Community Forum in Chemistry, Fall 2009


Header for Community Forum in Chemistry
Windward Community College
45-720 Kea'ahala Road
Kane'ohe, Hawai‘i 96744

This project is coordinated by Leticia U. Colmenares Ph.D. Associate Professor in Chemistry - 236-9120. The forum is co-sponsored by Windward Community College and the American Chemical Society-Hawaii Section.

Picture of Kelly KingMonday, August 31, 2009, Hale Imiloa 111 (view map of campus)
12:30 to 1:30pm
Kelly King

Biodiesel Fuel Processes

This presentation will explain and illustrate the hows and whys of the biodiesel industry in America, which began in Hawaii in 1996 with Pacific Biodiesel's first biodiesel plant, still located in the Central Maui Landfill.  Kelly King will discuss the simple chemistry of biodiesel fuel and the more complicated process technology. She will also review the complex environmental and social issues of the biofuels industry that have evolved over the 13 years that Pacific Biodiesel has been in existence.

Kelly King is currently the Vice President of Pacific Biodiesel, Inc., having co-founded the renewable energy company with her husband Robert King in 1996.  Well known as an industry pioneer, Pacific Biodiesel was created to help alleviate the disposal of waste cooking oil at Maui’s landfill and became the first commercial biodiesel company in the U.S. In 2005, Pacific Biodiesel won the BlueSky Award, one of the Top Ten Global Renewable Energy Investment Scenarios, given by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization.
In 2006, together with Daryl Hannah and Willie and Annie Nelson, Kelly co-founded the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance, a non-profit organization that is developing a certification process for sustainable biodiesel practices. Kelly and Bob King are the main subjects of Revolution Green, a feature length documentary on biodiesel in America.

This forum is co-sponsored by Windward Community College and the American Chemical Society-Hawaii Section.

Picture of scientistsWednesday, October 21, 2009, Hale Akoakoa 105 (view map of campus)
5:30 to 6:30 pm
Andrea Rosanoff, Ph.D.

An Alternative Paradigm on the Cause of Cardiovascular Disease

Heart Disease has long been a large health problem of the United States, with cardiovascular events bringing more deaths per year throughout the 20th Century and since than any other disease.   Current paradigm of this tenacious health problem acknowledges that the root cause is primarily nutritional rather than being an infectious or toxicity disease.  Buried in the peer reviewed literature is a vast amount of studies at the cellular, physiological, nutritional and population levels that strongly suggest that the root cause may be primarily a widely occurring but largely unacknowledged deficiency of nutritional magnesium.  Evidence showing how nutritional magnesium deficit can explain all risk factors for heart disease will be presented along with data showing the current low status of nutritional magnesium in the United States.

Andrea Rosanoff, Ph.D. (UC Berkeley) is a Nutritional Biologist and Director of Research at The Center for Magnesium Education & Research, LLC in Pahoa, Hawaii. Her main research interests include development of the nutritional magnesium paradigm of cardiovascular disease, the role of magnesium nutrition in osteoporosis, diabetes, psychobiological and renal disease, generational effect on nutritional magnesium of the processed food diet, and the role of magnesium in stress reactions.  Her recent publications include studies on Mg supplementation and hypertension and a comparison of magnesium supplements with statin pharmaceuticals. She co-authored a book entitled “The Magnesium Factor” in 2003 and produced an animated short video entitled “Balancing Calcium and Magnesium” in 2008.

This forum is co-sponsored by Windward Community College and the American Chemical Society-Hawaii Section.

Picture of Richard SmerzTuesday, November 3, 2009, Hale Imiloa 111 (view map of campus)
1:30-2:30 pm
Richard W. Smerz, DO, MTMH, FACPM

Hyperbaric Treatments

Hyperbaric medicine is the medical use of oxygen at a level higher than atmospheric pressure. The increased overall pressure is used in the treatment of decompression sickness and air embolism associated with diving accidents.
In this forum, Dr. Smerz will discuss the physics, physiology, and patho-physiology associated with diving accidents.  He will also discuss other conditions and disorders treated with hyperbaric oxygen.

Dr. Richard W. Smerz, DO, MTMH, FACPM is a clinical professor at the Department of Surgery, UH John A. Burns School of Medicine and medical director of the Hyperbaric Treatment Center at Kuakini Hospital.  He also serves as the diving medical officer of the UH Diving Safety Program Certified Diving Medical Examiner.

He graduated with a  Doctor of Osteophathic Medicine degree from Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences and also obtained his masteral degree in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene from the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences.

Picture of scientistsTuesday, November 17, 2009, Hale Imiloa 111 (view map of campus)
1:30-2:30 pm
Kevin Hamilton, Ph.D.

Chlorofluorocarbons and Global Warming

Predicting the response of the global climate to human inputs requires understanding of the physical, chemical and biological aspects of the system. This forum will review one particular issue involving atmospheric chemistry, namely the effects of manmade chlorofluorocarbon compounds (CFCs) in the climate system.  Calculations suggest that the introduction of CFCs into the atmosphere has had as much as 20% of the climate warming effect as the increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide above its pre-industrial level. While carbon dioxide inputs into the atmosphere are still largely unregulated, a comprehensive international treaty has severely limited the further emission of CFCs.  The climate effects of the regulatory regime for CFCs will be discussed and lessons will be drawn for the broader issue of international regulation to limit global environmental change.

Kevin Hamilton, Ph.D. (Princeton University), is Professor of Meteorology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and currently serves as the Interim Director of the International Pacific Research Center. His research focuses on the dynamics of the atmosphere and computer modeling of the climate system.


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.

Picture of people doing chemistry

ACS Logo

Co-sponsored by the American Chemical Society
- Hawaii Section