Community Forum in Chemistry
Fall 2008 Schedule

Hale Imiloa 111 (view map of campus)
University of Hawai’i - Windward Community College
45-720 Kea'ahala Road
Kane'ohe, Hawai‘i 96744

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Yun Judy Zhu, Ph.D.

Biotechnology: Benefits and Challenges to Hawaii Farmers

1:30-2:30pm, Thursday, November 20, 2009
Hale ‘Imiloa 111, Windward Community College

The recent advances in agricultural biotechnology have provided benefits but at the same time brought a controversy over genetically modified crops. For example, the virus resistance of the transgenic papaya resulted in an increase of papaya production in Hawaii. But, on the other hand, the concern for potential risk of transgenic gene flow from the genetically modified Chinese taro into the native Hawaiian taro has brought a huge debate and questions about bio-safety of transgenic plants. In this presentation, both potential benefits and concerns of this technology as well as the roles of different federal regulatory agencies will be addressed.

Dr. Yun Judy Zhu is a Research Scientist at Hawaii Agriculture Research Center (HARC) working on tropical crop improvement through molecular cloning and genetic engineering. Her research areas include the development of molecular markers for marker-assisted breeding, molecular cloning of disease resistance genes and introgression of novel genes for crop improvement. Dr. Zhu earned her Ph.D in Chemistry from the University of Hawaii and is currently a graduate affiliate faculty of the Department of Molecular Bioscience and Bioengineering (MBBE), University of Hawaii.

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Engr. Maria L. Tome

Energy Alternatives in Hawaii

Wednesday, October 29, 2008
1:30-2:30 pm
Hale ‘Imiloa 111

Hawaii's energy future may look quite different from today's fossil-fueled system. Come hear about some of the technologies, policies, and choices that will allow renewable sources of energy -- solar, wind, ocean, geothermal, biomass -- to power Hawaii's economy in the not-so distant future. See examples of how renewable sources of energy - and energy efficiency - are making a difference for residents and businesses today. Finally, gain a greater appreciation of the magnitude of our energy resources -- and the challenges that face us.

Maria Tome is a licensed professional engineer with the Hawaii State Energy Office. She obtained her Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Hawaii. Over the past 18 years, she has worked on projects in the areas of energy efficiency, solar, wind, wave, ocean thermal energy, hydroelectric, geothermal, biomass, transportation fuels, and hydrogen. She is currently the co-chair of the Transportation Working Group and a member of the Integration Group of the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative.

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Dan Alicata, M.D.
Christine Cloak, Ph.D.
George King, Ph.D.

Impact of Drug Use on the Developing Brain

Tuesday, October 7, 2008, 5:30-6:30 pm
Hale Akoakoa, Room 101

In Hawaii, methamphetamine (ice) and marijuana are the most common illegal drugs of abuse. The effects of exposure to these drugs at an early age and or over prolonged period are not very well known. This forum will discuss emerging results from an ongoing study using MRI, 1H MRS, DTI and functional MRI, to measure brain structure, brain chemistry, water diffusion and organization and brain activity during cognitive tests . The goal is to determine the stages of alteration in brain development and maturation and the potential effects of early intervention.

Dan Alicata is an Assistant Professor at the John A. Burns School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry. Dan Alicata obtained his medical degree, and completed residency training in general psychiatry and child and adolescent psychiatry at the John A. Burns School of Medicine.

George King is a Assistant Specialist of UH John A Burns School of Medicine. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Emory University, Masters degree from Washington State University and his PhD in Psychology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Christine Cloak, is an Assistant Professor at UH John A Burns School of Medicine. She obtained her bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Psychology from the University of California at Irvine and her PhD in Neuroscience from UCLA.

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Dr. Richard E. Zeebe

Ocean Acidification: Another Consequence of Human Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Thursday, September 11, 2008
1:30-2:30 pm

Since the industrial revolution, humans have released about 500 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This has not only consequences for atmospheric greenhouse gases and climate but also for ocean chemistry. The oceans have absorbed about 40% of the released carbon dioxide, which makes the seawater less alkaline - a process termed 'ocean acidification'. In this presentation, the basic chemistry of ocean acidification and the role the oceans in the global carbon cycle will be discussed. Furthermore, projections of future carbon dioxide emissions and the consequences of those emissions for marine life in the open and coastal ocean, including prospects for coral reef habitats such as the Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Reserve and possible mitigation strategies will be discussed.

Dr. Richard E. Zeebe is Associate Professor of Oceanography at the University of Hawaii-Manoa. He received his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Bremen in Germany and worked at Columbia University in New York as a post-doctoral scholar. His research focuses on the global carbon cycle, biogeochemistry and paleoclimatology. This includes a broad spectrum of topics, ranging from physico-chemical properties of molecules and the biogeochemistry of tiny marine organisms to climate change and ocean acidification at the global scale. He has authored and co-authored more than 35 publications in peer-reviewed international journals and has published a book on the chemistry of carbon dioxide in seawater. He is also an editor of the International journals Climate of the Past and Paleoceanography.

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What is the Community Forum in Chemistry?  

• Its goal is to increase learning in chemistry for all students (and community members).

• A practicing professional discusses a chemistry related topic that is relevant to everyday lives.

• During the forum audience participate by asking questions, sharing views and comments.

• Serves as a bridge between classroom and real-world applications.

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  Co-sponsored by
This project is coordinated by Leticia U. Colmenares
, Assistant Professor in Chemistry - 236-9120

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the American Chemical Society
- Hawaii Section

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