Colorado Local Section

63rd Colorado Science & Eng Fair COACS Awards

June 2017 COASC Events

The Colorado Section will honored those members reaching 50, 60 and 70-years of service this year at a luncheon June 21.  There will be another Senior meeting at the Rocky Mountain Regional Meeting in October.  This year the COACS has 13 members who have achieved 50 years, 7 who have achieved 60 years, and 3 who have achieved 70 years of membership!

Wednesday, June 21, 11:30 – 1:30

Benedict’s Restaurant

8181 E. Arapahoe Rd (west of I-25 at Greenwood Plaza Blvd)

Greenwood Village, CO 80112

May 2017 COASC Events

May 5-7th Eleven COACS members spent their weekend in Fort Collins working through a Strategic Planning Retreat orchestrated by Chair, Debbie Crans, and funded with an ACS grant. Facilitators, Kathleen Schultz and Wayne Jones, led the group through the gruelling process of trying to predict what steps taken now will have the most impact to strengthen COACS in our rapidly changing future.  Look for full details to be posted soon.

 The second Monday of May [May 8th], was the last Boulder Science Cafe event for the 2016/17 season.  Dr. Zoe Donaldson was an entertaining AND informative speaker as she shared a bit of her research in her talk, "Molecules of Monogamy".

 The following videos are added to "Recent Videos" at right

 Check out this video of a talk she gave about consulting for a "Puppy Love" video.

The final production Sloan Science & Film: Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt's PUPPY LOVE, also on youtube is so funny you will laugh out loud!   


 The University of Denver hosted our May 11th event also funded and planned in correlation with strategic planning for the future. Dr. F. Fleming Crim, former Assistant Director National Science Foundation, Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Science, spoke about funding for Basic Research through the NSF. "The Miracle Machine" video posted in Recent Videos to the right, is one he referenced to demonstrate the immense importance of basic research to every single technological "miracle" ever invented. 

Although Dr. Crim's data irrefutably links a 20-60% rate of return from every dollar the US invests in basic research, NSF funding for all proposals has remained flat for the past decade.  This rather sad truth does not deter Dr. Crim's optimism however. Let's hope his faith in the curiosity and cleverness of scientist in this country is well founded.

         April 2017 was THE SCIENCE MONTH

The 253rd bi-annual ACS National meeting held in San Francisco April 2-6 with over 20000 registered attendees was an outstanding success.  [Pictures from Council Meeting posted in Recent Photos at right] 


The Denver March for Science happened Saturday, April 22, 2017, attracting 20K activists to Curtis Park  [more in recent Newsletter Postings at left]   

April 26th the Colorado ACS [COACS] and Colorado Chemistry Teachers Association [CCTA] honored outstanding chemistry students and their teachers with an Annual Award Dinner at Regis University.

[Full story in Newsletter Postings at left] 

February 2017

 Celebrating the COACS Salutes to Excellence Awards

February 16, 2017

The Colorado Section of the American Chemical Society (COACS) is the local section of ACS for the entire state of Colorado.  The American Chemical Society (ACS) is the world’s largest scientific society and one of the leading sources of authoritative scientific information.  It is a nonprofit organization, chartered by Congress, and is at the forefront of the evolving worldwide chemical enterprise and the premier professional home for chemists, chemical engineers, and other related professionals.  Currently, COACS has slightly more than 2500 members.  Many of our activities are described on our website

On February 16th, we celebrated the three individuals and two teams receiving the “Salutes to Excellence Awards.”  In addition, we also recognized our 2017 Outreach Volunteer of the Year for the Colorado Local Section, Dr. Marge Rakowsky. 

First, we recognized Dr. Karen Knaus, University of Colorado at Denver, for her service as our Student Awards Chair for 8 years.  She has administered the program that grants students travel awards to attend and present their research at ACS meetings.  Currently she is assisted by Dr. Emily Ragan from Metro State University.  It is an often underappreciated activity but essential in developing the young chemists of Colorado.  

Second, we recognized Helen Gerhard, Quality Management and Auditing Consultant, for her service to COACS as Webmaster.  Keeping the website up to date is not an easy undertaking.  Helen works to see that the information gets posted in a timely way. 

The third award recognized Dr. Marge Rakowsky, U.S. Air Force Academy.  Beginning in 2006, two events were planned, one south of Denver and one in the northern part of the state, for our Seniors.  The members with 50 or 60 years of service are recognized.  They enjoy sharing  stories of their careers and making or renewing friendships.  In 2016 the northern event was held with the Young Talent in Colorado and Beyond Symposium at Colorado State University.  

There were two teams recognized with Salutes to Excellence.  One led by Dr. James Blakemore, University of Kansas, and Dr. Debbie Crans, Colorado State University, and assisted by Kelly Hassell and Carlos Olivo-Delgado of CSU organized and held a very successful two-day symposium, “Young Talent in Colorado and Beyond.”  The symposium had untenured professors, post-docs, graduate and undergraduate student presenters and was attended by approximately 110 people.  It was a great success!

The second team, Elnore Grow, Horizon High School, Thornton, and Greta Glugoski-Sharp, St. Mary’s Academy, Cherry Hills, were recognized for the annual presentation of awards to the top high school chemistry student at each high school in Colorado.   Dr. Sue Schelble and Dr. Connie Gabel, both of Metro State University, were also recognized for the great support that they give to Elnore and Greta.  This program is unique in all of ACS and has been recognizing excellence in our high students since at least the 1970’s!  Congratulations to all who have made it a continuing success! 

The final award, the 2017 Outreach Volunteer of the Year for the Colorado Local Section, was presented to Dr. Marge Rakowsky for the many things she has done during the 19 years she has served on the Exec Committee as Secretary of the Section.  She is honored to receive this recognition—following previous awardees, Dr.Connie Gabel in 2015 and Dr. Sandra Bonetti in 2016.

During the social hour and dinner, Yusef Farah, Ph.D. student, provided music on his classical guitar.  We plan to make celebrating our volunteers an annual event.

  2016 COACS Salutes to Excellence Awardees 


January 2017

The Colorado Section of the ACS held a meeting at the Colorado School of Mines on January 24 to honor the 2016 section awardee, Prof. Ryan M. Richards of the Colorado School of Mines.  The dinner event had >60 attendees that included ACS members from the Colorado front range including industrial representatives and numerous faculty and students.  Additionally, Prof. Richards had several family members and non-technical friends in the audience.   After presentation of the award by section Chair Debbie Crans, Prof. Richards gave a broad ranging talk that focused on inorganic chemistry, energy and catalysis but also took excursions into history, politics and even worked in Phil Jackson (NBA) and Van Halen!


December 2016

Colorado ACS Meeting:  COACS Section Award Presentation, Monday, December 19, 2016.   EUV Laser Photoelectron Spectroscopy of Mass Selected Neutral Clusters and Molecules.  Presenter: Professor Elliot R. Bernstein, Department of Chemistry Colorado State University.  Held at Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, CO. 

Cafe Scientifique Boulder: Monday, December 12, 2016.  Technological Fixes for Climate Change: Should We Turn the Planet into a Laboratory?  Presenter:  Dr. Jack Stilgoe, Senior Lecturer, Department of Science and Technology Studies, University College London. Held at Bohemian Biergarten, Boulder, CO.  Co-Sponsored by COACS and CU Boulder Sigma Xi.

November 2016

Cafe Scientifique Boulder: Tuesday, November 15, 2016.  The Highlife in Colorado: Clearing the smoke to reveal the science of Cannabis analysis.  Presented by the Founders and Supervisory Analyst of Gobi Analytical.  Held at West Flanders Brewing, Boulder, CO.

October 2016

Colorado ACS Meeting: Thursday, October 20, 2016, Biomass Utilization: Opportunities and Challenges, Presenter:  Dr. Josh Schaidle, Acting Program Manager, Thermochemical Conversion Platform, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).  Held at Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO.

September 2016

Colorado ACS Meeting:  Tuesday, September 13, 2016.  The Chemistry of Wine (Wine Tasting and Dinner). Presenter: Dr. Ernie Simpson, Society of Wine Educators and the American Wine Society.  Held at Regis University, Denver, CO.

August 2016 

Young Talent Symposium: Wednesday, August 3 - Thursday, 4, 2016.   Young Talent in Colorado and Beyond.  

Young Talent Symposium 2016 symposium-writeup.docx

Final Abstract book Young Talent in Colorado and Beyond 2016 Aug 11.pdf

Collage ACS Young

included Senior Luncheon:  Thursday, Aug 4, 2016. Held at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO

June 2016

Senior Luncheon:  Monday, June 13, 2016. Held at Silo Park Shelter, Greenwood Village, CO

May 2016

Colorado ACS Meeting: Monday, May 9, 2016,  How Politics are Impacting Chemistry and Fundamental Research.  Presenter: Ryan Jackson, PhD (neuroscience), Office of Public Affairs, ACS Washington DC.  Meeting included presentation, brewery tours, gourmet pizza, and craft beers.  Held at Half-Penny Brewery in Centennial, CO.

March 2016

Colorado ACS Meeting: Saturday, March 5, 2016.  Tour of Colorado Springs Pioneer Museum and Presentation.  MenJ: A New Virulence Factor and Drug Target.  Presenter:Dr. Dean Crick, Professor, Dept. of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins.  Held at Colorado Springs Pioneer Museum, Colorado Springs, CO.

April 2016 

Colorado ACS Meeting: Tuesday, April 19, 2016.  High School Chemistry Student and Teachers Awards with Presentation of "The Chemistry of Chocolate" by Howard Peters. Held at Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO.

Chemist's Celebrate Earthday: April 22, 2016. Theme:  The Great Outdoors - Your Home's Ecosysterm. 

February 2016

Colorado ACS Meeting: Monday, February 22, 2016, Pharmaceuticals in Drinking Water, PresentersTodd Wells (DU), Robert Topping (Industrial Chemist) and Chad Kinney (CSU-Pueblo).  Held at Sansone's Bistro, Greenwood Village, CO.

January 2016

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