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 second 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.
Four students will attend and blog their observations about the United Nations climate talks to be held Nov. 26 – Dec. 7 in Doha, Qatar.
The students are:
Marla Bianca is a senior Chemistry and Environmental Science double major at Moravian College. She is the President of the Moravian College’s ACS chapter and a member of ECO, the Environmental Coalition and Sustainability Committee. These clubs have allowed her to help out with different science and sustainability events on campus, such as Science Day.
Two summers ago, she had an internship with Berks Solar, learning about and installing solar arrays. Solar classes held at Rodale Institute during the morning and then in the afternoon there was hands-on-installation of the solar arrays at different sites. Also, this summer, she had the opportunity to take part in a SOAR (Student Opportunities for Academic Research) project at Moravian College, in which she determined the heavy metal uptake of the plants in the Lehigh Gap Wildlife Refuge remediation areas and analyzed the biochemical, ecological, and management consequences. She is currently continuing this line of research in the form of an Honors project under the supervision of Dr. Husic.
When she has free time, Marla loves to read books of all different genres. She also enjoys going for hikes around her home and Moravian College. The Nolde Forest and Moncacy Creek trails are just two of her favorite places to explore. Pyrography, wood burning, is one of her hobbies. She loves burning designs and pictures on boxes as gifts for her family and friends.
Nikki DeLuca is a junior at York College of Pennsylvania majoring in chemistry with a minor in sustainability and environmental studies. She began her collegiate studies as a Meteorology and Marine Science double major at North Carolina State University.
DeLuca is engaged in research determining the effects of different species of trees on the nitrate and phosphate concentrations of groundwater runoff into Lake Redman in York, Pennsylvania. She recently traveled to Washington, D.C. with peers, Parker McCrary and John Siller, and professors, Dr. Gregory Foy and Dr. Keith Peterman, to the American Chemical Society headquarters to participate in a writing workshop. While there, she spoke with a legislative staffer of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology regarding climate change science and subsequent policy. She also traveled to the NOAA campus in Silver Spring, Maryland with Siller to speak with NOAA’s UNFCCC representative.
Through social media, she plans to blog about her experiences and encourage her peers to become educated on the climate change issue.
DeLuca plans to pursue research in atmospheric chemistry and climate science. In attending the United Nations conference in Doha, she hopes to learn how scientists can adequately convey their research to the non-science community and promote the development of global policies among world leaders.
Parker is a second year graduate student pursuing his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry under the direction of Professor Robin D. Rogers at The University of Alabama. He was recently awarded the National Defense, Science, and Engineering Graduate fellowship to support his graduate studies. In addition to his research, Parker enjoys watching Alabama Crimson Tide football, traveling, and exercising.
Parker’s dissertation research is focused on developing green, safe, and effective liquid rocket propellants based on ionic liquids, salts with melting points below 100°C, to replace hydrazine. He will be presenting some of his progress at the 245th ACS National Meeting in New Orleans, La., in April 2013.
He is interested in learning what each countries believes is necessary to stop anthropogenic climate change and what role the United States can play. He hopes to connect with the youth of other nations to build a framework for future impact. As a native of Alpharetta, GA, Parker hopes to be an instrument for change for the southern part of the United States that is not as familiar with the idea of climate change.
John Siller is a senior at York College of Pennsylvania majoring in chemistry with a minor in mathematics. John is currently studying the theoretical modeling of solvent effects on Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy as well as a number of other topics.
John’s love for the sciences and knowledge stems from his parents. His mother is a math teacher and his father is a chemist for ExxonMobil. From a young age John has enjoyed learning new things especially how everyday items work; today his interest range from astronomy to geographic information systems (GIS) to playing guitar and his daily dose of sports. Originally from Clinton, N.J., John also enjoys traveling and experiencing other cultures.
He also enjoys teaching others and believes that explaining things to others is also a great way to learn as well. He looks forward to attending COP 18 as it will offer a great opportunity to learn and spread awareness and knowledge about climate change to students around the country. In addition to a blog dedicated to COP18, John will be using Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets to relate his experiences and insights. One of the main goals of the American Chemical Society’s representation at COP18 is to spread information and to get more people involved.