Getting Hands-On Experience


St. Mary's chemistry and biochemistry majors were busy this summer participating in research and medical internships on campus and around the country.  Ashton Engdahl (above) spent her summer developing a green synthesis of functionalized pyrroles on campus with a paid research internship through our campus SMURF program.

Awards Aplenty in New Orleans

A generous contribution from the John J. Leidy Foundation allowed eight St. Mary's students to attend the 245th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in New Orleans where they presented posters describing their research.  Josh Olexa ('13) explains his poster to a judge, and former American Chemical Society president, in the Speak Simply Contest where students were judged on their ability to explain their research. St. Mary's was well represented, as Josh and Greg Triegger ('13) were both awarded for their posters.


"Determination of Gas Phase Polychlorinated Biphenyls at Piney Point Park

Emily Oblath
Mentor: Dr. Randolph K. Larsen III
St. Mary's College of Maryland, 2006-2007

    This study examined the concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the gas phase at Piney Point Lighthouse Park on the Potomac River in Maryland. PCBs are a class of organic chemicals that are especially persistent in the environment and are also probable carcinogens. Piney Point Lighthouse Park is located adjacent to an oil offloading facility that is frequented by oil tankers that could have an effect on the local air quality. Since tanker exhaust is not suspected to be a source of PCBs, the concentration of PCBs in the air at Piney Point was compared to past studies at nearby locations to indicate the levels of atmospheric pollutants unrelated to the tankers. There was no past data available on gas phase PCBs at Piney Point so it is impossible to say whether the concentrations found show improvement or decline, but they can be used to compare with future studies. Samples were collected from Piney Point over approximately 23 hour periods from September 19, 2006 to October 5, 2006 and from October 11, 2006 to October 13, 2006. The average total PCB concentration over the sampling period was 3.962 ± 1.993 ng/m3. This concentration is higher than levels found at other rural locations.