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North Alabama Section News - 18 August 2010

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August 18, 2010

Dear Fellow Members of the North Alabama Section of the ACS,

The summer break is drawing to a close, at least as far as school is concerned.   As a section, we have also enjoyed a break and hopefully everyone has managed to get in some relaxation.  As the fall school term begins at our local colleges and high schools, we are also gearing up for some exciting section activities.  The purpose of this e-mail is to give everyone a “heads-up” as to some of the section activities planned for the fall, winter, and spring.

In terms of planning, one of the important section activities will be election of officers for our local section in the fall.  Our section currently has five elected officers:  Chair, Counselor, Alternate Counselor, Treasurer, and Secretary.   The positions of Chair, Treasurer, and Secretary come up for election every year.  (The Counselor offices are for three-year terms.   Since the Counselor position stood for election in 2009 that  term runs from 2010 through 2012.   Therefore the elections this fall will be for Chair, Treasurer, Alternate Counselor, and Secretary of the North Alabama Section.  The elections are typically held in late October so now is a good time to consider whether you might be interested in running for one of the section offices or placing someone else in nomination.  If you have questions as to what is involved in the duties of any of the offices I will be glad to provide information. 

As our section did last year, we will again be coordinating our section meetings and seminars with the local colleges and universities.  At the present time we have tentatively scheduled two speakers for the fall  section meetings.  The speakers and dates (as best we have them) are listed below.

October 4  -  Dr. Pagni  (University of Tennessee)  Seminar:  It’s All Natural and Chemically Free.  This seminar is intended for general audiences so please feel free to invite non-chemistry friends to attend.  Dr. Pagni’s summary of the talk follows:

“It is fair to say that the average person in the United States is chemophobic. Advertisers take advantage of this fact by portraying their products as being either "chemically free" or made up of "natural" materials. A chemically free product, of course, is an oxymoron because everything is made up of chemicals but implies to most people the fact that it isn't made synthetically in an industrial process. Natural is also presumed to be better than synthetic. Natural materials are presumed to be milder and more healthful than their synthetic counterparts. This talk will show that these suppositions are not true and that each material, be it synthetic or natural, must be assessed individually.”

November 11 – Dr. Breazeale (College of Charleston/Laboratory Safety Institute)  Seminar:  The H. L. Hunley:  Recovery and Preservation.  This talk is also likely to be of general interest.  Dr. Breazeale’s summary of the talk follows:

“On the night of February 17, 1864 the Confederate submarine, the H.L. Hunley, attacked and sank the USS Housatonic. The attack occurred in Charleston Harbor on the South Carolina coast. The Hunley and its crew never returned from the mission. That is, until 8:37 am on August 8, 2000, when the submarine and its crew were recovered off the South Carolina coast. Work is complete on the recovery of the crew and continues on the preservation of the vessel. The talk will include a brief history of the Hunley, explain the search and recovery process, and a brief discussion of the continuing preservation process of the submarine. “


In addition to these seminars we will be sending out notices of seminars at the local universities so that those who are interested may attend. 

ACS President speaking at Joint Meeting of ACS Local Sections and Tuskegee University

ACS President Dr. Joseph Francisco will be the guest speaker at an ACS meeting at Tuskegee University, September 14 – 15, 2010.  While much of the meeting is geared toward ACS members who are undergraduates or are involved in education, the meeting has been opened to all ACS members.  Dr. Francisco will be presenting a “State of the Union Address” at 5:30 pm on Tuesday, September 14 at the Tuskegee University Kellogg Conference Center.  There will be a poster session for Student Chapters of the ACS (formerly known as SAACS) with awards for the first, second, and third place posters.  For more information on the poster session please contact Dr. Michael Curry at  For more information on the meeting please see our local section web-site at

Other news

Again, in Spring 2011, Dr. Bernhard Vogler (Treasurer of our Section) will be hosting the High School Chemistry Olympiad.  This is a great opportunity for any of our members wishing to be involved in supporting our high school chemistry students to get involved.  There are two rounds of competition at our local level.  The first is usually in March with a follow-on round in April. 

Also, our section is working toward a mini-conference on a topic in the biochemistry/biotechnology area for the spring.  This is in the planning stages and more information will be forthcoming.

On top of all of this, as many of you may know, next year has been designated the International Year of Chemistry 2011.    I am sure there will be many activities related to this and we hope that as a section we are able to participate in some of them.

The web-address for our local section is  Dr. Emanuel Waddell has been working on the site and has posted pictures to the site from the Madison Marshall Award Ceremony in the spring.  Also at this site you can find other information relating to section activities.

We are hoping to see as many of our Section members as possible participating in our activities this year.  If any of you have ideas that would make the Section more valuable to you as members or to our community, please contact one of the Section officers.

Section Chair:  Dr. Jamie Neidert                             

Section Counselor:  Dr. Carmen Scholz                   

Alternate Section Counselor:  Dr. Emanuel Waddell   

Section Treasurer:  Dr. Bernhard Vogler                                     

Section Secretary:  Dr. Winston Hedges                  



Winston Hedges

Secretary, North Alabama Section of the American Chemical Society

*Posted by Scott Miller on August 18, 2010 at 10:09 AM