For the second consecutive year, an undergraduate student from NSU’s Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences has been named a National Science Foundation (NSF) Green Chemistry Student Scholar, selected from a competitive pool of top applicants spanning the country. Biology major and chemistry minor Arti Patel attended the 17th Annual Green Chemistry and Green Engineering Conference in North Bethesda, Maryland, Jun. 18–20.
Attending the conference served as a great learning and networking opportunity for Patel. She met with faculty and field leaders from around the world and attended talks and presentations covering a broad range of green-chemistry concepts, such as how eliminating polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from pigments, inks, and dyes could help reduce environmental hazards.
“The biggest learning outcome for me was becoming more familiar with green chemistry,” said Patel. “For example, there were presentations about how to include green chemistry principles in organic-chemistry materials and labs for pre-med students. This was extremely valuable, as my goal is to attend medical school.
“The experience also taught me to become more aware of environmental issues in my community and to come up with solutions that are environmentally friendly.”
Over the next few semesters, Patel aims to continue research on topics related to green chemistry and environmental toxicity. Working under the guidance of faculty adviser Song Gao, Ph.D., associate professor at the college, Patel will measure composition and quantities of contaminants in regional waters and atmospheric aerosols, and assess their impact on climate and health through instrumental analysis and lab/field studies.
In addition, Gao is selected to participate in the Miami Science Museum Science Communications Fellows program, which is partly supported by the NSF. Gao’s contribution will aim to promote the understanding of environmental sustainability through activities held at the museum in downtown Miami in 2014. This community outreach will showcase research completed by students and faculty at the college and the university.