Going Green in the Chemistry Teaching Laboratory

Going Green in the Chemistry Teaching Laboratory

Professional Growth: Green Chemistry Series


“Going Green in the Chemistry Teaching Laboratory” A short presentation followed by Q&A with speaker Dr. Ken Doxsee, University of Oregon



Yes, we can (go green in teaching labs)! Conversion to a green curriculum offers numerous educational benefits. Ample materials are available to support wholesale replacement of traditional laboratory curricula with green alternatives. National and international networks of teachers experienced in such curricular reform are also standing by to support you in your efforts. Want to know how? Our speaker, Ken Doxsee, will guide you, and will even provide you with compelling arguments (like saving $$) useful when facing the increasingly rare green skeptic.
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“Going Green in the Chemistry Teaching Laboratory” A short presentation followed by Q&A with speaker Dr. Ken Doxsee, University of Oregon


What You Will Learn

  • Conversion to a green curriculum makes sense (and cents)
  • Ample materials are available to support adoption of a green curriculum
  • National networks of like-minded teachers will embrace you and your efforts
  • The objections of “green skeptics” are easy to overcome
  • And much more…


Webinar Details

Date: Thursday, September 8, 2011

Time: 2:00-3:00 pm ET

Fee: Free



Meet Your Expert

Professor Ken Doxsee received his B.S. (1978) and M.S. (1979) degrees in chemistry from Stanford University and his Ph.D. (1989) in organometallic chemistry from Caltech. He has been at the University of Oregon since 1989. From 1996 through 2007, he also served as a Program Director for Organic Chemistry at the NSF. Ken and his colleague, Jim Hutchison, inaugurated Oregon’s Green Chemistry program in 1997. Ken has presented numerous national and international lectures and laboratory workshops on Green Chemistry, and in 2010, he was recognized by the ACS for his “contributions to the incorporation of sustainability into chemical education.”


Meet the Moderator

Rich Engler is a chemist with the US Environmental Protection Agency. He has worked on a variety of projects including 14 years reviewing new chemicals under the Toxic Substances Control Act, 13 years with the Green Chemistry Program, 12 years with the Risk-Screening Environmental Indicators program, and, most recently a temporary assignment to the Marine Debris Program.  Rich is also an instructor for the UC Berkeley Extension program, teaching “Decision Making and Comparative Risk Assessment” as part of their Green Chemistry certificate program. Rich received his doctorate in physical organic chemistry from the University of California, San Diego.




This episode of ACS Webinars™ is co-produced with the ACS Green Chemistry Institute. Learn more about green chemistry and sustainability at http://www.acs.org/gci.



The Fine Print

ACS Webinars™ does not endorse any products or services. The views expressed in this presentation are those of the presenters and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the American Chemical Society.

11 Responses to “Going Green in the Chemistry Teaching Laboratory”

  1. Dr. Chammi Miller says:

    I love this program. But I caanot participate Thursday this time of the day. Is there’s a way that I can get the recorded seminar later?

  2. Glenn Nomura says:

    I am unable to commit to your Sept 8 webinar due to a scheduling conflict at my end. If you are maintaining a mail list, I would appreciate future alerts to this webinar. Thanks. Glenn Nomura, interim chair of physical sciences, Georgia Perimeter College, Dunwoody, Georgia 30338. 770-274-5062

  3. Justin says:

    Hello Drs. Doxsee and Engler,

    I’m a high school teacher in NH and a former organometallic chemist…I’m interested in this webinar but won’t be able to attend due to my class schedule…do I still need to register to have access to your slides? I’m quite interested in green alternatives in the classroom! Thank you for your time.

  4. admin says:

    Dear Heavymetalchemist
    The webinars were recorded and will be posted on our site in about a week. Please view them at http://www.acswebinars.org/vcf2011. Enjoy!

  5. Frank Meserole says:

    While I believe in developing more “green” energy sources, we must be realistic of the limits of our present technologies. Just saying the more research will increase the efficiencies is not very helpful unless students are taught the physical and thermoddynamic limit of each technology. The continued use of fossil fuels on an intermin basis is necessary to support our economy, so continued development of methods to reduce negative effects of recomvering and using these fuels is a very important objective of future reasearch activities.

  6. Ron McCaully says:

    Of all the C-C bond forming reactions, basic to organic synthesis, very few of them could be performed green. If one is limited to avoid these, are we not really teaching chemistry lite?

  7. Stephen Z. Goldberg says:

    This was informative, but I would have liked to see some more specific such as exactly what equipment and chemicals were involved in experiment presented and how this is different from the “conventional” experiment. Also a clearer distinction regarding “going green” vs. microscale.

  8. Ken Doxsee says:

    Dear Ron McCaully — Thanks for your comment, calling attention to the reality of current technologies for C-C bond formation. There has been a lot of progress, particularly in the area of palladium catalysis and in aqueous organometallic chemistry, although coupling reactions in the latter case are still rather limited in scope. So, two thoughts. First, there are greener C-C bond forming reactions that can be used, including our own contribution on making benzofurans. Second, less green reactions can certainly still be introduced, using appropriate safety precautions of course, and then used to illustrate green principles by discussing their pitfalls and the need for better solutions. The latter topic is completely relevant to the greener procedures as well. For example, our benzofuran experiment is a two-step procedure – aromatic halogenation followed by the coupling reaction. Why do we halogenate only to remove the halogen in the next step? Because we have to, highlighting the need for further research into even better C-C bond forming reactions.

  9. Ken Doxsee says:

    Dear Stephen Goldberg — Twenty minutes go by all too quickly, preventing me from going into these important details during the presentation. In short, we use standard laboratory equipment; the difference from “conventional” experimentation is that we are working with compounds that are less likely to harm our students or the environment, and we are introducing supporting discussions about issues like toxicity, environmental fate, and lifecycle analysis. Smaller scale alone does not ensure safety, but coupling green thinking and procedures with microscale experimentation is a completely doable and very attractive approach. In fact, a presentation I gave at the Pure and Applied Chemistry International Conference (PACCON) in 2009 (Bangkok) was entitled, “Microscale Green Chemistry: Safe Meets Safer.”

  10. Ken Doxsee says:

    Dear Frank Maserole — I don’t disagree. In fact, I would add that the complexity of analysis that green chemistry requires from us provides just the sort of pedagogical platform to introduce additional topics, including thermodynamics and engineering and design principles. We don’t have to simply accept assumptions about, e.g., solar power or the liabilities arising from it through reliance on materials containing toxic heavy metals, but instead we empower our students to engage critically with this complexity and reach their own conclusions.

  11. admin says:

    Dear Dr. Miller: Thank you for your interest in ACS Webinars. Recording and slides are available within a week of the live event. We hope that is helpful to you. Thank you. -ACS Webinars

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