The second annual Michigan Green Chemistry Education Networking Conference was held at Grand Valley State University on Friday April 30th. Educators and chemists from across the state of MI attended the conference, which was held in the GVSU Kirkhof Center.


Conference Gallery


Conference Summary

The morning session consisted of several speakers from different fields of green chemistry.  Kathe Blue Hetter, Science Curriculum Lead Teacher at Skyline High School in Ann Arbor, gave the first presentation of the conference.  Kathe received BS degrees in Biological Science, Chemistry, and Business and Engineering Administration from Michigan Technological University.  She later obtained Secondary Education Certification and a MS degree in General Science from Eastern Michigan University.  Her talk highlighted the work she and her colleagues have done implementing green chemistry into the high school curriculum.

The second speaker during the morning session was given by Carol Higginbotham or Central Oregon Community College.  Carol received her BA in Chemistry from Central College in Iowa and her PhD in Biochemistry from Montana State University.  She has been actively involved in the green chemistry community at the local, regional and national levels since 2003.  She presented on her work to implement green chemistry into the general organic and biochemistry (GOB) sequence at Central Oregon Community College as well as contributing to Oregon’s online green chemistry database.

The final speaker of the morning session was Justin Roberts, of the Environmental Protection Agency.  Justin works as a chemist for the Industrial Chemistry Branch of the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics.  Justin received his BS in Chemistry from Grand Valley State and obtained his PhD from Princeton.  Justin’s talk highlighted the work the EPA has done to award companies and organization for their progress towards green chemistry, giving examples of awards from previous years.

Following lunch, the afternoon session consisted of informal discussion breakout groups led by experts in various fields of green chemistry.  Robert Lehmann of Saginaw Valley State University and the Department of Natural Resources and Environment led a group on green/environmental education courses.  Clinton Boyd of the Sustainability Research Group led a session on green business and non-profit work, and Michelle DeWitt of Grand Valley State University discussed green chemistry laboratory and stockroom management.


Conference Proceedings

Morning Session


            Dalila Kovacs (Grand Valley State University)


Kathe Blue Hetter (Skyline High School- Ann Arbor Schools) – “Thinking Green While Teaching Chemistry at Skyline High School”

Carol Higginbotham (Central Oregon Community College) – “Green Chemistry Inspired Cirricular Reform at a Community College”

Justin Roberts (Environmental Protection Agency) – “Green Chemistry”


Afternoon Session

University Sustainability

Norman Christopher (Grand Valley State University)

Discussion Groups

Robert Lehmann (Saginaw Valley State University)

Clinton Boyd (Sustainable Research Group)

Michelle DeWitt (Grand Valley State University)


Presentation Videos

Carol Higginbotham – “Green Chemistry Inspired Cirricular Reform at a Community College”


Justin Roberts – “Green Chemistry”