A joint event between California section of American Chemical Society
& Association of Women in Science, East Bay Chapter
5:00 – 5:30 PM: Sign-up and Networking
5:30 – 6:30 PM: Talk and Q&A
6:30 – 7:30 PM: Networking w/ Light Bites
The presentation delves into the prevalent challenges of human infertility and congenital defects exacerbated by environmental toxins. Chemicals like bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates, present in plastics, cosmetics, and personal care items, disrupt hormones and pathways as endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs). Despite efforts to replace BPA with alternatives labeled “BPA-Free,” these substitutes carry similar risks. These findings emphasize the potential health risks, urging consumer awareness, policy reform, and sustainable alternatives.
About our speaker:
Prof. Sonya Schuh, originally from Southern California, developed a passion for nature and water activities. Her curiosity and upbringing by educator parents led her to a science career. She earned a B.S. in Marine Biology and Zoology from Humboldt State University and conducted marine research. Later, she completed her Ph.D. in Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Washington, focusing on chemical effects on sperm. At Stanford’s Stem Cell Biology Institute, she delved into genes and environmental factors affecting human reproduction. Joining Saint Mary’s College of California, she initiated a research program on endocrine disruptors’ impact on stem cells and embryos. Dedicated to teaching and diverse collaborations, her most cherished accomplishment is her three children, inspiring her ongoing commitment to shaping a better future.
Our Distinguished Speaker
Rachel Woods-Robinson, PhD
Addressing climate change requires transitioning to renewables such as photovoltaic solar panels, but one key barrier to this transition is that we need better materials. In this talk, we’ll start at the sun and then zoom into a solar panel all the way down to the nanoscale, highlighting materials challenges that scientists face at each length scale to make solar more efficient, reliable, and sustainable. We’ll meet the different material components, such as absorbers and transparent conductors (TCs), and I’ll share some of my research into designing new TCs for solar. Next, we’ll zoom back out to discuss challenges we face beyond the lab in bringing solar to society, including critical raw materials, environmental impacts, and “green sacrifice zones.” Lastly, I’ll share some insights from my outreach project Cycle for Science and college course Cycle the Rockies.
About The Speaker
Rachel Woods-Robinson (she/her) received a B.S. in Physics from UCLA, and a Ph.D. at U.C. Berkeley and Berkeley Lab designing new crystals for solar energy by combining computational chemistry, thin film growth, and device fabrication. Rachel recently started as a Postdoctoral Fellow at University of Washington’s Clean Energy Institute to study environmental and human impacts of such new solar materials. In addition to research goals to curtail climate change, Rachel aims to support scientists in sharing our work accessibly and engaging collaboratively with our communities, and loves outdoor adventuring. She co-founded “Cycle for Science,” in which scientists go on bicycle tours and visit K-12 classes to teach hands-on lessons about sustainability, and she instructs “Cycle the Rockies” (Wild Rockies Field Institute), an immersive month-long course in which undergrads ride bicycles across Montana to learn about local energy and climate impacts.
Zoom link to be shared with attendees the day of the event.
Please register before Thursday, November 2, 2023, 12 noon. Your email address is needed to send the Zoom link, which will be shared with attendees on or before the day of the event via Brown Paper Tickets.
The event is FREE and open to the community. More information: e-mail WCC co-chair Elaine Yamaguchi.