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2020 virtual Rocky Mountain Regional Meeting

by Linda Wang
October 2, 2020 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 98, Issue 38


The American Chemical Society Colorado Local Section will host the 2020 Rocky Mountain Regional Meeting (RMRM), which, because of the pandemic, will take place virtually, from Thursday, Nov. 12, through Friday, Nov. 13. Help celebrate this local section’s 100th anniversary. The theme of the meeting is “Celebrating a Century of Chemistry in the Rockies.” The general chairs are Carlos Olivo-Delgado and Debbie C. Crans of Colorado State University. Meeting details and registration information are available at

2020 virtual RMRM at a glance

Dates: Nov. 12–13

Information contacts: General chairs Carlos Olivo-Delgado,; and Debbie C. Crans,


Technical program. The meeting is organized around a number of activities, including the symposia “Young Talent in the Rocky Mountain Region,” “Sustainability,” “Celebrating Contributions from Senior Chemists in the Rocky Mountain Region,” and “Medicinal and Biological Chemistry.” Presenters will have an opportunity to share their work using short, prerecorded presentations. Speakers will be from ACS as well as other organizations, including the Laboratory Safety Institute, Iota Sigma Pi, the Virtual Inorganic Pedagogical Electronic Resource, and the National Science Foundation.

A key topic of this conference is safety in the chemical profession. On Thursday, Nov. 12, there will be a luncheon plenary session with a talk by former ACS president Peter Dorhout on safety in academia. Kim Johnson of Shell and Amy K. Doane and Robin I. Livingston of CordenPharma Colorado will speak about safety in industry.

Workshops. On Thursday morning, graduate students and postdocs are invited to attend a workshop on careers in industry and in academia. An ACS career workshop, “Fostering Innovations,” will be offered Thursday morning. This 4 h facilitated workshop is ideal for scientists at all levels to learn and practice strategies to think outside the box. The workshop covers different ways to approach problem solving and will benefit both academic and industrial scientists.

On Thursday afternoon, there will be a workshop for graduate students on lab safety culture organized by Jessica Martin of the University of Connecticut and facilitated by Sarah Zinn of the University of Chicago and Jessica DeYoung of the University of Iowa. The workshop, “Empowering Academic Researchers to Strengthen Safety Culture,” will cover safety procedures and relevant regulatory requirements, as well as best practices and the development of chemical hygiene plans. It will also cover essential resource materials, fundamental risk assessment and management, fundamental exposure assessment, and basic emergency response.

On Friday, there will also be a presentation by Jessica Martin about forming laboratory safety teams and by James Kaufman of the Laboratory Safety Institute.

Undergraduate programming. More than 20 undergraduates will be presenting their research during the meeting. These presentations are eligible for Flash Presentation awards. Since many participants will be attending their first meeting, there will be an icebreaker mixer a few days before the meeting to help younger participants become comfortable with the event. In addition, there will be a “Chemical Safety” mixer on Thursday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. (MST) and an award presentation on Friday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. (MST).

Help celebrate this local section’s 100th anniversary.

Awards. Several awards will be presented at the meeting. Nancy Levinger of Colorado State University will receive the COACS lifetime award, Gunda Georg of the University of Minnesota Twin Cities will receive the 2020 Medicinal Chemistry Award, and Kristin Bowman-James of the University of Kansas will receive the 2020 Inorganic Chemistry Award. The awardees will speak about their science and their careers. They will also participate in a panel, sponsored by the Iota Sigma Pi Meitnerium Chapter and Women Chemists Committee, on careers in chemistry.

Additional awards to be presented include the Stanley C. Israel Regional Award for Advancing Diversity in the Chemical Sciences, the ACS Division of Chemical Education Rocky Mountain Region Award for Excellence in High School Teaching, the Partners for Progress and Prosperity (P3) Award, and the E. Ann Nalley Regional Award for Volunteer Service to ACS.

Awards will also be presented for flash, or short, presentations in the categories of “best,” “most scholarly,” “most innovative,” and “most collaborative.” There will be awards for undergraduate students, graduate students, and postgraduate students. An awards mixer will take place on Friday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. (MST).

Visit for more information on these events and to register for the virtual meeting.


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