctic atmospheric physics & chemistry, how climate change will alter global atmospheric physics & chemistry, and Martian geoscience. In his free time Tommy enjoys water skiing and other water sports. Upon graduation from Baylor, Tommy is planning to enroll in a Ph.D. program for Planetary Science and would like to someday work with NASA and SpaceX on Martian research.