BOONE, N.C. — The College of Arts and Sciences at Appalachian State University announces Dr. Geraldine Richmond, Presidential Chair of Science and professor of chemistry at the University of Oregon, as the 2018 Morgan Science Lecture Series speaker.
The purpose of the Morgan Science Lecture Series is to stimulate scientific understanding and research among the sciences by bringing innovative and prominent researchers to Appalachian’s campus. This year, the event is hosted by the A.R. Smith Department of Chemistry and Fermentation Sciences.
Richmond will present a public lecture titled “Empowering Global Scientific Engagement,” as well as deliver a technical talk titled “Mulling over Emulsions: Molecular bonding and adsorption at oil-water interfaces.” The objective of the latter is to heighten the awareness and importance of doing research that is inspired or spurred by environmental problems.
Richmond studies the complex and interconnected challenges embedded in a sustainable future for our planet in the face of population growth, climate change and resource management.
“The components for a sustainable future are composed of the nexus between water, energy and food security. On a global level, we all need to be working together on how we can be certain that we have enough water resources for all our needs, including energy, health and agriculture — all (of) which are intertwined. They are challenging issues right now and will continue to be as populations grow on our planet,” Richmond said.
She said she believes solutions demand partnership and innovative collaboration on an international level among developed and developing countries. She has been engaging with scientists all over the world to create solutions that are more productive.
During her talks at Appalachian, Richmond will explain how, on a global level, there are incredible scientists in developing countries who are often times invisible to the mainstream, but who are using limited resources and making significant headway.
A native of Kansas, Richmond received her B.S. in chemistry at Kansas State University and her Ph.D. in physical chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley. Richmond’s research interests focus on a fundamental understanding of molecular interactions that occur on complex surfaces that are relevant to environmental remediation, atmospheric chemistry, biochemistry and alternative energy sources. Her research group has made contributions to the understanding of liquid surfaces through a combination of laser-based spectroscopic methods, molecular simulations and thermodynamic techniques.
“When we talk about environmental clean-up, for example from an oil spill, we are not out there brushing off birds and cleaning off rocks. We are really trying to understand what’s the chemistry and the science behind what makes a good dispersant for breaking up oil and remediating the spill without causing more harm with the addition of toxic dispersants. We hope to inform those who are developing new non-toxic dispersants on molecular properties that are important in their design, that is where our work comes in to play,” Richmond said.
Richmond has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and was appointed to the National Science Board by former President Barack Obama. She is a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS), the American Chemical Society (ACS), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Association of Women in Science.
She has received numerous awards for her research, including the National Medal of Science (2013), the Spiers Medal of the Royal Society of Chemistry (2004), two Research Creativity awards from the National Science Foundation (2000 and 1991) and the ACS Olin–Garvan Medal (1996).
Throughout her career, Richmond has been a passionate advocate for women in science. She is the co-founder and current chair of COACh (Committee on the Advancement of Women Chemists), a grass-roots organization assisting in the advancement of women scientists and engineers in both the U.S. and in developing countries.
Over 20,000 scientists and engineers (men and women) over the past 20 years have benefited from COACh professional training and networking workshops. For her efforts, Richmond has been awarded the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Engineering Mentoring (1997), the American Chemical Society Award for Encouraging Women in the Chemical Sciences (2005) and the Council on Chemical Research Diversity Award (2006).
To learn more about the series and past speakers, visit https://cas.appstate.edu/events/morgan-science-lecture-series. For more information about Richmond, visit her website at https://richmondscience.uoregon.edu.
About the Morgan Science Lecture Series at Appalachian
The Morgan Science Lecture Series at Appalachian State University was established with a gift from the G. William Morgan Family. Morgan was a 1934 graduate of Appalachian and a health physicist with the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. The series stimulates scientific understanding and research among the sciences by bringing researchers to campus. Previous speakers include David Suzuki, award-winning geneticist and broadcaster, evolutionary biologist Stephen J. Gould, population ecologist Paul Ehrlich, former U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and oceanographer and underwater archaeologist Robert Ballard. Learn more at https://cas.appstate.edu/events/morgan-science-lecture-series.
About the A.R. Smith Department of Chemistry and Fermentation Sciences
The A.R. Smith Department of Chemistry and Fermentation Sciences offers a Bachelor of Arts in chemistry, a Bachelor of Science in chemistry with eight different concentrations and an interdisciplinary Bachelor of Science degree in fermentation sciences. The department’s programs prepare students to attend graduate and professional schools, as well as for employment in the pharmaceutical and fermentation industries and other business sectors. Learn more at https://chemistry.appstate.edu.
About the College of Arts and Sciences
The College of Arts and Sciences is home to 16 academic departments, one stand-alone academic program, two centers and one residential college. These units span the humanities and the social, mathematical and natural sciences. The College of Arts and Sciences aims to develop a distinctive identity built upon our university's strengths, traditions and unique location. The college’s values lie not only in service to the university and local community, but through inspiring, training, educating and sustaining the development of its students as global citizens. There are approximately 6,100 student majors in the college. As the college is also largely responsible for implementing Appalachian's general education curriculum, it is heavily involved in the education of all students at the university, including those pursuing majors in other colleges. Learn more at https://cas.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System, Appalachian enrolls more than 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.