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71st Southeastern Regional Meeting

by Linda Wang
September 6, 2019 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 97, Issue 35


Photo of Savannah, Georgia.
Credit: Shutterstock
Savannah, Georgia

The 71st Southeastern Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society (SERMACS) will be held Oct. 20–23 at the Savannah Marriott Riverfront hotel in Savannah, Georgia. The meeting theme is “Chemistry on the Coast.”

SERMACS 2019 at a glance

Dates: Oct. 20–23

Location: Savannah, Georgia

Information contacts: General chair, Will Lynch,


Technical program. Among the meeting highlights will be a keynote talk on Monday afternoon by historian and author John Laurence Busch, who specializes in steam-powered vessels. In addition, more than 70 half-day sessions will span the major disciplines of chemistry. Technical sessions will include “Applications of Mass Spectrometry for Drug Discovery and Precision Medicine,” “Frontiers in Nucleic Acid Chemistry,” “Catalysis in Aqueous and Alternative Media,” “Teaching, Creating, and Sustaining a Safety Culture,” “Diversity: Minority-Serving Organizations,” “Computational Chemistry Applied to Interesting Problems,” “Entrepreneurs Tool Kit,” “Plastics and Microplastics in the Environment,” “Aquatic Biogeochemistry,” “The Past, Present, and Future of the Periodic Table,” “Advances in Phosphorous-Based Ligands,” “Patent Law for Chemists: What You Need to Know,” “Nanophotonics for Chemical Sensing and Modified Chemistry,” “Structure-Based Drug Design,” “Synthesis and Applications of Novel Nanocatalysts,” “Heterocyclic Chemistry in the Southeast and Beyond,” “Smart Polymer Materials and Coatings,” and “Chemistry at 2-Year Colleges.”

Workshops. On Sunday, the workshop “Introduction to IONiC/VIPEr: Using and Sharing Inorganic Chemistry Education Resources” will guide participants through the use of the Virtual Inorganic Pedagogical Electronic Resource, an online community for improving inorganic chemical education. On Monday, the ACS Outreach Training Program will teach ACS members how to successfully plan and execute outreach events. Leadership development courses will be available on Sunday and Tuesday, and undergraduate and graduate students can participate in ACS Career Pathways workshops on résumé building, networking, interviewing skills, and identifying a career that matches an individual’s strengths and values. On Wednesday, there will be a workshop titled “EChem in a Box,” where attendees will conduct a cyclic voltammetry experiment to gain a better understanding of how to use the tool for teaching electrochemistry.

Undergraduate programming. For undergraduates interested in continuing their studies, a graduate school fair will take place on Sunday afternoon. More than 30 universities will be participating in the fair, which will coincide with two undergraduate poster sessions. Undergraduates can also participate in an outreach lunch on Sunday, a women in industry lunch on Monday, and an ice cream social with members of the ACS Board of Directors on Monday afternoon.

High school teachers program. A program for K–12 educators is planned for Wednesday. Presentations will include the following topics: culturally responsive curricula, ocean acidification, classroom demos, particulate-level animations, and harmful algal blooms. Lunch is included.

Awards. Several awards will be presented at the meeting, including the E. Ann Nalley Regional Award for Volunteer Service to ACS, the Stanley C. Israel Regional Award for Advancing Diversity in the Chemical Sciences, and the Regional Awards for Excellence in High School Teaching. The awards luncheon will take place on Wednesday.

Expo and social events. An expo featuring the latest products on the market will kick off on Monday afternoon and run through Tuesday. Social event highlights include a National Chemistry Week public outreach event on the Savannah riverfront on Sunday afternoon, an undergraduate pizza party on Sunday evening, an ice cream social on Monday afternoon, a Women Chemists Committee cocktail hour on Monday evening, and a Younger Chemists Committee brewery event on Tuesday evening where attendees can talk with people working in different chemistry positions at the brewery. Meeting attendees are also invited to attend the diversity luncheon on Tuesday and the awards luncheon on Wednesday.

Lodging and registration. Early-bird registration for the meeting ends at 11:59 p.m. (EDT) on Sept. 23, but on-site registration will be available through the end of the meeting. Rooms at the Savannah Marriott Riverfront may be reserved at a reduced rate of $189 a night through the meeting website. To register for the meeting, or for more details, visit


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