The Erlenmeyer Flask

         Where Real Chemistry Happens…

July 26, 2016

Undergraduate Summer Research Symposium

Greetings OSU Undergraduate Researchers,

The Office of Undergraduate Studies is organizing an Undergraduate Summer Research Symposium (USRS) to be held at OSU on August 30 in LINC 314.

The symposium is open to all OSU undergraduates – those conducting research this summer, and those that have conducted research earlier. The symposium is an excellent opportunity for undergraduates to share their research with others. All participants will be eligible for the Research Fellow Transcript Notation.

Two presentation options will be available:
a.      10 minute presentations
b.      3 minute presentations

Questions can be sent to

All participants will need to attend at least one (more, if interested) of the following Practice Sessions to be held 2.00 to 4.00 PM in ALS 4000 on:

August 18
August 19
August 25
August 26

Undergraduates should discuss their interest in participating in the symposium with their research mentor and then send an email by July 29 to with ‘USRS’ indicated in the ‘Subject’, and the following in the body of the email:

Name of Undergraduate Researcher:
Primary Major:
Name of Research Mentor:
Presentation Category: 10 minute or 3 minute presentation
Research Topic (Broadly describe area of research in one sentence):

This information is requested for planning the symposium.



Sujaya Rao, PhD.
Director of Undergraduate Research
Division of Undergraduate Studies
Oregon State University

July 21, 2016

Filed under: Announcements @ 11:03 am

PChem Job Announcement-2

Visiting Lecturer in Physical & Analytical Chemistry Labs

Filed under: Announcements @ 8:08 am

Location: Baltimore, MD

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Maryland Baltimore County invites applications for a one-year visiting, non-tenure track faculty position in physical and analytical chemistry beginning August 2016. Primary teaching responsibilities will include instruction and oversight of advanced chemistry laboratories. The successful candidate will have a strong background in chemical instrumentation and methodologies with a desire to teach at the undergraduate level. Applicants possessing a Ph.D. in chemistry or related field are preferred; qualified candidates with an M.S. degree and relevant experience will be considered.

Applications should include cover letter, curriculum vitae, statement of teaching philosophy, and three letters of recommendation and be sent electronically to

Applications will enter the review process as soon as they are received and consideration of applications will continue until the position is filled.

UMBC is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer; and applications from women, minorities and individuals with disabilities are especially encouraged.

Volunteers Needed for OSU Fall 2016 Move-In

Filed under: Announcements @ 7:48 am

We are excited to extend an opportunity to our OSU Community to welcome our new residents to Beaver Nation this fall by volunteering with this year’s OSU Move-in. As current OSU students, staff, and faculty, you are a key part of helping our new students feel welcome during this exciting time!

The Fall 2016 Move-in Day is Sunday, September 18. More information about how to sign up to volunteer is provided below. The deadline to sign up to volunteer is Friday, September 2.

Volunteering as an individual – Please fill out this form: This form is for those volunteers who are not volunteering as part of an organization or group.

Volunteering as a group or organization – If your group or organization would like provide volunteers for Move-in, please fill out the following form: This form should be filled out by whomever is organizing the group of volunteers for your organization or group.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Additionally, please feel free to pass this along to any groups with whom you work who might be interested in volunteering.

Thank you for helping welcome the newest members of Beaver Nation!

Brandi Douglas and Melissa Rieth
OSU Move-in Volunteer Coordinators

July 11, 2016

Focus on ECampus – Suzy Roebling

Our Ecampus students come from every corner of the country. This month we are excited to hear from Floridian Suzy Roebling, a field ecologist and biological scientist who specializes in wading birds. In her narrative below, she describes her life and work in Everglades National Park.

Suzy Roebling

I am a second generation native south Floridian, growing up in the Florida Keys.  My dad was a “‘gladesman,” and an adventurer.  We were always in a boat – either in the Everglades, fishing off shore, or free diving on the coral reef.  You could say that the way we grew up ultimately influenced my career path.

That path was not a straight one.  It was not until years later – after earning an alternative BS degree and working as an administrative assistant in various offices, as a manager of a marine construction business,  and even running a bed and breakfast, that I decided to follow my passion to work close to wildlife in wild places within our spectacular ecosystems.  That time arrived after the volunteering to help with marine mammal, wild bird, and sea turtle rescues, rehabs and releases here in the Keys.  I felt compelled to return to school and become educated in the biological sciences.

It was because of General Chemistry that I “discovered” Oregon State University!  The local community college offered biology courses, but no chemistry.  Another student told me I could take it online there.  Upon investigation, I realized that I could acquire a BS degree online in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, with the three chemistry courses integral to this degree.  I enrolled in this excellent degree program, and am slowly making my way through it – with only eight more courses to go.

Adult Spoonbills

Adult Spoonbills

Volunteer and intern experiences enriched my knowledge and resume, and I am fortunate to be working as a wildlife biologist while finishing up studies for this degree.  I am employed as a field ecologist with Audubon – Everglades Science Center, and as a biological scientist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.  During this past nesting season (December – May), most days found me out piloting a boat in Florida Bay in Everglades National Park to survey and monitor wading birds – especially roseate spoonbills and reddish egrets – whose populations have been in decline for decades.

To live and work in such beauty and tranquility is an honor.  Every trip is an adventure – many days there are young sharks, and sometimes bow riding dolphins, basking sea turtles, and the occasional crocodile out amongst the islands.

In the fall, I look forward to the third Chemistry course.  I have happily discovered this sequence to be both a challenging and fascinating study, and definitively applicable to the natural world that is my workplace.

Big thanks to Suzy for sharing her story!!

July 6, 2016

Spring 2016 Chemistry Honor Roll

Filed under: Announcements,Honor Roll @ 8:32 am

Congratulations to our Spring 2016 Honor Roll students.  We’re so proud of you!

Ibrahim Alanazi
Tanner Aldous
Christopher Bahro
Amberlie Barnard
Sara Sharar
Sergiu Coporan
Dionysius Copoulos
Shannon Davis
Stephen Duda
Blake Erickson
Hanet Ferguson
Eaton Fong
Zachary Fried
Duncan Fuller
Trenton Gallagher
Marissa Gallegos
Kristina Halvorson
John Hergert
Franceska Hinkamp
Jason May
Kayla Naas
James Palmiter
Thu Pham
Kristin Potter
Benjamin Rist
Jason William Sandwisch
Jessica Scotten
Hannah Smith
Karleigh Taylor
Lillian Teadtke
Allison Turner
Daisy Ubaldo-Zurita
William Walls
Theresa Xiong
Xinhui Yu

July 1, 2016

Investing in Your Future

Filed under: Announcements @ 8:37 am

SLDP_OSUv2_2014_15_Page_1 SLDP_OSUv2_2014_15_Page_2

June 30, 2016

YlnMn Blue Goes Viral

#MasBlue #YlnMnBlueWe in the department prefer to call it Mas Blue after our beloved Mas Subramanian, a fact that causes him some embarrassment.  But we’re so proud of him and this serendipitous discovery.  Due to the viral nature of the news lately, we’re compiling a list of all the news outlets where we’ve spotted mentions of this beautiful hue.

  1. Good –
  2. Tech Insider –
  3. Daily Mail –
  4. Huffington Post –
  5. IFL Science –
  6. Seventeen –
  7. Cosmopolitan –
  8. Elite Daily –
  9. Teen Vogue –
  10. ZMEScience –
  11. Instagram –
  12. Artnet News –
  13. Mental_floss –
  14. Elle Decor –
  15. Today Style –
  16. InQuisitr –
  17. The Science Explorer –
  18. Yahoo News –
  19. Slate –
  20. Mirror –
  21. Art & Design –
  22. Atlas Obscura –
  23. Tech Times –
  24. The Sydney Morning Herald –
  25. Z News –
  26. Chicago Now –
  27. Fox News Science –
  28. NPR –
  29. Philadelphia Magazine –
  30. New York; News & Politics –
  31. KVAL News; Eugene –
  32. Nerd Alert; YouTube –
  33. Think The Earth –
  34. New Verse News –
  35. Forbes –
  36. India Today –
  37. Terra Brasil –,279893b7d1183fd469722c712a7d01cabasb988p.html
  38. Gazet Van Antwerpen –
  39. Woman TOC –
  40. –
  41. FOR Elements –
  42. –
  43. –
  44. Nerdcore –
  45. Did you know? blog –
  46. Indie 88 –
  47. Gurney Journey –
  48. Digital Trends –
  49. Architectural Digest –
  50. AOL News –
  51. Jack on the Web –
  52. Futurism –

Keep checking back, we’ll update as we get more links.  In the mean time, you can follow the hashtags.  #MasBlue #YlnMnBlue

June 27, 2016

Focus On ECampus – Alena Vasquez

Alena Vasquez.jpgToday we are pleased to introduce Alena Vasquez, a true Oregonian at heart who manages to balance her love for animals, science, and writing.

Please share your background so we can get to know you better. What career are you in (or working towards) and what inspired you to choose this path?

I am an Ecampus student living in Eugene, Oregon. I was born and raised in various parts of California but always felt like I belonged in Oregon. I recently switched majors from social science (archaeology) to science and I am studying biology with the pre-vet option. Three years ago I started volunteering at the local humane society as a dog walker. I started because I was bored and needed an activity to occupy my time. It quickly became much more than that for me. I started walking dogs like it was a full time job. I was at the shelter almost every day, for at least 4 hours at a time. I joined the behavior modification program at the local pound to learn how to positively modify behaviors and train the behaviorally-challenged dogs I was always drawn to. While exploring career options for archaeology, I realized nothing would make me as happy as I was when I was helping animals. I took a year off to dive fully into the rescue community and started volunteering with a local trap-neuter-return organization where I learned invaluable skills about cat behavior and the importance of spay and neuter. I knew that whatever I did with my life, it would need to be focused around the neglected animals in my community. I am studying veterinary medicine so I can take my DVM and become either a veterinarian in a high volume spay and neuter clinic or a shelter veterinarian.

How does our online general chemistry sequence relate to your career goals?

I am taking the entire 200-level general chemistry sequence online and will probably take organic chemistry online as well. This is my first year of being a science major and I have already completed the 200-level physics and biology sequence alongside the general chemistry. I have found chemistry to be one of the most important classes for understanding the rest of my curriculum and having this background has enabled me to be successful in the rest of my classes. For example, we just covered the evolution of the swim bladder in biology and having the background in acid base chemistry from 232 and 233 made it very easy to understand how an increase in lactic acid in the blood supply around the swim bladder causes hemoglobin to give off oxygen against concentration gradients. Chemistry was essential to understanding the attractions that hold DNA together and how trees move water up their xylem. I’m really looking forward to how chemistry will impact my studies in upper division classes.

The support I have found while taking general chemistry has also impacted me. Margie Haak was available day and night for questions and extremely supportive. Her course was by far one of the most challenging I’ve taken but it was incredibly rewarding to get an A and be successful in it. Margie is a huge inspiration to me and she has been so supportive of me, my success, and my goals. She is a teacher who will go above and beyond for her students and I feel really lucky that I was able to be a part of her classroom.

What’s something that most people don’t know about you?

My poetry has been published in 3 anthologies and I’ve been writing a book for maybe 5 years now.


June 21, 2016

Jack Ryan: In Memorium

Filed under: In Memorium @ 9:40 am

Jack_L_Ryan_Pic_2Jack Lewis Ryan passed away on March 20, 2016, surrounded by his loving family.  He was born in Dallas, Oregon on May 14, 1933, to Charles W. Ryan and Cornie A. (Lewis) Ryan, both of east Tennessee.  Jack grew up and thrived on a beautiful small farm in the foothills of the Oregon Coast Range, in the community of Bridgeport.  His early years were spent learning to farm, raise livestock, cook, harvest and preserve fruit and vegetables, and doing whatever was required to maintain the farm and help his family.  He enjoyed swimming in the Little Luckiamute River, which ran through the farm, with his younger brother Pat and neighborhood children, and later as a teen-ager building small dams and holding all-night bonfires on the beach.  In Jack’s formative years he hunted and fished, and experienced the joys of nature, a life-time pursuit.  In his adult years he would return “home” to the farm to hold his famous fish fries for his childhood friends and family.

Jack was preceded in death by his parents, brother George “Pat” Ryan, and first wife Dorothy Ryan.  He is survived by his former wife, JoAnn Ryan of West Richland, son Rex Ryan of Pasco, stepdaughters Barronelle Stutzman (Darold) of  the Tri-Cities, and Thora Ziegler of Riverside, California, step-grandchildren Troy Woody (Dawn) and Dawn Persinger, (Marc), numerous step-great-grandchildren, nieces Ann Signal and Cynthia Ryan, and many close friends.

Jack attended the one-room Bridgeport Grade School, and later, Dallas High School.  He left home at sixteen to study at Oregon State College (now Oregon State University), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry in 1953, and a Master of Science Degree in Chemistry in 1956.  He was the youngest person at that time to graduate with a master’s degree from OSC.  His professional career spanned over fifty years at the Hanford Site, primarily with Battelle Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.  He made significant scientific and technical contributions in fundamental and applied inorganic, physical, and analytical chemistry of the actinide elements, in addition to the chemistry of the lanthanide and d-group transition elements.  The breadth of his work led to noteworthy contributions in inorganic preparative chemistry, coordination chemistry, ion exchange and solvent extraction chemistry, absorption spectroscopy, electrochemistry, thermodynamics, and nonaqueous chemistry of these elements.

His works related to anion-exchange purification of plutonium and neptunium, the solubility and thermodynamics of the actinide oxides and hydroxides, and the electrolytic dissolution of plutonium dioxide are of particular significance to actinide separations in the nuclear industry.  His accomplishments in these areas were reflected in various plant applications at Rocky Flats, Los Alamos, Hanford, and in other countries.  In 1974, Jack co-invented catalyzed electrolytic dissolution of plutonium oxide.  The merit of this invention is evidenced by the installation of plant-scale processes using this technology in France and the United Kingdom.

In addition to his research contributions in the laboratory, Jack prepared invited reviews of actinide-element ion exchange for the esteemed “Gmelin Handbuch der Anorganischen Chemie” and of actinide-absorption spectra.  Jack also gave invited lectures and short courses in the fields of actinide chemistry, actinide-absorption spectra, and actinide ion exchange, and educated scientists and engineers in the Hanford area through teaching graduate-level chemistry courses in “Lanthanide and Actinide Chemistry” and “Ion Exchange Chromatography”.  His original works in actinide chemistry are published in numerous scientific journals and books and are recognized by chemists worldwide.  He authored more than one hundred technical articles during his career.  Some of Jack’s contributions to chemistry are catalogued in the Library of Congress.

Jack consulted in the field of actinide chemistry as related to laser-isotope separation, nuclear-weapons proliferation, and actinide-chemical processing.  He consulted on the causes of chemical explosions in actinide purification processes and served on a committee reviewing actinide-processing plant safety.  Additionally, Jack consulted on safety considerations related to the use of organic ion-exchange resins in the clean-up of Three-Mile Island contamination.

In 1999, the Actinide Separations Conference recognized the importance of Jack’s contributions by honoring him with the Glenn T. Seaborg Actinide Separations Award, a national award recognizing significant and lasting contributions to separating actinide elements.

Jack was a sixty-year member of the American Chemical Society (past chair of the local section and recipient of “1991 Chemist of the Year” award), the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Sigma Xi.

Jack was an avid and skilled outdoorsman.  He found great joy in hiking, backpacking, mountain climbing, hunting, fishing, crabbing, mushrooming, gardening, cutting firewood, and roaming the land searching for wild foods, abandoned crops, and usable discarded items.  He piled more than a dozen cords of firewood on his driveway, which allowed him to heat his house for years without using his electric heating system.  Nearly every year he filled his deer and elk tags, brought home many limits of fish and chukars, harvested dozens of gallons of wild mushrooms, and grew hundreds of pounds of produce in his organic garden.  Nothing went to waste – Jack canned and froze all of his bounty so that it could be enjoyed all year long, and shared with many.

He was happiest when family and friends accompanied him on his forays, taking many solo trips when they were not available.  It was common for Jack to venture miles off the roads and trails in search of the ultimate hunting or fishing experience.  No cliff, blackberry bramble, poison ivy patch, rattlesnake habitat, angry bear, or below-zero temperature could stop him.  Picking his way through five miles of forest at night with ninety pounds of elk meat on his back repetitively in five round trips was routine for him each hunting season.  He was at home with nature and all of its rigors.  His lineage can be traced to Meriwether Lewis, which comes as no surprise.

Jack truly was a unique individual.  He was frugal to a fault, spending only a thousand dollars each year on food and clothing items.  His favorite shopping experience was poking around Goodwill.  He enjoyed going barefoot and performed all of his gardening duties, including spading, without shoes.  Television was an unnecessary luxury.  The local newspaper, National Geographic magazine, and various technical journals provided Jack ample information to stay well-informed.  He was stubborn yet fair, and honest and loyal in his interactions with others.  He was a keen observer of his surroundings and work activities, and enjoyed recounting his observations in detail.  Jack’s friends marveled at the incongruity of his incredible memory for detail, but lack of recollection that he had told them the same story several times before.

The legendary Jack Ryan’s family and friends will cherish his memory for decades to come, recounting stories of adventure among themselves, and never, ever, forgetting the kind, generous, amazing, independent wild mountain man who Jack was.  He leaves us in awe of an interesting and adventurous life well-lived. His ashes will be scattered in several beautiful nature locations that were very special to him.

“Some people hear their own inner voices with great clearness. And they live by what they hear. Such people become crazy… or they become legend.”  ~  Jim Harrison

In lieu of flowers, please contribute to The National Geographic Society.


A remembrance service and memorial will be announced at a later time.

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