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Many of the Sustainability Engagement Event (SEE) Action Teams have held their first calls; in some cases follow-up conference calls have been scheduled. Highlights of some of the team discussions have been compiled to ensure that all SEE action team members are aware of the ideas and advances being made towards the eventual team proposals to their related committees at the fall National Meeting in Boston.



Linking Chemists with Non-Profit Service Organizations that can apply their Chemical Expertise

Members of this action team have discussed an environmental issue on most of our minds, the oil current spilling into the Gulf Coast presents the opportunity for chemists and volunteers to participate in ongoing clean up efforts. They have begun development of a list of emergency response locations within the affected areas that interested volunteers can contact for further information.



The governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindahl has a section the website dedicated to emergency response.; volunteers can call: 1-866.448.5816 for additional information. In addition, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) website has developed the Deepwater Horizon Response Volunteer Request Line: 1-866-448-5816.



State specific volunteer opportunities:






Volunteer Hotlines:

Report oiled shoreline or request volunteer information: (866)-448-5816

Submit vessel as a vessel of opportunity skimming system: (866) 279-7983 or (877) 847-7470 "(extracted from





Infusing Green Chemistry/Sustainability into the Curriculum

Action team members have identified the need to infuse green chemistry and sustainability concepts examples into the mainstream lecture and laboratory curriculum.  It has been suggested that the ultimate vehicle to accomplish this is to have green chemistry/sustainability blended into the mainstream topics (not as boxes, vignettes or supplemental material that can be conveniently ignored) of existing mainstream textbooks.


In their initial discussion team members have developed initiatives that students, faculty and parts of ACS governance can employ to make the idea behind this team a reality. They have started creating incentives for possible participants and a list of materials that would be needed to develop sustainability related publications for the curriculum.






Greener ACS Meetings: Your Ideas

Team members discussed the scope of their work for fall 2010 and developed goals and a scope of work that would best advanced through their proposal.






Create Positive Viral or Buzz Marketing of Chemistry and Sustainability

Team members discussed the ways in which they use social media. The decision has been made to have each team member take the lead in Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and the ACS Network to build on existing structures and develop grassroots representation within these networks.  Part of their focus will be on developing messages for each network with the possible development of a central portal of ACS Social Media presence that highlight chemistry.




Incorporating Sustainability into the 2011 International Year of Chemistry (IYC)

The 2011 International Year of Chemistry (IYC) provides the ACS and science with an excellent opportunity to promote the nature and value of chemistry and chemists on the world’s stage. Members of this team have a defined purpose to “make sustainability the prevalent theme of all events (IYC)”


The team has created three subcommittees to work on the project’s intended outcomes. They are:

  • Getting the public more aware and involved
  • Branching out to other disciplines and professional groups
  • Education and service learning – interactive




Promote and Develop Programs and Materials to bring Sustainability into K-12 Education

In addition to identifying current needs that this idea might fill, team members have developed a list of ideas/suggestions that can be implemented to move it forward.

·         Goal is to get people excited about doing this (sustainable practices)

·         Need to define what sustainability is and make it understandable for the general public

·         States have National Education Standards.  It would be easy to find a way to align a sustainability curriculum with them.

·         Grassroots effort starting at the elementary school level to teach basic skills is key.

·         Module approach could provide each grade level with age- and skill-appropriate curriculum that could build upon itself.  This curriculum could be embedded into other courses to provide a comprehensive approach to learning and practicing sustainability.

·         Module approach could be tied in with Earth Day; Earth Day could be used to launch initiative.

·         Teachers could look at “greening” their rooms.

·         Local SAACS chapters may be leveraged to assist with the initiative.


They have reviewed and are currently building a list of initiatives in this area.





Avoid and Reduce Pollution through Chemistry: Minimizing Waste Streams

Due to the similarity in the nature of this action team and that of action team 2 they have been joined and will continue to work towards the development a Waste Minimization Management proposal. Team members discussed and agreed in principle to the following processes and expected outcome:

·         Establish a core team. This may involve reaching out.

·         Decide on a narrow, focused topic.

·         Establish goals, strategy and tactics.

·         Write a proposal (due July 30th).

·         The proposal will be reviewed at the ACS Fall meeting in Boston (Aug. 22-26). 

Team members discussed timelines and agreed that to attempt to finalize the focused topic by the end of June (via e mail).  The end of June goal may not be realistic based on more time may be needed to establish a core team. Team members have agreed to rally around: Policy advocacy; Education of the general public, and Informing our members, of the ACS Call to Action.





Would you like to have a hand in building a sustainable future through chemistry?  Are you willing to spend a few hours between now and August to help set the ACS agenda in this area?  This is your chance to make a difference. The ACS action team on Incorporating Sustainability into the 2011 Year of Chemistry Celebration is recruiting participants to develop the project and link it to the ACS leadership.  If you are interested in helping out, please register to participate in the discussion.  The only obligation is to participate in a conference call or two between now and the end of July with other ACS members and stakeholders.
To learn more about the SEE, please visit and be sure to register for this or another action team today. Working together we can achieve the ACS vision of “Improving people’s lives through the transforming power of chemistry.”