Meeting/Event Information

    “A Chemist's Adventures Working on Water Quality in Guyana” - Alan LaPointe

    December 13, 2013
    5:30 PM - 10:00 PM
     Add to Calendar

    Fountain Blue
    2300 Mannheim Road
    Des Plaines, IL 60018

    Alan LaPointe in the fieldChemistry can be an exotic adventure by the Amazon! Whereas Indiana Jones may risk life and limb plundering tombs for archeology, Chicago ACS speaker Alan LaPointe travels to the deepest, darkest, wettest jungles of South America, living on its untamed, treacherous waters - all in the name of scientific discovery. His expeditions may yet inspire movies, and at December's special Holiday Party of the Chicago ACS, Alan will regale us with a preview. You should join us to hear his take on water quality in Guyana and closer to home at the Shedd Aquarium!

    In addition to Alan's main talk, we'll be fulfilling our annual traditions by holding a food drive, having a raffled, and a ceremonial passing of the gavel from the 2013 Chair of the Chicago Section to the unsuspecting 2014 Chair. We also celebrate the holiday season by sharing it with our friends from the Chicago Chemists Club and Iota Sigma Pi (the National Honor Society for Women in Chemistry) It's going to be a great party!

    5:30 - 7:00 · Social Hour with cash bar
    7:00 - 8:00 · Dinner 
    8:00 -          · General Meeting, including talk  


    For the past several years, Shedd Aquarium has been conducting fish biodiversity, water quality, and arapaima research in Guyana, South America. Learn about strategies and methods for gaining baseline values and temporal monitoring of the unique aquatic habitats found in the North Rupununi, District 9. This presentation will give an overview of the country and region and all current projects being conducted. Nonetheless, the focus will be on the water quality baseline analysis and stories of the challenges of working in a remote area of the world and of the people who live in the region.


    • Fresh fruit cocktail
    • Garden Salad with a variety of dressings; 
    • Included with the chicken and fish entrees are Potatoes and a Peas, Mushrooms & Carrots Medley; 
    • Choice of entree:
      • Chicken piciatta
      • Broiled whitefish
      • Vegetarian pasta primavera with alfredo sauce
    • Chocolate sundae


    An expert in environmental quality and water resources, Allen La Pointe serves as Vice President of Environmental Quality for Shedd Aquarium where he is responsible for maintaining and monitoring the environmental quality in all of Shedd’s animal habitats. As part of Shedd’s world class animal care team, La Pointe and his staff of water quality specialists work to replicate the precise conditions of each animal’s home in the wild.

    La Pointe began his career at Shedd in 1997 as the aquarium’s chemist; since then, he has played an integral role in the development of life support systems and environments for Caribbean Reef, Amazon Rising, Wild Reef, and the Abbott Oceanarium. A member of Shedd’s sustainability steering committee, La Pointe is responsible for approving the use of every chemical at the aquarium and has reduced chemical use in the Environmental Quality Laboratory by 60% through the strategic purchase of an ion chromatograph.

    La Pointe is researching water quality in region 9 of Guyana, South America. His work in Guyana is part of a larger project to conduct rapid fish assessments on the Rupununi and Rewa river systems. Likewise, La Pointe is working on water quality conditions in relation to arapaima migration patterns in the same region. Arapaima are the second largest freshwater fish in the world and are endangered in most of their historic range.

    La Pointe is an appointed member of Lt. Governor Sheila Simon’s Science Advisory Committee, which advises Simon on her efforts to reduce flood damage in the state and protect Illinois’ rivers from potential threats. He is also a member of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Great Chicago’s Blue Ribbon Panel for user charges, and serves on the Aquality Board of Directors. La Pointe received his Bachelor of Science degree in Aquatic Zoology at Southern Illinois University and his M.B.A. at the University of Phoenix. In his spare time, he is an avid hunter, fisherman, and opera patron.



    chemistry, chemical, chemist, chemical engineering, science, scientist, scientific, chicago, chicagoland, chicago area, pharmaceutical, pharma, engineer, engineering, materials, material, materials science, academic, academia, college, university, industry, industrial, enterprise, younger chemists, young chemists, women chemists, female chemists, young scientists, younger scientists, women scientists, sustainability

    water, water quality, ecosystem, rainforest, guyana, south america, aquarium, ions, dissolved solids, fish, aquatic life, aquifer, pH, acidity, alkalinity

     View Photos


    $35.00 Member

    $20.00 Student/Unemployed/Retired