1997 Annual Report to ACS

The Montana Section's Top Activities during the past year were:

Graduate and Undergraduate Student Poster Session:

Graduate and undergraduate students from the colleges and universities in the section were invited to present posters describing their research at our annual Fall Social. A judging committee evaluated the quality of each student's work and presentation, and scholarships of $500 were awarded to the top two graduate students posters and the top undergraduate student poster. The posters served as a starting point for dialogue among all members of the section.

Interstate 90 Speaker Circuit:

The members feel that they need to be exposed to numerous speakers. We realized that we cannot support the national ACS tour speakers program like the other sections can, but we think that we have found a way that we can help the universities. Our section provides refreshment and in some cases the speaker for the university. These universities are located on Interstate 90 and each month of the school year we sponsor one seminar. The comments that we have received have been very positive. Our plans are that we will continue being involved in this program next year.

Web Site and Newsletter:

Because of distance we needed to improve our methods of communicating with each other. The solution that we arrived at was to use the internet as a newsletter. Then periodically we download material and mail the newsletter to members that do not have access to the internet. The positive results are that we have more participation and a better informed membership.

Due to an unusually harsh winter, even by Montana standards, and the relatively long distances that members have to travel, 1997 was a slow year for our section. Our section includes the entire state of Montana, the fourth largest state in the U.S. We were forced to cancel two executive committee meetings scheduled early in the year, and thus planning for the remainder of the year had to take place in a limited time frame.

Our members and student affiliates were very active in giving presentations in schools, malls, and conventions. The National Chemistry Week program under the direction of Dr. Andrea Stierle continues to grow. She is always ready to give help and suggestions for anyone that is trying to develop a program for the children in our section.

Our annual Fall Social was well received. This year the two-day event was held at the Lubrecht Experimental Forest, which is a 28,000 acre classroom and laboratory owned and operated by the University of Montana. The forest, which was donated to the University of Montana in 1937, provides a natural setting for the development and dissemination of knowledge about natural resources.

Our guest speaker was Professor Kenneth Kolb of Bradley University who gave a talk entitled "Glass: Its Many Facets." Prof. Kolb gave an excellent talk that was well received by both the chemists in the audience, and their non-chemist spouses. Many section members commented that the social was the best that we've had in our history of this event.

This year the section sponsored a poster session for undergraduates and graduate students. This will be an ongoing annual activity for our section. Two graduate and one undergraduate participants in the poster session will each be awarded $500 scholarships to help defray the cost of presenting their research at a regional or national ACS meeting held within the next calendar year. The cost of dinner and lodging for all student participants in the poster session will also be covered by the section.

Our section web site continues to be a source of information for all members of our section. This year we added listings of seminars held at The University of Montana and Montana State University. These listings allow ACS members from across the state to easily identify topics and speakers of interest.