Meeting/Event Information

    "Geology of Mars" - Prof. Paul Stoddard / Pre-Dinner talk - Prof. Tim Marin

    November 22, 2013
    5:30 PM - 9:30 PM
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    Benedictine University; Krasa Center/Student Union 2nd Floor
    5700 College Rd
    Lisle, IL 60532

    Meet Martian scientists at the November Chicago ACS meeting! The red planet Mars has capitvated humans like you for hundreds of years, and we are just now discovering its many wonders. Come satisfy your otherworldy curiosity with the ACS at our meeting at Benedictine University, which features TWO intriguing presentations: 

    Main Talk: "GEOLOGY OF MARS" by Prof. Paul Stoddard (NIU)



    5:30 - 7:00 · Social Hour
    6:00 - 6:20 · Pre-Dinner Talk
    7:00 - 8:00 · Dinner 
    8:00 -          · General Meeting, including talk  


    The Lisle Metra station is nearby, and if you CALL AHEAD to the Section office (847-391-9091), we will provide transport to and from the meeting. Click here for the train schedule - it's only about 40 minutes from Union Station!


    MarsGeoMars has long held the attention of astronomers, exobiologists, science fiction writers, and the public at large.  From early, albeit incorrect, reports of extensive canal systems, to thirsty invaders, to Martian meteorites, to Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity, Mars seems never far from our consciousness.   We will take an overview of the exploration of Mars, focusing on the search for signs of Martian water, environments capable of sustaining life, and life itself.  Specific mention will be made of the Mariner missions, Vikings I and II, and of course, the current fleet of rovers.  We will talk of the geologic history of Mars, and compare it to that of Earth.  We will summarize the talk by examining the implications of the above topics for our chances of finding life on Mars.


    tim_marinWe propose that the paucity of organic compounds in martian soil can be accounted for by efficient photocatalytic decomposition of carboxylated molecules due to the occurrence of the photo-Kolbe reaction at the surface of particulate iron(III) oxides that are abundant in the martian regolith. This photoreaction is initiated by the absorption of UVA light, and it readily occurs even at low temperature. The decarboxylation is observed for miscellaneous organic carboxylates, including the nonvolatile products of kerogen oxidation (that are currently thought to accumulate in the soil) as well as a-amino acids and peptides. Our study indicates that there may be no ‘‘safe haven’’ for these organic compounds on Mars; oxidation by reactive radicals, such as hydroxyl, is concerted with photocatalytic reactions on the oxide particles. Acting together, these two mechanisms result in mineralization of the organic component. 


    The photooxidation of acetate (the terminal product of radical oxidation of the aliphatic component of kerogen) on the iron(III) oxides results in the formation of methane; this reaction may account for seasonably variable production of methane on Mars. The concomitant reduction of Fe(III) in the regolith leads to the formation of highly soluble ferrous ions that contribute to weathering of the soil particles.

    DINNER: Buffet

    • Antipasto Platter
    • Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons
    • Assorted Rolls with Butter
    • Sautéed Fresh Zucchini
    • Pasta Bar with Penne Pasta
    • Marinara Sauce and Pesto Cream Sauce
    • Home-style Meatballs in Marinara
    • Sauce and Traditional Chicken Cacciatore
    • ParmesanCheese
    • Mini Cannolis
    • Brewed Iced Tea, Lemonade and Ice Water 


    Associate Professor Paul Stoddard works in the Geology and Environmental Geosciences Department at Northern Illinois University, specializing in plate tectonics, geodynamics, and planetary geology. He earned his Ph.D. in Geological Sciences from Northwestern University,where his thesis was entitled "Kinematic Studies: Ridge Evolution, Gorda Plate, and the Deccan Traps" He earned his A.B. in Geology/Physics-Math from Brown Univeristy, and his M.Sc. from Texas A&M, where his thesis was " Deformation of the Gorda Block of the Juan De Fuca Plate". Between his M.Sc. and Ph.D., he worked at Conoco, Inc., as a geophysicist. 

    Associate Professor Tim Marin is Chair of the Departments of Chemistry and Physics at Benedictine University and works in the Physical Chemistry division. He received a B.S. in chemistry from Benedictine University, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Northwestern University in chemical and molecular physics. Dr. Marin’s teaching responsibilities have included the physical chemistry curriculum as well as the general chemistry course sequence. Dr. Marin holds an appointment at nearby Argonne National Laboratory in the Chemical Sciences and Engineering division, where he engages in government research primarily involving radiation-induced processes in advanced nuclear fuel cycling. He also holds an active collaboration with the Notre Dame Radiation Laboratory and the Synchrotron Radiation Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, working to ascertain the fundamental properties of water under extreme temperature and pressure conditions. He has received two major awards from Benedictine: the Distinguished Faculty Award for Research in 2009, and the College of Science Dean's Award for Research in 2008.



    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

    mars, geology, gechemistry, planetary science, cosmic, planet, geophysics, geochemistry, surface chemistry, solid phase, oxide, iron, iron oxide, catalysis, photochemistry, physics, physical chemistry, chemical physics, astrophysics, astrochemistry


    $15.00 Member - buffet

    $17.00 Non-member