ACS California Section

The California Section of the American Chemical Society promotes chemistry and the chemical profession in the Northern California area: We provide programs and services for members, recognize and assist educators and students, and host public outreach events to convey the importance of chemistry in today’s rapidly changing technological society.


On August 29, 2013, the Western Regional Research Center of the USDA received its second National Historic Chemical Landmark designation for its contributions to flavor chemistry (and the WRRC is the only landmark to receive TWO such designations).  Below are members of the California Section at the event.


From left to right: Alex Madonik, Jan Hayes, Bryan Balazs, Attila Pavlath, Wally Yokoyama, ACS President Marinda Wu, Mark Frishberg, Elaine Yamaguchi

At the Fall 2012 National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, the California Section won four ChemLuminary Awards, which are given out to local sections, technical divisions, and other organizations of the ACS for their outstanding volunteer efforts in promoting chemistry and the chemical sciences.

See the ChemLuminary Awards for 2012 here.

See the video of the California Section receiving the Award for Outstanding Local Section in the Very Large Section Category.

See me accepting an award for the Section’s 2011 activities:


Awards won for section activities in 2011:

International Year of Chemistry

The California Section produced a Technology Milestones in Chemistry poster series illustrating how chemistry has transformed our lives. The posters were displayed at PacifiChem 2010 and in Paris during the official opening ceremony. English and Spanish versions were displayed during the IUPAC World Congress in Puerto Rico. The Korean Chemical Society converted the posters into a book and distributed 3,000 copies to Korean libraries while the Hungarian Chemical Society converted the posters into a virtual book. The Turkish Chemical Society is also in the process of creating a book.

Creative and Innovative Use of the Chemists Celebrate Earth Day Theme

The California Section partnered with other community organizations to celebrate Earth Day on April 16 at the John Muir National Historic Site in Martinez, CA. The National Park Service estimated the attendance at 2500

Best Activity or Program in a Local Section Stimulating Membership Involvement

In a partnership with the Lafayette Library and Learning Center Foundation and funding from a LSAC grant, the California Section initiated a monthly series of Science Cafes featuring acclaimed speakers in many areas of science. The series were highly successful, with at times capacity crowds, and provided new networking opportunities for members and non-members.

Outstanding Performance by a Local Section – Very Large Size Category Award

California’s highlights included a successful National Chemistry Week producing 150 volunteers and serving underrepresented minorities through various outreach events. They initiated a monthly series of Science Cafes, sponsored 40 SEED students, and had very active Younger Chemists Committee and Woman Chemists Committee groups.

The California Section also has a very active set of Councilors, and here’s a picture of us at the ACS Fall 2011 National Meeting in Denver, with ACS 2013 President Marinda Wu:


Left to Right: Alex Madonik, Paul Vartanian, Elaine Yamaguchi, Bryan Balazs, Marinda Wu, Sheila Kanodia, Eileen Nottoli, Lee Latimer and Mark Frishberg

Left to Right: Alex Madonik, Paul Vartanian, Elaine Yamaguchi, Bryan Balazs, Marinda Wu, Sheila Kanodia, Eileen Nottoli, Lee Latimer and Mark Frishberg

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