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 fourth 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.
Past Climate Conferences
2013 Climate Talks in Warsaw, Poland
Reinhard was born in Homa-bay in the western part of Kenya around the Lake Victoria region. Upon completion of high school, he was accepted to Kenyatta University to study Environmental Planning and Management and in currently in his second year of undergraduate studies. He is a part time intern at the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) headquarters in Nairobi where he deals with wetland and gender issues within the Coastal Marine and Fresh Waters department. He is also the deputy organizing secretary of Kenyatta University Environmental Club (KUNEC), an executive member of African Youth Initiative on Climate Change (AYICC), and a member of the World Youth Alliance. He enjoys nature walks, long distance travelling, socializing, reading informational books, watching documentaries and movies, listening to soft music, smiling and watching football.
Natalie is currently a senior Marine Science major at the University of New England in Maine. She has been a member of a fish research lab working with Dr. James Sulikowski since freshman year and has been conducting her own research thesis for two years. Her research exemplifies her interest in climate change, focusing on the effects of increased water temperature on the gestation and survivability of a skate species as a model for other fish. In her free time, Natalie can be found reading, cheering on her favorite sports teams, or spending time with friends.
Margaret Williams is a senior at the University of New England in Maine studying biochemistry with a minor in mathematics. She is passionate about the health of the environment and is exploring ways to combine her training in chemistry and biochemistry with efforts toward sustainability and conservation. Margaret spent the summer in the Czech Republic researching fluorescent proteins with super-resolution optical microscopy with Dr. Josef Lazar and is currently conducting research at her university with Dr. Deena Small, investigating the effects of a common flame retardant on tissue development in mice. She enjoys hiking, hanging out with friends, and playing her cello.
Emily is a sophomore Chemical Engineering student at The University of Alabama. She is currently conducting research with Dr. Robin D. Rogers' research group in the Chemistry Department. She has always been passionate about the environment and her Extended Essay for her International Baccalaureate Diploma in High School focused on bioplastics. Emily's main career goal is finding ways of making green chemistry practices more practical and economically feasible. She loves music and when she's not at school or rolling burritos at work, she is probably playing the flute, guitar, bass, or piano (however bad she may be at them).
Rachel is a junior Biochemistry/Women's Studies double major at Hamilton College in New York. Her current research is with Professor Tim Elgren studying the migration of Bisphenol A (BPA), a plasticizer and estrogen mimicker, from epoxy-lined cans and bottle caps into beverages. Her passion is in understanding how issues related to health and the environment intersect with public policy, as well as issues of gender, race, class, and culture. Rachel is a sports and science contributor for Hamilton's on-campus newspaper, The Spectator, and works as a Levitt Scholar, traveling to local highs schools to give presentations focused on motivation and community involvement. In her spare time Rachel enjoys her on-campus jobs as a tour guide and teaching assistant, as well as playing basketball and spending time with friends.
David is currently a senior Forensic Chemistry major at York College of Pennsylvania with a minor in Criminal Justice. He has been a member of York College's Chemistry Society since freshman year and was the Green Chemistry co-chair his junior year. David has performed research in recovery of gunshot residue and presented at the American Chemical Society's 245th spring meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana and is currently performing research pertaining to climate change and maintenance of the Chesapeake Bay. In his spare time, David enjoys reading, sports, and traveling.
Nikki is a senior Chemistry major at York College of PA with a minor in Sustainability and Environmental Studies. She was an ACS student delegate to the UNFCCC COP18 in Qatar and will be serving as a student mentor to the ACS students attending COP19 in Warsaw. She was chosen for an NSF REU at the University of California Irvine, working on atmospheric chemistry modeling analysis with an accomplished IPCC scientist. She is currently designing a research project which investigates the relationship between heavy metals in produce and their growing location's proximity to a coal-fired power plant. She plans to attend graduate school for geochemistry and/or atmospheric chemistry upon graduation. Her interests include riding horses, kayaking, and traveling.