Southwestern has received a $127,000 grant from the Associated Colleges of the South (ACS) that will enable it to expand the science offerings in its  Environmental Studies Program.

The grant will enable the program to hire a postdoctoral fellow for two years. The fellow will teach two environmental chemistry courses a year starting in the fall of 2011. The fellow also will develop “green” activities for existing introductory chemistry courses, organize a campuswide lecture series on an environmental topic, and conduct research.

This is the second environmental fellowship Southwestern has received from the ACS. The university was awarded an ACS fellow in the field of global ecology for 2009-2011. The program is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.  

“The environmental fellow will ramp up our environmental science courses in a fundamental scientific area – chemistry – which we anticipate will increase the ability of our majors to apply scientific thinking to complex environmental problems,” said Michael Bray, chair of the Environmental Studies Program.  

Bray said Southwestern will try to recruit an environmental chemist with research expertise in an area such as toxicology, atmospheric science, soil science, geochemistry or agricultural chemistry. Emily Niemeyer, professor of chemistry, will serve as the mentor for the postdoctoral fellow.

Niemeyer said the Chemistry Department is excited about working with the ACS fellow. “The ACS fellow will help us expand our course offerings for environmental studies majors and minors as well as students within the natural sciences,” Niemeyer said. “We also anticipate that the fellow’s expertise in environmental chemistry will provide exciting new research opportunities for our students.”


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