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ESF Department of Chemistry: Mission Statement

The broad mission of the SUNY-ESF Chemistry Faculty is the advancement of chemistry in the service of Mankind's interaction with our environment. In so doing, Chemistry at ESF focuses on four activities. Specifically:

Chemical education of future scientists, at all levels from BS to Ph.D.

We seek to provide our students with the intellectual tools, core knowledge, and practical experiences essential to their individual career goals. In our students these goals may include academic/industrial research and teaching, professional programs in medicine and environmental law, science education, the pursuit of a technical career in chemistry or government often with a focus on environmentally significant problems and their solution. In addition we provide basic skills in chemistry to other science students whose primary focus lies in other areas.

Advancement of fundamental knowledge

Research is critical to both advancement of chemical sciences and to their employment in solving problems. Our faculty led research teams seek to address fundamental environmentally relevant areas including the creation of new and improved methods for detection of chemical species, understanding the principles relating structure and function in living systems or structure and properties in chemicals and materials. We train future scientists in the design of experiments to test new hypotheses, in the use of experimental methods and analytical tools needed to acquire the data, and in the logical analysis of that data which ultimately leads to the development of new knowledge.

Application and dissemination of chemical knowledge

In areas ranging from evaluating and improving indoor environmental quality to the design of polymer membranes for use in fuel cells and from the replacement of petrochemicals and petromaterials with their renewable resource based equivalents to an understanding of how small molecules trigger responses microbes, plants and animals, we challenge our students to apply their expanding knowledge in solving problems relating to the interactions between people and their surroundings. By involving students in the presentation of their work in scientific journals, conference presentations as well as in forms that enable policy makers, consumers and other non-chemists to understand the substance and importance of our work, we inform the world of our activities and train our students in the methods of information and technology transfer.

Developing an awareness of the ethical impacts of the chemical sciences upon society and the environment.

The application of chemistry to societal issues and needs often involves considerations that go far beyond the chemical issues. An important component of our work is to instill in the next generation of scientists the need to consider all aspects of a project not merely the chemistry. Scientific considerations need to be considered in the context of how a decision may affect particular population groups, how solving one problem may create a second problem. Finally, students need guidance in setting personal standards for the conduct of their work so that it does not endanger or impinge negatively upon other people.