December 2014

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December 2014

Newsletter Dec 2014

A new Newsletter has been posted: Maine ACS Section Dec Newsletter 



ChemFest 2014

Although attendance was affected by the aftermath of the Nov. 2 Nor’easter/blizzard, 40 chemistry students and their teachers from three nearby schools showed up at the annual ChemFest hosted by the UMaine ACS Student Group.  They were treated to presentations on candy and sugars by Dr. Jason Bolton, Prof. of Food Science at UMaine  and one on polymerized sugars and other polymers by Dr. Will Gramlich, Prof. of Chemistry.  The students also enjoyed mystery polymer buckets, candy samples, and the usual ice cream prepared with liquid nitrogen.


Several other NCW events occurred around the State including Mole Day celebrations at middle and high schools but no reports were received.


R. E. Buntrock

NCW Coordinator pro tem, MEACS 


Dr. Brian Frederick has been elected to serve as Chair of the ACS Maine section for 2014 and 2015.  Thank you!

MEACS Newsletter, Oct 2013 

As another academic year begins, we’d like to bring you up to date on ACS activities in the Maine Section.  Please post this newsletter on bulletin boards and circulate it to colleagues who my want to become more active.  For anyone who wants to join the ACS, please visit and click on “Join ACS” near the top right portion of the webpage.


Our Maine local section sponsors a variety of great activities and we always welcome volunteers to help out!  Activities include working with our ACS student chapters for National Chemistry Week and Earth Day activities, as well as local section activities that include organizing and supporting students to go to regional (e.g. NERM) and national ACS meetings, the Chemistry Olympiad, outreach to schools, visits and tours of our colleges and universities, and student and teaching awards. We are also always looking for new ideas!


We are seeking a local section member to run for Chair this fall. The Chair works with the executive committee (Councilor, Secretary, Treasurer, etc.) to help support local section activities, many of which are ongoing from year to year! If you are interested in volunteering or running for Chair, please email our ACS Maine Councilor, Mitchell Bruce at


Leadership opportunity: our Maine section would be happy to support the Chair or a volunteer to attend (all expenses paid) the ACS Leadership Institute next January. Participants in the local section track learn about how to plan and organize new local section activities as well as to find grant opportunities to fund activities!


We are also seeking someone to coordinate the Chemistry Olympiad program (see description of our 2013 Chemistry Olympiad activities below)! The Chemistry Olympiad coordinator contacts high school teachers who administer an exam to qualify students to come to a college or University in the spring for a special classroom and lab test. This is a wonderful educational experience for both teachers and students, with the potential to compete internationally! If you are interested in volunteering your time to help with the Chemistry Olympiad, please email our present Chemistry Olympiad coordinator, Bob Buntrock:  Bob has run it for many years but is stepping down this year.  THANK YOU BOB FOR HELPING SO MANY STUDENTS!  Our section also would like to thank Bob Kirk, the UMaine general chemistry lab manager, and many chemistry graduate students, who help run this lab activity at the University of Maine. Please contact Bob if interested   


2013 National Chemistry Olympiad

For the 9th consecutive year, MEACS participated in the Chemistry Olympiad program (USNCO).  One hundred ninety four students from 11 Maine high schools took the qualifying exam in March.  Ten of the top scorers, from 6 schools, took the National exam on April 13 at Aubert Hall at UMaine.  This three part exam, total of almost 5 hours, is scored nationally and the top 20 scorers were invited to the USNCO Study Camp at the Air Force Academy.  From this group, 5 were chosen to represent the US in international competition, this year in Moscow.


MEACS has never had a nationally ranked student.  However, we view the entire process as educational for all students and teachers who participate.  Feedback on local exam performance as well as certificates of participation are sent to the participating teachers.


Bob Buntrock has been the USNCO coordinator for the last 9 years and has received excellent assistance from Maine high school chemistry teachers as well as UMaine staff and students.  However, we are seeking a replacement for the upcoming years, including 2014, since he will be unable to be the primary coordinator.  However, he will be available for consulting.  A procedures manual is available on the MEACS website under the USNCO Chemistry Olympiad button.  Contact Bob if interested  Preparations and invitations begin in Oct. and Nov.


NCW 2013 

NCW is Oct. 20-26, 2013 with the theme: Energy Now and Forever.  For more details on the NCW theme this year see: .

The University of Maine ACS Student Group is planning for ChemFest, the UMaine celebration of NCW, for the week of Oct. 28. Look for more information soon. 


NERM 2013 

The New Haven section of the American Chemical Society will be hosting the 2013 NorthEast Regional Meeting (NERM). The meeting will feature two wonderful keynote speakers. On Thursday, October 24 2013, Dr. Donna Nelson, professor of Chemistry at the University of Oklahoma, will speak about her experience as a science advisor to the television show “Breaking Bad”. This will be followed by an address from Dr. Marinda Wu, ACS President on the evening of Friday, October 25, 2013.


There are several special symposia scheduled for the meeting:

  • Advancing Graduate Education in the Chemical Sciences
  • Nitrogen Heterocycles: A Tribute to the Pioneer of Pyrimidine Chemistry
  • Phosphodiesterases as Drug Targets for CNS Disorders
  • Synthesis and Application of Isotopically Labeled Molecules
  • Biochemistry
  • Nanoscience
  • Green Chemistry (Two Sessions): 21st Century Workforce Skills and Green Chemistry: Success Stories.
  • Small Chemical Businesses (Three Sessions): Resources for Startups, Best Practices for Entrepreneurs and True Stories of Success 

Additionally, the meeting will include an undergraduate program, career workshops, ACS Leadership Development Courses and a workshop on Forensic Chemistry given by Dr. Howard Harris from the University of New Haven. Program information and registration can be found at


The Maine ACS section would like to thank Dr. Brian Frederick for his coordination of UMaine’s student participation in NERM 2012, as well as representing our section in Maine’s 100 Year Celebration of the founding of our local section! THANK YOU!


MEACS has five 50-year members.  They are: 

Ms. Nancy Elizabeth Dowd, Kittery Point

Mr. J. Albert McDaniel, Farmington

Dr. Ernest L. Plummer, Pittston

Dr. John J. Santos, Ogunquit

Mr. Millard C. Spencer, Sebago

Congratulations!  Certificates have been sent. 


Spring 2013 Student Awards

MEACS annually requests nominations of outstanding students from chemistry departments at Maine colleges and universities.  Certificates and award checks are sent by the MEACS Treasurer to the schools in time for awarding the students before the end of the school year.  Congratulations to the 2013 awardees:


Tracy Bantegui    Husson Univeristy

David Born    Bates College

Douglas Farrell    Bowdoin College

Tatsiana Koscuik    University of Southern Maine

Sean P. Naughton    University of New England

Katarina Sirka    Colby College

Valerie L. Smith    University of Maine


ACS National Meetings and Leadership Institute, 2013

Dr. Mitchell Bruce, Maine’s ACS Councilor, served as Chair of the Local Section Activities Committee (LSAC) in 2013. At the spring national ACS meeting in New Orleans, he presented to Council a new formula for distribution of the allocation of money to local sections. This motion passed. At the fall national ACS meeting in Indianapolis, he presided over the ChemLuminary Awards by presenting 13 national awards. Also, Council voted, on the recommendation of LSAC, to approve a request from the Syracuse Local Section to change its name to the Central New York Local Section. Council also approved a recommendation from LSAC that the Monmouth County Local Section (in New Jersey) be dissolved, effective January 1, 2014, due to a decline in activity over the last several years. The North Jersey Local Section has contacted LSAC and will submit a petition in 2014 to annex the Monmouth County territory. This brings the total number of local sections to 186 next year. In January 2013, Dr. Bruce helped organize the local section track of the ACS Leadership Institute in Dallas TX, which included a new workshop format that was well received by the 120+ attendees. A summary of ACS Council actions appears on the MEACS website. 



2012 Elections

In November, 2012, MEACS held its 2nd consecutive electronic election.  Those elected were:

Chair, Bob Buntrock, Buntrock Associates, Orono

Chair-Elect, David Heroux, U Maine Farmington

Unfortunately, David Heroux stepped down when he moved out of the state.  


2012 Maine Section Meeting 

A business meeting of MEACS was held on Dec. 4, 2012, at Aubert Hall, UMaine.  Following the business meeting, Dr. Jason Bolton of the UMaine Cooperative Extension gave a presentation on the brewing of beer.  See the full report on the website for further details.


Fall 2012 Newsletter:


We are celebrating our 100th anniversary of the ACS Maine Section in 2012!  


We celebrated the 100 Year Anniversary at NERM 2012 in Rochester, NY this September 30-October 3. There was an ice cream social Tuesday afternoon, October 2, 2012 as well as a celebration at the NERM awards banquet.


Chem Fest 2012 in celebration of National Chemistry Week, was held on Thursday, October 25, 2012 in Aubert Hall, with over 100 students, teachers, and invited guests in attendance. Cary James, Finley Richmond, and James Killarney 


We held a section meeting on Dec 4, 2012. A summary is shown below: 


MEACS Section Meeting, Dec. 4, 2012, Orono

A meeting of the Maine Section of the American Chemical Society was held at room 428, Aubert Hall, University of Maine, Orono, at 7:10 PM.  Minutes of the meeting follow.


The meeting was called to order by Chair Bob Buntrock.  In attendance were Chair Buntrock, Treasurer Franocis Amar, as well as Barbara Cole, Brian Frederick, and Karl Bishop.


Dr. Amar gave the Treasurer’s Report , which will appear in the annual report.  With more than $64,000 in assets, MEACS is more than solvent and reasonable suggestions for spending are welcome.  MEACS has supported student travel to ACS meetings for students from both USM and UMaine as well as NCW/ChemFest functions.  Contact Dr. Amar with any suggestion for safe, more rewarding online banking investments.  


A discussion ensued on student members and the success of Student Groups.  Amar pointed out that the continued success of the UMaine group was partly due to election of officers on an annual calendar basis rather than on school year.  Buntrock also commented that in his experience with student groups in three ACS Sections, good, continuing leadership from both students and advisors was essential.  Bishop said that the Student Group at Husson U had evolved into a science group due to small numbers of students with overlapping interests.  He said that he’ll advise that they go to calendar year elections for continuity of leadership.


The election results for offices of 2013 were announced.  Robert Buntrock is Chair and David Heroux, UMaine Farmington is Chair Elect.

The following awards to MEACS members were announced.  Certificates have been sent to the awardees.


50 year members

        Dr. Robert Buntrock, Orono

        Donald Tillson, Belgrade Lakes

60 year members

         E. Glenn Caswell, York