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Community Forum in Chemistry, Fall 2011


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.

Hawaii Algae Opportunities

Picture of Heidi Kuehnle and Vasumathi Kodeby Dr. Heidi Kuehnle and Dr. Vasumathi Kode

2:00-3:00 pm, Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Hale ‘Imiloa 111 (view map of campus)

Microalgae are increasingly recognized as a major food source for human and animal nutrition as well as a sustainable alternative to fossil fuel. These algal products help address issues surrounding the depletion of natural fish oils, and the uncertainty about the future of petroleum-derived compounds and ingredients.  Microalgae biomass production requires a small land area and microalgae have a short life cyle, however, microalgae companies must navigate multiple technical and financial challenges to be successful.  In this forum, the potential opportunities of microalgae in Hawaii’s economy for aquaculture, specialty bioproducts, greenhouse gas mitigation, and biofuels will be described.

Dr. Heidi Kuehnle is the Co-founder, CEO and President of Kuehnle AgroSystems.  She combines entrepreneurial talent with 22 years experience relevant to agrisciences as a former professor in plant biology at the University of Hawaii. She was named a 2010 Hawaii Energy Industry Pacesetter, the 2009 Hawaii Inventor of the Year by the Hawaii Venture Capital Association, 2008 Scientist of the Year at the University of Hawaii, and a winner of the 2008 Hawaii Technology Industry award.  Dr. Kuehnle received her Ph.D. in Plant Breeding from Cornell University, and her B. A. in Biology and German from Middlebury College.  She has authored over 100 scientific publications, books, and patents.

Dr. Vasumathi Kode is the Staff Scientist & Aquaculture Product Development Manager of Kuehnle Agrosystems.  She received her Ph.D. in Plant Sciences from University of Manchester, U.K. and has 5+ years of experience in Chloroplast Engineering in Tobacco for producing vaccines and other related bio-products. She joined Kuehnle Agrosystems, in 2007 and since then she has been working on several projects on algae for biofuel and aquaculture purposes.

picture of Frederick PerlakCorals and Ocean Acidification

by Dr. Paul Jokiel

2:00-3:00 pm, Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Hale ‘Imiloa 111 (view map of campus)

Dr. Paul Jokiel has been conducting research on coral reef ecology since 1969.  He has been part of the ongoing effort to understand the future impacts of global climate change from the beginning and thus has a unique historical perspective.  He has published in a wide range of areas related to coral reef ecology and was the first to demonstrate the importance of UV radiation on coral reefs.  He has also conducted pioneering work in the area of comparative immunology of corals and sponges.  More recently he has been involved in studies of ocean acidification and coral reefs and the problem of mitigation of damage to reefs and their restoration.  In 1998 he initiated the ongoing statewide Hawaii Coral Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program (CRAMP).  His current activity includes ongoing work on climate change, ecological studies on impact of sediments on reefs, a biological survey of the USS Arizona and USS Utah in Pearl Harbor, and extension of ecological studies into the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

His talk will focus on the causes and effects of climate change with a focus on ocean acidification and coral reefs.  The first half of his talk will focus on the problem of climate change with the later half focused on the solution.

Dr. Paul Jokiel is a full-time researcher at the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology.

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

picture of Frederick PerlakFukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident: Lessons Learned

by Kyle J Hanley

2:00-3:00 pm, Monday, September 26, 2011
Hale ‘Imiloa 111 (view map of campus)

Kyle J Hanley was in the first wave of nuclear expertise support to go to Japan in March, 2011 to assist with dose counseling, decontamination, assessment and internal monitoring.  In this forum, he will talk about his experience, the cause and effects of the Fukushima nuclear accident, including scientific and sociological changes in the local area and outside.   He will also talk about the implications on safety and reliability of nuclear power.

Kyle J Hanley is the Radiation Health Officer of Naval Health Clinic Hawaii.  He is responsible for administering the radiation health program across several military commands throughout Hawaii.  He teaches radiological controls, decontamination, emergency management, industrial safety and radiation physics to personnel working in and around the health physics field.  He served on the USS Salt Lake City (SSN 716) and the USS Emory S Land (AS 39) as a reactor & steam plant chemist, engine room supervisor, radiological controls technician and instructor.  Mr. Hanley obtained his masters degree in Radiation Health Physics from Oregon State University.

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

picture of Frederick PerlakTwice as Easy to Catch--Alaska's Abnormal Wood Frogs

by Dr. Mari Reeves

2:00-3:00 pm, Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Hale ‘Imiloa 111 (view map of campus)

The wood frog can be found throughout Alaska, and is the only frog to survive north of the Arctic Circle.  Its claim to fame is the amazing ability to freeze solid in the winter, then thaw to life in the spring.  In this forum, Dr. Mari Reeves will talk about the prevalence, multiple stressors, including chemical toxicants that cause the abnormalities in these mysterious creatures. 

As a biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Alaska, Mari Reeves studies the effects of pollution on wildlife. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from UC Berkeley, a Master’s of Science in Natural Resources from Cornell, and more recently a PhD in Ecology from the University of California at Davis. When not capturing small creatures or swatting the state's famously voracious mosquitoes, Mari likes to hang out with her family, and ski, run, bike, and fish in her home of Kodiak, AK.

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

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

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Co-sponsored by the American Chemical Society
- Hawaii Section