April 8th 2000 Executive Committee Minutes
Andrea Stierle

The Executive Committee of the Montana Section of the American Chemical Society met on April 8th at Montana Tech in Butte, Montana.  Chair Mark Cracolice presiding; members present: Don Stierle, past chair; Cyd McClure, chair-elect & alternate councilor; Doug Cameron, treasurer; Andrea Stierle, secretary; Doug Coe, councilor; and Gary Freebury, high school relations.

Mark opened the meeting at 3:15 PM as part of the agenda for the Spring Meeting-in-Miniature.

Councilors' report: - Doug Coe (use the link to the Montana ACS Web site):

Doug also recommended that we amend the by-laws of the Montana section to require that a candidate for Councilor must first serve as Chair of the local section. The Board agreed with his recommendation. Doug will check into the process of changing by-laws.

Treasurer's report: - Doug Cameron reported:


1999 Budget

Annual ACS allotment $4,466.00
New member commissions $0.00
Donations, contributions $500.00
Councilor Travel Rebate $970.37
Program Revenue (Newsletters, etc.) $0.00
Local Section Dues $896.51
Interest, dividends $584.80
Meals $0.00
Other $0.00
Total Revenues $6917.68


Subsidies $0.00
Awards and scholarships $1,125.00
Administrative expenses $0.00
Newsletters, Postage, etc. $200.86
Local meetings $1,129.86
Meals $343.70
Councilor Travel $1,200.50
Local Section Officer's Conference $997.14
Other $8.33
Total Expenses $4008.25


NET GAIN $2909.43


        Mark started the meeting by thanking the members of the Board for their attendance. It has been an excellent location for such a meeting. At this point, Spring Meeting-in-Miniatures will be held at Montana Tech, and not in conjunction with the MAS meeting. Attendance at the meeting was very good, with eleven short talks and a presentation by the Montana Tech Chem Club outlining some of their effective outreach strategies. The Chem Club also thanked the Montana ACS for their continuing support in the form of grants that have enabled the Club to take their Chemistry Magic on the road to Camp Mak-A-Dream and to high schools throughout the state. Doug Coe was also thanked for his continuing efforts to maintain the local section ACS website.



    The Spring 2000 Meeting-in-Miniature was organized by the University of Montana (Mark Cracolice) and was arranged by Don and Andrea at Montana Tech of the University of Montana Tech. There were several excellent talks at the meeting. The $500 travel stipends were awarded to two Montana State University students: graduate student Kevin Hunt and undergraduate Jamie Smith. The Spring meeting was well-attended by Montana Tech faculty (5 out of 6) and students, with 5 out of 20 Montana State University faculty in attendance, and 1 out of 14 University of Montana faculty in attendance.


    There was the usual discussion of how to encourage more involvement by the two Universities and by other ACS members. Several factors were addressed:

    1. Members are just too busy to be involved

    2. Meetings are held at a bad time of the year

    3. ACS involvement is not respected by University administration. According to Mark C., involvement in ACS is not given any credit by the University towards promotion and tenure. This is what drives faculty members' choices in where they spend their time and energy.

    4. The two universities give new faculty members large start up funds and expects them to bring in grant money. They don't have time to worry about ACS meetings and programs.

    5. Move the meetings around again and maybe more people will get involved.

    The Board members also discussed the role of CheMST in the Montana ACS. CheMST is an ACS affiliate group comprised of members of the Montana Science Teachers Alliance (MSTA). For a nominal fee, MSTA members can join CheMST and receive the newsletters, mailings, participate in all ACS functions as non-voting members. (Of course, any member of MSTA is eligible to become a full ACS member, but the fee structure is higher). Karen Spencer, our James Bryant Conant Award winner for this year, is a very active member of CheMST. Gary Freebury offered to discuss the possibility of more involvement of CheMSTin the Montana ACS section.


    The Chem Olympiad, an intensive exam offered to high school students nationally, has been used in Montana for several years to help teachers assess their effectiveness in teaching chemical principles to their students. Gary Freebury reported that in many instances, the Olympiad has provided good feedback to teachers. For the past several years, the local ACS has awarded CRC Handbooks to the top scoring students throughout the state.


    This year's Social will be held at Yellow Bay on Flathead Lake. The format will be a little different and the subject is fermentation science --- yes, BREWING BEER! It is a gorgeous setting, especially if the autumn leaves cooperate. The Social is set for September 30th, with overnight accommodations available Saturday night. There will be NO poster session at this Social. Instead, Mark Cracolice will enlist the aid of a local (Missoula) brewmeister to discuss the brewing process and to provide samples of some made in Montana natural products.

    E.  NORM 2003

    Cyd McClure will Chair the NORM 2003 meeting which will be held in Bozeman on the MSU campus. Cyd will check availability of space and rooms, etc., but felt that the lead time (3 years) was sufficient. We still must decide on the dates for the meeting, which is usually held in late June. The Board agreed that this was a good time for the meeting, which would be scheduled for Thursday - Saturday. Gary Freebury suggested the inclusion of a High School Symposium in the meeting agenda. Cyd will be creating a NORM 2003 committee in the not too distant future to provide a planning body for the meeting. Don Stierle suggested that Cyd enlist other chemists from MSU who are "silent" members of ACS to participate in planning and running the meeting. The Board thanked Cyd for volunteering to chair this event and offered its full support. Cyd was also trying to enlist attendees at the NORM 2000 meeting in Idaho Falls.


    Gary Freebury reported that several issues and topics were discussed in the ACS Website.


    Once again the Board addressed the issue of including industry in the workings of the local ACS. Andrea reminded the Board that at least four times in the past twelve years that she had been actively involved in the local section, industrial chemists had enthusiastically agreed to provide a liaison to chemical (and related) industries in Montana. In all four instances, these members had disappeared, never to be heard from again.

    If you are a Chemist and work in one of the many industries in Montana (whether an oil refinery, a sugar refinery, a medical research lab, a drug company, or any other non-academic arena) and would be interested in providing a connection between the local section and industry, please contact Andrea Stierle (


    NCW Chair Andrea Stierle reported on events that took place in Butte for National Chemistry Week 1999. The Montana Tech Chemistry student affiliates group planned a variety of chemistry related activities, culminating in National Chemistry Day at Montana Tech on November 13, 1999. The students and faculty of the Chemistry Department presented a day-long Chemistry extravaganza featuring three 1-hour "Chemistry Magic Shows", three 1-hour hands-on workshops, special programs for teachers and parents, and tours of the new building. They also enlisted the support of the Biology Department faculty and students who augmented the Chemistry events with Biology demonstrations. The Biology students created a walk-through blood vessel and rooms filled with various specimens. It was an exciting and fun-filled day for all. The Chemistry students handed out assorted Chemistry materials to participating children, including copies of Wonder Science and Chem Matters, puzzles, magnetic buttons, pencils, etc., which were provided by the ACS National Office for such events. The students also sold tickets for a special raffle that helped them earn enough money to attend the Spring 2000 ACS National Meeting.

    Other Board members were not aware of specific National Chemistry Week activities in their schools.


    In the past, the Montana section of the ACS has nominated outstanding high school chemistry teachers for the James Bryant Conant Award. The Executive Board asked Gary Freebury for his suggestions for nominees for the regional award. He strongly recommended Karen Spencer, a teacher at Great Falls High School. We are very pleased to announce that Karen Spencer was indeed selected as the Region VI winner and nominee for the national award.

    A description of the award as described on the ACS website follows:

    James Bryant Conant Award in High School Chemistry Teaching

    Sponsored by Albemarle Corporation.

    Purpose: To recognize, encourage, and stimulate outstanding teachers of high school chemistry in the United States, its possessions or territories, at both the regional and national levels.

    Nature: The national award consists of $5,000 and a certificate. Expenses incidental to traveling to the meeting at which the award will be presented will be paid.

    Establishment and Support: Sponsorship of this award was assumed by Albemarle Corporation in 1994. The award was sponsored by Ethyl Corporation 1980–93. and by CHEM Study (The Chemical Education Material Study) 1975–1979. The award was established in 1965 by E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company Incorporated and supported for the years 1967–72. The award was financed by the American Chemical Society for the years 1973–74.

    Rules of Eligibility:

    The National Award. The nominators of each winner of an ACS Regional Award in High School Chemistry Teaching for the three years preceding the award year will be invited to submit a nomination which conforms to the requirements for all other ACS awards. These nominations may be renewed by the procedures for renewal of nominations which apply to all nationally administered ACS awards. Selection will be made by a national award committee.

    The Regional Award. Any individual, except a member of the Award Committee or currently enrolled student of the nominee, may submit one nomination or seconding letter in any given year. Local Sections of the Society may also nominate for the award in their region. The deadline for submission of nominations is December 1, 1999. The regional award consists of an appropriate certificate prepared by the Society and a cash prize of $1,000. Travel expenses of the recipient to the regional meeting at which the award will be presented will be reimbursed. (A separate brochure describing the regional award and application forms are available upon request.)


Doug Coe volunteered to organize this event that was inspired by a generous offer from Chemist Ken Emerson. Ken offered to sponsor the contest and to provide prize money of $85 for the top three crystals, to be judged at the Montana Academy of Sciences meeting in the spring. Coe will administer the annual contests and has prepared a flier and WEB page describing the contest. This year, there was a single entry from Corvallis High School. The crystal took top honors and the $50 first prize.


    Gary Freebury had several excellent suggestions for ways in which the Montana ACS can outreach to the high schools. He cited a story in C&E News about a University of Virginia traveling chemistry van ($750,000) that traveled throughout the state of Virginia providing a "hands-on" chemistry experience. Perhaps a bit too rich for the Montana economy, it provided some good discussion nonetheless. Gary also suggested that the colleges provide "chemical amnesty" for the high schools and help them to get rid of them safely, and without cost to the high schools. Other Board members responded that chemical waste, particularly hazardous waste, is very expensive to dispose of, and in many cases the colleges should not assume the liability incurred by the high schools. Gary did not want the colleges to deal with hazardous waste directly, but rather to help the high schools find new owners for chemicals that were no longer needed or wanted by the teachers.


Cyd McClure suggested that the local section sponsor two ACS career workshops, in Missoula and Bozeman, for ACS members. The national ACS offers these workshops to the local sections for $350 per day. The Board agreed that this would be a good idea