Greater Houston Section

  • 04 Oct 2021 2:40 AM | Dawn Friesen (Administrator)

    The Greater Houston Section hosted a successful hybrid (virtual and in-person) Science Café event on the Chemistry and Craft of Bread Making with author and speaker Emily Jane Buehler who provided insights on the art of making bread.

    She expounded on the process and science of making bread, from the microorganisms that perform fermentation in the dough, to the stretching of gluten during kneading, to the physics of the bubbles that form in the dough. Her talk gave an overview of this science, with a focus on places in the bread-making process where bakers can look to improve their loaves. She covered the relationship between fermentation time and flavor, what happens during kneading (and during "no-kneading"), tips to make a home oven behave like a bakery oven, and more.

    The Greater Houston Section was pleased to host the North Carolina Section in addition to our local members in the virtual audience, as well as a small group of bread enthusiasts who met in-person at the White Elm Cafe bakery in Houston to watch Emily's talk as a group. We were pleased to welcome approximately 50 total attendants between the virtual and in-person events.In-person attendees were also entered into a door prize draw for a copy of Emily's book - Congratulations to Monica Gomez, who took home the book prize!

    Emily Buehler completed graduate school in chemistry at UNC-Chapel Hilland worked six years as a bread baker before realizing she wanted to be a writer. Her first book, Bread Science, explores the science and craft of baking bread and the updated 15th anniversary edition was released in 2021. Her second book, Somewhere and Nowhere, is a memoir of a bicycle trip from New Jersey to Oregon that explores the benefits of living in the present moment. Emily currently writes romantic fiction and is a freelance copyeditor. She teaches bread-making classes and continues to travel by bicycle.

    Purchase your own copy of Bread Science at

    Learn more about Emily's other writing projects at

    Special thanks to the White Elm Cafe for hosting our in-person event!

  • 01 Oct 2021 3:25 AM | Dawn Friesen (Administrator)

    I am an inorganic salt that prefers to dimerize and am frequently used as a Lewis Acid catalyst. My hexahydrate version helps keep you cool in the heat. What compound am I?

    Answer: It's aluminum chloride!


    Image of Aluminum chloride

  • 25 Sep 2021 6:49 PM | ACS GHS (Administrator)

    The ACS-GHS Awards Committee is pleased to announce the winners of the 2021 Local Section Awards. The awards will be presented at our annual awards banquet in October.

    L to R: Robert F. Curl, Joe W. Hightower Award; Alicia Doffing, Excellence in High School Teaching Award; Bob Botto, Mamie W. Moy Service Award; Jose Nunez, Two Year College Award; and Snigdha Chennamaneni, Younger Chemist Award

  • 18 Sep 2021 8:58 PM | ACS GHS (Administrator)

    "How do you get students involved? Show a student a reaction unfold live and they will be forever in this field. There’s nothing more amazing than the visualization of the process [by which] you have started." - Dr. Jason Hein, Sept 14, 2021.

    We kicked off the final quarter of 2021 with our September seminar from Dr. Jason Hein, Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Hein showed us how his group's work in online monitoring of chemical reactions can be applied in real-world industrial systems. He also described how new automated hardware can be combined with machine learning and analytics platforms to explore new areas for research and discovery. If you missed this engaging and informative presentation, you can catch the recording below or on our YouTube channel.

  • 07 Sep 2021 10:42 PM | ACS GHS (Administrator)
    I am used to make barrels for aging whiskeys, wines, and brandies. I have 4 isomers found in nature. What compound am I?

    Answer: It's whiskey lactone or β-methyl-γ-octalactone!


    (3S,4S)-isomer shown

  • 09 Aug 2021 12:14 AM | Dawn Friesen (Administrator)

    I am an ester found in rosemary and meat preservative. But I'm not responsible for the flavor. What compound am I?

    Answer: It's rosmarinic acid!

    Bonus points if you also guessed carnosic acid - it's another meat preserving compound found in rosemary plants (but this one's not an ester).

    Image of Carnosic Acid and Rosmarinic Acid

  • 08 Aug 2021 11:48 PM | Dawn Friesen (Administrator)

    The 2021 Project Seed Virtual Summer Camp was a five-week online program that aimed to strengthen students professionally while preparing them for in-person research either next summer as part of Project SEED, or in future research opportunities.

    More than 373 students participated in and attended webinars, virtual panels, and online discussions, and completed independent assignments with the guidance and mentorship of their Cabin Leaders and Camp Managers while networking with their fellow campers.  All of these students except twenty eight met June 28 – July 30, 2021, via synchronous and asynchronous meetings, small group, and social/networking sessions. Participants were also required to attend all sessions within the camp and national itinerary while completing all required assignments and activities, which included a live presentation of a research project of their choice. The students did an awesome job featuring awesome presentation skills. The other 28 students participated in an inaugural Virtual Research Pilot program.

    Project SEED continues as a program of the Education Division, sponsored by the American Chemical Society and a number of corporate and individual donors.  This year more than 35 students received scholarships for the 2021 – 2022 academic years. ACS continues to commit to encouraging excellence in education and values diversity, inclusion, and respect.  Visit for more information and send questions to

    By the end of the camp, the participants (Project Seed Interns) should be able to:

    • Demonstrate competency in wet lab safety techniques, learn and demonstrate ethical discretion in crediting contributing authors and resources, and make connections between the over-arching goals of research projects with the smaller experiments that support them. 
    • Learn and practice professional communication techniques and improve their personal statement and resume writing abilities.
    • Compare professional career paths by means of exposure to academic, industrial, government and entrepreneurial via career panels and activities using ACS career resources.

    The 2021 Project Seed Virtual Summer Program was divided into several camps while Dr. Antoine Carty and Carolyn Burnley served as managers for Camp Alpha which consisted of three Cabins:

    1) Hydrogen - Cabin Leaders: Monica Rivas, a High School Chemistry Teacher of nine years and Feven Minaleshewa, a student majoring in Biology at Augustana University;

    2) Lithium - Cabin Leaders: Jonathan Castro, a Chemical Engineering student at UTSA and Noella Masengesho, a Chemistry student at Iowa State and last but not least;

    3) Helium - Cabin Leaders: Kaleb Mathieu, a High School Chemistry Teacher and an Educational Psychology PhD student at Texas A&M – Commerce and Jason Gladstone, a Biochemistry student at Northeastern University (Pre-Med).

    This summer two Greater Houston members served as Camp Alpha speakers: Dr. JanElsa Carty and Dr. Javoris Hollingsworth.

  • 08 Aug 2021 6:26 PM | ACS GHS (Administrator)

    Congratulations to Greater Houston Section members Dr. B. Montgomery Pettitt and Dr. Amber Hinkle!

    Monte Pettit was recently named a 2021 ACS Fellow for his outstanding achievements in and contributions to science, the profession, and the Society.

    Amber Hinkle is the recipient of the 2022 Award for Volunteer Service to the American Chemical Society recognizing individuals who exemplify the spirit of volunteerism and have contributed significantly to ACS’s goals and objectives.

  • 06 Aug 2021 6:27 PM | ACS GHS (Administrator)

    Photo Credit: David Horwitz

    Team USA students (L to R): Yitian Zhu (Gold), Nikhil Seshadri (Silver), Kien Phuong (Silver), Qiyang Zhou (Gold)

    Congratulations to Yitian Zhu from Seven Lakes High School in Katy, TX on her gold medal, and to the rest of Team USA on their impressive performance at the 53rd International Chemistry Olympiad competition. Learn more about the competition and the team's experiences here.
  • 17 Jul 2021 5:09 PM | Dawn Friesen (Administrator)

    Did you miss our June seminars? We've got you covered!

    Hear 2021 ACS President Dr. H. N. Cheng's thoughts on the future of chemistry in his talk on New Frontiers, Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

    If you're looking for something to brighten your summer, Dr. Corina Rogge from the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston spoke to us about The Dating Game: A New Diagnostic Marker for Dating and Provenancing of Titanium White Pigments

    Check out the ACS Greater Houston Section YouTube channel for these and other videos!
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