Environmental Science Program to Host Guest Speakers Feb. 7

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Westminster College Environmental Science Program will host speakers on "Protecting Our Watersheds: Combining Advances in Materials Science and Bioretention Systems to Purify Stormwater, Reduce Infrastructure Costs, and Beautify Landscapes" Tuesday, Feb. 7, at 6 p.m. in Phillips Lecture Hall of the Hoyt Science Resources Center.  The event is free and open to the public.

The speakers, Deanna Pickett, director of remediation, and John Houck, sales lead for rain gardens and bioretention, are with ABSMaterials, Inc., a water treatment company that has developed Osorb®, a swellable glass used to pull contaminates from water.

Rain gardens are used to decrease the damaging effects of high-volume stormwater flows that would otherwise cause downstream flooding and erosion issues.  Osorb®-enhanced rain gardens can capture and remediate hydrocarbons, chlorinated volatile organics, herbicides, nutrients, and pharmaceuticals.

Dr. Paul Edmiston, co-founder and chief science officer of ABSMaterials, Inc. will also be visiting campus to speak to chemistry classes on "Nano-Engineered Sorbents for Water Purification."

Contact Dr. Helen Boylan, associate professor of chemistry and coordinator of the Environmental Science Program, at (724) 946-6293 or email for additional information.

About Westminster College...
Founded in 1852 and related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster College ranks first in the nation as "Best College for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math," according to Forbes.com. Westminster, a top-tier liberal arts college, ranks third in graduation rate performance, according to U.S. News Best Colleges guide. Westminster ranked 6th among liberal arts colleges in social mobility, according to the Washington Monthly College Guide, and is one of the most affordable national liberal arts colleges in Pennsylvania. Westminster is also honored as one of "The Best 376 Colleges" by The Princeton Review, and is named to the President's Honor Roll for excellence in service learning.

Nearly 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students benefit from individualized attention from dedicated faculty while choosing from 42 majors and nearly 100 organizations on the New Wilmington, Pa., campus. Visit www.westminster.edu/advantage to view "Advantage: Westminster" A Strategic Plan 2010-2020.

Deanna Pickett


John Houck


Dr. Paul Edmiston